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Microsoft Plans to Integrate Python into Excel

Microsoft announces Python support in Excel, bridging the gap between spreadsheets and data science. What does this mean for advanced Excel users and Python enthusiasts alike?

Python in Excel

Microsoft is pushing the boundaries of Excel by incorporating Python, the popular programming language heavily used in data science. This integration aims to enrich Excel's functionalities, allowing users to run Python scripts and Excel formulas side by side in a single workbook. So what can you expect from this game-changing feature?

Users can easily integrate Python into their Excel workbooks without any set-up or installation, according to Stefan Kinnestrand, the GM for Modern Work at Microsoft. All they need to do is join the Microsoft 365 Insider Program and opt for the beta channel to get the latest Excel builds. From there, it's as simple as selecting "insert Python" in the Formulas ribbon.

While Python runs well on modern PCs, Microsoft has chosen to execute Python calculations in the Microsoft Cloud. This could pave the way for future functionalities and ensure a consistent experience across various devices and platforms.

Microsoft has teamed up with Anaconda, a popular data science platform, to deliver this feature. Anaconda's Python distribution runs in Azure, Microsoft's cloud service, and brings renowned Python libraries like Matplotlib and seaborn for advanced data visualization in Excel.

Before this announcement, Python libraries like pandas and openpyxl and paid Excel add-ons like PyXLL already allowed Python functionality in Excel to some extent. However, this native integration offers a more seamless experience.

What Does This Mean for You?

  1. Advanced Data Analysis: Users can now perform intricate data analysis tasks without leaving Excel, leveraging Python's robust libraries.
  2. Automation: Automate repetitive Excel tasks using Python scripts.
  3. Visualization: Take advantage of Python's powerful data visualization libraries within Excel.
  4. Ease of Use: With no need for a separate installation, users can easily switch between Python and Excel functionalities.

This integration opens new horizons for data manipulation, analysis, and visualization within Excel, offering a powerful toolset for professionals in finance, analytics, and more. With Python in Excel, the possibilities for advanced spreadsheet users are endless.

For more information and updates, stay tuned as this feature rolls out to Microsoft 365 Insiders.