Excel Online

Office 365

Applies to: Office 365

Topic Last Modified: 2018-06-13

Excel Online (formerly Excel Web App) extends your Microsoft Excel experience to the web browser, where you can work with workbooks directly on the website where the workbook is stored. All Office 365 customers can view and lightly edit Office files using Office Online.

Workbooks that exceed 30 megabytes (MB) cannot be viewed in Excel Online from within Microsoft SharePoint Online. To view larger files, you’ll need the Excel desktop app installed on your computer.
To help you compare offers, advanced features listed in this article include Excel desktop app capabilities that are only available in the Office suite (such as Office Professional Plus, Office Standard, or Office 365 ProPlus). For a list of all Office Online features, such as Word Online and PowerPoint Online, see Feature availability across Office 365 plans

To see what file type are supported by Excel Online, see Supported file types for Office Online. To learn more about the differences between Excel Online and the Excel desktop app, see Differences between using a workbook in the browser and in Excel.

Link to web pages or open files on the web by adding a hyperlink in a cell. You can type the web address directly in the cell or use the Insert Hyperlink command.

The Timeline control lets you filter modeled data. It’s a visual way to view and change a continuous range of dates and filter pivot-based objects, such as PivotTables and PivotCharts.

Use the Alignment buttons on the Home tab to change the alignment of text.

Conditional formatting may be viewed but not applied in Excel Online. The Excel desktop app allows full use of this, and other advanced features. Learn more about how to.use conditional formatting in Excel 2013.

Not available in Excel Online. Advanced features, such as data validation, are only available in the Excel desktop app. However, you can view and interact with data validation-enabled in Excel Online. Learn more about applying data validation to cells in Excel 2013.

Not available in Excel Online. In the Excel 2013 desktop app, recommended charts let you pick from a variety of charts that are best for presenting your data. Learn more about how to use chart recommendations in Excel 2013.

Some, but not all Office add-ins are available in Excel Online. You can get an add-in for Excel from the Office Store. Learn more about how to get an Excel add-in.

Excel Online can complete what you’re typing into a cell and, if there’s more than one possible value, display them all in a list that you can pick from.

Total a column or row of numbers by selecting the cells you want to sum and then double-click AutoSum. The result appears in the next blank cell.

You can use Excel to perform a variety of automatic, manual, and iterative calculations. Excel uses functions to perform these calculations. For more information, see Excel functions by category.

Only Microsoft Excel desktop app supports advanced chart features. Learn more about how to animate a SmartArt graphic.

Excel charts and tables make it easy to format data and manage information. To learn more, see Create or delete an Excel table and Overview of PivotTable and PivotChart reports.

You can insert, edit, and delete comments in Excel Online. Learn more about adding a comment to Excel.

For best results, use keyboard shortcuts, not the right-click menu or Clipboard commands in Excel Online, to copy items to another worksheet location. Learn more about using copy and paste in Excel Online.

You can use Excel Online to view data connections, but you can’t create external data connections using Excel Online. You’ll need the Excel 2013 desktop app to work with external data. Learn more about working with external data in Excel Services.

Create a table to organize and analyze related data. Tables make it easy to sort, filter, and format your data.

Advanced analysis views, such as Power Pivot and Power View, are only available in Excel desktop app. These features are not supported in Excel Online. Learn more about PowerPivot.

You can use data validation to restrict the type of data or the values that users enter into a cell. To learn more, see Apply data validation to cells

You can move cell value in Excel Online by dragging and dropping cells from one place to another.

Dropbox is a file hosting service that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, personal cloud, and client software.

If you store an Excel workbook on OneDrive.com, you can embed it directly in a blog or website. Your readers can sort, filter, and calculate data right there, and if you update the workbook in OneDrive, they’ll see the latest changes the next time they refresh the page. Learn more about embedding an Excel workbook on your blog.

You can refer to the contents of cells in another workbook by creating an external reference. An external reference (also called a link) is a reference to a cell or range on a worksheet in another Excel workbook, or a reference to a defined name in another workbook.

Drag the Fill Handle that appears in the lower-right corner of a selected cell or range of cells to fill the data into adjacent cells.

Find cell content in the active worksheet. An easy to use dialog box gives the option to search up or down from the current selection in the worksheet.

Customize your data to give it the exact look you want. Choose from a variety of font styles or colors or change the size and color of text.

See the formulas behind a cell’s results in the formula bar. You can add, change, and delete parts of your formula in the browser just like you would in the Excel desktop app.

Microsoft Excel desktop app supports the most advanced formula tools, such as 3D reference style and array formulas. Excel Online only supports the most basic Excel formulas. Learn more about formulas.

The freeze panes feature is available in the Excel Online ribbon. Learn more about how freeze panes work in the Excel 2013 desktop app and See tips for Excel Online.

Anything you can see in a workbook in the browser in Editing View, you can see in Reading View.

You can use most of Excel’s more than 400 worksheet functions in formulas in Excel Online.

Quickly navigate around your spreadsheet using the GoTo feature. Type in a cell reference and jump to that location in the spreadsheet. Learn more about keyboard shortcuts in Excel Online.

You can hide and unhide rows, columns, and sheets in a workbook in Excel Online.

