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How to Use ChatGPT for Excel

ChatGPT, offered by OpenAI, works through NLP, AI and others to automate and ease technical tasks. With superficial domain knowledge and training on numerous datasets,  it can work on multiple queries and prompts to assist users with Excel tasks. The power of AI can be effortlessly leveraged to come up with innovative ideas and solutions to one’s actions and queries concerning Excel.

How to Use ChatGPT for Excel

ChatGPT is an AI tool that is used to ease tasks in Excel. It can generate formulas, functions and Macros while assisting in data analysis. 

Understanding Excel 

A better understanding of Excel is crucial before leveraging the power of ChatGPT for Excel. It provides a grid-based interface with a complete workspace divided into labeled rows and columns. It is widely used for data cleaning, manipulation, filtering, analysis and visualization. It also finds application in mathematical and statistical calculations through built-in functions and formulas. 

Integrating ChatGPT with Excel enhances the users’ productivity by automating repetitive tasks, assisting in data analysis and generating VBA code snippets and complex formulas. The following sections cover how ChatGPT can be used for various functions.

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Generating Formulas and Functions

We requested the generation of a ChatGPT Excel formula for a Chemistry problem to test its ability. The prompt was “Generate a formula in Excel to calculate the molecular weight of all the organic compounds from the dataset of organic and inorganic compounds”. The organic compounds are the ones comprising Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen, while the remaining compounds are considered inorganic. 

It was capable of providing the output based on explicitly stated instructions and mechanisms. The code generated was 


Further sets of instructions have been depicted in Figure 1. 


ChatGPT for Excel VBA and Macros

VBA refers to Visual Basic Applications, the programming language for MS Excel and other apps. Macros refer to short programs that direct Excel to perform actions desired by the users. We checked the macros-generating capability of ChatGPT for Excel by giving the prompt, “Write Macros to generate a formula for forming a random DNA sequence of 100 bases in Excel”. 




Additionally, we asked ChatGPT to “Enlist sequentially the possible expected anomalies and their solution while running the Macros generated in the previous query.” Contrary to our query, the solutions were not arranged sequentially. However, the possible expected anomalies seemed to be accurately described. 



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ChatGPT for Data Analysis in Excel

The nucleotide sequences are responsible for several disorders. We had an Excel dataset with nucleotide sequences. Their characteristic was the random presence of DNA and RNA sequences along with the presence of one sequence each from DNA and RNA coding for disorders. We intended to find the presence of this data using ChatGPT. 


ChatGPT provided a concise response with a focus on details. It also stated extra and relevant information about how a specific sequence coded for the disorder. 



We further provided another prompt to ease the analysis task. We requested it to “Tabulate the results into a query dataset. Add the treatment measures as well.”


How to Integrate Excel and ChatGPT

Switching between Excel and the browser to assess ChatGPT is inefficient when working with loads of information. Easing the taking, multiple add-ins are available to integrate Excel and ChatGPT. They allow operating GPT3 in Excel from the worksheet dashboard. You must have Excel 2016 or upgraded versions to perform the action. Alternatively, wait for some time to get an official announcement of the integrated version of MS Office and ChatGPT. The experimental setup has been launched, while the official release awaits. 

Steps to Integrate Excel and ChatGPT

  • Navigate to the ‘Insert’ table
  • Click on ‘Get Add-Ins’ in the Addins section 
  • Type ‘ChatGPT Excel’ in the search query available on Left Hand Side of the newly opened dialogue box 
  • Choose the appropriate add-in according to you to operate in GPT3 in Excel

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Best Practices for Using ChatGPT for Excel

Here are some tips to ensure accurate replies without errors from ChatGPT:

  • Be precise and clear while giving prompts
  • Ensure not to miss any detail 
  • Test the output
  • Ask ChatGPT to enlist possible errors that you can avoid
  • Simplify your queries and tasks 
  • Backup the work before applying ChatGPT results 
  • Stay informed with the updates and advancements to leverage your full potential 
  • Expect limited domain-specific knowledge from ChatGPT

Limitations and Challenges 

Some of the important points to be careful while using ChatGPT for Excel are: 

  • Using it for guidance is preferred over solely relying on it
  • Requires human intervention for analysis of output 
  • Limited context awareness and hence requires detailed explanatory prompts 
  • Challenging to use browser-based ChatGPT for large datasets of Excel 
  • It might be time-consuming if codes do not work and require manual identification for error 
  • Data security concerns 
  • No real-time updates in ChatGPT on domain and MS Excel advancements and upgrades 
  • Responses are generalized rather than specific 
  • Responses for complex queries can be misleading or vague 

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Integrating AI-based ChatGPT is an innovative and effective method due to the increased efficiency and productivity requirement. The integration opens new and enhanced opportunities for data analysis and decision-making while also providing technical help in generating code. Though there are certain limitations and challenges, the mindful usage of the AI language model is essential to leverage its full potential. 

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1. How accurate are the generated formulas and functions by ChatGPT for Excel?

ChatGPT produces unreliable responses for complex queries while producing good responses for simple problems. However, validation is essential. 

2. How secure is the integration of ChatGPT for Excel with sensitive data?

Sharing confidential and sensitive data with ChatGPT for Excel is associated with several security considerations. Measures must be taken to protect the data while intelligently sharing the information. 

3. Can we upload Excel files in ChatGPT?

There is no method to input the Excel files. The data can be manually added to the prompt. 

4. Can ChatGPT write intricate Excel formulas?

ChatGPT is capable of writing intricate formulas. However, the accuracy of the same is doubtful and requires validation. 

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