Excel Roundup 20140915

Are you brave enough to enter the ModelOff competition, that tests your financial modeling skills in Excel?

To help you decide if you’d like to enter, there are workbooks with questions from previous years, available for download. For example, can you find and fix the errors in a workbook?

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Excel Roundup 20140908

event planning with Excel blog.contextures.com

If you have Excel, do you even need any other programs? In this week’s video, David Buchanan, from the Chef’s Resources website, shows how to use an Excel workbook to plan every step in an event, from the idea phase, to prep and ordering, to recipes. I like his description of this process as "mental mise en place" worksheets, to help you organize tasks.

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Excel Roundup 20140825

excel roundup 20140825 http://blog.contextures.com/

There is a free app available for Excel (2013 or Online version), that lets you create 8 different chart types, including some that aren’t standard Excel charts, such as box plots. The app is called XLMiner Data Visualization, and it’s created by Frontline Systems, which also makes the Solver add-in.

If you log in to your Microsoft account, you can download and install the app from the Microsoft Store. Then select data, and the chart appears in the app’s window. In the screen shot below, you can see the box plot chart that I created, in just a few seconds.

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Excel Roundup 20140811

101 excel formulas

Does Ed Bott include your favorites in his list of 6 Excel power tips?

He included one of my favourites – Paste As Values. However, I usually Paste Values by dragging with the right-mouse button pressed, instead of using a keyboard shortcut. You can see that technique in the very short video below. Do you use the mouse or keyboard for Paste As Values?

Or watch on YouTube: Change Excel Formulas to Values With Mouse

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Excel Roundup 20140728

Power Query for Power BI and Excel

The Office 365 Garage Series has a video on what’s new in the Office Apps, and they demonstrate some cool new features. The Excel App is mentioned at the 7:12 mark, when they look at the new APIs for formatting.

However, at the 3:12 mark, they downplay the old development methods, including VBA and COM, and rave about the new methods -- HTML and JavaScript, that are used for the online versions of Office.

Apparently it’s almost impossible to find people who are still working in the older development platforms. What do you think of the chart they use to

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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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