Create a chart to visually represent your data. Choose from a variety of chart types, such as column, line, pie, or bar charts. Learn more about available chart types.

Select one more rows before clicking Insert or Delete on the Home tab to add or remove rows or columns in your worksheet one at a time or several at once.

Use Merge & Center on the Home tab to combine and center the contents of the selected cells in one larger cell. You can change the alignment by clicking the Alignment buttons.

Change the format of numbers. Pick a format such as Currency or Short Date from a list of formats, change the decimal places, or insert a thousands separator.

Excel Online is launched from an Internet browser and relies on an Internet connection. To access spreadsheets offline, Microsoft Excel desktop app must be installed on your computer and used to view and edit Excel worksheets.

Share selected portions of your spreadsheets on the web by embedding them on your social network pages, or Skype for Business conversations, or meetings. Excel Online does not support these features.

Excel Online allows you to view Power Pivot tables and charts, but you need the Excel 2013 desktop app to create Power Pivot data models.

You can view and interact with Power View sheets in a workbook, but you cannot create Power View using Excel Online. Power View creation is only available with the desktop application. Power View allows you to create, share, and explore data in interactive, presentation-ready views. View information in interactive maps, charts, and tables that are linked to each other in a single worksheet. Learn more about Power View.

Use the Print command in Excel Online to send the entire worksheet or the current selection to the printer. Learn more about how to print in Excel Online.

Two or more people can work in the same spreadsheet at the same time by opening it in their web browser instead of in the Excel desktop app. Real-time presence helps you see where your co-authors are working in the document so that you don’t create conflicts as you edit, and you can see changes as they’re being made. For more information about real-time co-authoring, see Collaborate on Excel workbooks at the same time with co-authoring.

Only Microsoft Excel desktop app supports advanced charts. Excel Online does not support these features. Learn more about available chart types.

If the data in your workbook is connected to external sources, such as databases, web pages, or analysis cubes, you can refresh that data using Excel Online.

Click the New Sheet icon to add a sheet. Right-click any sheet tab to rename it.

In Excel Online, you can rename a workbook file without closing it by clicking the filename in the header and typing in a new name. To rename a file using Excel desktop app, close the file, navigate to its location on your device, and rename the file.

Not available in Excel Online. If you have the Excel desktop app installed on your computer, then you can use Excel to find and replace content in a document. Learn more about using find and replace in Excel 2013.

Protect your workbooks using passwords, permissions, and other restrictions in Excel desktop app. In Excel Online, you can load and interact with workbooks that contain Sheet Protection, which prevents users from selecting or typing in protected cells. Learn more about protecting Excel workbooks.

Want your own copy of the workbook? Use the Save As command on the File tab, or right-click the workbook’s name in its folder and use the Download command to send a copy to your computer.

One-click process for sending a link that others can use to view or edit the document. Learn more about using Office Online to work together in Office 365.

When you share an Excel file with other users, you can protect a worksheet to help prevent it from being changed, and you can choose the actions that you allow the users of your worksheet to perform.

View slicers in your worksheet and filter your data by clicking the slicer buttons. You cannot create or edit slicers in Excel Online.

In Excel Online, you can view and reorder all worksheets, sort and filter data, and drill into the details of PivotTables.

In Microsoft Excel desktop app, you can use the worksheet inquire and compare features to compare versions of a workbook, analyze a workbook for problems or inconsistencies, or see links between workbook and worksheets. Excel Online does not support these features. Learn more about what you can do with Spreadsheet Inquire.

When you select a group of cells in Excel Online, you can see the SUM, AVERAGE, and COUNT in the status bar. You can also customize the status bar by choosing which aggregates you want to see.

Use Survey to send an Excel Online form to users that they can fill out. Responses will be automatically compiled in an online worksheet. Learn more about surveys in Excel.

When you need to accomplish something in Excel Online but don’t know how, you can use the Tell Me search feature to quickly find what you’re looking for. Tell Me understands what you’re trying to accomplish and helps you do it faster by making suggestions.

Excel Online saves your work automatically. If you make a mistake, use Undo or press Ctrl + Z, and Redo or press Ctrl + Y. Learn more about keyboard shortcuts in Excel Online.

Microsoft Excel desktop app is an extremely powerful tool used to manipulate, analyze, and present data. Sometimes, despite the rich set of features, your organization might find it easier to use Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), a programming language, to create a macro that performs mundane, repetitive tasks or to perform some task that the user interface (UI) does not seem to address. You cannot create macros with VBA in Excel Online, but you can open and edit VBA-enabled spreadsheets without removing (or corrupting) the VBA contained in the file. Learn more about getting started with macros.

View 3D charts in your worksheet. You cannot create or edit 3D charts in Excel Online.

Not available in Excel Online. You can view “What if” analysis results in Excel Online, as expected. If you want to use analysis tools such as Goal Seek, Data Tables, Solver, and Series, then you’ll need the Excel desktop app. Learn more about differences between using a workbook in the browser and in Excel desktop app.

To view feature availability across Office 365 plans, standalone options, and on-premise solutions, see Office Online Service Description.


The short icon for LinkedIn Learning New to Office 365?
Discover free video courses for Office 365 admins and IT pros, brought to you by LinkedIn Learning.