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Before we start clicking and typing around in Excel, I just want to go over what some of the differences are between Excel 2007 and 2010, and also an overview of what some of the new features are that we're going to look at in this course. I'll actually start out by telling you what is not different, and that is the file format of Excel 2010 is the same as the file format in Excel 2007, so you don't have to worry about that. Of course, those are both different from the file format of Excel 2003 and earlier. The Ribbon bar is now customizable, and I think that's really great, because in Excel 2007 Microsoft introduced this round Office button here in the upper-left corner, and a lot of people weren't really sure what that was or how to deal with it, and you can see now that's been replaced by the File tab and what's also called Backstage view.
In Backstage view is not only opening and saving and closing and all that, but also collaboration. And I'm going to show you how you could save your work to Microsoft's SkyDrive, which is a free web service and also to a SharePoint portal, if you're using one. There is now better editing of imported pictures. So if you have pictures coming in that may be need to be recolored, you don't have to go and do that in an image editing program first. Now, as for pasting, in the older versions, you didn't really know what you were going to get until you paste, when you're copying and pasting.
Now you have a Paste preview. So, before you actually paste your data, you could get a preview of what that's going to look like first. If you ever used PivotTables, you'll appreciate the new Slicers feature. PivotTables are kind of interactive, in the sense that you can switch the rows and columns, but you can't really sort them, or filter them. Slicers are going to help you do that. If you ever need to create math equations for physics, engineering, statistics, you're going to like the math Equation support. It doesn't actually solve equations for you, but you can make your equations look really very nicely formatted.
Probably my favorite new feature in Excel 2010 are Sparklines. Sparklines are tiny little charts that actually fit into a cell. So the same way that you can have a column of numbers, or a column of text, you can now have a column of tiny little charts and apply some really neat formatting to them. One of the biggest improvements in Excel is what's called PowerPivot. It used to be called Project Gemini. This is a free plug-in from Microsoft, and you could get it at powerpivot.com. What this allows you to do is combine data from many different sources.
It could be enterprise databases, web sites, Excel spreadsheets, tiny databases, and query them and work with them all as though they're one and sitting on your computer. So, let's roll up our sleeves and see what we've got.
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