First, between annovar and vep I strongly prefer vep with vcf output format. Annovar's output looks good but I found its format to be quite inconsistent. Different fields have different information depending on the region being annotated and parsing it is quite messy (I don't have an example at hand now but I can find some).
Vep's vcf output instead looks ugly at first impression but is very consistent and simple to parse into something human readable. The annotation string in the CSQ tag is just a table with rows separated by
, (I think) and columns separated by
|, so if you are a bit familiar with command line tools like
bcftools etc it's easy to turn it into a simple table.
Having said that, at the cost of seeing my reputation dropping to -Inf, I think Excel is not too bad for eye-balling a table, provided your input is not too big. In fact, you could open the vcf file straightaway and with a couple of passes with Data -> Text to column... you could get something readable.
For some quick, geeky, searches through a possibly big but indexed vcf file the tool I have written, ASCIIGenome, has a print command. It gives a reasonably readable output and it has options to parse the printed output together with search & filter functions like find, grep, awk.