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500 posts from: David Gainer

Excel Geek Expressotherwise known as Quick Analysis

(Indexed 2013-04-19):

[Image]Guest blogger Emily Warn is a writer and confirmed Excel geek. In this post, she demonstrates how to use the new Quick Analysis feature in Excel 2013 to create a spreadsheet with book sales numbers that can be sorted by name and number in order to make data tell a story by presenting it visually. ...(read more)[Image]

Dallas Utilities: Electricity seasonal use simulation using project codename GeoFlow Preview and Power View

(Indexed 2013-04-11):

[Image]The Microsoft account team in Dallas, TX wanted to create a localized demonstration that would be recognizable to customers in the area. Taking advantage of publicly available residential data and awareness of the extreme summer temperatures in and around Dallas, the team decided to present simulated household energy consumption data using Excel 2013, Power View and project code name "GeoFlow" Preview for Excel, believing the presentation would peak customers' interests. Read on to see ho...(truncated)...

Public preview of project codename GeoFlow for Excel delivers 3D data visualization and storytelling

(Indexed 2013-04-11):

[Image]Today we are announcing the availability of the project codename "GeoFlow" Preview for Excel 2013, a result of collaborations between several teams within Microsoft. GeoFlow lets you plot geographic and temporal data visually, analyze that data in 3D, and create interactive "tours" to share with others. Read on to learn how GeoFlow adds to the existing self-service Business Intelligence capabilities in Excel 2013, such as Microsoft Data Explorer Preview and Power View, to help discover an...(truncated)...

Using conditional formatting to highlight dates in Excel

(Indexed 2013-04-04):

[Image]Date functions in Excel make it is possible to perform date calculations, like addition or subtraction, resulting in automated or semi-automated worksheets. When you mix date functions with conditional formatting, you can create spreadsheets that display date alerts automatically when a deadline is near or differentiate between types of days, like weekends and weekdays. In this tutorial, Excel MVP Frdric Le Guen shows how to put this functionality to work, with some examples in the Excel ...(truncated)...

Format and customize Excel charts quickly with the new Formatting Task pane

(Indexed 2013-03-27):

[Image]The new Excel makes creating and customizing charts simpler and more intuitive. One part of the fluid new experience is the Formatting Task pane, which replaces the Format dialog box. The new Formatting Task pane is the single source for formatting--all of the different styling options are consolidated in one place. With this single task pane, you can modify not only charts, but also shapes and text in Excel. ...(read more)[Image]

Format and customize Excel 2013 charts quickly with the new Formatting Task pane

(Indexed 2013-03-27):

[Image]The new Excel makes creating and customizing charts simpler and more intuitive. One part of the fluid new experience is the Formatting Task pane, which replaces the Format dialog box. The new Formatting Task pane is the single source for formatting--all of the different styling options are consolidated in one place. With this single task pane, you can modify not only charts, but also shapes and text in Excel. ...(read more)[Image]

Use Webservice functions to automatically update Excel spreadsheets with online data

(Indexed 2013-03-21):

[Image]Have you ever wanted to incorporate data from online resources into your Excel spreadsheets, such as stock quotes, weather, Bing Search results or even Twitter feeds? With new Webservice functions, now you can pull data from the internet into Excel--and the best part is the information updates automatically in your spreadsheet! Read on to find out how to put this functionality to work for you....(read more)[Image]

Use Webservice functions to automatically update Excel 2013 spreadsheets with online data

(Indexed 2013-03-21):

[Image]Have you ever wanted to incorporate data from online resources into your Excel spreadsheets, such as stock quotes, weather, Bing Search results or even Twitter feeds? With new Webservice functions, now you can pull data from the internet into Excel--and the best part is the information updates automatically in your spreadsheet! Read on to find out how to put this functionality to work for you....(read more)[Image]

Take the Excel Challenge for a chance to win a Kinect for Xbox 360 prize pack

(Indexed 2013-03-18):

[Image]We have some great news for Excel fans around the world! Our friends over at Microsoft Business Intelligence have launched an exciting new challenge on Facebook to test your skills and knowledge of Excel. Join the So You Think You Know Excel Challenge to answer 15 questions about Excel and you could get your name up on the leaderboard. Challenge your friends and colleagues or just play for fun. And you'll have the chance to enter the sweepstakes portion of this event, where we'll randomly...(truncated)...

Webinar: 5 things you need to know about Freezing Panes in Excel

(Indexed 2013-03-11):

Need to navigate that huge spreadsheet quickly? Freeze panes can help by allowing you to view your column and row headings continuously while you scroll your document. In this webinar, we'll demonstrate how to freeze panes in an Excel workbook, plus we'll give you 5 tips of this feature, just in case you've ever been stumped while trying to freeze panes.What you will learn at Tuesday's webinarHow to freeze & unfreeze rows and columns The difference between freezing panes, locking cells, and........(truncated)...

Which keyboard shortcuts should we add next to Web Excel?

(Indexed 2013-03-04):

CTRL+PgUp, CTRL+F, SHIFT+TAB: keyboard shortcuts can help you streamline work in Excel and look like a magician in a spreadsheet. We're currently planning the next round of keyboard shortcuts to add to Web Excel and would love to hear your input. Let us know about your favorite shortcuts in desktop Excel by filling out this survey....(read more)[Image]

Data Explorer brings Big Data connectivity to Excel 2013

(Indexed 2013-02-28):

On February 27, we announced an early look at a future addition to our self-service line-up with Microsoft Data Explorer Preview for Excel. Data Explorer enhances the self-service BI experience in Excel by simplifying data discovery and access to a broad range of public and enterprise data sources, enabling richer insights from data that has traditionally been difficult for users to get to. With Data Explorer, users can now quickly and easily import data from a variety of sources, including Web,...(truncated)...

PASS Business Analytics Conference: Keeping up with the evolving world of data

(Indexed 2013-02-26):

The world of data continues to become bigger and more complex, with no plans to slow down. From April 10-12 in Chicago, data professionals and business analysts will gather at the PASS Business Analytics Conference to keep pace with the latest trends around big data, predictive analytics, data visualization, Hadoop, and even the new version of Excel. If you're a fan of Excel and are curious about how it fits within the Microsoft Business Analytics platform or you want to master how to use tools ...(truncated)...

Going Kamping with a K: How we quickly organized a 20-person trip in Web Excel on SkyDrive

(Indexed 2013-02-22):

[Image]With the announcement of easier collaboration on SkyDrive, sharing files with friends, family and colleagues just got a whole lot easier! Now you can share a link to your Excel files with anyone and they can edit the workbooks without needing to sign in with a Microsoft account, even at the same time! Read on to find out how to put this functionality to work for you....(read more)[Image]

New support for query tables in Excel Services improves workbook sharing across an organization

(Indexed 2013-02-19):

With the enhancements to Excel Services as part of the new Office, we now support query table refresh. Workbooks with query tables now can be seamlessly refreshed on the go from any browser! No need to convert your query table to a pivot table or download a workbook to desktop Excel client to refresh your query table. In other words, broad sharing of workbooks throughout an organization just got easier....(read more)[Image]

Microsoft BI Solution Builder: Learn how familiar tools like Excel fit within your organizations BI strategy

(Indexed 2013-02-11):

Better business intelligence and insight can make the difference between a business surviving and thriving. Microsoft aims to make business intelligence (BI) more accessible to everyone across an organization, in part by providing BI capabilities in familiar tools such as Excel to empower more users to build and consume rich BI solutions as part of their everyday work. If you're interested in how Excel's BI capabilities could fit within your organization's broader BI solution, learn more about t...(truncated)...

You always want to know another shortcut (video)

(Indexed 2012-12-19):

Shortcuts are like jokes in a comedy club: they’re great when you hear them, but can’t remember them the next day. So, let’s try to refresh your memory—or give you some new memories—of 3 nifty shortcuts to move around and find your stuff in the Excel. I did this, and a few more videos, for the Small Business Group. You can find more videos, plus many more helpful tidbits at the Microsoft Business Hub....(read more)[Image]

Drilling around in your Excel PivotTables and PivotCharts

(Indexed 2012-12-17):

[Image] In the new Excel, we published a feature that allows Excel to continue its emergence as your go-to BI tool, whether it's for analytics or for exploration. That feature is called "Quick Explore," and with it you can drill up, drill down, and drill across your PivotTables and PivotCharts in ways never before possible in either Excel desktop or Excel in the browser....(read more)[Image]

Introduction to PowerPivot in Excel 2013

(Indexed 2012-12-14):

This blog post was brought to you by Diego Oppenheimer a Program Manager on the Excel team. Some weeks ago I introduced an important, new part of the Excel 2013 Data Model and how you could create relationships between different data sources right in your Excel workbook ( http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft-excel/archive/2012/08/23...(truncated)... ). In todays post I am going to show you how you can expand on this Data Model and add all sorts of analysis goodies...(read more)[Image]

Interacting with Your Websites Data Using Web Excel Mashups

(Indexed 2012-12-06):

Interested in taking your website’s data to the next level? Excel Mashups make it easy to both extend Excel capabilities on the web and bring your data into Excel....(read more)[Image]

A Primer on Apps for Office in Excel

(Indexed 2012-11-30):

In Office 2013, we introduced a new cloud-based application model called Apps for Office. This post describes how you can find and insert them into your workbooks using Excel 2013 and share those workbooks through the Excel Web App....(read more)[Image]

Field List and Field Well in the Excel Web App

(Indexed 2012-11-20):

Excel for the browser has adopted a number of features that, previous to the 2013 release, only existed in the client application. In this blog I want to introduce you to one of those features: the field list and field well. This is one of the features that allows you to use the Excel web app as a first class analytic tool....(read more)[Image]

Chart Styles in Office 2013

(Indexed 2012-11-16):

[Image]With Excel 2013, you now have a new default style and set of chart styles to apply to your chart. The new styles are designer quality and will make your chart beautiful in one click!...(read more)[Image]

Excel Surveys

(Indexed 2012-11-16):

Use Excel surveys on SkyDrive to easily create and publish surveys about any topic that you want. Then collect and analyze the results directly in the workbook....(read more)[Image]

Chart Elements: Customizing your Chart

(Indexed 2012-10-31):

[Image]With Excel 2013, we made it our mission to simplify the chart customization process and to enable users to quickly modify their charts with a few simple clicks....(read more)[Image]

Beyond column filters: slicers on tables

(Indexed 2012-10-24):

Slicers were first introduced in Excel 2010 and made filtering PivotTables as simple as clicking a button. We’ve taken the goodness of slicers but moved it beyond just PivotTables - with Excel 2013 you can now create slicers on any table!...(read more)[Image]

Quick Analysis: Discover new insights

(Indexed 2012-10-22):

This blog post is brought to you by Chad Rothschiller a Program Manager on the Excel team. As part of our planning work at the beginning of the Office 2013 project, we (the Excel team) participated in several customer visits. We went in small groups to someone’s work environment (whether that was a large corporation, a small business, or even a home office), watched them use Excel, and talked with them a bit about what they were doing. Of course several patterns and themes were observed, b...(truncated)...

The New Excel Web App Now Live for Everyone on SkyDrive

(Indexed 2012-10-22):

Good morning, I’m happy to announce that over the weekend, we rolled out the new version of the Office Web Apps (read more about the rollout on the Office Web Apps Blog ) including most of the new functionality I talked about in my What’s new in Excel Web App post to all of our users in SkyDrive, Hotmail, and Outlook.com (plus a bunch of other sites that use the Web Apps to show Office documents). As always, stay tuned here for the latest and greatest with the Excel Web App. Finally ...(truncated)...

The new Excel Web App, now live for everyone on SkyDrive

(Indexed 2012-10-22):

Good morning, I’m happy to announce that over the weekend, we rolled out the new version of the Office Web Apps (read more about the rollout on the Office Web Apps Blog ) including most of the new functionality I talked about in my What’s new in Excel Web App post to all of our users in SkyDrive, Hotmail, and Outlook.com (plus a bunch of other sites that use the Web Apps to show Office documents). As always, stay tuned here for the latest and greatest with the Excel Web App. Finally ...(truncated)...

Calculated Member and Measures in Excel 2013

(Indexed 2012-10-15):

Besides many new, exciting features, Excel 2013 also offers enhancements to older features even those that may be a little more obscure to the everyday Excel user. Today we will shed some light on one of these features. The feature that I want to talk about here is the OLAP based Calculated Members and Measures.Definition and CaveatOLAP is an acronym for online analytical processing. Although there are technically different OLAPs, we refer specifically to Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services d...(truncated)...

Intro to Power View for Excel 2013

(Indexed 2012-10-04):

Have you ever looked at a dashboard someone made and went, “man, I like that, but there’s too many steps for me to remember”? Or maybe wanted to have a way to play around with your data in a safe space so you don’t mess it up? Power View is a new add-in for Excel 2013 that consumes the Data Model. For those who are avid readers of our blog, you will remember Diego did a post on the Data Model we’ve integrated into Excel. If you don’t remember that post (becaus...(truncated)...

Inserting Charts in Excel 2013

(Indexed 2012-09-27):

As Scott mentioned in his Charting Overview post, users have always struggled with picking the right chart type to represent their data. Unless you have a good understanding of the different chart types available and the types of data they work for, many users have trouble choosing the right chart type to properly represent their data, and often fallback to choosing something familiar. Even worse, sometimes users ended up choosing chart types that misrepresent their data, changing the message th...(truncated)...

Join us Tuesday for our Webinar Previewing Excel 2013

(Indexed 2012-09-17):

[Image]In this week’s webinar, we’ll show you some of the new features coming to Excel 2013. You can try them out right now during the free Customer Preview. We start our Office 15-Minute Webinar at 9:15 am Pacific Time, with a Q&A to follow (and you can ask your questions about any version of Excel). Click the link below or go to http://aka.ms/offweb for more information on how to join the series. Join online meetinghttps://join.microsoft.com/meet/dougt/F274WBQZThere are two ways yo...(truncated)...

Webinar: Previewing Excel 2013

(Indexed 2012-09-17):

[Image]In this week’s webinar, we’ll show you some of the new features coming to Excel 2013. You can try them out right now during the free Customer Preview. A video of the webinar will be posted shortly after the webinar.What you will learn at Tuesday's webinar:How to visualize your data quicklyHow to do a Pivot Table (without knowing about Pivot......(read more)[Image]

Introducing spreadsheet controls in Office 2013!

(Indexed 2012-09-13):

We have 5 brand new Excel, Web Excel and SharePoint features to introduce to you in Office 2013, all designed to help you manage the use of spreadsheets and Access databases. I'll tell you about each of them in more detail, but the names really speak for themselves: Audit and Control Management Server Discovery and Risk Assessment Spreadsheet Inquire Spreadsheet Compare Database Compare...(read more)[Image]

Charting Overview for Office 2013

(Indexed 2012-09-06):

With the Office 2013 release, the Office DataViz team is proud to deliver a rich set of charting capabilities across Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and Project. In fact, because there are so many features, this article will only be an overview. Subsequent articles will go into the specific use cases and steps for each of them.I’ve been working on Excel charting since the Office 2007 release, when we replaced the charting engine, changed the rendering layer, and enabled charts to run on the serve...(truncated)...

Introduction to the Data Model and Relationships in Excel 2013

(Indexed 2012-08-23):

This post is brought to you by Diego Oppenheimer a Program Manager on the Excel team.I am very happy to be writing this blog post today. Not just because I will be showing you another way Excel can make your data analysis easier but also because I will be introducing the new Data Model and Relationships features that will hopefully change the way you use Excel for data analysis forever. ...(read more)[Image]

Select multiple names from a dropdown list

(Indexed 2012-08-21):

[Image]Our guest blogger and Excel MVP award winner, Debra Dagleish, makes it easy to create an Excel dropdown list that lets you select multiple names in one cell. The magic to her method is adding a few lines of VBA code--a trick just about anyone can learn, even if you don't know programming. ...(read more)[Image]

Tricks for creating dropdown lists that let you select multiple items

(Indexed 2012-08-21):

[Image]Our guest blogger and Excel MVP award winner, Debra Dagleish, makes it easy to create an Excel dropdown list that lets you select multiple names in one cell. The magic to her method is adding a few lines of VBA code--a trick just about anyone can learn, even if you don't know programming. ...(read more)[Image]

Plug into your data: Connecting Excel to an Access database

(Indexed 2012-08-15):

[Image]Northwind Trading Company is a growing online wholesale food business. Orders from retail merchants are coming in from across the country and are being stored in an Access database. Now the marketing team needs a better way to view the mounds of data. Luckily, the same features that Excel provides for viewing and organizing information in a spreadsheet, can be used to view and organize information in an Access database. But first you need to create the connection. ...(read more)[Image]

Flash Fill

(Indexed 2012-08-09):

This post is brought to you by Chad Rothschiller a Program Manager on the Excel team. Today I’m proud to be writing about a new feature in Excel 2013 called Flash Fill that makes all of those tasks very simple for even the most novice user. Several years ago, I wrote a blog post demonstrating how to do string manipulations like the above examples. The problem is that the solutions relied heavily on using formulas, which can feel quite complex and intimidating for people not as familiar wit...(truncated)...

