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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Hide an Excel Worksheet Automatically

hide worksheet with vba

When you build a workbook for other people to use, there might be worksheets that can stay hidden some of the time. In this example, the workbook is used to create and print orders.

If the shipment is going to Canada, an Export Form needs to be printed too. For shipments to the USA, the form isn’t needed.

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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 Smart Art Family Tree

excel family tree

How far back can you trace your family tree? Prof. Lee Townsend, from University of Hartford, has found an interesting new way to draw her family tree -- in Excel, using Smart Art and some VBA.

The details are below, and I’m also happy to announce the winners in the Peltier Tech Chart Utility Giveaway.

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Excel Chart Utility Giveaway

chart utility giveaway

On Thursday, June 12th, Jon Peltier is releasing the Advanced version of his Excel Chart Utility. If you make charts in Excel, keep reading, to see what the chart utility does, and how you can win a copy of your own.

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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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Quick Charts and Free Upgrades

set default chart type

After you put data onto a worksheet, you might need to add a chart, for a visual summary of the data. In the screen shot below, there is sales data for 4 regions, and a column chart from that data.

You can quickly see that things are going better in the East region, than in the North. Probably all the snow up there kept people away from the stores!

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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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