Case studies from our Beta Testing

During the course of our beta testing of Cortana for Excel, certain issues arose that we hadn’t predicted. This was particularly helpful in developing the program further and I came up with some fixes, which led to better functionality for Cortana.

We thought it might be interesting to share some examples, for those wondering about the specifics.

Beta User Mel got in contact with some suggestions and problems she was having using Cortana for Excel. The following is a list of requests she suggested:

  • Cortana select a range for me
  • Read me the contents
  • What format is this cell?
  • Let’s change that format to red/blue/green text (Or other and specify the color format on the color selection window)
  • Change format to general/number/string/text/percentage/time/phone number.etc
  • Cortana lets add conditional formatting
  • Take me to the very last cell (Equivalent of Ctrl+end)
  • Take me to the last column
  • Take me to the last row
  • Delete all blanks in column A
  • Delete the entire row of blanks in Column A
  • Delete the entire row of blanks in row 1
  • Cortana let’s insert a pivot table/pivot chart
  • Let’s get data from text
  • Let’s get data from the web
  • Let’s make this cell a drop down menu based on these cells (Data validation list)

We got to work on these requests and have currently completed 88% of these requests, with positive feedback from users. Further clarification is needed for getting data from text and from the web. This took 4 days to complete and will be added to the next version of officeAutomata.


Beta Tester Alex had the following requests to make his Excel experience easier:

  • Copy cells <cell> through <cell>
  • Vlookup with columns by name instead of number
  • Paste As Values

We solved these issues in less than a day and are available in the current version.


Beta Tester David had the following requests to make his Excel experience easier:

  • Copy the entire table
  • Create pivot table

We added these functions in less than a day and plan to include them in the next version.

Our aim is to make officeAutomata as functional and useful as possible, so our user feedback is vitally important. If there’s a suggestion or request you would like to see in the program, we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Get in touch @officeAutomata or at