The Excel Button - Bringing Excel Everywhere

(Indexed 2012-08-02):

This blog post is brought to you by Melissa MacBeth, Lead Program Manager on the Excel Web App team.As Dan mentioned in his blog post, there’s data all over the web, and with the Excel Button we are giving you a way to get deeper insights with nothing more than the click of a familiar looking button. In this post, I’ll go a little deeper into the HOWS and WHYS of this new awesome feature.What is it? The Excel Button, also known as the Excel Interactive View, is like the Facebook Like...(truncated)...

Office Business Intelligence The way people experience data

(Indexed 2012-07-26):

This post is brought to you by Steve Tullis Group Program Manager of the Office Business Intelligence team. This is the third introductory post from the Excel family – Office BI. If you have not read Jane’s post about the Excel client, or Dan’s post about the browser-based versions of Excel, I encourage you to do so, as they are great overviews and provide foundational information about how we decided in what to invest, and how those investments are manifest in the Excel produc...(truncated)...

Excel Web App - What's now available in a browser near you?

(Indexed 2012-07-23):

This blog post is brought to you by Dan Battagin, Group Program Manager for the Excel Web App team.Greetings - I hope everyone's been enjoying the content on the blog over the last few releases, and that everyone's excited to see what's coming in the next version of Office, Excel, and the Excel Web App. Jane mentioned in her last post how we went about deciding what to invest in, and today I’ll share with you some of the broad investment areas for the browser-based versions of Excel. Of co...(truncated)...

Introducing Excel 2013

(Indexed 2012-07-19):

This blog post is brought to you by Jane Liles Group Program Manager for the Excel team. With this post she kicks off a brand new blog series introducing all the features we have added across Excel for the release of Office 2013.Greetings from the Excel team hallway…By now you’ve hopefully tuned into our Office Next blog, which provides all-up view of our latest release for Office, and seen some articles on the web. Today I have the privilege of sharing a high-level view of Excel 2...(truncated)...

The good kind of circular reference

(Indexed 2012-07-17):

There have been ample articles about troubleshooting unintentional circular references in Excel workbooks. This post focuses on the opposite: choosing to deliberately work with circular references. Circular references aren't a bad thing in itself: you can use them to achieve complex calculations that are otherwise impossible to do, but first you must set them up properly. ...(read more)[Image]

Too much data to view? Use Auto Outline to group it

(Indexed 2012-07-09):

[Image]Puget Sound Pets can't keep enough dog chews on the shelves for all the corgies they sell. And they can't keep up with the sales data they generate from their booming business. To better understand their revenue stream, they need to view it on a month-to-month and a store-to-store basis. Excel's Auto Outline feature offers a simple way for them to do that by letting them group--limit or expand--the types of data they can view. ...(read more)[Image]

Score! Merge data from multiple worksheets

(Indexed 2012-07-06):

[Image]The Excel Consolidate feature provides an easy way for a coach to merge data from different expense worksheets into one main budget. By using the Consolidate feature, the beleaguered coach can get a handle on his team's expenses so he can focus on teaching the Decatur Golden Gators to score goals....(read more)[Image]

Learn Advanced Filters by tracking flying fish

(Indexed 2012-06-20):

[Image]Many of you already know how to use Excel's AutoFilter feature to do basic data-sorting; for example, how to use it to select a single name from a long list of names. But what if you want to do more advanced filtering? Excel's Advanced Filter feature can help you out. ...(read more)[Image]

Learn Excel's Advanced Filtering by tracking flying fish

(Indexed 2012-06-20):

[Image]Many of you already know how to use Excel's AutoFilter feature to do basic data-sorting; for example, how to use it to select a single name from a long list of names. But what if you want to do more advanced filtering? Excel's Advanced Filter feature can help you out. ...(read more)[Image]

Learn advanced filtering in Excel by tracking flying fish

(Indexed 2012-06-20):

[Image]Many of you already know how to use Excel's AutoFilter feature to do basic data-sorting; for example, how to use it to select a single name from a long list of names. But what if you want to do more advanced filtering? Excel's Advanced Filter feature can help you out. ...(read more)[Image]

Join us for Tuesdays 15-Minute Webinar on PivotTables and Slicers

(Indexed 2012-06-11):

[Image]In this week’s webinar, you’ll get an overview of two tools in Excel for crunching numbers so you can know what the numbers mean to your business: PivotTables and Slicers (new to Office 2010). We start at 9:15 am Pacific Time with a Q&A to follow. Click the link below or go to http://aka.ms/offweb for more information on how to join the series. Join online meetinghttps://join.microsoft.com/meet/dougt/F274WBQZThere are two ways you can join: Use the free Lync Attendee download ...(truncated)...

Webinar: Excel PivotTables and Slicers

(Indexed 2012-06-11):

In this week’s webinar, you’ll get an overview of two tools in Excel for crunching numbers so you can know what the numbers mean to your business: PivotTables and Slicers (new to Office 2010). References for this webinar:So you asked about PivotTablesQuick Start: Create a PivotTable report...(read more)[Image]

Our eight best Excel tutorials on charts

(Indexed 2012-05-30):

[Image]Excel spreadsheets are all about numbers. But tons of numbers are often not the most effective way to communicate what you want. That's where charts come in handy. Charts can display numeric data in a graphical format, making it easy to understand large quantities of data and the relationships among data.If you want to learn about Excel charts, you've come to the right place. We've pulled together out best tutorials and articles to get you started. ...(read more)[Image]

Our eight best tutorials on Excel charts

(Indexed 2012-05-30):

[Image]Excel spreadsheets are all about numbers. But tons of numbers are often not the most effective way to communicate what you want. That's where charts come in handy. Charts can display numeric data in a graphical format, making it easy to understand large quantities of data and the relationships among data.If you want to learn about Excel charts, you've come to the right place. We've pulled together out best tutorials and articles to get you started. ...(read more)[Image]

What's the dif? Gridlines vs borders in spreadsheets

(Indexed 2012-05-23):

A lot of you want to know the difference between gridlines and borders. Gridlines help you work in a spreadsheet, and borders help you highlight important information in one for your audience. Gridlines appear automatically so you can see how your data is organized into rows and columns; borders need to be added by you so you can highlight certain cells. This post describes how to work with both of them. ...(read more)[Image]

Split and merge data in URLs

(Indexed 2012-05-16):

Issue: I have a list of URLs with their corresponding page views. The URLs include a section of the site and the date when the page was published. I'd like to calculate the total number of page views by site section and the total number of page views by publication date. I want to reduce the time it would take to manually enter this data into new columns. To save time, I plan on using the Text to Columns wizard and Concatenate function rather than a complex formula. Once you learn the steps, it ...(truncated)...

Quick Trick: Resizing column widths in pivot tables

(Indexed 2012-05-08):

Who could be better than a Business Intelligence analyst at teaching us a thing or two about Excel? We asked our own number-crunching wizard Stacey Armstrong to share some Excel tricks she's learned along the way. In this first one, she shows us how to change the default width of a column in a pivot table. Knowing this is especially helpful when you're working with data that that makes a row really long....(read more)[Image]

Count values that meet a condition with the COUNTIF function

(Indexed 2012-05-04):

[Image]Update: See near the bottom of this post for the latest Office how-tos on embedding Excel and PowerPoint files on web pages.You probably know how to use the COUNT function to count cells that contain a value. But what if you want to count only the cells that meet a condition, such as being greater than or equal to a number or date you specify, or that matches text? That's where the COUNTIF function comes in really handy.Keep reading to learn more, and try out this great function for free ...(truncated)...

Using multiple criteria in Excel Lookup formulas

(Indexed 2012-04-27):

If you want to look up a value in a table using one criteria, it's simple. You can use a plain VLOOKUP formula. But if you want to use more than one criteria, what can you do? There are lots of ways using several Excel functions such as VLOOKUP, LOOKUP, MATCH, INDEX, etc. In this blog post, I'll show you a few of those ways....(read more)[Image]

And the winner of the VLOOKUP Great White Shark Award is...

(Indexed 2012-04-11):

[Image]JP Pinto! Congratulations!His post was one of seven chosen by Bill Jelen as the most innovative ones published during VLOOKUP Week. He won a copy Bill Jelens book Microsoft Excel 2010 In Depth. You can find links to all seven posts and see the voting results in our wrap-up post of VLOOKUP Week. ...(read more)[Image]

Excel: not just for geeks

(Indexed 2012-04-06):

[Image]Ugh. Excel. It's not as intuitive as a Word doc, and not as aesthetically pleasing as a PowerPoint presentation. If you're more creative than analytical, you might feel as though it's dry and boring and filled with numbers you'd rather not look at. However, I can tell you that after you familiarize yourself with it, it is the best tool Microsoft Office has - and extremely easy to use! This guest post is written by Divya Bahl, a blogger for the popular site Her Campus. ...(read more)[Image...(truncated)...

VLOOKUP Week Wraps Up: Vote For Your Favorite Post

(Indexed 2012-04-04):

[Image]VLOOKUP Week has ended. The brainchild of Excel MVP Bill Jelen, the idea inspired all things VLOOKUP, including VLOOKUP odes, haikus, vampires, and a way to track shark attacks. Setting all fun aside--Excel experts created a crazy number of useful and innovative applications of VLOOKUP in seven days. Now Bill wants you to vote for your favorite. Top vote-getter will be named the “Great White Shark” of VLOOKUP week!...(read more)[Image]

VLOOKUP Tutorial: Updating prices in a master price list

(Indexed 2012-03-28):

In honor of VLOOKUP Week, MVP Bill Jelen has created a VLOOKUP tutorial for those of you who have a basic working knowledge of Excel but want to improve your skills. This tutorial assumes you know a little something about writing basic formulas in Excel. It assumes that you've heard of VLOOKUP and its benefits, but that you don't really know how to use it. ...(read more)[Image]

Today's Giveaway: Odes to VLOOKUP (It ain't over until the formulas stop singing)

(Indexed 2012-03-27):

Bill Jellen found it. Erica Rhein started it. She posted a comment on Facebook declaring her complete dependence on VLOOKUP. "I use Pivot Tables and VLOOKUP every day. I would be screwed at my job without it." To Bill's formula-possessed mind this statement equals a love poem. So he decided today's VLOOKUP Week door prize would go to the best Ode to VLOOKUP. Check out the haikus and poems about undying VLOOKUP love already submitted, then or add your own by entering it as a comment to this VL...(truncated)...

Tuesdays free Webinar: Simplifying your data in Excel

(Indexed 2012-03-26):

[Image]Join Tuesday's free Office 15-Minute Webinar to learn about simpliying data in Excel. You can join the webinar live with the link below at 9:15 am PDT or go to http://aka.ms/offweb for complete information on our webinars.Join online meetinghttps://join.microsoft.com/meet/dougt/F274WBQZThe best option is to download the free Lync Attendee for sound/video, or you can use your browser and call in for sound: 1 (888) 320-3585.Conference ID: 84172528 What you will learn at Tuesday’s webi...(truncated)...

Webinar: Simplifying your data in Excel

(Indexed 2012-03-26):

Here is the recording from this week's free Office 15-Minute Webinar about simpliying data in Excel. You can join our webinars live at 9:15 am PDT. Click http://aka.ms/offweb for complete information. What you will learn at Tuesday’s webinarUsing Conditional Formatting Adding Sparklines Better charts for presentations A new tool to......(read more)[Image]

Ride the Shark! It's VLOOKUP Week March 25-31, 2012

(Indexed 2012-03-22):

[Image]What strikes terror into the hearts of Excel beginners? VLOOKUP! Excel power users, though, can't live without it. Excel MVP Bill Jelen has declared March 25 - 31, 2012 to be VLOOKUP week. He's invited his fellow Excel experts to publish VLOOKUP posts on their sites during the week. Already it's taken on a life of its own with VLOOKUP t-shirts and coffee mugs, and a theme song and logo....(read more)[Image]

What's your favorite thing about Excel Pivot Tables?

(Indexed 2012-03-21):

Do you belong to LinkedIn? Did you know that LinkedIn has lots of Excel user groups where Excel trainers, developers, financial modelers, and even Excel blackbelts compete to out geek each other--or just share information. (The Excel Blackbelt group is for data visualization experts.) ...(read more)[Image]

What's your favorite thing about Excel PivotTables?

(Indexed 2012-03-21):

Do you belong to LinkedIn? Did you know that LinkedIn has lots of Excel user groups where Excel trainers, developers, financial modelers, and even Excel blackbelts compete to out geek each other--or just share information? ...(read more)[Image]

Freeze Panes made simple (Video)

(Indexed 2012-03-14):

Ever wanted to see just a part of your Excel worksheet that's way over on the right? You scroll over and find the information you're looking for, but your row or column headings-sometimes both-have disappeared. Or maybe you want to see data in one row that's at the bottom of your worksheet (which might contain hundreds or even thousands of rows). How can you go to that row and still see how its data has been categorized in the headings? By using the Freeze Panes commands on the View tab in Excel...(truncated)...

Samples for learning conditional formatting: icons, formulas, cell values, and more

(Indexed 2012-03-12):

When we released Excel 2010, we published a workbook for you to download, which contains samples of conditional formatting rules. The samples are really helpful for learning how to track trends, check status, spot data, and find top values. Some samples are for busineses and some just for fun. You can find out how to compare bicycles by using a rating scale; calculate sales for a specific region and target; and more. ...(read more)[Image]

Tip: Add a watermark to an Excel worksheet

(Indexed 2012-03-08):

[Image]If you're collaborating or creating sensitive material in Excel, you probably need either a DRAFT or CONFIDENTIAL watermark. Excel doesn't come with a built-in way to add a watermark, but there's a pretty painless way to do so. We show you how and give you sample watermarks to get you started. ...(read more)[Image]

Circular References: Excel's most popular (!#?%) error message explained

(Indexed 2012-02-17):

[Image]Millions of people using Excel don't get why they see the "circular reference" error message right after they've entered a formula. The message means that your formula is trying to calculate its own cell--kind of like when a dog chases its own tail. Because so many of you (millions) searched on "circular reference" on Office.com, we thought we should very clearly explain how to remove or fix your formula. ...(read more)[Image]

Circular References? Excel's most popular (!#?%) error message explained

(Indexed 2012-02-17):

[Image]Millions of people using Excel don't get why they see the "circular reference" error message right after they've entered a formula. The message means that your formula is trying to calculate its own cell--kind of like when a dog chases its own tail. Because so many of you (millions) searched on "circular reference" on Office.com, we thought we should very clearly explain how to remove or fix your formula. ...(read more)[Image]

Circular Reference? Excel's most popular (!#?%) error message explained

(Indexed 2012-02-17):

[Image]Millions of people using Excel don't get why they see the "circular reference" error message right after they've entered a formula. The message means that your formula is trying to calculate its own cell--kind of like when a dog chases its own tail. Because so many of you (millions) searched on "circular reference" on Office.com, we thought we should very clearly explain how to remove or fix your formula. ...(read more)[Image]

Simplifying data entry with a list box and VBA code

(Indexed 2012-02-14):

We show you how we used an ActiveX list box control and some VBA code to allow our users to enter multiple choices in cells....(read more)[Image]

Excel: The Basics (Video)

(Indexed 2012-02-01):

[Image]For those of us who crunch words instead of numbers, Excel can be intimidating. We don't know the difference between a workbook and a worksheet, and for sure don't know to ask about conditional formatting (a cool way to visually display data). Then one day your boss asks you to create a report--with numbers. Gulp.In this video, the Office 911 emergency responders show a beginning Excel user how to add a table to a worksheet so she can better organize and view her data. ...(read more)[Imag...(truncated)...

Five most popular posts on the Excel blog in 2011

(Indexed 2012-01-26):

It's still January. There's still time to share the most popular posts on the Excel blog in 2011. Thanks for reading them! Can't remember all those Excel keyboard shortcuts? Now you don't have to! There are a lot of keyword shortcuts in Excel. You can scroll through a long list of them on Office.com, or you can download Quick Reference Cards from our blog and pin them to your corkboard. There are cards for Keyboard shortcuts with the Ctrl keys , Keyboard shortcuts with Function keys , and Miscel...(truncated)...

Yes, it is possible to create nice looking spreadsheets

(Indexed 2012-01-19):

[Image]15 Spreadsheet Formatting TipsFor the last couple years I’ve been meaning to pull together some of the tips that I’ve learned working on the Excel team about how to make nice looking spreadsheets. Well, last week, Rob Collie (a previous Excel Program Manager, and now CTO at Pivotstream and author of PowerPivotPro.com) beat me to it with his post “In the Browser, Aesthetics Yield a Greater Return.”...(read more)[Image]

Guy Kawasaki's guide to creating a financial forecast in Excel

(Indexed 2012-01-18):

You've finished your business plan and polished the pitch for investors. As an entrepreneur you know what comes next: number-crunching. To clinch funding, you need a financial projection that shows investors the path to profitability. We worked with @Guy Kawasaki to guide you through creating a financial forecast that will wow funders....(read more)[Image]

Generate invoice numbers in Excel

(Indexed 2012-01-12):

[Image]If you need a way to create invoices in Excel, feel free to use one of the many invoice templates on Office.com. While these templates are a great starting point, they won't automatically generate unique invoice numbers—you need a macro for that. Fortunately, Excel MVP Bill Jelen shows you how to create a couple of macros to address this issue. The first macro automatically increments the invoice number and then clears cells on the worksheet so you can start fresh on the next invoic...(truncated)...

