I Haven’t Gotten This Feeling From Software in a While

Yesterday, I was using Excel to fill out a list of names and e-mails. As I was happily (well not really, I was typing in a bunch of email addresses) going about my business, I accidentally came upon a feature of Excel I’ve never seen before (more about that in a bit).  Now, I should come clean and say that I’m not an everyday user of Excel, and I am certainly not what I’d call a power user.  I’ll bet there are a lot of people who know about this feature, but it was new to me.

The thing that made this stick out was that it just came out of nowhere while I was using the program.  I’ve seen other pieces of software do that and only end up creating a jarring experience for the user; this was seamlessly done.  Most importantly, it helped me get my task done faster, and to me, that’s what software is supposed to do.  This is a place where the folks delivering Excel did something that made my job easier in a really nice and unexpected way.  I need to challenge myself to do this for my users more often.

So what was the feature?  Check it out.  Keep in mind this is a reenactment (so I don’t share a bunch of IDT employee emails. You’re welcome).  The actual list of e-mails I was adding was much longer, so the time it saved me was significant.

(P.S. If anyone from Microsoft reads this, if 2013 had the feature, I’d have definitely given you a smile yesterday!)


4 thoughts on “I Haven’t Gotten This Feeling From Software in a While

  1. That feature is called Flash Fill and it’s great!!

    After you’ve written a couple of examples like you did, it should come up; but if it doesn’t, you can try to activate it by pressing Ctrl + E.

    Like

  2. I noticed this enhancement while entering lookup data a while back in Excel 2013. The first time I saw it I thought I had done something wrong.

    Like

    1. It definitely made me look twice to see what had happened. I was impressed by the logic it used. We had one name that I figured it would get wrong, but it didn’t.

      Like

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