Sun. Sep 24th, 2023

If you know how to use it, Microsoft Excel can be a tremendously powerful and versatile tool. Of the Word-PowerPoint-Excel trio of apps, Excel is probably the most powerful one. It’s simple to use for data storing, but if you want to, you can make all sorts of things with it — some people have even made games. Now, though, those options are just growing exponentially with Python integration.

Microsoft has introduced a Python Editor as an experimental addition to Excel Labs, offering users the ability to write and edit Python formulas directly within Microsoft Excel, intended to be used with the new Python function support that was revealed in August. The Python Editor provides a dedicated code editor that shares similarities with Python notebook environments, designed to enhance the Python in Excel experience by accommodating more complex and lengthy Python code snippets. In other words, it gives you an experience closer to what a typical IDE offers, but without leaving Excel.

The Python Editor’s key advantages include a streamlined code execution visualization that displays Python cells in the order of execution along with their respective outputs, aiding in code debugging and comprehension — Python cells execute in row major order, so this is tremendously useful. Furthermore, the Python Editor caters to the creation and editing of longer sections of Python code, offering enhanced flexibility. Leveraging components found in Visual Studio Code, it supports essential features like IntelliSense, auto-suggestions, formatting, and highlighting to make coding smoother.

Python editor in Microsoft Excel

A standout feature is the flexibility it provides for intermittent coding workflows. You can write code, switch to other parts of Excel, and only add the code to your Excel sheet when you’re ready. This gives you more control over when your code affects your Excel file.

To access the Python Editor, you can update the Excel Labs add-in if you already have it installed, or install it from the Add-ins Store via the Insert tab. However, access to Python in Excel is a prerequisite for using the Python Editor, so you’ll need that first before you can start experimenting with the Python Editor.

Source: Microsoft

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By John P.

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