Beyond spreadsheets: Spiffy Excel calendars for 2012

(Indexed 2012-01-06):

[Image]Need a plain-vanilla calendar for your business which shows the year in a glance? Or the kind that your local hardware passes out for free (marketing) at the end of the year? Or if you're a student, how about one that lets you juggle assignments as the professors keep juggling dates? ...(read more)[Image]

VBA tip: Limit the number of times a file can be opened

(Indexed 2012-01-04):

Suppose you want to send someone a demo workbook, but you don’t want that workbook to be used more than a certain number of times, perhaps because you want to be paid for your work. In today's VBA tip, Excel MVP Bob Umlas shows you how to use SaveSetting and GetSetting statements to set a limit on the number of times a file can be opened. ...(read more)[Image]

Excel mashup tutorial

(Indexed 2011-12-22):

One of our Excel MVPs—Jan Karel Pieterse—emailed us this week suggesting we take a look at the online tutorial he created about Excel Mashups. We did, and now we want to share it with you. ...(read more)[Image]

Last-minute budget tips for those last-minute gifts

(Indexed 2011-12-20):

[Image]At this point in the holiday season if you’re like me, you’re over budget. Yesterday I started worrying about that cashmere sweater I bought for one sister-in-law and the sweatshirt I bought for the other. It’s back to shoping this evening to try to even it out.This time when I’m wandering the aisles, I’ll check my Excel holiday budget on my phone. I saved it on SkyDrive—Microsoft's free cloud service—so that I can take a look to remind me what I ...(truncated)...

Creating Excel mashups

(Indexed 2011-12-15):

If you’re a web developer (or even if you’re not), you’ve doubtless heard of mashups—apps or web pages that combine existing functionality from different sources to create something entirely new. It’s now possible to create cool spreadsheet-based mashups by combining features from Excel Web App—specifically, the embedded workbook feature—with existing JavaScript APIs. Read on to see a couple of demo mashups, and learn about our new site for web developer...(truncated)...

Create smashing mashups with Excel

(Indexed 2011-12-15):

If you’re a web developer (or even if you’re not), you’ve doubtless heard of mashups—apps or web pages that combine existing functionality from different sources to create something entirely new. It’s now possible to create cool spreadsheet-based mashups by combining features from Excel Web App—specifically, the embedded workbook feature—with existing JavaScript APIs. Read on to see a couple of demo mashups, and learn about our new site for web developer...(truncated)...

Remembering Nathan (Nate) Oliver

(Indexed 2011-12-07):

This week, the Excel team here at Microsoft received the tragic news that Excel MVP Nathan Oliver passed away unexpectedly last weekend. Nate was a vital member of the MVP community who loved sharing his vast knowledge of Excel with customers and fellow Excel enthusiasts. We’ll always be grateful to Nate for his countless contributions to various Excel forums and his insightful feedback about how to make Excel a better product. From the testimonials pouring in on the Microsoft MVP Facebook...(truncated)...

Excel as a project management tool

(Indexed 2011-11-30):

[Image]It goes without saying that Microsoft Project is THE program to use if you need to manage large projects. But what if you manage smaller projects? Can you do that in Excel? Sure, but life will be easier if you start with a template that is specifically designed to facilitate project management. With that in mind, PowerPoint expert Glenna Shaw created a free project plan template for tracking projects in Excel. You can use this template to estimate time and costs, create a project schedule...(truncated)...

Tracking small projects in Excel

(Indexed 2011-11-30):

[Image]It goes without saying that Microsoft Project is THE program to use if you need to manage large projects. But what if you manage smaller projects? Can you do that in Excel? Sure, but life will be easier if you start with a template that is specifically designed to facilitate project management. With that in mind, PowerPoint expert Glenna Shaw created a free project plan template for tracking projects in Excel. You can use this template to estimate time and costs, create a project schedule...(truncated)...

When a macro won't cut it, try a VBA script

(Indexed 2011-11-23):

[Image]This post written by Daniel Ferry, an Excel MVP, chronicles how he and Beth Melton, a fellow MPV, designed a Gradebook template in Excel that makes teachers’ lives a whole lot easier. Several teachers, however, wanted to make the template even more useful. They asked us whether the template could batch print all student progress reports at once. To tackle this task, Daniel knew recording a new macro wouldn’t cut it. He needed to write a VBA script. Here's how he did it. ...(re...(truncated)...

Datas got a brand new bag: PowerPivot for Excel (video)

(Indexed 2011-11-17):

There's lots of data out there: LOTS. The digital universe is about eight hundred thousand petabytes (that's eight hundred million gigabytes). Your business is no doubt contriubting to that number and needs a way to work with it. PowerPivot is a free add-in for Excel that can link multiple spreadsheets or even link to databases. That means you can work with millions--emphasis on the "s"--of lines of data. Excel also has another tool to help you slice through data, which I'll tell you about in th...(truncated)...

The Excel part of mail merge

(Indexed 2011-11-15):

[Image]Hey, the holidays are fast approaching, which means you've got to get your cards signed, sealed, and delivered! This post goes out to those of you who keep your address list in Excel and need to figure out how to use it to create mailing labels in Word. Creating labels can be intimidating, mainly because there are a number of steps and you're typically working across different programs—in this case, Excel and Word. Read on to learn best practices for preparing your address list in ...(truncated)...

Now where on the network did I save my workbook?

(Indexed 2011-11-10):

[Image]If you commonly share workbooks that are saved on your network, consider adding the Document Location box to your Quick Access Toolbar. This box shows you exactly where your workbook is located. If you can see the path, you can easily paste it into an email message and send it to people. This is way better than sending around big file attachments!...(read more)[Image]

Poll your friends with Photo Vote

(Indexed 2011-11-01):

[Image]What should I wear to the party next week? Which hair style suits me best? Your Facebook friends no doubt have strong opinions about these weighty matters, so why not create a quick poll and let the people decide? In this post, we'll introduce you to Photo Vote, a new app created by the Microsoft Office Labs team. With Photo Vote, you can create quick polls in Facebook, gather input from your friends, and then geek out on your results in Excel. ...(read more)[Image]

Two tips for faster worksheet navigation

(Indexed 2011-10-18):

[Image]If your workbook contains a ton of worksheets, it can be a hassle to navigate to just the right sheet. For one thing, you often can't see all the sheet names at the bottom of the workbook. Sure, you can move around by using the four navigation buttons to the left of the worksheet tabs, or by pressing Ctrl + Page Up or Ctrl + Page Down, but there are faster ways to jump from sheet to sheet. ...(read more)[Image]

Tips on using seven heavenly text functions

(Indexed 2011-10-11):

[Image]Harness the power of the suite of Text functions, such as LEFT, RIGHT, MID, FIND, LEN, TEXT, and REPLACE, and you'll be an unstoppable force.In this post, experiment with these functions and build your skills in finding, extracting, and changing text in worksheet cells....(read more)[Image]

Excel Web Apps Releases New Features

(Indexed 2011-10-08):

This blog post is brought to you by Jenny French a Product Manager in the Microsoft Office Team. On the Excel Web App team, we are committed to improving our products based on your feedback. Since we launched the Web Apps just over a year ago, weve been listening to you, and today were releasing new features based on what weve heard. To everybody who has shared their opinion with us, we want to say a big THANK YOU! Heres what were delivering to you today, based on your requests...(read more)[...(truncated)...

Go beyond the basic chart type

(Indexed 2011-09-27):

[Image]Excel comes with lots of predefined chart types, including column, line, pie, and so on. However, many of you ask how to make other kinds of charts, such as floating column charts, Gantt charts, combination charts, org charts, flow charts, hierarchy charts, histograms, or Pareto charts. While none of these are available as predefined chart types, don't worry. There are ways to create these in Excel....(read more)[Image]

Clean up imported or pasted data in Excel

(Indexed 2011-09-20):

[Image]When you bring data from other sources into Excel, it may not look the way you'd like -- numbers might have come in as text so that you can't sum them, dates might not be dates at all...you get the idea. Here's how to clean things up so your spreadsheet looks and works right....(read more)[Image]

Get data into Excel by importing it

(Indexed 2011-09-13):

[Image]If you need to get existing data into Excel, I can guarantee you the last thing you'd ever want to do is retype it. And copying from another program or from the web and pasting directly into a cell in a workbook might leave you with nightmarish looking results.Luckily for you, there's a much better way to get that data into Excel. Importing! Read on to learn about the Excel Text Import Wizard....(read more)[Image]

Track the Rugby World Cup in Excel

(Indexed 2011-09-09):

The Rugby World Cup 2011 starts tonight! If you're a rugby fan, download this free Excel template to keep track of scores and simulate possible outcomes....(read more)[Image]

Speed up data-entry tasks by using End Mode

(Indexed 2011-09-06):

[Image]The other day, I was filling out a huge Excel table, and I found myself needing to enter the exact same information in multiple cells. To save time, I used something called End mode in combination with the arrow keys on my keyboard to quickly select all the cells I needed to change. Many of my own coworkers have never heard of End mode, so I thought you might not know about it either. It's a handy status bar option, and in my opinion it's often easier to use than fill down when you need t...(truncated)...

Tips for making your embedded Excel experience sparkle

(Indexed 2011-09-02):

When we show people examples of beautiful, interactive embedded Excel workbooks built with the embedded Excel Web App, they often ask one of two things: 1) (Excited) “How do I do that?” 2) (Skeptical) “Can I really make my own workbooks look as good as these examples?”We love to hear that first question, because this summer we shipped a new in-app embedding experience that makes things as easy as “open up a public workbook in your Windows Live SkyDrive and...(truncated)...

Line or scatter chart?

(Indexed 2011-08-30):

[Image]Ah, the great questions of life: Paper or plastic? Line chart or scatter chart?Choosing the wrong chart type for your data can easily happen when it comes to line and scatter charts. They look very similar, especially when a scatter chart is displayed with connecting lines, but there is a big difference in the way each of these chart types plots data along the horizontal and vertical axes.Let Excel writer Frederique be your guide as to which type of chart to use and when....(read more)[Im...(truncated)...

Why not use Excel as your calculator?

(Indexed 2011-08-23):

[Image]By now, you've gotten used to using digital calculators, such as the one in Windows or in your phone, and you know their limitations. For example, say you want to calculate mortgage interest or your grade point average — help! This is when you can switch to Excel, a vast improvement over a simple calculator. In this post, Gary Willoughby introduces you to the concept of using Excel to do simple mathematical calculations. He also demonstrates a more advanced example; namely, how to u...(truncated)...

Making sense of dollar signs in Excel

(Indexed 2011-08-17):

We've noticed some of you searching for help using "$" — a dollar sign. In Excel, a dollar sign can denote a currency format, but it has another common use: indicating absolute cell references in formulas. In this post, we'll talk a bit about both uses of the dollar sign....(read more)[Image]

Apollo 11 & Excel How did we do that?

(Indexed 2011-08-10):

[Image]A couple of weeks ago, as part of our History Reimagined video series, we posted a video to show you how Excel might've helped the team at NASA work through some of the tensest moments in American history. After that post, some of you asked us how we achieved certain effects. Today, Sam Radakovitz from the Office team points you to the source workbook and data used in the video and describes how to recreate a couple of the chart and slicer effects. Enjoy!...(read more)[Image]

How to do percentages in Excel

(Indexed 2011-08-02):

[Image]Are you confused by how Excel handles percentage formatting, or by percentages in general? It's okay, you're not alone. In this post, find out more about how Excel displays percentages, and learn basic techniques for calculating percent decrease, percent increase, and percent change. ...(read more)[Image]

Your call: What would you like us to post about on the Excel blog?

(Indexed 2011-07-26):

[Image]We know you're pressed for time, and you want what you read to be worth the effort. Our question to you is this: What kind of blog post about Excel works best for you? Do great tips help you work smarter? Maybe code examples unlock your creative side? Or do guest posts from Excel MVPs hit home? Take this poll, and be heard. ...(read more)[Image]

Create Convincing Visualizations by Adding Reference Lines to Your Excel Charts

(Indexed 2011-07-22):

Have you ever wanted to add a horizontal or vertical line to your chart to indicate a key value, sales threshold, important date, or the average of your data? Are you looking to impress managers and convince clients with your superb charts? Reference Lines (see the dotted black line on the chart below) can be powerful tools in effectively communicating important points in your data. There is currently no specific built-in functionality for creating Reference Lines in Excel 2010, but there are ...(truncated)...

Cant remember all those Excel keyboard shortcuts? Now you dont have to!

(Indexed 2011-07-19):

[Image]Keyboard shortcuts....You use them every day to make your work flow smoothly, or - in some cases - to make your work flow, period. In all honesty, I use some of them so often that I have no idea where to find those functions on the ribbon! (Copy? Paste? Undo? I haven't done those with a mouse in YEARS!) And I know I'm not alone. In the content that I manage, it is THE most popular subject, and generates the most feedback, with Excel users leading the charge.So, in response to an overwhelm...(truncated)...

Apollo 11 & Excel 2010 Watch History Reimagined for a chance to win

(Indexed 2011-07-13):

That got us thinking - what would it have been like if Excel had been around back then? How might things have been different? Then we thought - what better moment in time to illustrate the point than the Apollo 11 mission to the moon. I mean, it literally is Rocket Science.So, we decided to create a video to see how Excel might've helped the team at NASA work through some of the tensest moments in American history. Have a look and see what you think. Better yet, after watching the film, enter to...(truncated)...

Use the LEN function to get a cell's character count

(Indexed 2011-07-05):

Ever wonder where the character count option is in Excel? It doesn't exist, at least not in the same sense as Word's word count feature. However, Excel does have a nifty little function, LEN, that lets you quickly count the number of characters in a cell. Check it out!...(read more)[Image]

Excel Services content refresh is live

(Indexed 2011-06-30):

If you're a developer, you may have been wondering..."When are they EVER going to revise the Excel Services JavaScript Object Model (JSOM) documentation for SharePoint Server 2010?" Well, I'm glad you asked! The SharePoint Server 2010 Software Development Kit (SDK) online documentation has been refreshed, and I'm happy to announce that as part of that refresh, the Excel Services JSOM documentation was also updated--in fact, it's been completely revised.Keep reading to learn more about accessing ...(truncated)...

Free training: Take the next steps in growing your Excel skills

(Indexed 2011-06-28):

[Image]In early May, we told you about the new video series Excel Skills Builder in our post "Take the first step in growing your Excel skills." In that post, we announced the launch of lesson 1. Well, we've finally finished the rest of the lessons, and wanted to share this great resource with you! As a reminder, the skills builder is a video series that comprises short (typically under 5 minutes each) videos that give you an overview of a task or feature in Excel. The videos are grouped so th...(truncated)...

College students learn about SkyDrive and embedding workbooks

(Indexed 2011-06-21):

[Image]Last month, a couple of other writers and I visited the main University of Washington campus in Seattle, where we presented to a group of business students who were interested in learning more about Excel. We led them in a hands-on exercise that showed how you can work on a spreadsheet in your web browser without having Excel installed on your computer. Then we showed them how to embed a SkyDrive workbook in a webpage by inserting some easy-to-use HTML code.Keep reading to learn more abou...(truncated)...

Check it out: options for using check marks in Excel

(Indexed 2011-06-15):

Sometimes there's more than one way to get what you want - take check marks for example. Keep reading to learn about the various options for adding checkmarks to a worksheet....(read more)[Image]

Easy budget management with Excel

(Indexed 2011-06-10):

[Image]In today's economy, smart money management is a necessary skill. Whether managing the family budget, planning college expenses, or budgeting for your upcoming wedding, Microsoft Excel can help you track the latest numbers, even while on the go with Excel Mobile 2010 on your Windows Phone 7 or the Excel Web App.Keep reading to learn more about managing your budget in Excel.This is post #8 in the Ten Days of Office series celebrating the one-year anniversary of the release of Office 2010 wi...(truncated)...

Build Excel smarts with Ribbon Hero 2

(Indexed 2011-06-07):

I don't know about you, but I'm a big fan of mixing fun with work. It can't all be about writing formulas and analyzing data, right? If you're a fan of fun, be sure to try Ribbon Hero 2, a free game that lets you play a game and learn Office at the same time. ...(read more)[Image]

Designing Excel solutions for the web

(Indexed 2011-06-02):

Donovan Follette has just posted to his blog announcing two new Channel 9 videos about designing Excel solutions for the web. In the video series Larry Waldman, Excel Program Manager, demonstrates the benefits of examining existing Excel client solutions and migrating them to the web using Excel Services. He then dives into details and walks through the migration of a sample Excel client application to its new incarnation as a web-based solution. The video links and outline are in the table belo...(truncated)...

Designing Excel solutions for the web (video)

(Indexed 2011-06-02):

Donovan Follette has just posted to his blog announcing two new Channel 9 videos about designing Excel solutions for the web. In the video series Larry Waldman, Excel Program Manager, demonstrates the benefits of examining existing Excel client solutions and migrating them to the web using Excel Services. He then dives into details and walks through the migration of a sample Excel client application to its new incarnation as a web-based solution. The video links and outline are in the table belo...(truncated)...

