Excel Roundup 20140714

Excel Tables Complete Guide

Are you using Power Pivot or any of the other Power BI tools in Excel 2013? If you’re not sure where to start, there is a new series on the Power BI blog, that will help you dive into the new BI and visualization features.

The series outline is here, and it will have links to all the articles, as they are added to the blog. The first article is Getting Started with Power Query – Part 1, and it features the 15-minute video shown below. You’ll need Excel 2013, and the article has a link to download the Power

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Summer Schedule 2014

stop and smell the roses

Happy Summer! I hope you’re enjoying fabulous weather, and you get away from your Excel workbooks occasionally.

The posting schedule will be a bit lighter here at Contextures, over the summer months. That way, you can go on vacation, and not miss anything!

Summer Schedule

Don’t worry though – you’ll still find plenty of Excel information, to keep you up to date. Here is the posting schedule:

Monday – bi-weekly – Contextures Blog – Excel Roundup Tuesday – bi-weekly – Excel newsletter to subscribers Wednesday – bi-weekly – Pivot Table Blog – pivot table article Thursday – bi-weekly – Contextures

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Excel Roundup 20140623

sql server download links

Have you ever tried to find and download a file on the Microsoft website? If so, you might sympathize with Long Zheng, who described the painful process of downloading SQL Server Express.

“The Microsoft SQL Server team has many goals. One of them is to create an industry-leading, high-performance, scalable and resilient database software. The other is to make said-software difficult to download.”

There’s a happy ending though – Scott Hanselman has created a page with download links, so you can find and download the files that you need.

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Excel Tools for Complex Workbooks

free navigator add-in

This week, I got an email from someone who sets up complex Excel workbooks, and has a few challenges:

Some files have so many sheets that it’s tough to find the sheet you need. Files have links to other files, and sometimes the links don’t refresh correctly It’s difficult to track formulas, and see how things are connected.

Are there any tools could help with these challenges? I suggested a few things, some free tools, and some paid tools. If you have other suggestions, please add them in the comments.

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Excel Roundup 20140616

excel maze

If you still have a Commodore 64 in your basement, you could run a one-line maze generator, in Basic.

If your mom threw out that C64, years ago, you can do something similar in Microsoft Excel. On Google+, Graeme McRae posted a VBA function that will create a maze, using a random string of / and \ characters.

Here’s one that I created in Excel 2013, with a gold background, and bold font. That should keep your kids (or you) busy for a while!

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Excel Roundup 20140609

multiplan disk

What’s the oldest version of Excel, or other spreadsheet program, that you have lying around your office? In my office, there’s an old Multiplan disc and manual, and before that, I probably used a rock and chisel.

Gough Lui took a trip back in time, and installed Excel for Windows Version 3.0 – nine floppies, all 5.25″ in DD 360kB format. There are lots of screen shots, which might make you nostalgic for the good old days.

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Canadian MVP Day 2014

mvp canada day 2014

Last Friday, I was invited to attend the MVP Open Day  at the Microsoft Canada headquarters. We had a full day of meetings, and I presented a couple of sessions about Excel.

That lovely pink pen was made for me by Anthony LoBello, as a thanks for some Excel help. It’s a good idea to bring a distinctive pen to meetings, so nobody tries to wander off with it.

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Excel Roundup 20140602

3D formula

At PC World, Julie Sartain shows how to set up a workbook with a sheet for each month, and 3D formulas to summarize the Year to Data expenses. It’s not the way I’d set it up, but that’s a topic for another blog post.

What struck me was the comment,

“One of Excel’s greatest tricks is the dimensional or 3D reference…In Excel 2013, Microsoft has beefed it up with enhanced options and formulas.”

There are new functions, and other features in Excel 2013, but I don’t know of any new options in this area – did I miss something?

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Excel Roundup 20140526

Office for iPad

Are you using the iPad version of Office? The design team describes some of the design principles they used in creating this new version of the Office package, and customizing it for the iPad.

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Excel Roundup 20140519

Excel inquire addin

This month, TechNet posted a video that demonstrates the spreadsheet management features that are available in Office 2013. This includes Inquire, and Spreadsheet Compare. Here’s a screen shot of the worksheet relationships in one of my sample Excel files, using the Inquire add-in.

The video is 30 minutes long, and you can find a list of articles on their website, if you’d rather read than watch.

Or watch on YouTube: Spreadsheet Controls in Office

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