Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 1
What’s New in Excel 2003
Using Improved Statistical Functions . . . . .3
Comparing Workbooks Side By Side . . . . . 7
Creating Smart Documents . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Getting Information with the
Research Task Pane. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
Creating Document Workspaces . . . . . . . .6
Using Extended XML Capabilities. . . . . . . . 8
Implementing Information Rights
Management. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
Microsoft Excel has been around since 1985, so it’s no surprise that the basic spreadsheet
elements of the program have remained fairly constant for quite some time. That said, there
is always room for improvement, and Microsoft Office Excel 2003 has a bunch of new fea­
tures that make data gathering, collaboration, and data transfer much more effective than in
previous versions. The bulk of the improvements in Excel 2003 revolve around the use of
Extensible Markup Language , or XML, which is a flexible, text-based markup system that lets
you describe the contents of a spreadsheet so that the data it contains can be handled auto­
matically instead of manually, saving time and reducing the possibility of errors introduced
from re-keying or copying the data. Excel 2003 also comes with a suite of improved statistical
functions, which are far more precise than in previous versions of the program.
Using Improved Statistical Functions
Most Excel users will never go beyond the relatively simple formulas and formatting tasks
used to track business and financial data, but scientific and advanced business or academic
users who take advantage of the advanced statistical functions available in Excel need great
precision from those functions. The Excel programming team changed how the program
calculates the results of quite a few statistical functions, improving the accuracy of those
results and making them much more useful to advanced users. Table 1-1 lists the enhanced
functions and describes each one.
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