Learn how to create your own Excel macros in this free training course

(Indexed 2011-06-01):

Have you been wanting to record your own Excel macros, but you're not yet ready to dip your toes in the water? Maybe you want to modify macros other people have created, or you're not sure what a macro can do for you? If so, you may want to take this online training course on creating Excel macros....(read more)[Image]

Portable formulas: A PowerPivot benefit you won't believe you lived without, part 2

(Indexed 2011-05-26):

Former Excel team member Rob Collie is CTO of Pivotstream and writes the PowerPivotPro blog, describing his experiences adopting Excel PowerPivot.Hello again, I’m back for part 2. If you missed part 1, I highly recommend reading it first, because this won’t make much sense on its own....(read more)[Image]

Where to begin: PowerPivot for Excel

(Indexed 2011-05-24):

By now, you've probably read about PowerPivot in one or more of our many blog posts on this subject (such as Introducing PowerPivot, Using PowerPivot with Excel 2010, or Supercharge your budget sheets with PowerPivot for Excel 2010), and you totally get the picture of how powerful this feature is. Its ability to process massive amounts of data from various data sources so that you can analyze it right in Excel 2010 is truly promising! But how exactly do you get started with it? Keep reading to l...(truncated)...

Avoid losing the state of the global IRibbonUI ribbon object

(Indexed 2011-05-19):

Excel MVP Ron de Bruin provides a solution for a common problem that occurs when you use RibbonX and VBA to customize the ribbon. You can find more tips and links to Excel add-ins at Ron's website: http://www.rondebruin.nl/.There is a common problem when you are working with the ribbon by using RibbonX and VBA. The ribbon object (which is initialized when Excel loads your file) can lose its reference to the ribbon, which means your code can no longer tell Excel to update your ribbon customizatio...(truncated)...

Make your data pop with conditional formatting

(Indexed 2011-05-17):

You've got your numbers wrangled and organized just right, but they still don't jump out at the people who look at your worksheet. You want to give them the big picture at a quick glance. This is where conditional formatting can come to your rescue. The embedded worksheet in this post will show you three great examples of conditional formatting. Keep reading to learn more!...(read more)[Image]

Visualize this: Win an Xbox 360 with our PowerPivot quiz

(Indexed 2011-05-10):

[Image]What kind of PowerPivot nerd are you? A Numbers Ninja? A Data Mining Wizard? Find out by taking our Nerdtastic PowerPivot Quiz on Facebook. Besides learning if you're the nerdiest PowerPivot user of them all, you'll automatically be entered to win an Xbox 360 + Kinect just for participating.Here's how.......(read more)[Image]

Take the first step in growing your Excel skills

(Indexed 2011-05-10):

It's hard to find time to learn new skills. We're all busy, and as much as we might want to become more proficient in something, we seldom have the extra time required to learn. That's one of the reasons I'm excited about the new video series, called the Excel skills builder.In a nut shell, the skills builder is a video series, comprised of short (typically under 5 minutes each) videos that give you an overview of a task or feature in Excel. The videos are grouped so that you can build on the ba...(truncated)...

Visualize this: Take our PowerPivot quiz and win an Xbox 360

(Indexed 2011-05-10):

[Image]What kind of PowerPivot nerd are you? A Numbers Ninja? A Data Mining Wizard? Find out by taking our Nerdtastic PowerPivot Quiz on Facebook. Besides learning if you're the nerdiest PowerPivot user of them all, you'll automatically be entered to win an Xbox 360 + Kinect just for participating.So head over to the PowerPivot Facebook page, take the Nerdtastic Quiz, and reveal your inner nerd for a chance to win. ...(read more)[Image]

Rockin' out with PivotTables

(Indexed 2011-05-06):

We recently discovered this music video by youarentbenjamin on YouTube titled "PivotTables Make Everything Just Right." The video gives some serious love to PivotTables. Props for the creativity, and here's hoping they got an A+ for their group project!...(read more)[Image]

Portable formulas: A PowerPivot benefit youll never believe you lived without

(Indexed 2011-05-05):

This post is from former Excel team member Rob Collie, who is CTO of Pivotstream and writes the PowerPivotPro blog about his experiences adopting PowerPivot.How much time do you spend in Excel doing basically the same thing over and over again, like calculating "growth versus prior year?"My bet is you spend a lot of time doing that sort of thing. Maybe even the majority of your time. The reason for that is that Excel formulas are not "portable."What do I mean by that? There are two ways in which...(truncated)...

Learn the ins and outs of dates and formulas in this free training course

(Indexed 2011-05-03):

Have you ever wanted to subtract one date from another? Or find out how many workdays until vacation? Or maybe you need to figure out a project end date. You can do all of this and more by using date functions in Excel formulas. As long as you type a date in a format that Excel recognizes: 8/22/2011, 22-August-2011, or August 22, 2011, for example, Excel will interpret the date as a serial number, and you can use formulas to find important dates. For example, you can then use formulas to subtrac...(truncated)...

Conquer your calendar: Use PowerPivot to analyze your time (video)

(Indexed 2011-04-28):

[Image] Today the Microsoft Business Intelligence Team is excited to release a free tool that uses PowerPivot for Excel--Calendar Analytics. This time management application pulls your Microsoft Exchange data and visualizes it in a very easy-to-use Excel dashboard. Watch this special episode of BITV, learn how the Calendar Analytics application works, and then download it for yourself....(read more)[Image]

Help the Excel team by answering these 2 questions

(Indexed 2011-04-22):

Page Layout View is a view that allows you to see how printed Excel pages will look. You can get to it by going to the View tab and clicking Page Layout....(read more)[Image]

Add the date, time, file name, and page numbers to your headers or footers

(Indexed 2011-04-19):

So it turns out that Excel 2010 users have something in common with Word users after all. While researching the top search terms and phrases on the Office.com web site, I discovered that just like Word users, many people who use Excel 2010 want to add page numbers, the date and time, a file name, and other text to the header or footer of all worksheets in a workbook. So here's a video I created to help you accomplish this task....(read more)[Image]

Add the date, time, file name, and page numbers to Excel headers or footers (video)

(Indexed 2011-04-19):

So it turns out that Excel 2010 users have something in common with Word users after all. While researching the top search terms and phrases on the Office.com web site, I discovered that just like Word users, many people who use Excel 2010 want to add page numbers, the date and time, a file name, and other text to the header or footer of all worksheets in a workbook. So here's a video I created to help you accomplish this task....(read more)[Image]

Hyperlinks in Excel: Hot or not? (videos)

(Indexed 2011-04-12):

[Image]Have you ever:Inadvertently activated a hyperlink when you only meant to select the cell?Imported a bunch of URLs that aren't hot - but need to be?Imported a bunch of URLs that are hot - but don't need to be?Pasted in links with "friendly" display text, but wanted to show URLs instead?Wanted to stitch together URLs from bits of text in various columns?If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, check out these videos to find the answers you need....(read more)[Image]

You asked about VLOOKUP

(Indexed 2011-04-05):

[Image]People are crazy for Excel's VLOOKUP function, and why not? Among other things, VLOOKUP is known for its rugged good looks and unparalleled martial arts ability.In all seriousness, VLOOKUP is one of the most widely used, versatile functions in Excel. You typically use it to quickly look up and extract specific bits of information from a big list of data. In the following example, I've instructed VLOOKUP to search for a page ID on another worksheet, find a corresponding page name, and plun...(truncated)...

Staying on budget might be easier than you think

(Indexed 2011-03-31):

[Image]Ask most of your friends how they're doing, and they'll probably tell you how hectic their lives are. You may feel that way too. Sometimes just thinking about balancing work and family can be exhausting. A lot of you use and love Excel at work. It makes tasks faster, it keeps you organized, and it adds insight into all that data that surrounds you. You may already be taking advantage of those same Excel benefits at home too. After all, as many of us know, sometimes keeping a handle on dat...(truncated)...

IF and only IF (video)

(Indexed 2011-03-29):

This post is all about IF--not the poem by Rudyard Kipling, or the 1971 hit song by Bread, but the function. The IF function is used in many Office programs, but most of us know it from Microsoft Excel:IF(logical_test, [value_if_true], [value_if_false])IF is one of the most searched-for words on Office.com, so we thought we’d compile some of our resources on IF so you can find them more easily. ...(read more)[Image]

PivotTables can save the day in a budget crisis

(Indexed 2011-03-24):

[Image]<div><img alt="DCSIMG" id="DCSIMG" width="1" height="1" src="http://m.webtrends.com/dcsygm2gb10000kf9xm7kfvub_9p1t/n...(truncated)... mce_src="http://m.webtrends.com/dcsygm2gb10000kf9xm7kfvub_9p...(truncated)... “Office Show” episode features a common dilemma: The budget data you want to analyze in Excel contains so many rows and columns of numbers that it seems like an impossible task to get it all sorted out. This is where PivotTables in Excel come in. P...(truncated)...

You asked about pivot table (video)

(Indexed 2011-03-22):

So many Office customers ask about "pivot table" that we've gathered the best answers in this blog post. Most likely, you are looking for information about how to create a PivotTable report that can help summarize and analyze your data. Or you already have your data in a PivotTable report and are looking for information about how to pivot it....(read more)[Image]

You asked about pivot tables (video)

(Indexed 2011-03-22):

So many Office customers ask about "pivot table" that we've gathered the best answers in this blog post. Most likely, you are looking for information about how to create a PivotTable report that can help summarize and analyze your data. Or you already have your data in a PivotTable report and are looking for information about how to pivot it....(read more)[Image]

America's debt: Get the facts !

(Indexed 2011-03-17):

[Image] The United States has a massive debt problem. Politicians have talked about why the country is in this position and what could be done about it. Tyler Chessman, the author of "Understanding the U.S. Debt," used data to get to the bottom of the issue. As a data expert, not an economist, Tyler analyzed data sets from several government sources using PowerPivot for Excel 2010 to determine where the problems lie....(read more)[Image]

America's debt: Get the facts!

(Indexed 2011-03-17):

[Image] The United States has a massive debt problem. Politicians have talked about why the country is in this position and what could be done about it. Tyler Chessman, the author of the book Understanding the United States Debt, used data to get to the bottom of the issue. As a data expert, not an economist, Tyler analyzed data sets from several government sources using PowerPivot for Excel 2010 to determine where the problems lie....(read more)[Image]

Try it for free: Count values that meet a condition with the COUNTIF function

(Indexed 2011-03-15):

[Image]You probably know how to use the COUNT function to count cells that contain a value. But what if you want to count only the cells that meet a condition, such as being greater than or equal to a number or date you specify, or that matches text? That's where the COUNTIF function comes in really handy.Keep reading to learn more, and try out this great function for free using the embedded worksheet in this post....(read more)[Image]

A capital idea: Changing case in Excel (video)

(Indexed 2011-03-10):

[Image]Unlike Word, Excel doesn't have a Change Case button or keyboard shortcut for magically switching between uppercase, lowercase, and proper case. Now, that doesn't mean that you have to manually retype all your text. (In fact, the very thought of you doing that makes me weep.) Instead, you can use a function designed specifically for this job, or even a macro. Excel MVP Bill Jelen recently created a couple of videos that explain each of these techniques....(read more)[Image]

Count your values with the COUNT function (video)

(Indexed 2011-03-08):

[Image]The process of manually counting values in Excel is time-consuming and error-prone, especially when you have a lot of data. Fortunately, there are a few automated ways to count values. From the questions we get from our customers about counting, it's clear that not everyone knows how to go about it. There are different methods, depending on what you want to count....(read more)[Image]

New Excel 2010 resource center for IT professionals on TechNet!

(Indexed 2011-03-03):

[Image]Are you an IT Pro who works with Excel 2010? If so, be sure to check out the new 2010 resources page on TechNet. This page is full of information for the IT Pro, including links to online articles, whitepapers, blogs, and videos. The resources on this page cover everything from migration and compatibility information to overviews of Excel Services and Excel Web App. ...(read more)[Image]

Format column sparkline charts using the data axis and cell merging

(Indexed 2011-03-01):

[Image]Sparkline charts are great, but there may be times they need a little visual massaging to maximize their usefulness. Consider this scenario: You have a system for which you want to track downtime over the course of a year and (fortunately) it had downtime events in only four of twelve months. Here's how to use and format sparkline charts to show this data effectively....(read more)[Image]

Format column sparkline charts using the date axis and cell merging

(Indexed 2011-03-01):

[Image]Sparkline charts are great, but there may be times they need a little visual massaging to maximize their usefulness. Consider this scenario: You have a system for which you want to track downtime over the course of a year and (fortunately) it had downtime events in only four of twelve months. Here's how to use and format sparkline charts to show this data effectively....(read more)[Image]

Working backward: rows to text files

(Indexed 2011-02-24):

[Image]In today's post, programmer writer Eric Schmidt shows how he took rows in an Excel workbook and generated text files from the data in the rows using Visual Studio 2010, Visual Basic, .NET 4, and Excel 2010....(read more)[Image]

Wedding budget planner template: From good to great in under 5 minutes (video)

(Indexed 2011-02-22):

[Image]Planning a wedding can be really fun or really stressful. OK, to be honest, it's usually a little of both. Figuring out where to seat Aunt Mildred at the reception and how to convince all your bridesmaids that yellow taffeta really does look pretty can be hard enough. Now imagine trying to coordinate and keep track of your expenses and overall wedding budget. While it can't really help you with the yellow taffeta problem, Excel can help you keep your budget on track.As part of the 5-minut...(truncated)...

Manually paste text into a workbook? No way!

(Indexed 2011-02-17):

[Image]In today's blog post, learn how programmer writer Eric Schmidt uses Visual Basic code to pull data from text files in a shared folder and then add that data programmatically into an Excel workbook....(read more)[Image]

Use Excel to track your projects

(Indexed 2011-02-15):

[Image]Troy Chollar is a designer and the owner of TLC Creative Services, Inc., a multimedia and graphic design firm located in San Diego, CA. Troy is also a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Microsoft PowerPoint. Read this post to see how Troy set up one example of a worksheet that tracks multiple design elements in a project that's spread among three designers, and download his template....(read more)[Image]

Working backwards: rows to text files

(Indexed 2011-02-10):

You may remember this graphic from my previous post: It was totally staged. A fabrication. Well, the PowerPoint templates are the original files so it wasnt completely faked. But I added all of the text files back into the folder in order to create the image. As I worked on the previous post, I realized that I should include an image that visually demonstrates what I needed to accomplish. Yet, by the time I wrote the post, I had already handed off those templates and all the (now unnecessary).....(truncated)...

Business expenses and invoice templates: From good to great in under 5 minutes (video)

(Indexed 2011-02-08):

[Image]Last week, I showed you some easy ways to make your budgetin Excel even better in just a few quick steps. This week, I want to sharesome tips for improving your business expense sheets and invoice templates, all in under 5 minutes.Check out these videos and helpful templates to get started....(read more)[Image]

College student and household budgets: From good to great in under 5 minutes (video)

(Indexed 2011-02-01):

[Image]If you're like me, and you're still trying to get started on your New Year's resolutions, hope is not lost. If you made a resolution around getting your budget set up or organizing your monthly financial expenses, you're in luck. There are some great Excel templates and videos available to show you how to turn your monthly budget spreadsheet into a work of art, all in under 5 minutes! And if you don't already have a budget spreadsheet, there are even some great templates to get you starte...(truncated)...

Control slicers by using VBA

(Indexed 2011-01-27):

[Image]Today’s author is Jan Karel Pieterse, an Excel MVP, who explains how to work with the SlicerCache object, and how customize buttons or change slicer properties by using VBA. For more information about slicers, read PivotTable Slicers on Jan Karel’s website: http://www.jkp-ads.com/....(read more)[Image]

Win an Xbox & Kinect Get those votes in before its too late!

(Indexed 2011-01-25):

[Image]As many of you know, throughout January we've been celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Excel. The big online party is over on the Excel Facebook page, where there's a contest to post your best memory of Excel. Thousands of folks have already shared their memories, and the votes are starting to pile up. But it's not too late for you to win one of two Xbox & Kinect packages (the prizes for the top two submissions with the highest votes). Yep - you read that right! Two Xbox & Kinect packages...(truncated)...

Excel table or PivotTable?

(Indexed 2011-01-18):

[Image]In Excel there are tables and PivotTables. You may wonder why you'd need to create a table when the whole worksheet already looks like one. And you've heard about PivotTables and how complex they are.To be able to use either effectively, it helps to know what each of them does, and when to use one or the other. Continue reading to learn more about the differences between tables and PivotTables....(read more)[Image]

Add a table of contents to your workbook its easy, I promise!

(Indexed 2011-01-13):

Sometimes workbooks can be very large and hard to navigate. Only so many tabs fit across the bottom of the screen, and it’s hard to know how long each worksheet is. Excel doesn’t have a built-in way to add a table of contents to a workbook; however, there is a way! In this post, I’ll show you how to add a new worksheet to the beginning of your workbook called “TOC” (table of contents). This example uses Excel 2010. On the TOC sheet, Column A lists each sheet name an...(truncated)...

Happy 25th anniversary, Excel!

(Indexed 2011-01-12):

[Image]Excel is perhaps the most revolutionary tool for looking at numbers since the invention of the digital calculator. It has dramatically changed the way we analyze data and has improved productivity for everyone. Last year marked the 25th anniversary of the Microsoft Excel franchise, and though I have only been the Excel product manager for the past two years, I have a clear memory of the early days of Excel and how it changed the way people work back in 1985.Keep reading to learn more abou...(truncated)...

Celebrate 25 years of Excel with us!

