Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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.

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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.

Array Formulas and Average Calculations

April 30, 2009

I read a couple of excel tips today that could be quite useful under certain circumstances.  One of the tips involved arranging search keywords in excel using Array Forumlas.  Basically, if you need to know how frequent a word or group of keywords appear, you can use this formula.  The step by step tutorial was easy to follow along.

The other article discussed calculating averages that change.  It mentioned use for this tool in stock trading, as the average of various stocks and values change on a regular basis.  The author includes a simple and easy to follow tutorial.

VLOOKUP

April 28, 2009

I read an excel tutorial today about the VLOOKUP function in excel.  You can locate what you need quickly on your spreadsheet using this tool.  This function can be very useful for businesses that need to sort through a great deal of information.  Click Consulting also has a very detailed tutorial for using the VLOOKUP function.

Excel Colors and Terms

April 24, 2009

There are many neat features to be used in Excel.  I recently read an article on changing the colors in a range (http://blogs.msdn.com/excel/archive/2009/04/16/modifying-conditional-formatting-color-ranges-in-excel-2007.aspx).  It seems that Excel 2007 allows for new color shades, including pastel shades.  This makes for a more professional look on your spreadsheet.  There is a certain way to create colors, combining the hue, saturation, and luminosity.

Sometimes knowing the proper term for use in a spreadsheet can be confusing.  There are many terms, and using them the correct way means everything when you are trying to get a task done fast and efficiently.  If you would like to know the various terms, they are explained in great detail on this post http://spreadsheets.about.com/b/2009/04/22/ten-common-spreadsheet-terms.htm.  It is a very helpful reference tool, whether you are a beginner to excel or just need a quick answer.

Excel Ad-Ons

April 21, 2009

There are many neat ad-ons to excel.  For example, I just read an artcicle that you can now post your tweets to your Twitter account directly from Microsoft Excel (http://download.cnet.com/Post-To-Twitter/3000-2077_4-10907916.html?tag=feed&subj=newreleases&part=rss).  You first need to install it, and then it’s there for your convenience.  It’s nice that so many computer programs and websites are becoming intermingled, making it even easier for the user.  There is another add on called the Chart Tamer (http://download.cnet.com/Chart-Tamer/3000-2077_4-10913424.html?tag=feed&subj=newreleases&part=rss).  This feature makes useful charts available and allows you to create more effective charts.  You can try it for free, or purchase the product for a fee.