Show Changes is Now Available in Excel for the Web

Posted on April 29, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft 365 with 4 Comments

Microsoft announced today that the Show Changes feature is now generally available in Excel for the web.

“Show Changes in Excel revolutionizes the collaboration experience for one main reason: if you pour days and detail into the perfect Excel workbook, you may hesitate before sharing editing permissions with others,” Microsoft’s Sanjay Bhat writes. “And you can’t have collaboration without sharing. Now, with Show Changes, you have the ‘safety net’ of knowing that any changes done by others are being tracked for the entire workbook down to a single cell.”

Show Changes appears as a pane in Excel and it lets you see the changes that were made by any contributor dating back 60 days.

“You can see details about who changed what, where, and when, along with the previous value of the cell for quick reversion, if needed,” Bhat adds. “So if someone accidentally overwrites your formula, you can easily catch it and fix it.  You can even see bulk edits – edits made to a whole row or range of cells at the same time – within a card in the Show Changes pane.

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Comments (4)

4 responses to “Show Changes is Now Available in Excel for the Web”

  1. Avatar

    bluvg

    Brilliant. Very excited to try this and check out the UX. Wish it was available in Excel for Windows!!

  2. Avatar

    JE

    Excellent feature! Is it available on desktop app or web only?

    • Avatar

      lvthunder

      In reply to JE:

      From the first line of the article. "Microsoft announced today that the Show Changes feature is now generally available in Excel for the web." Since the feature doesn't currently exist in the Desktop App it is web only. At least for now.

  3. Avatar

    hrlngrv

    if you pour days and detail into the perfect Excel workbook, you may hesitate before sharing editing permissions with others

    If one doesn't bother to archive an original version of a workbook, ideally along with an MD5 checksum, then one may be worried about others editing the workbook. If one wants others to make changes, the former (continuing?) track changes functionality wasn't bad, but only one user could save changes to an unshared workbook at a given time.

    As for shared workbooks, I'll need to check this out (when/if IT allows it onto the intranet). It'll need to be A LOT BETTER than Excel shared workbooks have been to be on a par with shared Google Sheets workbooks. Excel is THE BEST SINGLE USER spreadsheet, but if one really needs multiple users making simultaneous changes (not in the same cells) in the same workbook, Google Sheets has been superior to Excel.

    if someone accidentally overwrites your formula

    In an ideal world, this shouldn't happen. Different simultaneous users should only be entering data, not formulas. Different sequential users shouldn't be changing working formulas. If this is meant to be some magic bullet which would finally allow multiple DEVELOPER workbooks, good luck.

    I've been involved in a half dozen multiple developer spreadsheet projects over the course of my career. The only one which didn't end up a complete failure had ONE AND ONLY ONE lead developer with full authority to lock worksheets, thus preventing further changes, and accept or reject changes.

    It'll be interesting to see how this compares with other spreadsheet diff products.

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