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April 2017 updates for Get & Transform in Excel 2016 and the Power Query add-in

Excel 2016 includes a powerful set of features based on the Power Query technology, which provides fast, easy data gathering and shaping capabilities and can be accessed through the Get & Transform section on the Data ribbon.

Today, we are pleased to announce five new data transformation and connectivity features that have been requested by many customers.

These updates are available as part of an Office 365 subscription. If you are an Office 365 subscriber, find out how to get these latest updates. If you have Excel 2010 or Excel 2013, you can also take advantage of these updates by downloading the latest Power Query for Excel add-in.

These updates include the following new or improved data connectivity and transformation features:

  • Support for the same file extensions in Text and CSV connectors.
  • ODBC and OLE DB connectors—support for Select Related Tables.
  • Enhanced Folder connector—support for “Combine” from the Data Preview dialog.
  • New Change Type Using Locale option in Column Type drop-down menu inside Query Editor.
  • New Insert Step After option in Steps pane inside Query Editor.

Support for the same file extensions in Text and CSV connectors

With this update, we revised the list of supported file extensions in From Text and From CSV connectors. Now, you can browse and select any text (*.txt), comma-separated value (*.csv) or formatted text space delimited (*.prn) file as the first step of the import flow for both connectors. Alternatively, you can switch to the All files (*.*) filter option and select to import data from any other unlisted file.

ODBC and OLE DB connectors—support for Select Related Tables

When using the ODBC and OLE DB connectors, we enabled the Select Related Tables button in the Navigator dialog. This option—already available for other relational data sources—allows users to easily select tables that are directly related to the set of already selected tables in the Navigator dialog.

Enhanced Folder connector—support for Combine Binaries from the Data Preview dialog

In the January 2017 update, we shipped a set of enhancements to the Combine Binaries experience. You can learn more about those enhancements in this article.

This month, we made it easier for customers to access the Combine Binaries feature by allowing them to combine multiple files directly from the folder Data Preview dialog within the Get Data flow, without having to go into the Query Editor.

Note that exposed multiple options (Combine and Combine & Load) allow customers to further refine their data before loading it into the worksheet or Data Model.

New Change Type Using Locale option in Column Type drop-down menu inside Query Editor

In the Query Editor, it is possible to see and modify column types by using the Column Type drop-down menu in the preview area.

With this release, we added the Change Type Using Locale option to this drop-down menu (previously available by right-clicking the column header and then selecting Change Type > Using Locale). This option allows you to specify the desired column type and locale to use for the conversion, which affects how text values are recognized and converted to other data types, such as dates, numbers, etc.

New Insert Step After option in the Steps pane inside Query Editor

With this update, we added a new context menu option in the Query Editor window to easily insert new steps in existing queries. The Insert Step After option lets users insert a new custom step right after the currently selected step, which can be the final step or any previous step within the query.

Learn more

—The Excel team

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