Archive for May, 2009

Microsoft Office 2010…coming soon

May 14, 2009

As some of us have heard already, Microsoft is coming out with MS Office 2010.  A select group of people will be able to preview the applications starting in July.  Applications will include “Word 2010, Excel 2010, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010, OneNote 2010, Access 2010, InfoPath 2010 and Publisher 2010”.  According to another article, “Office 2010 will be the first Microsoft suite to boast a version that natively supports 64-bit”.  Availability for all users, according to Microsoft, will begin in the first half of 2010.

Charting and Pivot Tables in Excel

May 12, 2009

I was reading an article today that showed what was said to be a great example of a good chart.  By looking at it I have to completely disagree.  The chart is supposed to demonstrate the relationship between the percentage of the population in various countries that have a BMI of greater than 30, versus the minutes spent eating per day.  In actuality, this chart really doesn’t show any relationships or correlations, and is essentially a bunch of random data points.  Perhaps if the x axis variable were something more relevant, it might then be a useful chart.

If we need a chart that is constantly changing because of varying data, we could use a pivot table.  Pivot tables “are used when we want to create a dynamic chart.  Dynamic charts are best applied when either (a) the underlying data is frequently changing or (b) we want to quickly and easily play with the chart organization and presentation”.  For a good example of pivot charts and how to create one, you can go here.

Mouse and Keyboard Shortcuts in Excel

May 8, 2009

I read an article today that had a number of great excel tips.  It summed up the most popular previous articles and included links to descriptions of  detailed functions.   Everyone has their own uses for excel, but what I thought particularly useful was the article called “5 Mouse based shortcuts for Excel Productivity”.  This article describes using both the mouse and keyboard in efficient ways in excel.  Some of the tips were basic and some were new to me.  The article is a great source if you’re looking for random tips.

Plotting and Charting in Excel

May 5, 2009

I read a couple of articles today that discussed plotting and charting in MS Excel.  The first one talked about Antaeus, which is a free program for creating histogram plots with multivariate data.  The system is compatible with various operating systems.  If you have complicated data that you want to piece together and display for comparison, this is a great tool.

The second article I read discusses a product in MS Excel called Chart Tamer.  This feature not only seems quite useful for creating charts, but could also be fun to use.  Basically, if you’re not sure how you want your data presented in a chart, this function helps you decide how to lay it out.  It gives you options that best suit your needs, and also chooses contrasting colors that help to enhance the chart.  This looks like a great tool.