(Indexed 2011-01-11):

[Image]As many of you know, Excel has reached the ripe old age of 25. In internet years, that's like 200 years old! To celebrate we're kicking off what we hope will be a fun contest centered on fond memories of Excel. The idea is to use this moment in time for Excel users (sorry limited only to the US) to share their favorite memory of how they've used the app, what they love about the app, etc. The stakes: we're giving away two Xbox & Kinect packages to two people. This is a "popularity contest...(truncated)...

Repair numbers formatted as text

(Indexed 2011-01-04):

[Image]Today's blog post on repairing numbers that are formatted as text is brought to you by Gary Willoughby, who writes Help content for Microsoft Excel.A few months ago, my new manager e-mailed us (that is, her team of Excel writers). She had a spreadsheet with some columns of numbers that she wanted to total, and the answer was resolving to 0. When you have lots of values in a column and their total is 0, you have a problem: Those numbers may not be numbers at all! (cue the scary music).Keep...(truncated)...

Give Excel tables a try

(Indexed 2010-12-14):

[Image] Okay, you’ve got data arranged in spreadsheet rows and columns, with column headers. So why try tables? Well, tables make it easy to format data, sort, filter, add totals, and use formulas. With tables, you don’t need to fuss to get formatting just right. Excel automatically adds formatting that makes tables stand out from any other data on your spreadsheet. And if you don’t like the formatting you see at first, Excel has many table formats to select from. Tables automa...(truncated)...

Cant find the Chart Wizard? No worries

(Indexed 2010-12-07):

[Image]Going, going, gone! Yes, it’s true that the Chart Wizard was removed from the product when we shipped Excel 2007, and we didn’t bring it back in Excel 2010. For those of you upgrading from Excel 97-2003, this may come as a big shock. The Chart Wizard provided a useful four-step process that you could simply follow to create a chart with a finishing touch. Unfortunately, it didn’t make sense to update the Chart Wizard to incorporate the many changes that were made when th...(truncated)...

Switching to Excel 2010? Start here

(Indexed 2010-11-17):

There are lots of great reasons to step up to Excel 2010 from an earlier version. Some of the new featuressparklines, slicers, PowerPivotwere enough for me to take the plunge personally. If youve recently upgraded to Excel 2010, or are just about to do so, I want you to know that we have resources available that can help you through the transition. If youre upgrading from Excel 2007, it wont take you long to figure out Excel 2010. For the highlights, Id recommend scanning the Whats New in Exce...(truncated)...

New Excel Developer Roadmap on MSDN

(Indexed 2010-11-11):

[Image] This blog post is brought to you by Allison Bokone a technical writer for Excel. With the wide variety of solutions available for automating, customizing, and extending Excel, it can be hard to determine which technology to use. And even if you know which solution you want, it can be hard to find all of the related documentation you need to get the job done.That’s why we’ve created the Excel Developer Roadmap. The Excel Developer Roadmap gives you an overview of the availab...(truncated)...

Sparklines: tiny charts show the big picture

(Indexed 2010-11-05):

[Image] Todays blog post is brought to you by Judi Hurlock, who writes Excel online training for Office.com. I write free training courses for Office.com. My job is to learn new features, and the tried and true, and to pass that learning on to you. Recently I heard about a new feature in Excel 2010 called sparklines. I couldnt tell just by the name what the feature was. But when I found out that a sparkline is a tiny chart, the proverbial light bulb turned on, and I realized this ...(truncated)...

Add Rank to PivotTable

(Indexed 2010-11-02):

[Image] Today’s author is Mike Alexander, a Microsoft Excel MVP who shows us how to add a rank to a PivotTable in Excel 2003, 2007, and 2010. For more information, visit www.datapigtechnologies.com. Adding Rank in Excel 2003/2007Step 1: Sort your pivot table on the data measure you are trying to rank.Step 2: Add a Calculated Field that will have the formula =1.[Image]This will essentially assign a value of 1 to each row.[Image]Step 3: Right-click on your newly created calculated field and ...(truncated)...

Q & A: Things you really want to know about Excel IF function

(Indexed 2010-10-26):

[Image] Todays post is brought to you by Frederique Klitgaard. Frederique is a writer on Office.com To follow up on my previous post about the IF function, in which I showed you a very simple application of this formula, I want to address some questions about the use of this function that come up regularly. As pointed out to me, the grading example isnt the best one for the IF function, but I think it still helps illustrate the answers to the following questions. You asked: Can the fo...(truncated)...

Pulling RSS data into Excel (or: Using Excel to Search Craigslist) - Part 2

(Indexed 2010-10-22):

[Image]This blog post is brought to you by Dan Battagin a Lead Program Manager on the Excel team. You'll remember last time that we'd built a spreadsheet that searched Craigslist via the RSS feed that's available for search results, and pulled the information into Excel using the little-used XML Map feature.Today, we'll continue on where we left off, adding the ability to search multiple sites, and adding a little progress indicator in case the search takes a long time.Oh, and at the end of this...(truncated)...

Create a bulleted list in a cell

(Indexed 2010-10-20):

[Image] Todays blog post is brought to you by Gary Willoughby. Gary is a writer on Office.com who has created and edited content about Excel, Access, and Project. For those of you who like bulleted lists and are frustrated that you cant insert one in a cell, there is a way to insert bullet points in a cell to emulate such a thing. Just keep in mind that this isnt a true list, so you cant generate more bulleted lines by inserting a new line you have to insert a bullet character on each l...(truncated)...

Grid Computing + Excel = Amazing !

(Indexed 2010-10-18):

Check out this video on the collaboration between the Microsoft High Performance Computing team and Excel:http://mediadl.microsoft.com/mediadl/www/h/hpc/wmv/hpc...(truncated)...

Summarize Spreadsheet Data With Excel's Array Formulas

(Indexed 2010-10-15):

[Image]Todays author is Charley Kyd, an Excel MVP, who has worked with spreadsheets in business since 1979, and has written books on spreadsheet use for McGraw-Hill and Microsoft Press. In 1990, he also created the first-ever Excel dashboard. You can find more useful tips and posts from Charley and other Excel MVPs at his website, ExcelUser.com Subtotals can reveal very useful management information. For example, managers might be interested to learn that sales increased by 10% last month...(truncated)...

Pulling RSS data into Excel (or: Using Excel to Search Craigslist) - Part 1

(Indexed 2010-10-12):

[Image] This blog post is brought to you by Dan Battagin a Lead Program Manager on the Excel team. OK, so I'm going to talk a bit about a relatively unknown feature in Excel: XML data import. It was introduced in Excel 2003, but we've done a pretty good job hiding it since Excel 2007 by putting it on the Developer tab of the Ribbon. I'm going to make the topic even a bit more geeky by using it in conjunction with VBA. In exchange, I'm going to produce, at the end, a nice little solution...(truncated)...

Extending Excel to Build Models for You

(Indexed 2010-10-08):

[Image] Todays author is Richard Petti President and Co-founder of Modelsheet. For more info http://www.modelsheetsoft.com. Microsoft has enhanced Excel in many ways to help build spreadsheets easily and reliably. Every one of us has made spreadsheets for a wide range of applications ranging from sales forecasting, to a scorecards for fantasy football. In order to build our model, we first conceptualize what we need, familiarize ourselves with the necessary algorithms and methods, and then...(truncated)...

VLOOKUP: No more #N/A

(Indexed 2010-10-06):

[Image] Todays blog post is brought to you by Anneliese Wirth, who writes about Excel for Office.com. To grow your skills with Excel, its helpful to familiarize yourself with a core set of functions, or predefined formulas that are built into Excel. One of my all-time favorites is VLOOKUP. If youre new to VLOOKUP, we have a free, entry-level training course available on Office.com that can get you started. If youre familiar with VLOOKUP, youve no doubt seen this before: [Image] #N/A ...(truncated)...

Top 5 Ways PowerPivot Helps Excel Pros

(Indexed 2010-10-01):

[Image] This blog post is brought to you by Rob Collie CTO at PivotStream. Former co-founder of the PowerPivot team and Lead PM for Excel at Microsoft, broad-spectrum geek and cruncher of sports stats. Hello Excel Pros! Id like to start by saying this: You are my kind of people. Ive met hundreds of you over the years that I worked on Excel (and other teams) at Microsoft, and I meet more of you all the time today. I like to think of myself as one of you, in fact. I know the secret, that ...(truncated)...

Free Excel templates save time for busy parents, students, and teachers

(Indexed 2010-09-30):

[Image] This weeks post is written by Amy Miller. Amy is a writer for Office.com. For many of us, our kids are now back in school, and the reality of packed lunches, homework assignments, and hectic schedules are a new reality. If youre a teacher, your life just got extra busy too. Juggling your own life, along with that of your children, can be a daunting task. And keeping a classroom of kids (or, shudder, teenagers) running smoothly is time consuming. Luckily, Excel is here to Help! ...(truncated)...

Embedding Excel Web App in your own web page or blog

(Indexed 2010-09-23):

[Image] Today’s blog post is brought to you by Dan Parish a Program Manager on the Excel Web App team. One of the feature requests we frequently get for Excel Web App is “it would be great if there was a way to embed my workbook in my blog”. Well, starting today, if you have an Excel workbook (xlsx or xlsb only) or a PowerPoint presentation on SkyDrive, you can embed them! In fact, the following embedded PowerPoint presentation will show you how:There is also a help article (re...(truncated)...

Auto Format PivotTables to Match Source Data (Power Tips Series)

(Indexed 2010-09-22):

[Image] Todays author is Mike Alexander, a Microsoft Excel MVP who shows us how to run a Stored Procedure to get data from a SQL server. For more information, visit www.datapigtechnologies.com. So summer is for practically over and I'm back to blogging topics that can actually help people. For my first post back, I'll come out big with one of the best pieces of code I've ever written. A few weeks ago Dick Kusleika posted a small but brilliant piece of code that auto formats the active piv...(truncated)...

Excel reaches the top of the World (actually "just" the top of Washington State)

(Indexed 2010-09-20):

We just wanted to take this short post to congratulate one of our own on achieving a monumental task. Gabhan Berry a Lead Program Manager on the Excel team summited Mount Rainier on September 11th at 7:31 am and brought a little piece of Excel with him .[Image][Image] Congratulations Gabhan![Image]

Become Famous! Submit your Excel 2011 Calendar Templates

(Indexed 2010-09-15):

[Image] This weeks post is written by Amy Miller. Amy is a writer for Office.com. [Image] OK. So maybe not Famous, Famous. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie probably arent making Excel templates in their spare time, but hey, you might be! And if you are, Id like to cordially invite you to apply your Excel template creation skills to our 2011 calendar template contest. Entries will be accepted through September 30th and winners will be announced October 6th - 13th on the templates home page. ...(truncated)...

True or false, IF provides the answer

(Indexed 2010-09-07):

Todays post is brought to you by Frederique Klitgaard. Frederique is a writer on Office.com Its easy to understand why the IF function appears in the top 10 list of popular Excel functions. Its a versatile function that can be used for all sorts of tasks. For example, this function can save you a lot of time when you need to grade a stack of papers. It quickly turns a long list of test scores into grades without having to do any of the math. It can also instantly determine who passed or failed...(truncated)...

=VLOOKUP (uhhnow what?)

(Indexed 2010-08-31):

[Image] Today’s post is brought to you by Anneliese Wirth, a writer on Office.com.On Office.com, the term “VLOOKUP” frequently bubbles up in our list of high-volume search queries. My job is to figure out why this is and what specific information people are actually looking for when they type “VLOOKUP” into the search box in Help or on our web site. The “VLOOKUP” query appears to represent a bunch of different questions. Certainly, one of the main ones ...(truncated)...

You Asked: What the heck is Scroll Lock

(Indexed 2010-08-25):

[Image] This weeks post is written by Amy Miller. Amy is a writer for Office.com. Shes written and edited content for Excel, Access, OneNote, and InfoPath. Imagine youre working in a spreadsheet and you innocently press the arrow keys on your keyboard to move to another cell, but instead of moving to another cell, the entire spreadsheet moves. You may have asked yourself, what the heck just happened, and how do I make it stop? Lucky you. Youve encountered that pesky little problem call...(truncated)...

Excel Web App leads to healthier snacks for kids

(Indexed 2010-08-18):

[Image] Todays blog post is brought to you by Roxanne Kenison. Roxanne is a writer on Office.com who writes primarily about Office Web Apps and Office Starter. My son starts Kindergarten this fall. Im excited, but a little sad that our days of co-op preschool are over. Our local community college sponsors a co-op preschool program where parents run the preschool. Each parent works one day per week in the classroom, rotating through a series of jobs. We use an Excel spreadsheet to keep ...(truncated)...

Got lots of text in a cell? Make it readable

(Indexed 2010-08-11):

[Image] Todays blog post is brought to you by Gary Willoughby. Gary is a writer on Office.com who has created and edited content about Excel, Access, and Project. Sometimes, I find I have text in a cell that spans far past its own column oryikes, maybe even off the screen. Because I tend to be a little borderline compulsive, that bothers me just a bit. [Image] Of course, if I autosize the cell by clicking the column border on its right edge, all the cells below that cell could end up b...(truncated)...

Use SUMPRODUCT to find the last item in an Excel list

(Indexed 2010-08-04):

[Image] Today’s author is Charley Kyd, an Excel MVP, who describes how to use the SUMPRODUCT function to find the last sequential item in an Excel list. Charley has worked with spreadsheets in business since 1979, and has written books on spreadsheet use for McGraw-Hill and Microsoft Press. You can find more useful tips and posts from Charley and other Excel MVPs at his website, ExcelUser.com.[Image]Suppose you have a Sequential List of items, as in the second table here. And suppose you w...(truncated)...

How it's Made: Tower Defense - a Game in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2010-07-27):

[Image] This blog post is brought to you by Karen Cheng a Program Manager on the Excel team. In today's post, we'll show you how the arcade game Tower Defense was created in an Excel spreadsheet (see a video of the game being played here). In this game, creeps move toward your castle. You must defend it by placing towers which shoot at the creeps. The more creeps you kill, the more money you get to buy and upgrade your towers. To play, you'll need - To download the game here. To ...(truncated)...

Announcing Excel 2010 Developer Challenge Winners

(Indexed 2010-07-19):

We want to thank all of you who submitted entries for our Excel challenge. We had great entries that were well designed using Excel 2010 features, VBA and the user interface. Many of you are as passionate about Excel as we are and we thank you for your feedback. We extend our congratulations to the following winners: First Prize Winner: Andre L G Viol, United StatesPrize: Xbox 360 Elite Video Game Entertainment System and a copy of the Xbox 360 game: FIFA 2010[Image] [Image] [Image]Description o...(truncated)...

Vote for the prototype you like for the Open XML SDK

(Indexed 2010-07-14):

The developer documentation team is asking for your feedback on a couple prototypes for the Open XML SDK Documentation. Visit their blog to download the prototypes and vote: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/officedevdocs/archive/2010/07/13/vot...(truncated)...

How it's Made: Missile Command - a Game in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2010-07-07):

[Image] This blog post is brought to you by Karen Cheng a Program Manager on the Excel team. In today's post, we'll show you how the classic arcade game Missile Command was created in an Excel spreadsheet. We also explain how it's made in this video. In this game, missiles drop from the sky, attacking the city. You must click on the missiles to destroy them.To play, you'll need - To download the game (here) To install Excel 2010, hot off the press last week. You can get a free trial here. T...(truncated)...

The analytics of the World Cup in Excel with PowerPivot

(Indexed 2010-06-28):

[Image] This post is brought to you by Bruno Aziza, WW Strategy Lead for Microsoft Business Intelligence. The Soccer World Cup is watched by billions around the world and many have tried to use models, from macro-economic to financial ones, to predict the outcome of the world cup. Our team and partners have put together a set of tools and videos to help you experience a more “analytical” world cup. See our intro video here! Start by enrolling in the World Cup Challenge to win pr...(truncated)...

Excel 2010 Games: Missile Command and Tower Defense

(Indexed 2010-06-23):

Thanks to Mauricio Acevedo, Nathan Shomber, Karen Cheng, and Manpratap Suri for putting together this blog post.It's official, Office 2010 is out! To celebrate, we've created two games that are playable in Excel for you to download. [Image] Missile Command Tower Defense To play, you'll need - Download games here To install Excel 2010, hot off the press last week. You can get a free trial here. The games use features that ...(truncated)...

New Visualization Types in Excel

(Indexed 2010-06-17):

[Image] This post is brought to you by Scott Ruble , Senior Program Manager in Excel. Over the last year, weve written a number of articles on the new capabilities of Excel 2010. Several of these were related to new charting features in Office 2010. Here is a quick list of them. More Charting Enhancements in Excel 2010 Improvements to Chart Performance Chart Object Model in Word & PowerPoint These improvements were well received; however, we understand there is a pent up need for...(truncated)...

Importing Text Files in an Excel Sheet

(Indexed 2010-06-11):

Todays author is Jan Karel Pieterse, an Excel MVP, who describes the process of importing text in great detail. You can find more useful tips from Jan Karel on his website: http://www.jkp-ads.com/. In this article, I'll explain how to ease importing of .txt, .prn and/or .csv files into an existing sheet in Excel. Introduction If you've ever tried to open a text file, you have probably used the Text import wizard. If you have ever opened a CSV file, you have pro...(truncated)...

