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How To Use Python in Excel [Easy 2024 Guide]

How do you use Python in Excel? One thing about Excel is that it’s constantly evolving, and they’ve recently introduced a new and exciting feature with Python integration in Microsoft Excel. It now works using Python functions (in beta access).

Two programmers are using Python in Excel


But what is Python? Python is a programming language, but that doesn’t mean that it’s only used by programmers. There are many applicable uses for this new PY function. We will show you how to use Python in Excel works and how you can be among the first users to get this feature.

Read on to learn more about using Python in Excel.

How To Use Python in Excel

Here’s how to use Python for Excel:

  1. Download Python
  2. After you get the Python integration, open the Excel worksheet
  3. Click on the cell you want and enter the formula:
  1. Write the code you’d like to execute
  2. Add a comma and a connector to separate the parameters
  3. Type the code you would like to use for the second parameter
  4. Close the brackets and press “Enter

What Is Python in Excel?

Python is a high-level programming language used for many purposes, including web development, data analysis, and software development. Python is popular among new programmers and experts due to its clear syntax and extensive library of functions.

The Python and Excel integration allows advanced users to script in the Python language and use it alongside the Excel formulas in the same spreadsheet.

Benefits of Using Excel With Python

A man is using Python in Excel and working on a spreadsheet


With Excel allowing its users to natively combine Python into their Excel workflows, there are numerous new possibilities. Here are some benefits of using the Python Excel function:

Accessing Python Directly

With the new PY function, which lets you enter Python code straight into your Excel cells, you can combine Python and Excel analyses on the same worksheet.

Automate Tasks

Using Python libraries and scripts like OPENPYXL and XLWINGS, you can automate repetitive activities like reporting, cleaning data, and extraction.

Create Advanced Visuals

Python charting modules can be used for analytical capabilities and advanced statistical modeling like heatmaps, swarm plots, and violin plots to help you explore data more easily.

Protected Execution

Python calculations run on the Microsoft cloud, so you can keep your data secure with enterprise-level protection.

Advanced-Data Analysis

Using Python packages like StatsModels and Scikit Learn, you can use predictive advanced Python data analytics, machine learning, and forecasting techniques like time series modeling regression analysis. This will help you have an uninterrupted workflow and improve your productivity.

Access Popular Python Libraries

You can access popular Python libraries that offer a variety of statistical modeling, data manipulation, advanced visualizations, and charting options, including Pandas, Seaborn, StatsModels, and Matplotlib in the familiar Excel environment.

To get the libraries, you must import them into Excel using the following Python in Excel codes, which you can find in Microsoft support.

Can You Use Python in Excel?

The Excel Python formula isn’t available for all Excel users yet. Python in Excel is progressively making its way to “Public Preview” for users in the Microsoft 365 Insiders program: Beta Channel.

Beginning with build 16818, this functionality will be made available to Microsoft Excel for Windows users first, while the other platforms will be getting it later.

If you’re someone who uses Sheets, here is a guide on how to use Python with Google Sheets.

When Will Microsoft Add Python to Excel for Users

Currently, Python is only available in Excel as a “Preview” for Microsoft Insider Beta users, which requires users to set up and join the program. As of this writing, Python’s creator has yet to release the program to other users, nor have they announced an official date of when it will be available.

How To Get the Excel Python Integration Early

If you want access to the PY function early, you must join the Microsoft Insider Program to get the latest builds. Depending on how you joined Microsoft, you may need to pay the subscription if you don’t have a paid license.

Here is how to join the insider program for using Python in Excel:

  1. Open a Microsoft 365 desktop app on your PC, like Excel or Word
  2. Click on the “File” option towards the top-left part of the screen
  3. Click on the “More” option and choose the “Account” option
  4. Locate your license type under the “Product Information.” Determine if you can join the Insides Program by comparing your license to the following:
    • Family and Personal licenses can join insider builds
    • Business and Education licenses require the administrator to enable insider builds
    • Perpetual licenses do not receive feature updates, so you won’t be able to join the insider program
  5. Click on the “Microsoft 365 Insider” button. Here, you will be prompted to choose the insider level:
    • Preview: This build is best for people who want the best of two worlds: To adopt new features early and get stable but less frequent updates
    • Beta: This build is best for users who want to get the latest build early. The features in this build are still under development and can be unstable. We recommend using this channel to get the Python in Excel function.
  6. Once you have selected the insider channel you want to join, click the “checkbox” to agree to the insider program terms and conditions
  7. Click on the “OK” button, and the download for the new build should start
  8. After the installation is finished, restart your computer and Excel

Related Reading: 8 Best Excel Alternatives for Mac in 2024

Python Excel Function Syntax

There are multiple ways to use a function in Excel. One of the most popular methods to use a formula is typing the Function formula in the “fx” textbox.

Here is the Python for Excel formula:

=PY(code, type)

The formula requires two parameters to work. These are:

  • code: This parameter is the Python code you want to run in your Excel spreadsheet. Ensure the code is static text, as dynamic code can sometimes cause unexpected results or errors.
  • type: This parameter specifies the return type desired by the user. This has to be a static number. For example, 0 for an Excel value or 1 for a Python plots object. Inputting any other number will result in an error.

The PY formula can’t be used with other Excel functions, so ensure both parameters use static parameters. Furthermore, formulas can’t be input if you use them alongside other functions.

For example, the FORMULATEXT function can detect the formula for Python in Excel, and Excel add-ins can edit the function.

How To Use Python in Excel

To use Python in Excel, you need to import your data with the power query. Now that we know how the Python formula works in Excel, let’s take a look at how to run Python code in Microsoft Excel:

  1. Open the Excel spreadsheet where you want to use the Python function
  2. Click on the cell where you enter the Python code and enter the starting part of the formula:
  1. For the first parameter, we are going to write the code which we want to execute. In this case, we want to run a simple code that displays “Hello World.” It’s written as:
'Hello' + ' ' + 'World'
  1. Add a comma (,), one of Excel’s built-in connectors, to separate the parameters
  2. Now, type in the code for the second parameter, the “type.” In this case, we want to display an Excel value, so we enter “0
  3. Now, add a closing bracket ‘ ( ‘ to finish the formula and press “Enter” to execute it

The Python function immediately sends you to the Python mode in Excel. This also allows you to switch the output between Python and Excel values.

Related Reading: The 7 Best Free Spreadsheet Software in 2024

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Python Replace VBA?

Python is a general-purpose programming language that can be used for data analysis, data visualization, and documentation, whereas VBA is designed for automating tasks in Office.

VBA is built into Office, meaning that it has better compatibility. The PY function can not replace the functionality of VBA, as the Python code runs in the Microsoft Cloud, whereas VBA code runs natively.

Can I Use Python With Excel?

Microsoft Excel users can now use Python in Excel formulas to run code in an Excel spreadsheet. However, they must join the Beta program. This allows users to use the native Excel tools, including Excel’s formulas, in the same workbook.

Wrapping Up

Python in Excel is a new way to analyze data and perform Python calculations. Thanks to the Anaconda distribution, using the Python function in the Excel application will unlock endless potential in Data Science. We’re looking forward to seeing more Python functionality in Excel.

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