Wikipedia tells us that deprecation is a status applied to a computer software feature, characteristic, or practice indicating it should be avoided, typically because of being superseded.
Each new generation of Excel seems to deprecate additional worksheet functions. For example, Microsoft’s help topic for the FTEST function tells us:
IMPORTANT This function has been replaced with one or more new functions that may provide improved accuracy and whose names better reflect their usage. Although this function is still available for backward compatibility, you should consider using the new functions from now on, because this function may not be available in future versions of Excel.
In Excel 2010 and above, as you type a function name, Excel lists the functions that match and provides a short description. Deprecated functions are shown last in the list, with a yellow triangle, as shown here:
When you see that a worksheet function has been deprecated, at least two questions probably will occur to you:
Question 1: What’s the risk of using a deprecated function?
Officially, the risk is that the next time you upgrade to a new version of Excel, Excel will no longer recognize the function.
However, on a practical basis, that risk seems small. My count shows that Excel has deprecated 38 functions used in Excel 2003. But by Excel 2013, only one of them has been dropped: the JIS function.
But there are no guarantees, of course. Your favorite deprecated function could disappear in the next generation of Excel.
Question 2: What function replaces the deprecated function?
As far as I’ve been able to discover, the following table shows all the deprecated functions for Excel 2013, along with their replacements. Because some functions have two replacements, you’ll see several deprecated functions listed twice.
Question 3: What types of functions tend to be deprecated?
The last time I checked, ALL deprecated functions were statistical functions. So it’s reasonable to assume that most deprecated functions in the future also will be statistical.
|Purpose of Replacement Function|
|BETADIST||BETA.DIST||Returns the beta cumulative distribution function|
|BETAINV||BETA.INV||Returns the inverse of the cumulative distribution function for a specified beta distribution|
|BINOMDIST||BINOM.DIST||Returns the individual term binomial distribution probability|
|CHIDIST||CHISQ.DIST||Returns the cumulative beta probability density function|
|CHIDIST||CHISQ.DIST.RT||Returns the one-tailed probability of the chi-squared distribution|
|CHIINV||CHISQ.INV||Returns the cumulative beta probability density function|
|CHIINV||CHISQ.INV.RT||Returns the inverse of the one-tailed probability of the chi-squared distribution|
|CHITEST||CHISQ.TEST||Returns the test for independence|
|CONFIDENCE||CONFIDENCE.NORM||Returns the confidence interval for a population mean|
|CONFIDENCE||CONFIDENCE.T||Returns the confidence interval for a population mean, using a Student’s t distribution|
|COVAR||COVARIANCE.P||Returns covariance, the average of the products of paired deviations|
|COVAR||COVARIANCE.S||Returns the sample covariance, the average of the products deviations for each data point pair in two data sets|
|CRITBINOM||BINOM.INV||Returns the smallest value for which the cumulative binomial distribution is less than or equal to a criterion value|
|EXPONDIST||EXPON.DIST||Returns the exponential distribution|
|FDIST||F.DIST||Returns the F probability distribution|
|FDIST||F.DIST.RT||Returns the F probability distribution|
|FINV||F.INV||Returns the inverse of the F probability distribution|
|FINV||F.INV.RT||Returns the inverse of the F probability distribution|
|FTEST||F.TEST||Returns the result of an F-test|
|GAMMADIST||GAMMA.DIST||Returns the gamma distribution|
|GAMMAINV||GAMMA.INV||Returns the inverse of the gamma cumulative distribution|
|HYPGEOMDIST||HYPGEOM.DIST||Returns the hypergeometric distribution|
|LOGINV||LOGNORM.INV||Returns the inverse of the lognormal cumulative distribution|
|LOGNORMDIST||LOGNORM.DIST||Returns the cumulative lognormal distribution|
|MODE||MODE.MULT||Returns a vertical array of the most frequently occurring, or repetitive values in an array or range of data|
|MODE||MODE.SNGL||Returns the most common value in a data set|
|NEGBINOMDIST||NEGBINOM.DIST||Returns the negative binomial distribution|
|NORMDIST||NORM.DIST||Returns the normal cumulative distribution|
|NORMINV||NORM.INV||Returns the inverse of the normal cumulative distribution|
|NORMSDIST||NORM.S.DIST||Returns the standard normal cumulative distribution|
|NORMSINV||NORM.S.INV||Returns the inverse of the standard normal cumulative distribution|
|PERCENTILE||PERCENTILE.EXC||Returns the k-th percentile of values in a range, where k is in the range 0..1, exclusive|
|PERCENTILE||PERCENTILE.INC||Returns the k-th percentile of values in a range|
|PERCENTRANK||PERCENTRANK.EXC||Returns the rank of a value in a data set as a percentage (0..1, exclusive) of the data set|
|PERCENTRANK||PERCENTRANK.INC||Returns the percentage rank of a value in a data set|
|POISSON||POISSON.DIST||Returns the Poisson distribution|
|QUARTILE||QUARTILE.EXC||Returns the quartile of the data set, based on percentile values from 0..1, exclusive|
|QUARTILE||QUARTILE.INC||Returns the quartile of a data set|
|RANK||RANK.AVG||Returns the rank of a number in a list of numbers|
|RANK||RANK.EQ||Returns the rank of a number in a list of numbers|
|STDEV||STDEV.S||Estimates standard deviation based on a sample|
|STDEVP||STDEV.P||Calculates standard deviation based on the entire population|
|TDIST||T.DIST.2T||Returns the Percentage Points (probability) for the Student t-distribution|
|TDIST||T.DIST.RT||Returns the Student’s t-distribution|
|TINV||T.INV.2T||Returns the inverse of the Student’s t-distribution|
|TINV||T.INV||Returns the t-value of the Student’s t-distribution as a function of the probability and the degrees of freedom|
|TTEST||T.TEST||Returns the probability associated with a Student’s t-test|
|VAR||VAR.S||Estimates variance based on a sample|
|VARP||VAR.P||Calculates variance based on the entire population|
|WEIBULL||WEIBULL.DIST||Returns the Weibull distribution|
|ZTEST||Z.TEST||Returns the one-tailed probability-value of a z-test|