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What's New in Excel 2010

Office 2010

If you develop custom workbook solutions, you can take advantage of the following programmability and feature improvements in Excel 2010.

If you're an Excel developer, you can take advantage of the following features:

  • Changes to the XLL SDK The XLL Software Development Kit (SDK) now supports calling new worksheet functions, developing asynchronous user-defined functions, developing cluster-safe user-defined functions that can be offloaded to a compute cluster, and building 64-bit XLL add-ins.

  • VBA improvements to enable migrating Excel 4.0 macrosExcel 2010 has several VBA improvements that enable any remaining Excel 4.0 Macros to be migrated to VBA. Improvements include better performance for print-related methods and chart properties that were not previously available from VBA code.

  • Better user-interface extensibility If you develop custom solutions, you can programmatically activate tabs on the ribbon, which is part of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface. For example, you can make your custom tabs behave similarly to built-in contextual tabs, where tabs only appear when specific events occur. In addition, you can make custom ribbon groups grow and shrink as the ribbon is resized and customize context menus with rich controls. You can also add custom UI and other elements to the new .

  • Changes to the Open XML SDK The Open XML SDK 2.0 now supports schema-level objects, in addition to the part-level support introduced in the Open XML SDK 1.0. This makes it easier to programmatically manipulate workbooks and other documents outside the Office 2010 desktop applications—for example, as part of a server-based solution.

Excel 2010 is available in a 64-bit version, which means that you can create bigger, more complex workbooks. The advantage of using a 64-bit version is the ability to address physical memory (RAM) that is above the 2-gigabyte (GB) limit that exists in the 32-bit version of Excel.

Many organizations rely on high-performance computing clusters to increase computational scale. For example, a financial firm might use compute clusters to speed up long-running, calculation-intensive financial models, in which a formula is run thousands of times, every time with different inputs. Excel 2010 now includes options for integrating with compute clusters. Specifically, Excel developers can now develop cluster-safe user-defined functions in XLL add-ins, to enable offloading the processing of those user-defined functions to a compute cluster when they are called from an Excel workbook. To support running those user-defined functions on a compute cluster, a compute cluster developer must implement an Excel Cluster Connector, which is the interface between Excel and a specific vendor’s compute cluster. When a supported computer cluster is available, users can instruct Excel to use that cluster by selecting a cluster connector and configuring a specific cluster name to use in the Advanced options of the Excel Options dialog box.

In response to feedback from the academic, engineering, and scientific communities, Excel 2010 offers a set of more accurate statistical and other functions. In addition, some existing functions have been renamed to better describe what they do.

  • Accuracy improvements A number of functions have been optimized to improve accuracy. For example, Excel 2010 returns more accurate results for the beta and chi-squared distributions.

  • More consistent functions Certain statistical functions have been renamed so that they are more consistent with the function definitions of the scientific community and with other function names in Excel. The new function names also more accurately describe their functionality. Workbooks created in earlier versions of Excel will continue to work despite these name changes, because the original functions still exist in a Compatibility category.

For a complete list of new and updated functions, see What's New: Changes made to Excel functions.

These new functions are available from VBA as members of the WorksheetFunction object.

Excel 2010 includes a new version of the Solver add-in, which you can use to find optimal solutions in what-if analysis. Solver has an improved user interface, a new Evolutionary Solver, based on genetic algorithms, that handles models with any Excel functions, new global optimization options, better linear programming and nonlinear optimization methods, and new Linearity and Feasibility reports. In addition, the Solver add-in is now available in a 64-bit version.

For information about how to use Solver functions from VBA, see Using the Solver VBA Functions.

For more detailed help on Solver, check Help at Frontline Systems.

For a list of new objects, collections, and enumerations, see New Objects, Collections, and Enumerations.

For a list of new properties, methods, events, and constants, see New Members and Constants.