Office 365 and Excel Versions

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 10, 2018)
This tip applies to Excel 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


1

Gerry has Office 365, but she's not sure what version of Excel she has. In the past, the version of Excel was the same as the version of Office in which it was included, so that if she had Office 2013 she knew she had Excel 2013. Because Gerry has Office 365, she wonders if that means she now has Excel 365.

The short answer is that no, you don't have Excel 365. That's because the "365" in Office 365 doesn't refer to a version number. In fact, Office 365 isn't really a product—it is, instead, a delivery method for a bundle of products, including Office. That bundle includes a couple of things, such as the latest versions of Office applications (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc.), the ability to install on multiple systems, and OneDrive access.

Note that I said that Office 365 includes access to the latest versions of Office applications. For now, that means you have access to Office 2016 applications, but since updates to the applications are being continuously pushed out to users, the versions of the Office 2016 applications you have with Office 365 are not the same as the versions of Office 2016 applications that someone gets when they purchase the standalone suite, without the benefit of an Office 365 subscription.

The plan right now is that Office 365 subscribers will always have the latest versions, which means that when Office 2019 is released sometime in the second half of 2018, those subscribers will have that version automatically, as well.

If you want see the actual version of Office that you have on your system, start by clicking the File tab of the ribbon. At the left side of the screen, click either Account or Help, depending on your version of Excel. You should see, at the right side of the screen, a bunch of information about Excel under the heading "Product Information." For some versions of Excel, you may see the version number right under the Office Updates heading. Why it is shown there and which versions show it remains a mystery—there seems to be no rhyme or reason that I can determine.

If your version number is not shown on that screen, or if you just want the full version information, you can click the About Excel button and you'll see a dialog box with all sorts of information about Excel. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The About Microsoft Excel 2016 dialog box.

The following figure shows an example of the About Microsoft Excel for Office 365 dialog box. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The About Microsoft Excel for Office 365 dialog box.

Note that the dialog box's header and first line all indicate the actual version of Excel you are using.

The bottom line is to simply remember that Office 365 is a subscription service—a delivery method. Through that service you are given your actual version of Excel, as detailed above.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (13521) applies to Microsoft Excel 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is five more than 6?

2018-04-30 07:36:15

Henry Arthur

Something else to note about Office 365 and Excel is that the 365 version does not fully support all of the functionality you would see in your desktop version - especially macros! Even some basic functionality like formatting tools are not guaranteed to work. I dare say Microsoft will get around to fixing them in time, but frustrating when you find them.


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