Apps for Office was a new feature that was introduced in Office 2013. Apps extend the capabilities of Office 2013 and Office Online, providing additional functionality not available inside the core applications (an App is really just a cool new term for what we used to call an “Add-In”).
Apps are downloaded from the Microsoft Office Store (some apps are free and some apps are paid for) and to be able to download and insert an app into your spreadsheet or document, you need a free Microsoft account (aka a Microsoft ID)
One free app is Bing Maps, which lets you visually represent geographical data. Imagine you have to present some data to you boss. Would you rather give him/her this:
To install the Bing Maps app:
– Open any Excel file (or event a blank workbook)
– Click the Insert Tab on The Ribbon
– Click My Apps
– Click Office Store
– Search for Bing Maps and press Enter
- In the search results, click Add
- You might need to click Trust It
A Bing Map is now added to your worksheet (overlaid).
You can resize it with the mouse by grabbing the resize handles. You can also move the window by pointing the mouse at one of the borders.
To use the app:
- Select the data that you want to “plot”. The first column must be geographical and the second column numerical.
- Click the Show Locations icon in the app (the first icon on the right hand side)
- You can change the colours and map type via the cog icon at the top right
Once the app has been installed, it can be used in any file. Some apps add an icon to The Ribbon. To access other apps you need to click My Apps on the Insert tab of The Ribbon.
What if my boss doesn’t have the Bing Maps app installed?
It depends which version of Excel your boss is using. If your boss is using Excel 2013, he/she will see a static image of the map that you created and will be prompted do download the app. If your boss is using an older version of Excel, the interactive map will be converted into a static image.