The whole MS Office package is a life saviour for many of us and particularly the Excel software from the bunch make us moving not only in the office but also in personal life; starting from crunching official data to maintaining the list of grocery shopping, the use and application of Excel is unbound. “add-ins” is the code name given by the parent Microsoft for the small sized programs that enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of the software included in the office package, and the excel add ins simply mean the added programs that gives more power to Excel to solve any issues of the user easily and quickly.
There are a number of add-ins available for Excel, some comes with the installation disk itself, some are downloadable from the Microsoft support site, and also there are third party add-ins that can make Excel more useful to the users. Here we will have a curt discussion about the most useful add-ins for Excel that can be a lot helpful for your day to day work with the software.
Most useful Excel add-ins from the kitchen of Microsoft
Solver: This add in can work as the most powerful tool to solve any problem related to equation and optimization. The tool can be your best partner to analyse any scenario with more than one variable and in making the right forecast.
Analysis ToolPak: This add in include a bunch of tools specialized for statistical and engineering analysis. These tools can save your time by reducing the steps required for a complex analysis; you just need to provide the data and the parameters, and the tools will provide you with the exact results by applying pre-set micro functions. You can have the same utility for your Visual Basic for Application code by installing the Analysis ToolPak – VBA.
PowerPivot: This tool can be effectively used for critical data analysis and creating refined data models. Working with relational data, defining custom calculations and performing dynamic aggregation can be done with ease by using Data Analysis Expressions.
Power View: This one is an interactive tool that can enhance the reporting through quick data exploration, visualization and presentation.
Euro Currency Tools: You can get the perfect tools for working with euros and different national currency units of the EU with this add in. It adds a Solutions group under the Formulas tab, from where you can convert amounts from one EU currency to the other. With this tool, the EUROCONVERT worksheet function is also added to the Excel.
Inquire: This tool can be very effective for automation of different crucial functions such as inventory, auditing, risk management and many more.
Data Mining Add-ins for Excel: The SQL server Data Mining Add-ins package comes with two add-ins particularly for Excel; these are Table analysis tools for Excel and Data Mining client for Excel. The table analysis tool helps in leveraging the SQL server data mining so that complex analysis can be easily performed on the worksheet data. The data mining client add-in enables the user to get into the detail of the data mining cycle within excel by using the Excel worksheet data.
Bing Finance add-in: This tool, adds a finance pane to the Excel and helps the users to get the stock prices and other financial matrices. It also keeps on updating the worksheet continuously. This add-in can be very useful for the people working with the stocks and finance.
Most useful third-party Excel Add ins
Bubbles: This software can be very helpful for the purpose of analysis and presentation. Application of this tool can highly increase the visual efficiency of your presentation. This app takes data from your Excel spreadsheet and represents it in the form of bubbles. Size and colour of the bubbles depend on the number of times a particular value appears in the data list. This can be very helpful for comparing data from two different tables.
Dictionary: Apart from the Microsoft’s dictionary app, the Merriam Webster Dictionary for Excel can also be a great add in. After you have installed the application, you just need to right click on a selected word or choose the define tab, and the definition will appear in the right panel.
Radial Bar Chart: This Excel add-in can add an extra edge to your presentations. With the help of this tool you can represent the data in selected columns in the form of horizontal bar chart that is curved to give a rainbow like visual impression. Use this tool effectively for easy visual analysis and for making your presentation even more interesting.
Feature enhancement Suit of Excel by Tyrant Ventures: Tyrant ventures have come up with a suit of 5 applications that can enhance the usability of Excel to a great extent. These 5 tools can be very effectively used for re-formatting and editing of Excel Worksheets, starting from changing the case of words to other minute operations.
ASAP Utilities: This powerful Excel add in provides excellent solution to the Excel users. It represents the software in a more easy and comprehensive way that makes it easier and more effective. It adds over 300 functions to Excel. You can perform every Excel function more easily once you have installed this utility package.
Excel calendar: The Pop-up Excel calendar app enables you to enter and configure a date picker control easily without any need of writing codes. You just need to click on the app tab in the ribbon and insert the calendar and make the settings according to your requirements.
Fuzzy Duplicate Finder: This tool can be very effective for finding and correcting the small mistakes on Excel worksheets that we often miss out. The add in marks the duplicate entries, misspelled words and typos on the spreadsheet and helps you to find and correct them.
AbleBits Utility Pack: With this add-in, manipulating and editing data in Excel worksheets have become much easier. It comes with 20+ smart data manipulation tools that can be very useful for a grand Excel experience.
The excel add ins mentioned in this discussion can make the Excel more effective in every way. However it is necessary to pick the right add-ins according to the requirements and application of the software. Most of the excel add ins stated here above are available for Excel 2013 and other versions.