Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
The History of Excel
Excel 4
Excel 4 hit the streets in the spring of 1992. This version made quite an impact on the
marketplace as Windows increased in popularity. It boasted lots of new features and usability
enhancements that made it easier for beginners to get up to speed quickly.
Excel 5
In early 1994, Excel 5 appeared on the scene. This version introduced tons of new features,
including multisheet workbooks and the new Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro
language. Like its predecessor, Excel 5 took top honors in just about every spreadsheet comparison
published in the trade magazines.
Excel 95
Excel 95 (also known as Excel 7) shipped in the summer of 1995. On the surface, it resembled
Excel 5 (this version included only a few major new features). However, Excel 95 proved to be
significant because it presented the first version to use more advanced 32-bit code. Excel 95 and
Excel 5 use the same file format.
Excel 97
Excel 97 (also known as Excel 8) probably offered the most significant upgrade ever. The
toolbars and menus took on a great new look, online help moved a dramatic step forward, and the
number of rows available in a worksheet quadrupled. And if you’re a macro developer, you may
have noticed that Excel’s programming environment (VBA) moved up several notches on the
scale. Excel 97 also introduced a new file format.
Excel 2000
Excel 2000 (also known as Excel 9) was released in June of 1999. Excel 2000 offered several
minor enhancements, but the most significant advancement was the ability to use HTML as an
alternative file format. Excel 2000 still supported the standard binary file format, of course, which
is compatible with Excel 97.
Excel 2002
Excel 2002 (also known as Excel 10 or Excel XP) was released in June of 2001 and is part of
Microsoft Office XP. This version offered several new features, most of which are fairly minor and
were designed to appeal to novice users. Perhaps the most significant new feature was the
capability to save your work when Excel crashes and also recover corrupt workbook files that you
may have abandoned long ago. Excel 2002 also added background formula error checking and a
new formula-debugging tool.
Excel 2003
Excel 2003 (also known as Excel 11) was released in the fall of 2003. This version had very few
new features. Perhaps the most significant new feature was the ability to import and export XML
 
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