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Excel now supports natural language queries for Office Insiders

Laptop with Office 365
Laptop with Office 365 (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft Excel now supports natural language queries for Office Insiders.
  • The feature allows people to ask questions naturally.
  • Microsoft announced the feature at Ignite 2019.

Microsoft emphasized artificial intelligence support for several apps and services at Ignite 2019. One app that will benefit from this AI push is Microsoft Excel, which now supports natural language queries for Office Insiders.

Support for natural language queries means that people can ask Microsoft Excel questions without having to memorize specific formulas. Microsoft has not shared any specific examples of questions that can be asked but explains the general structure of the feature.

Now Excel supports natural language queries, so users can now ask a question of their data, just like they would if they were talking to a person, and get quick answers—all without having to write a formula.

In addition to supporting natural language queries, Microsoft announced AI-related features for other parts of Microsoft Office as well as Cortana. MyAnalytics is now able to suggest actions in Outlook, such as booking a meeting, adding an item to an agenda, and following up on meetings.

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

2 Comments
  • Does anyone know if/when inking support is coming for Excel on Android?
  • I am cautiously optimistic about this. But I suspect that at the beginning, it'll just be verbal equivalents for simple formulas. That's OK and may be helpful, but I would like something more useful than that.