Microsoft Considers Adding Python as an Official Scripting Language to Excel

Microsoft is considering adding Python as one of the official Excel scripting languages, according to a topic on Excel's feedback hub opened last month.

Since it was opened, the topic has become the most voted feature request, double the votes of the second-ranked proposition.

"Let us do scripting with Python! Yay! Not only as an alternative to VBA, but also as an alternative to field functions (=SUM(A1:A2))," the feature request reads, as opened by one of Microsoft's users.

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Microsoft exploring the idea

The OS maker responded yesterday by putting up a survey to gather more information and how users would like to use Python inside Excel.

If approved, Excel users would be able to use Python scripts to interact with Excel documents, their data, and some of Excel's core functions, similar to how Excel currently supports VBA scripts.

Python is one of the most versatile programming languages available today. It is also insanely popular with developers. It ranks second on the PYPL programming languages ranking, third in the RedMonk Programming Language Rankings, and fourth in the TIOBE index.

Users call for a universal implementation across Office apps

Users who reacted to the news posted positive opinions of having Python as an official Excel scripting language, but some also pointed out that if Microsoft goes this route, then they need to support Python in all other Office apps as well.

"Much as I would love for the power of Python in Excel it is important that whatever is done is consistent across the office experience. Some of us old enough to remember the multiple versions of VB-whatever across Excel, Word, Access and that in itself was a blow to productivity," a user posted in a Hacker News discussion.

"Yes they should choose Python, and in the process decide if it will be Python with a .Net library (standard and core as separate libs please!) or IronPython. This in itself is an important first choice. Then it has to be done in a mechanism that enables the exact same libs and user-written Python code to work in the same way across all the Office products," the user added.

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Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment and additional information from Bleeping Computer in time for this article's publication, mainly due to timezone differences. An update will be added if Microsoft is willing to share any information with the public on this topic.