MS Excel Ideas Tool

excel ideas tool

What is Excel Ideas Tool?

Excel Ideas is a software button for extracting important information from a spreadsheet which requires data formatting. Even though Excel already offers a range of data visualization tools, they are quite complex. Excel Ideas tool can create the charts and other visualisations for you. Moreover, it will highlight the data trends and other touchpoints.

How does Excel Ideas Tool work?

You have to select one or more cells, choose Ideas button on the Home tab. You will see the task pane with different suggestions for trends and charts. More than that, it generates automatically the axes, filled titles labels. Some of these features are taken from Power BI, however, the data model is not complex enough and so, the results will not be in-depth. Still, Excel Ideas helps to get highlights faster.

In order to get the most out of Ideas, you need to do a little preparation. For example, you need to format the table accordingly: single header, resize, design alignment. If you want to merge tables, use Get& Transform tools (previously called Power Query). In that case, the data layout becomes part of the model that Excel Ideas can use. As a hint, more categories are in the table, more ways Excel can correlate the information.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Ideas Tool

Ideas command is able to find various patterns, insights and trends. Depending on the data, you will find groupings for data organization and other hidden suggestions. The tool pane is not dynamic meaning you can look through other figures while leaving the charts in the task. Ideas tool is way more useful than Recommended Charts because it selects only a particular data series that tells interesting insights.

Regardless f its usability, Ideas has some disadvantages. For example, the formatted file has to be saved in XLSX format. Besides, the Excel tool has a limited working memory which is 16MB. If the data is too large, you have to divide it. The dates should be formatted in a readable way for Ideas.


Ideas button in Excel helps you get important information out of a regular spreadsheet. It is quick and a good way to visualize your data.

If you are interested in learning more tips and tricks in Excel, stay tuned on our next articles and more interesting updates about the keySkillset game.

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