Solutions to Three Common Problems when Using VLOOKUP()

(Indexed 2010-06-11):

Todays author is Greg Truby, an Excel MVP, who addresses some common issues you may encounter when you use the VLOOKUP function. This article assumes a basic familiarity with the VLOOKUP() function, one of the easiest ways to lookup up a key value in one worksheet or block of data and return a related piece of information from a second worksheet or block of data. When using VLOOKUP() we frequently find ourselves facing three common problems: We need to look up based on more ...(truncated)...

[Deadline Extended] Excel 2010 Developer Challenge - Soccer Edition

(Indexed 2010-06-10):

We had some issues with our entry submission e-mail so we are extending the challenge end date to July 5th, 2010: o If you already submitted your entry but have not received a confirmation e-mail, please re-submit your entry to emanb@microsoft.com before July 5th, 2010. o If you are new to this challenge, this is a unique opportunity for you to join. If you’re into developing Excel-based applications, then participate in the Excel 2010 Developer Challenge- Soccer Edition! We’re...(truncated)...

Office Web Apps Now Available on Windows Live

(Indexed 2010-06-08):

We are excited to announce that today Office Web Apps are available on Windows Live. The initial release is available to Windows Live customers in the USA, Canada, Great Britain and Ireland with support for English, Spanish (USA) and French (Canada). More languages and locales will be added over the coming months.This release includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel and OneNote. The ability to edit Word documents and open OneNote notebooks is included. Not only do we want you to try these web apps, we a...(truncated)...

Running a SQL Stored Procedure from Excel (No VBA)

(Indexed 2010-06-07):

Todays author is Mike Alexander, an Excel MVP who shows us how to run a Stored Procedure to get data from a SQL server. For more useful articles and videos, visit www.datapigtechnologies.com. We all know we can use MS Query to get data from a SQL server. Typically though, we pull from a Table or a View. Well in some organizations, the IT department wants all interaction with the server to be done through Stored Procedure. This adds a level of risk management and makes the DBAs feel bet...(truncated)...

Excel Team Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts Part 2

(Indexed 2010-05-21):

[Image] This post is brought to you by Chad Rothschiller a Program Manager on the Excel Team and is Part 2 of his ongoing series on the Excel Teams Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts. In Part 2 of this series on Excel shortcuts, Im going to focus on a few shortcuts that help out with the absolute essence of Excel: Formulas. F2 Edit Mode For starters, pressing F2 is a convenient way to start editing a formula in a cell: it places the cursor at the end of the formula so you can make quick addi...(truncated)...

10 Days for Office 2010 Series Reviewing the Dow Jones Industrial in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2010-05-21):

Todays post was written by Excel MVP Nate Oliver. Excel 2010 presents traditional numerical analysts with new and old tools; today well explore two of them. The difference is that the first shall be what we call qualitative, and the second, quantitative. As a real-world example, on a really hot day, qualitative could mean hot, while quantitative could mean 100F. We shall explore both, with Excel 2010, with respect to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA). Read more here...[Image]

Excel Team Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts Part 1 of 3

(Indexed 2010-05-18):

In this series of posts Ive decided to walk through some of my favorite Excel keyboard shortcuts and a few other little tricks Ive learned along the way that helps me work faster. In fact, when visiting some analysts in financial services, I learned that when they get trained on Excel, the instructor actually unplugs the mouse from the classroom computers in order to really drive home the efficiencies that can be gained from keyboard shortcuts. But when I say these are my favorites what I reall...(truncated)...

Announcing the Microsoft Business Intelligence Indexing Connector

(Indexed 2010-05-17):

[Image]Or what I like to call BISearch in 13 languages and available immediately! As many of you know, we acquired FAST and have been hard at work integrating the technology with SharePoint. One of those integrations was using FASTs great ability to help users find their BI reports locked away in Excel and SQL Server Reporting Services. With this new Indexing connector, users have a dedicated Report tab where they can find the reports they are looking for, use refiners to further narrow their s...(truncated)...

PowerPivotPro Excel, SharePoint, and PowerPivot

(Indexed 2010-05-11):

[Image]An interesting post on PowerPivotPro about Automating a report using Excel, SharePoint, and PowerPivot:Lets say you dont have much need for handling large data volumes, your organization isnt large enough to worry about spreadsheet robustness/business intelligence/one version of the truth, and you havent yet seen what DAX can do for you in pivots.Or maybe you get some of that, but dont really understand this whole SharePoint thing. If you are in either of those boats, heres an example fr...(truncated)...

Microsoft Excel 2010 Developer Challenge - Soccer Edition

(Indexed 2010-05-04):

Some people think football is a matter of life and death...I can assure them it is much more serious than that. Bill Shankley, 'The Sunday Times' (London), October 4, 1981 [Image]+[Image]= [Image]+ [Image] There is just over a month to the kickoff of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and under a month to the launch of Microsoft Office 2010- coincidence? We think not! Cool apps that surprise and delight usersbuilt by developers like youare a big part of the Microsoft Excel 2010 vision. If...(truncated)...

Microsoft Excel 2010 Developer Challenge Soccer Edition

(Indexed 2010-05-03):

Some people think football is a matter of life and death...I can assure them it is much more serious than that. Bill Shankley, 'The Sunday Times' (London), October 4, 1981[Image] +[Image]= [Image]+ [Image]There is just over a month to the kickoff of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and under a month to the launch of Microsoft Office 2010- coincidence? We think not! Cool apps that surprise and delight usersbuilt by developers like youare a big part of the Microsoft Excel 2010 vision. If ...(truncated)...

Creating a TOC with Hyperlinks Programmatically

(Indexed 2010-04-30):

Today's author is Dennis Wallentin, XL-Dennis, of http://xldennis.wordpress.com/ A few weeks ago we posted a code example for creating a table of contents for your workbook. Dennis offers another approach with this code sample for creating a TOC with hyperlinks. Dennis code uses the PageSetup.Pages().Count property, introduced in Excel 2007, to calculate the number of pages on each sheet. In addition, the entries in the TOC link to their respective sheets to improve on-screen workbook navigati...(truncated)...

Conditional Formatting Rules Simplified

(Indexed 2010-04-22):

[Image]Thanks to Amit Velingkar for writing this blog post. Conditional formatting is a popular feature and is a great way to easily identify cells with a range that meet some criteria. However, users often want to create conditional formatting rules that go beyond comparing a cells value to a single value or a single cell reference - row or column comparisons are commonly requested operations. In this blog post, we will learn how to use relative references in conditional formatting rules to ma...(truncated)...

Creating Address Labels from a Spreadsheet Programmatically

(Indexed 2010-04-14):

Today's author is MVP Bill Jelen of MrExcel.com.The following code example takes a list of addresses arranged as one address per row, and copies them onto another sheet, arranging them to fit on printable address labels. The workbook must contain two sheets, one named "Addresses" and one named "Labels". The addresses on the Addresses sheet must be arranged as one address per row, with the Name in Column A, Address Line 1 in Column B, Address Line 2 in Column C, and the City, State, Country/Regio...(truncated)...

Add a Table of Contents to your Workbook Programmatically

(Indexed 2010-04-07):

Today's author is MVP Bill Jelen of MrExcel.com.The following code example verifies that a sheet named "TOC" already exists. If it exists, the example updates the table of contents. Otherwise, the example creates a new TOC sheet at the beginning of the workbook. The name of each worksheet, along with the corresponding printed page numbers, is listed in the table of contents. To retrieve the page numbers the example opens the Print Preview dialog box. You must close the dialog box and then the ta...(truncated)...

Excel 2010 Mobile Post

(Indexed 2010-04-02):

[Image] Over on the Office Engineering blog they have a post describing Excel Mobile 2010: In our previous post entitled Mobility in Office 2010 we briefly described the office applications available on your phone that would keep you productive on the go. In this post we will deep dive into Excel Mobile 2010, which supports over 100 of the formula functions available in Microsoft Excel 2010. In addition, its support for creating and displaying all of the common chart types brings the visual ...(truncated)...

More Excel 2010 Posts

(Indexed 2010-03-30):

[Image]Theres some more Excel news, ads, and articles showing up. Check out this post on the Office blog to see a couple of videos on the introduction of sparklines to Excel, one made by us and another by MrExcel and since were on the topic, below is a couple of recent videos from MrExcel that feature sparklines: [Image] Episode 1195 - Add shading to your sparklines to specify acceptable ranges. [Image] Episode 1194 Add labels to your sparklines.[Image]

More about collaborative editing in Excel Web App

(Indexed 2010-03-22):

[Image]Thanks to Dan Parish for writing this blog post. In todays post, Im going to delve into some of the finer details of collaboration using Excel Web App. If you havent already read Collaborative Editing Using Excel Web App however, please start there. It goes over what is supported, how it works, our presence UI, as well as some interesting collaborative scenarios that this feature opens up. Todays post is really a Part II to that post. Multiple Browser WindowsExcel Web App allows you to co...(truncated)...

Change charts, represent +/-, and count the Mondays between 2 dates

(Indexed 2010-03-16):

Bill Jelen has been running the MrExcel podcast for years now. For those that havent heard of it, its a frequently updated video podcast that teaches you Excel, showing everything from the basics of the fill handle to advanced tips around charting, and everything in between including some recent tricks with linked pictures. Since theres a lot of great information in his videos, we thought that a weekly (or so) wrap-up of his podcast would be a nice thing to add to the blog. If you have ideas...(truncated)...

Hover Charts

(Indexed 2010-03-11):

Thanks to Dan Battagin for writing this blog post. OK, so I'm sure everyone knows about the Freeze Panes feature in Excel - it's been around forever, and it's pretty useful in certain circumstances where you want to keep a row (or more) of data at the top of the sheet, or column on the side of the sheet - especially for filtering. Of course, we've made it a little less necessary in the 2007 and 2010 releases, since table headers (2007) and now table filters (2010) automatically camp out in the r...(truncated)...

PowerPivot Alpha Geek Challenge

(Indexed 2010-03-03):

[Image] There was a recent contest with PowerPivot, see the details of the contest here: http://www.exceleratorsquiz.com/challenge.html There were some great PowerPivot reports submitted, including some from our MVPs: Bill Jelen created a Tag Cloud & SmartArt Updated Via PowerPivot! report: [Image] Tushar Mehta created a Visualize US population trends over the last 150 years report: [Image] Update: Unfortunately the site with the entries is down, Ill update this if we get another link...(truncated)...

Scatter charts with PowerPivot

(Indexed 2010-02-24):

Rob over at http://powerpivotpro.com has a interesting post on scatter charts and PowerPivot:At right is a list of all chart types in Excel. But not all of them are supported as PivotCharts. Try to use XY (Scatter), Bubble, or Stock as a PivotChart, and youll get an alert saying you cannot create it with pivot data.So, do you give up?Nope. Remember the post where I converted a PivotTable to Cube Formulas using that button on the ribbon? This is a wonderful opportunity to use that feature in ...(truncated)...

Windows Touch & Excel 2010

(Indexed 2010-02-18):

Thanks to Robin Wakefield for putting together this post on touch.With the new Windows 7 Touch platform you now have the ability to interact with applications by touching the screen. This paradigm is a huge success in the mobile market and as the hardware evolves, applications utilizing touch input will become more broadly available. We will likely begin to see touch as the primary interaction method for some PCs such as wall mounted displays used as a kiosk as well as to enhance the experience ...(truncated)...

Migrating Excel 4 Macros to VBA

(Indexed 2010-02-17):

Thanks to Eric Patterson for writing this blog post. As promised in our Programmability Improvements in Excel 2010, here are more details about the Excel 2010 improvements to aid in migrating Excel 4 Macros to VBA. Excel has a macro facility, known as Excel 4 macros (XLM for short) that was the primary macro language prior to the introduction of VBA in Excel 5.0. Most people have long since migrated their Excel 4 macros to VBA; however, some Excel 4 macro capabilities were missing from VBA, wh...(truncated)...

Where to Find the Form Controls

(Indexed 2010-02-13):

Todays author is Jan Karel Pieterse, an Excel MVP. In this article, he shows the different locations of the form controls in Excel. You can find additional details on how to use these controls on his web site: http://www.jkp-ads.com/articles/controls.asp. Excel 2007 and 2010 In Excel 2007 and 2010, the form controls and control toolbox controls are slightly hidden. First of all, you need to show the Developer tab in the ribbon. Here is how that's done: In Excel 2007, click the Microsoft Of...(truncated)...

Offloading UDFs to a Windows HPC Cluster

(Indexed 2010-02-12):

Thanks to Gabhan Berry for putting together this series on high performance computing.In my previous post I discussed how we have enabled workbooks to be calculated on a Windows HPC cluster. In this post, Ill describe the other piece of HPC integration we have developed in Excel 2010: offloading the calculation of UDFs to a Windows HPC cluster.OverviewUser defined functions are one of the most popular pieces of Excel extensibility. UDFs enable customers to create their own worksheet functions an...(truncated)...

Calculating Excel Models on an HPC Cluster

(Indexed 2010-02-09):

Thanks to Gabhan Berry for putting together this series on high performance computing.In a previous post, I introduced the work we have done with the Windows HPC team to enable customers to calculate Excel models on a Windows HPC cluster. In this follow up post, I go a little deeper into how we can harness the utility and power of Excel 2010 and Windows HPC to solve complex modeling problems.Modeling Complex Systems using Excel 2010 and Windows HPC Mathematically modeling complex problems is far...(truncated)...

Excel 2010 and High Performance Computing

(Indexed 2010-02-04):

Thanks to Gabhan Berry for putting together this series on high performance computing.In this post, I introduce the work weve done with the Windows HPC team to integrate Excel 2010 with cluster computing. This is a high level overview and Ill follow up with the technical details in later posts.High Level Overview of Excel 2010 and Cluster ComputingHigh Performance Computing (HPC) is a branch of technical computing that uses supercomputers and cluster computing to solve computationally intensive ...(truncated)...

Management Features of PowerPivot for SharePoint

(Indexed 2010-02-01):

Thanks to John Hancock from the PowerPivot team for putting together this post.Previous articles have covered some of the features of PowerPivot for Excel, and shown how PowerPivot helps users build really powerful BI applications right in Excel. We have described some of the PowerPivot for SharePoint features on this blog as well as the PowerPivot blog, so for this article I will be focusing on the features that we provide to help IT to manage and understand the self-service BI activity.Self-S...(truncated)...

Programmability Improvements in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2010-01-28):

Thanks to Danny Khen for putting together this post.Whats new?Excel has been a platform for developing business solutions for a long time now. Developers write code to customize and extend Excel in many ways automating Excel operations, user interface customizations, data entry forms and extending Excel formulas with user defined functions, to name some key ones. Many developers create very complex applications, which have demanding requirements and push Excel to its limits, so developers are a...(truncated)...

Table Improvements in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2010-01-26):

Thanks to Ben Rampson for putting together this post.In todays article I will outline three features in Office 2010 that improve table interaction in Excel. These feature additions build on the work started Excel 2007, addressing areas with significant customer feedback and further improving the feature area.The first table improvement feature, AutoFilters in sheet headers, builds on work completed in the previous version of Excel. In Office 2007, when the table header of a selected table is s...(truncated)...

Collaborative Editing Using Excel Web App

(Indexed 2010-01-21):

In the last couple posts, we talked about how editing in Excel Web App works, how its different than editing in the Excel desktop client, and the kinds of things you can do in the Excel Web App. If you havent read about the editing experience yet, start with the Editing in Excel Web App Part I post. Today I am going to cover how Excel Web Apps editing functionality enables easier collaboration on spreadsheets among multiple authors.Collaborative Editing Whats That?Picture this scenario: youre ...(truncated)...

Editing in Excel Web App Part II

(Indexed 2010-01-19):

Today Im going to continue on with our baseball stats tracking workbook example and talk more about the editing capabilities in Excel Web App. If you havent read Editing in Excel Web App Part I though, I suggest you check it out first.Working with your dataSo now youve got a great looking workbook with lots of data and formulas. You send it out to your team and are sure that everyone will love it, and they dosort of. Your team is picky. They want to analyze the data. The want to easily find out...(truncated)...

Editing in Excel Web App Part I

(Indexed 2010-01-15):

Thanks to Dan Parish for putting together this series on editing in Excel Web App.Before I get started, if you havent already read our Excel Web App 2010 Overview, you may want to take a minute to get acquainted with what Excel Web App is all about.In the next two posts Im going to be talking about the editing capabilities of Excel Web App, and Ill use the example of creating a simple baseball stats tracking workbook throughout so that you can see how all of these capabilities come together.How ...(truncated)...

Excel Web App 2010 Overview

(Indexed 2010-01-12):

Thanks to Steve Tullis for putting this together.Way back in November 2009, I wrote a short blog post announcing the two browser-based solutions the Excel team is delivering as part of the Office 2010 wave of products:Excel Services: Version two of our real-time, interactive, Excel-based reporting and dashboard capabilities which ship as part of SharePoint Server 2010. Also included are APIs which enable rich business application development. Excel Web App: The companion to the Excel client whi...(truncated)...

Report statistics about a Set of Workbooks

(Indexed 2010-01-07):

Todays contributor is Sarah Hothersall, Liaison Director at Lyquidity. Shes providing information about the Workbook Statistics add-in, a free tool for Excel users that was created by Sandy Marshall, a Product Manager at Lyquidity, who is in charge of development of ComplyXL for enterprise spreadsheet management. To download this add-in, visit http://www.lyquidity.com/workbookstatistics. Sometimes it is helpful to report statistics about a set of workbooks contained in a folder. You can use thi...(truncated)...

