Explore and manage brand new Excel 2016 add-ins


At a glance

Are you working with a specialized set of data that the standard Excel features just don’t seem to address? Did you know that Excel add-ins give you additional features above and beyond the standard application? Excel 2016, in particular, offers a few built-in add-ins that you’ll want to check out. It also offers a streamlined way to purchase more add-ins—and manage the ones you have.

To manage add-ins in Excel 2016, we’ll:

  • Check out the two built-in add-ins that come with Excel 2016: infographics and Bing Maps.
  • Explore the Microsoft Store where additional add-ins can be purchased.
  • Easily manage the add-ins we have installed.

Excel offers many ways to analyze and present data, but it cannot anticipate all of your data needs. Excel add-ins offer additional ways to work with your data that are not part of the standard Excel application. These add-ins can give you innovative ways to work with specialized data, as shown in Figure A.

Excel 2016 offers two built-in add-ins that you can use to supplement the new version: infographics and Bing Maps. Both tools offer alternate ways to visually represent your data.

In addition, you can easily access the Microsoft Store to purchase more add-ins. You can also manage your installed add-ins right from Excel. Here’s what you need to know about discovering and managing your Excel 2016 add-ins.

Explore Excel 2016’s two built-in add-ins

There are two add-ins that you will see already installed in Excel 2016. You can access these add-ins, along with other tools for managing add-ins, on the Insert tab, as shown in Figure B.

Present data as an infographic

One of the add-ins available in the Add-ins area of the Insert tab creates a visually appealing infographic from your data. Here’s how we put it to good use.

To create an infographic for your data:

  1. Enter the data you want to include in your infographic. For example, we want an infographic that shows the number of science department students with GPAs over 3.5. We analyzed the raw data in our worksheet to come up with two columns of data for our infographic,as shown in Figure C.
  2. Go to the Insert tab and, in the Add-ins area, click on the green icon in the lower-right corner.
  3. In the sample infographic that appears, click on the Data icon in the upper-right corner that resembles a table grid.
  4. In the sidebar that displays, click on the Select Your Data button. Excel prompts you to select two columns of data, as shown in Figure D. In our example, we’ll select cells H2:I4.
  5. Click the Create button to view your data in the infographic.
  6. Click on the Data icon again, and this time change the text in the Title text box to customize the infographic title.
  7. Format the infographic by clicking on the Settings icon in the upperright corner. You can change the infographic’s type, theme, or shape, as shown in Figure E.

A: One of the built-in Excel 2016 add-ins allows you to present data in a visually appealing infographic.

B: The two icons on the right side of the Add-ins area represent the built-in add-ins: Bing Maps and an infographic add-in.

Put Bing Maps to work

The second add-in already installed in Excel 2016 is a Bings Map add-in that will plot data points on a map, allowing you to visually compare geographic data. Here’s how to get your geographic data mapped in no time.

C: Aggregate your data into the categories you’d like to see in your infographic.

To map geographic data with a Bing Maps add-in:

  1. Enter the data you want to map: one column with a location such as an ad[...]
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