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Microsoft is bringing Python to Excel

Microsoft Introduces Public Preview of Python Integration in Excel

Microsoft has announced the public preview of Python in Excel, a feature that empowers advanced spreadsheet users to combine Python scripts with their familiar Excel formulas within the same workbook.

According to Microsoft's blog post,

"With Python in Excel, you can type Python directly into a cell, the Python calculations run in the Microsoft Cloud, and your results are returned to the worksheet, including plots and visualizations."

Stefan Kinnestrand, the GM for Modern Work at Microsoft, elaborated, stating, "Now you can do advanced data analysis in the familiar Excel environment by accessing Python directly from the Excel ribbon. No setup or installation is required.

Using Excel's built-in connectors and Power Query, you can easily bring external data into Python in Excel workflows."

To explore this feature, you need to join the Microsoft 365 Insider Program and opt for the beta channel to access the latest Excel builds. Once in the beta channel, simply select "insert Python" in the Formulas ribbon to begin.

Seamless Integration in the Cloud

Python calculations are executed in the Microsoft Cloud, with results seamlessly returned to an Excel worksheet. This integration empowers Excel users to create formulas, PivotTables, and charts based on Python data.

Users can also leverage popular charting libraries like Matplotlib and Seaborn for visualizations, including heatmaps, violin plots, and swarm plots.

Availability and Licensing

Python in Excel is rolling out today as a public preview exclusively for Microsoft 365 Insiders in the Beta Channel. Initially, it will be available on Windows, with plans to extend support to other platforms "at a later date."

During the preview period, Python in Excel is included in Microsoft 365 subscriptions. However, Microsoft notes that "some functionality will be restricted without a paid license" once the preview phase concludes.

It's worth mentioning that Python users have had access to libraries for working with Excel files for some time. Additionally, there are paid Excel add-ons like PyXLL that provide Python's functionality within Microsoft's spreadsheet software.


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