Updated Excel Services Web Services API in SharePoint 2010

(Indexed 2010-01-06):

Thanks to Christian Stich, the founder of Excel Services Consulting, L.L.C., for putting together this post on the updated Excel Web Services API.The Excel Web Services API that initially shipped with Excel Services 2007 has been updated and expanded for Excel Services in SharePoint 2010. I will address the additions and changes for the Excel Web Services API for SharePoint 2010 in this post. Additional information about the Web Services API covering the 2007 implementation can be found in the e...(truncated)...

Preventing auto_open and Workbook_Open events from running

(Indexed 2009-12-15):

Todays author is Jan Karel Pieterse, an Excel MVP. You can find more useful tips from Jan Karel on his website: http://www.jkp-ads.com/. This post informs you about Name Manager, a free utility that helps you manage defined names in your workbooks. As a fulltime developer I oftentimes open files containing VBA and want to be able to run code. At the same time I sometimes want to prevent Workbook_Open event code or an Auto_Open macro from running. This little article shows you how to achieve tha...(truncated)...

Daniels Extreme Lookup Collection

(Indexed 2009-12-10):

Todays author is Daniel Wiesenfeld, an Excel and Access Power User who is sharing his Extreme Lookup Collection with us so we can use the Excel User Defined Functions (UDFs) he created to enhance the lookup functionality. His web site daanalytics.com is currently under construction and should be available soon. In the Visual Basic Editor, insert a Module and paste the following code: ' XVLOOKUP (& XHLOOKUP)' Works just like a vlookup (and hlookup) except that the user refers to a lookup colum ...(truncated)...

Introducing the JavaScript Object Model for Excel Services in SharePoint 2010

(Indexed 2009-12-01):

Thanks to Christian Stich, a consultant working on Excel Services projects, for putting together this series on the Excel Services JavaScript Object Model.Excel Services 2010 has added two entirely new programming APIs: The REST API which I covered in an earlier series of posts and the JavaScript Object Model (JSOM) which I will discuss in this post.The JavaScript Object Model (JSOM) enables a whole new set of solutions using Excel Services. With the JSOM it is possible to detect and react to a ...(truncated)...

Create conditional drop-down lists

(Indexed 2009-11-24):

Todays author is Reinout Dorreboom from the Netherlands, a Technical Consultant at Getronics, where he has worked with Office applications for many years, and where his Microsoft Certified Training skills enabled him to help other people get up to speed with Excel. In Excel 2007 (and earlier), its possible to create a drop-down list. By using the INDIRECT function, you can then create additional drop-down lists that are conditional to the first drop-down list. In this example well create the f...(truncated)...

Uncovering Publish to Excel Services in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2009-11-24):

Thanks to Amy Lin for putting together this post.In Excel 2007, we introduced the ability to publish workbooks to SharePoint. This feature enabled users to upload Excel workbooks (or specific workbook items) on to their SharePoint sites for people to view and interact with using Excel Services.In Excel 2010, this feature has all the same functionality but the entry point has changed. For the Technical Preview/Beta users, the entry point will look different since these changes will be reflected i...(truncated)...

Excel Services in SharePoint 2010 Feature Support

(Indexed 2009-11-19):

Excel Services does a good job of rendering Excel spreadsheets with a high degree of fidelity. In other words, what you see in Excel is what you will see in Excel Services. Excel, however, is incredibly feature rich, comprising features added over decades of development. By comparison, Excel Services is a young product, so naturally Excel Services doesnt yet support all the things you might create in Excel. So what does Excel Services in SharePoint 2010 support? And how does Excel Services ...(truncated)...

Announcing Office 2010 and PowerPivot Beta Availability

(Indexed 2009-11-18):

From the Office 2010 Engineering blog:Today is an exciting day! At PDC we announced the availability of the public betas of Microsoft Office 2010, SharePoint Server 2010, Visio 2010, Project 2010 and Office Web Apps for business customers. If youd like to be one of the millions of people who try, test and give feedback on the latest and greatest, you can download the betas at www.microsoft.com/2010. We also announced that Microsoft Office Mobile 2010 beta is available now too, and you can downlo...(truncated)...

Easily manage defined names in Microsoft Excel

(Indexed 2009-11-17):

Todays author is Jan Karel Pieterse, an Excel MVP. You can find more useful tips from Jan Karel on his website: http://www.jkp-ads.com/. This post informs you about Name Manager, a free utility that helps you manage defined names in your workbooks. If you need a free utility to manage defined names in your workbooks, this one is a must-have. List all names in your active workbook. Filter them using 13 filters including "With external references," "With errors," "Hidden," and "Visible." Show onl...(truncated)...

Excel Services in SharePoint 2010 Administration Improvements

(Indexed 2009-11-17):

Thanks to John Campbell for putting together this post.Ongoing management is key to any successful server products deployment. It can be challenging to figure out the right initial combination of settings, and to know how to further change those settings when problems arise. With that in mind, I have put this blog article together to go into whats new in the Excel Services administration space.First Things First: SharePoint Administration and Service ApplicationsExcel Services is a Service Appli...(truncated)...

Find Combinations

(Indexed 2009-11-12):

Todays author is Bill Seddon from Lyquidity Solutions, who informs us about a free tool for Excel users that allows you to find combinations of numbers that total to a selected value. For more information and a video, see http://www.lyquidity.com/findcombinations. Imagine you are an auditor or cash accountant and need to reconcile cash balances to their invoices. Which combination of values makes up each cash value? Not surprisingly, the Find Combinations add-in has been popular with the audit ...(truncated)...

Excel Services in SharePoint 2010 Dashboard Improvements

(Indexed 2009-11-12):

Thanks to Dan Parish for putting together this post.One of the great things about Excel Services is the Excel Web Access (EWA) web part. This web part allows you to render entire workbooks, or just portions of a workbook (for example a chart or a Table) in a SharePoint dashboard page. For a high level overview of what you can do with the EWA in SharePoint 2007, take a look at some of our existing blog entries:Excel Services Key ScenariosExcel services Part 5: All About InteractivityExcel Servic...(truncated)...

New Posts From One of the Principal Developers Behind Excel Services

(Indexed 2009-11-11):

One of our most senior developers on Excel Services, Shahar Prish, is busy writing posts in his blog on the new programmability features in the 2010 version of Excel Services. The first set of posts talk about REST and moving forward he will expand to the new JavaScript OM we added this release. Here are the links, if you care at all about building custom solutions for Excel and Excel Services they are a great read:General posts about REST:Welcome to the new Excel ServicesSo what does REST on Ex...(truncated)...

Excel Services in SharePoint 2010 REST API Examples

(Indexed 2009-11-10):

Thanks to Christian Stich for putting together this series on the REST API.In this final installment on the REST API, well walk through a couple examples of using the REST API to embed spreadsheet data in new and interesting ways.Embedding a Live Chart on a SharePoint Wiki Page.For this example we are embedding an Excel scatter chart on a SharePoint wiki page. The scatter chart works like an analog clock, so that you can see that the data returned via REST is dynamic, and the workbook containing...(truncated)...

Excel Services in SharePoint 2010 REST API Syntax

(Indexed 2009-11-06):

Thanks to Christian Stich for putting together this series on the REST API. As we saw in the previous post, using the Excel Services REST API is as simple as specifying a URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) in your web browser. In this post well walk through the details of the URI syntax.We start out with a simple Excel workbook stored on a SharePoint 2010 server at the following URL:http://contoso/Finance/Shared%20Documents/Tax.xlsxThis example workbook contains two named ranges, a chart, a tabl...(truncated)...

Simple Access to Spreadsheet Data Using the Excel Services 2010 REST API

(Indexed 2009-11-05):

Thanks to Christian Stich for putting together this series on the REST API.Beginning our journey on all things Excel Services 2010, I thought Id start off with a feature thats been getting a lot of buzz lately since its introduction at the SharePoint Conference.What is it?The Excel Services 2010 REST API is a new programmability framework that allows for easy discovery of and access to data and objects within a spreadsheet. Programmability is almost a bit of a misnomer because in its simplest in...(truncated)...

Excel Services 2010 Overview

(Indexed 2009-11-04):

Thanks to Steve Tullis for putting together this post.Before delving into Excel Services 2010, I want to recap a point that some readers may not be aware of. The Excel team is delivering two browser-based solutions as part of the Office 2010 wave of products. The quick synopsis - here are the two solutions:Excel Services: Version two of our real-time, interactive, Excel-based reporting and dashboard capabilities which ship as part of SharePoint Server 2010. Also included are APIs which enable ...(truncated)...

Excel Add-In for Manipulating Points on Charts (MPOC)

(Indexed 2009-11-02):

OverviewIn Excel 2007, the ability to directly resize or reposition points on the chart was deprecated. This feature was sometimes referred to as "Graphical Goal Seek." For example, in Excel 2003 a user could click on a data point in a column chart twice which would surface handles that could be used to resize the columns. Over the last couple of years we have received a lot of feedback from customers indicating that this was a valuable feature for some scenarios. However, we were not able to re...(truncated)...

PowerPivot for SharePoint 2010 The Business Users Perspective

(Indexed 2009-10-29):

This article continues the series on PowerPivot that started with an overview as well as an introduction to PowerPivot for Excel 2010. Well now focus on the support PowerPivot provides for collaboration.Frequently, business users need to share applications they create on their desktops with a workgroup. As it turns out, SharePoint provides a great platform that is critical for realizing the overarching goal of extending business intelligence technology to an organization:Great feature set for co...(truncated)...

Using PowerPivot with Excel 2010

(Indexed 2009-10-24):

In this blog article, well step through using PowerPivot for Excel 2010 for building a rich application in Excel. Note: following screenshots describe the SQL Server 2008 R2 August Community Technology Preview (CTP) functionality for a feature codenamed Gemini. As recently announced, Gemini will be released under the PowerPivot brand.After installation, Gemini appears on the Excel 2010 ribbon: [Image] Importing DataSelecting the Load & Prepare Data button launches the PowerPivot client window:[I...(truncated)...

Introducing PowerPivot

(Indexed 2009-10-23):

Today we have a guest author from the SQL Server Analysis Services team, Ashvini Sharma, to tell us about the PowerPivot (ne Gemini) feature that you may have heard about recently.PowerPivot is the recently announced name of technologies this blog previously referred to by its codename, Gemini. This article describes why there is a need for such a tool, and briefly what PowerPivot provides. More information is available on the PowerPivot blog.The Need for PowerPivotPivotTables continue to be ind...(truncated)...

New PowerPivot Site

(Indexed 2009-10-23):

More info and a fun video here: http://powerpivot.com/[Image]

Learn More About Access 2010

(Indexed 2009-10-22):

I know many Excel users also tend to be Access users, so I thought it would be a good idea to share this bit of news. The Access folks recently recorded a great video showcasing the major work that has gone into Access 2010. In short: Access solutions, built in Access and published to the web where users interact with forms and reports via the browser. Pretty exciting stuff. Check it out here:http://blogs.msdn.com/access/archive/2009/10/19/access-...(truncated)...

Are you an Office Developer? You'll Want to Read This:

(Indexed 2009-10-22):

Today at the SharePoint conference the Office Developer Marketing Team announced the Office 2010 Application Compatibility Program. Details were posted today at Gray Knowlton's blog. Here's an excerpt from his post:With the great value Office 2010 brings for end users, IT Professionals and Developers, we are also investing heavily in making deployment of the new version of Office easier. As part of our focus on deployment, we have renewed priority on helping ensure applications and Add-ins for ...(truncated)...

Office Web Apps Technical Preview Expanding

(Indexed 2009-10-21):

From the Office Web Apps Blog:About a month ago I wrote about the Technical Preview on Windows Live. Since then weve seen a lot of interest in Office Web Apps and received numerous requests from people wanting to try them out. To make this possible, we are opening up the Technical Preview and inviting more people to try out the Office Web Apps.For a limited time, you can sign-up for a Technical Preview account here (if you are already a part of the technical preview, this link will generate an e...(truncated)...

More updates from SPC

(Indexed 2009-10-21):

Steve Tullis & Pej Javaheri presented Intro to Excel and Excel Services 2010 to a standing room only crowd at SharePoint Conference 2010. Features demod include:Excel:Pivot Chart improvementsFilter SearchNamed setsImprovements to conditional formattingSlicersSparklinesExcel Services:Client fidelity improvements & support of new Excel 2010 features(View) Support of workbooks containing images, VBA, etc. Edit & Collaboration in the Enterprise (SharePoint) and in the Cloud (SkyDrive)Leveraging JSOM...(truncated)...

All About SharePoint 2010

(Indexed 2009-10-20):

The SharePoint blog has a pretty extensive write up detailing the innovations in SharePoint 2010. Here are some Excel relevant excerpts:On Business Intelligence:Historically, business intelligence has been a specialized toolset used by a small set of users with little ad-hoc interactivity. Our approach is to unlock data and enable collaboration on the analysis to help everyone in the organization get richer insights. Excel Services is one of the popular features of SharePoint 2007 as people lik...(truncated)...

SPC Day 1: Keynote

(Indexed 2009-10-19):

More dispatches from Charlie Ellis at SPC. Note, he mentions some new features we haven't yet talked about on the blog (spoilers!) but will soon!Three things really struck me during the keynote address:Theres just incredible momentum around SharePoint and a ton of excitement around SharePoint 2010 and all the great new social networking functionality, integration with the Office clients, the Web Apps, and of course the Business Intelligence in SharePoint. The atmosphere of the conference is v...(truncated)...

SharePoint Conference Starts Today

(Indexed 2009-10-19):

The SharePoint Conference is on this week in Vegas. What does that have to do with Excel, you ask? Plenty! The conference represents the first time weve shared with customers publicly all the great work weve put into the next release of SharePoint, which includes, of course, Excel Services and other investments in BI. So there will be some exciting announcements and lots of information to absorb. Well be covering all the Excel related stuff on this blog over the next month or so.Here are so...(truncated)...

A Few More PivotTable Improvements in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2009-10-15):

Thanks to Diego Oppenheimer for putting together this post. In todays post I will be covering a couple of smaller PivotTable features that we incorporated in Excel 2010. Most of these features have been longstanding customer requests or pain points that we felt could be addressed in this release. This includes fixing functionality that worked in versions of Excel previous to Excel 2007 (Filtering on calculated members) as well as making it easier to access features that historically our users ha...(truncated)...

Excel 2010 PivotTable What-If Analysis (Writeback)

(Indexed 2009-10-12):

Thanks to Diego Oppenheimer for putting together this post.When thinking of Excel as an OLAP analytical tool the first thing that usually comes to mind is the ability to quickly and easily analyze data from an OLAP data source. With the introduction of PivotTable What-If Analysis in Excel 2010 you can now easily modify this data as well. Put simply, PivotTable What-If Analysis is the ability to modify values in PivotTable cells, recalculate the PivotTable with those values and, if the results ar...(truncated)...

Going Back to the Topic of Functions For a Moment

(Indexed 2009-10-08):

A few weeks back I wrote several posts on the improvements we have made to Excels function library. Id now like to share with you a draft of a whitepaper we are planning to release when Excel 2010 ships. The whitepaper describes all of the improvements we are making. It also includes detailed descriptions of the new algorithms used. The whitepaper contains much of what I have included in my previous posts; however, it also contains some more detailed information, especially in regards to the fu...(truncated)...

PivotTable Named Sets in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2009-10-06):

Thanks to Diego Oppenheimer for putting together this post.When working with PivotTables, you often come across scenarios where you want to work with the same set of items from the data over and over again. For example, you might be a regional manager and you want to create a set of reports about the branches in your particular region, but the list of which are your branches isnt in the data source, so you always have to filter to the same eight branches, like so:[Image] [Image] Example of two P...(truncated)...

Excel 2010: New Search Filter

(Indexed 2009-10-01):

Exploring large data sets and creating filters has never been easier than with Excel 2010. Tables, PivotTables and PivotCharts now have a new search functionality that easily enables you to find what you need, filter and repeat for a faster more efficient way of navigating those enormous data sets.Filtering FAST!In Excel 2010 when you click on the dropdown for autofilters, tables, PivotTables and PivotCharts you will now find a new search interface that enable swift navigation of extremely large...(truncated)...

Dressing up your Slicers

(Indexed 2009-09-29):

In the last part of this 3 part series on slicers Ill show you how slicers can be customized many different ways to create stellar looking reports. Previously in this series:Part 1: Easy (and Even Fun!) Data Exploration: Introducing Excel 2010 SlicersPart 2: Interacting with SlicersSlicers use styles the same way tables and PivotTables do, in light and dark options:[Image] The default light style is shown below on the left. In order to use custom font, colors, and borders I can either start from...(truncated)...

Interacting with Slicers

(Indexed 2009-09-25):

In part 2 of this 3 part series introducing slicers, Ill show you some of the ways you can interact with slicers. Part 1 can be found here. Slicers reveal where the data isLets say I want to slice on my customer data for yesterday, and I only want to see a list of customers with Partial College and Bachelors education levels. As I click on these two tiles to select them, they turn blue. As it turns out, yesterday all my customers were either Partial College or Partial High School. I had no custo...(truncated)...

