Microsoft Excel spreadsheets now take custom live data

Microsoft is still finding ways to inject drama into spreadsheets. The Verge reports that Microsoft is giving Excel support for custom live data types, expanding the content you can include well past text, numbers and the occasional stock quote. You could slip a country’s data into a cell and create a formula that extracts the most recent population for your sheet, for example.

The approach works by using logic to structure the data you insert into a given cell, using Power BI to connect data types with Excel for business users. Existing cells can even be turned into linked data types, and you can use a Power Query feature to turn imported data into its own type.