Using form controls on a worksheet

(Indexed 2009-09-23):

Todays author is Rob van Gelder, previously quite active in the online Excel scene (Newsgroups, Excel forums, his own but currently inactive website) and who just upgraded to Excel 2007 because he still likes to dabble. The following power tip shows that hes still having fun with form controls. My goal is to use form controls on my sheet. One up/down button to change the Edit Year One slider to change the Quantity One slider to change the Price [Image] I don't need a slider for Total Va...(truncated)...

Adding Every Other Cell in a Column

(Indexed 2009-09-23):

Todays author is Bill Jelen, author of 24 books on Microsoft Office Excel. He is a regular guest on TechTV with Leo Laporte and the host of MrExcel.com, which includes more than 300,000 questions and answers about Excel. Jenny asks "Is there a quick way of adding every other cell ?, I have a column of about 250 cells, and I have to select them manually using Ctrl. Can you help ?" Jenny, this is a matter of using a little math to remember how to determine if a number is even or is o...(truncated)...

Easy (and Even Fun!) Data Exploration: Introducing Excel 2010 Slicers

(Indexed 2009-09-23):

Thanks to Karen Cheng for putting together this series on Slicers.New to Excel 2010 are slicers, which are visual controls that allow you to quickly and easily filter your data in an interactive way. They float above the grid, like charts and shapes. Heres an example of the same slicer in three different states. You can select one, all, or some countries. A slicer acts like a report filter, so you can hook it up to a PivotTable, PivotChart, or CUBE function to create an interactive report. Shows...(truncated)...

New and Improved Solver

(Indexed 2009-09-22):

Thanks to Eric Patterson for putting together this post.In Excel 2010, we have made a number of improvements to Solver that make it easy for beginners to get started and more advanced ones to find solutions to all types of problems. The purpose of this post is to review the improvements to Solver, and so assumes some familiarity with the tool. If you are not familiar with Solver, you can learn more about Solver from Office Online. The help topic applies to the Solver that ships in Excel 2007 ...(truncated)...

Excel Web App Coming to Windows Live

(Indexed 2009-09-18):

A while back I blogged about the announcement at PDC of the Excel Web App. Today I am excited to share with you that we are making the Excel Web App, as well as the Word and PowerPoint Web Apps, available to a select group of Windows Live users. To quote the Office Web Apps blog: This early peek at the Office Web Apps will include high-fidelity viewing of Word, Excel and PowerPoint files in the browser. Invitees will also be able to edit Excel and PowerPoint files. Over time well add OneNote W...(truncated)...

Calculate the ISO Start of Year date

(Indexed 2009-09-17):

Todays author is Shane Devenshire, who has been an Excel MVP for many years and who regularly contributes to Excel Newsgroups. He has published over 300 articles in different computer magazines, and co-authored numerous books. Excel might be better today because of the many bugs he posted when he was a Beta tester! This post shows you how to use a formula or custom VBA function to calculate the ISO Start of Year date. Here is a formula for calculating the ISO Start of Year date for any legal Ex...(truncated)...

New Functions Bring New UI

(Indexed 2009-09-16):

In the past two posts I talked about all of the improvements we have made to the function library in terms of accuracy and consistency. In this post I will describe the UI changes we have made to help users take advantage of these improvements in Excel 2010. In addition I will also talk about the backward compatibility experience for the new function library.Function Improvements UI ChangesAs a result of the changes weve made to improve the consistency of Excels function library, we have introdu...(truncated)...

Function Consistency Improvements in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2009-09-15):

The second part of the function improvements work we are making for Excel 2010 is to create a more consistent function library. We have implemented a new naming scheme to allow consistent and accurate naming convention for functions. Also, we have added new functions to the function library to round out our function set. New functions will take advantage of the new and more accurate algorithms.Consistent Function NamesTo be explicitly clear about what our functions do, we have implemented a new ...(truncated)...

Function Improvements in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2009-09-10):

Thanks to Jessica Liu for putting together the next few posts on function improvements.In Excel 2010, we made many improvements to Excel's function library. Excel 2010 will feature an accurate and consistent function library while remaining compatible with previous versions of Excel. In this first blog post, I will be giving an overview of the work we did in this area as well as talk about the function accuracy improvements. Subsequent posts will go into the details of the consistency improvemen...(truncated)...

More on Performance Improvements in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2009-09-08):

In this second post about our investments in Excel 2010 performance Im going to wrap up talking about the challenges and opportunities we embraced for this release, specifically on the topics of large data set scenarios, calculation performance and investment in new multi-core features.Large Data Set PerformanceWith the introduction of a bigger grid in Excel 2007 and knowing that 64-bit Excel (see this post) would enable our customers to really start taking advantage of all those cells, we took ...(truncated)...

Performance Improvements in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2009-09-03):

Thanks to Chad Rothschiller for putting together these posts on performance.In this release of Excel we spent dedicated research and development resources on improving performance. In addition to the usual optimizations and tuning efforts we make post code complete, we spent time during the development milestones researching, designing, and implementing performance features beyond algorithmic tuning. For this release, these are the areas where we focused our performance improvement efforts:Custo...(truncated)...

Creating a Custom Popup Menu

(Indexed 2009-09-01):

Todays author is Derek Mang, owner of Systems Solution Developers Inc. You can find more useful tips from Derek on his website: www.officevbasolutions.com. This post shows you how to create a custom popup menu in Excel. Microsoft Excel has lots of popup menus that are made available to the user with a right-click depending on what your doing - hence the term context menu. Right-click on a cell and you get the Excel "cell" popup menu and its available choices. This menu is subject to customiza...(truncated)...

Copying Worksheets with a List or Table

(Indexed 2009-09-01):

Todays author is Ron de Bruin, an Excel MVP. You can find more useful tips from Ron and links to Excel add-ins at his website: http://www.rondebruin.nl/ Problem: It is not possible to copy more than one sheet to a new workbook or existing workbook if there is a List (Excel 2003) or a Table (Excel 2007) in one of the worksheets. How to reproduce: In a new workbook with two or more sheets, add a table or a list in one of the worksheets. Select more than one sheet with the CTRL key he...(truncated)...

Excel 2010 Now With More Bits!

(Indexed 2009-08-28):

Thanks to Chad Rothschiller for helping me put this post together.Weve spent the last few weeks talking about improvements to the various visualization features in Excel. For the next few posts, I am going to cover some under the hood type improvements, things like performance, internal limits, and the like. For this post, I will focus on the work we did to make a 64-bit version of Excel.64-bit Excel, simply put, is for building really really (really) big workbooks. 64-bit Excel is for those w...(truncated)...

More Charting Enhancements in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2009-08-25):

Im back from my vacation (boy, Seattle is really gorgeous during the summer!). Thanks to Sam Radakovitz (Sam Rad) for filling in for me while I was out. And thanks to Ben Rampson and Robin Wakefield for putting together this final post on charting improvements in Excel 2010.In this post Ill walk through some more of the new charting features available in Excel 2010. These include:PivotChart InteractivityFormatting EnhancementsParity ImprovementsLimit IncreasesPivotChart InteractivityIn Excel 2...(truncated)...

Safety First: Office 2010 Protected View

(Indexed 2009-08-21):

When you open workbooks downloaded from the Internet in Excel 2010, youll enter into the new Protected View. While in this mode, Excel runs in a sandbox, which means that you are now better isolated from any malicious code that could be contained within the file. In the past, you had to decide if you trusted the author/origin of the document before viewing the contents. Now, with Protected View, you can make a more informed decision before exposing your computer to potential vulnerabilities. As ...(truncated)...

Submit your Power Tips

(Indexed 2009-08-21):

The Power Tips feature of the Excel Team Blog has started with useful articles from MVPs Ron de Bruin and Jan Karel Pieterse. Thank you both! For everyone else who is interested in contributing to this blog, heres a quick reminder how the feature works.Whats a Power Tip?A Power Tip can be a code sample, or some other Excel trick that you have learned along the way, and that you think might be useful to others. They can be old favorites or new discoveries.Who can submit Power Tips?Anyone!Can I se...(truncated)...

Improvements to Chart Performance

(Indexed 2009-08-21):

Thanks to Ben Rampson for putting this post together. In todays article I will outline some of the significant new chart improvements that impact performance. In Office 2007 the graphics engine used by Office Charts was replaced with one that could support more complex rendering. A downside of this change was slower performance in certain scenarios relative to Office 2003. For example, supporting anti-aliasing in Office 2007 allows the chart to render smooth lines; however, the computation for ...(truncated)...

Gemini Team Blog

(Indexed 2009-08-20):

Last month, we blogged about Project Gemini, a cool new add-on to Excel and SharePoint that lets you do some powerful data analysis. Well, the first preview release of Gemini is out this month as part of the SQL Server 2008 R2 August CTP. The Gemini product team has started a new blog http://blogs.msdn.com/gemini. Check it out! It has information on how to download the Gemini bits and try it out with Excel 2010.[Image]

Chart Object Model in Word & PowerPoint

(Indexed 2009-08-18):

Over the next three posts this blog will cover some of the charting changes that have been made in Office 2010, many of which are the direct result of customer feedback. As part of the Office 2007 release we overhauled charting throughout Office; however an OM for Word and PowerPoint was not provided. In response to your feedback, in Office 2007 SP2 and Office 2010 weve exposed a unified/consistent charting OM within Word and PowerPoint, so that you can write solutions against any of the appli...(truncated)...

SharePoint in plain English

(Indexed 2009-08-17):

A nice video on the SharePoint blog that answers the question: what is sharepoint?.[Image][Image]

The DisplayFormat OM

(Indexed 2009-08-14):

New features in conditional formatting extend to the object model as well. Excel has traditionally allowed users to access the formatting of their cells through the object model. For example, Users can use the interior class which lives off the range object to access the formatting of the cell. Selection.Interior.Color returns the background color of the cell. However, Selection.Interior.Color does not take into account the conditional formatting applied to the cell. In Excel 2010, weve introd...(truncated)...

More Conditional Formatting Features in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2009-08-11):

In this blog post Ill walk through some of the new Conditional Formatting features in Excel 2010 such as:Cross-Sheet References Robust Error Handling Performance Enhancements Cross-Sheet ReferencesIn Excel 2010, you can create conditional formatting with references to a different sheet on the workbook. This means that you no longer need to copy or link your data to the same sheet when using conditional formatting.For Example, let us look at the monthly sales data for a bookstore chain. The books...(truncated)...

Data Bar Improvements in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2009-08-07):

Data Bars are a popular type of conditional formatting that was introduced in Excel 2007. The basic idea of data bars is that Excel draws a bar in each cell whose length corresponds to the value of the cell relative to the other cells in the selected range. Data bars are a great way of seeing trends in your data.In our example, we have the historical Sales and Profit amounts for a fictional bookstore. The last column has the percentage of increase in profits when compared to the previous year. W...(truncated)...

Icon Set Improvements in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2009-08-06):

Thanks to Amit Velingkar, a Program Manager on the Excel team, for putting together the next few posts on conditional formatting. In Excel 2007, we introduced Icon Sets - a new type of conditional formatting. The basic idea is that Excel draws an icon in each cell representing the value of the cell relative to the other cells in the selected range. Icons sets are a great way to create groups of similar data as a part of your data analysis. In the example below, we have the historical Sales and...(truncated)...

One More Sparkline Trick

(Indexed 2009-08-03):

In this blog post Ill walk through one more interesting way you can use sparklines in Excel 2010.[Image] In the above example we have the sales for each book category and for each store. While you cant see the exact numbers in this view, you can get the feel for which sections sell well at the different stores. Lets see how this is made with sparklines in Excel:[Image] There are actually 24 sparklines in the picture above; each one is bound to a single data point in a similar table with the nu...(truncated)...

Using parameters with web queries

(Indexed 2009-07-31):

Todays author is Jan Karel Pieterse, an Excel MVP. You can find more useful tips from Jan Karel on his website: http://www.jkp-ads.com/ This post shows you how to dynamically work with data from a website in Excel. Introduction Excel provides a very useful option to gather data from websites, called web queries. These have been introduced with Excel 97 and have been further enhanced in the versions released after Excel 97. This article shows how you can setup a web query so that you can make t...(truncated)...

A Sparkline Trick - Using the Horizontal Axis as a Reference Line

(Indexed 2009-07-31):

In this blog post Ill walk through some of the ways you can use sparklines in Excel 2010 using sample sparklines from the book store demo file:[Image] In the above example we have the data for the employee sign-up contest, this is a contest where employees try to get customers to sign-up for a bookstore club card. The contest has gone on for several weeks now, and each employee has a goal of 20 sign-ups per week. Right now the sparklines are conveying the history of sign-ups for each employee,...(truncated)...

Printing, Backstage Style

(Indexed 2009-07-30):

The Office 2010 Engineering blog has a new post up about Backstage and how it improves the experience around printing. Heres a quote: Has the following ever happened to you? After writing a document, you format the page so it looks just right. You click Print and walk over to the printer, only to discover in horror that you forgot to set it to print two-sided, or that a last minute margin change meant the last word of your document got pushed onto its own page. You realize this as you watch ...(truncated)...

Viewing Spreadsheets in the Excel Web App

(Indexed 2009-07-29):

We havent really gotten into the details of the Excel Web App yet here on this blog, but the Office Web Apps blog is already talking about topics that apply to the web apps as a whole. A new post went up yesterday that discusses how the web apps are convenient for simple document viewing. Heres a quote: Once Office Web Apps got deployed to a SharePoint site I use all the time, I quickly became accustomed to navigating Office files as breezily as I surf the Web. I can read the things I need t...(truncated)...

Sparklines Lining Up the Points

(Indexed 2009-07-28):

In this blog post Ill walk through some of the ways you can use sparklines in Excel 2010 using sample sparklines from the book store demo file:[Image] In the above example we have sales for each year, the cost of sales, and net profit for that year all divided by the category of book. One of the things you can do with sparklines in Excel 2010 is to stick them in cells above or below each other and have the points line up. Doing this will allow you to see trends for multiple fields in a related...(truncated)...

Sparkline Axis Options

(Indexed 2009-07-24):

In this blog post Ill walk through some of the axis options for sparklines in Excel 2010 using sample sparklines from the book store demo file:[Image] The above sparklines are displaying the number of books by category for each month. The sparklines in this example are giving the history of the count of books for each category, and it looks like they are at their lowest over the past half year or so.Lets take look at the axis options for these sparklines. Selecting the sparklines gives you a s...(truncated)...

Formatting Sparklines

(Indexed 2009-07-22):

In this blog post Ill walk through formatting sparklines in Excel 2010 using sample sparklines from the book store demo file:[Image] The above sparklines are displaying the net profit by month for the three book stores in 2008. The net profit number alone can tell you which stores are doing well, but the sparklines help identify trends behind the number: Seattle and Houston both dipped in the summer, in general their profits climbed as the year went on, and Richmond didnt do well until the last...(truncated)...

Security Features in Excel 2010

(Indexed 2009-07-22):

The Office Engineering blog has a post up with an overview of the security features that went into Office 2010. Heres a snippet: we have designed what we have been referring to as a new security workflow, a layered defense that Office documents have to go through as part of the File Open process. We strive to make this process as invisible as possible. This means no noticeable delay in open times, as well as no dialogs asking you how you feel about security. You can read the rest of the po...(truncated)...

Adding Some Spark to Your Spreadsheets

(Indexed 2009-07-20):

In this blog post Ill walk through creating sparklines in Excel 2010 using a sample table from the book store demo file:[Image] In the table we have the sales for the month of June: a column for total sales for the month, multiple columns for each days sales, and rows that break out different book categories. Sparklines will really be able to enhance the table and add to the understanding of the numbers by plotting out the months sales day by day in a single column, in line with the data. To g...(truncated)...

Add Buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar and Customize Button Images

(Indexed 2009-07-17):

Todays author is Ron de Bruin, an Excel MVP. You can find more useful tips from Ron and links to Excel add-ins at his website: http://www.rondebruin.nl/ This post shows you how to add a button to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) for one or all workbooks. It also shows an example of how you can change the image of a QAT button. One reason you might want to change a buttons image is that a lot of commands use the same button image (a green circle). For more information about adding missing built-...(truncated)...

Sparklines in Excel

(Indexed 2009-07-17):

Thanks to Sam Radakovitz, a Program Manager on the Excel team, for putting together this series on Sparklines. For Excel 2010 weve implemented sparklines, intense, simple, word-sized graphics, as their inventor Edward Tufte describes them in his book Beautiful Evidence. Sparklines help bring meaning and context to numbers being reported and, unlike a chart, are meant to be embedded into what they are describing: [Image] In the above example, the sales number alone gives you a single moment i...(truncated)...

Excel 2010 The 10,000 ft. View

(Indexed 2009-07-16):

Before we begin our whirlwind tour of all things Excel, I thought Id give you a quick glance at the things weve done. The table of contents if you will. That way youll have an idea of what to expect in the coming weeks, and I hope it gives you a sense of the amount of work weve put into this release. Many of our investments in this release are a continuation of the goals and vision that started in the 2007 release. A few examples:Excel 2007 debuted brand new conditional formatting features an...(truncated)...

Excel Blog Facelift

(Indexed 2009-07-15):

Since we're now in "2010 mode", updating the look of the blog site seemed like a good idea. A facelift was overdue. Hope you like it.I also added a list of links to other Microsoft sites and blogs related to Office 2010. You can find it in the side-bar at right.[Image]

Sneak Preview of Project Gemini

(Indexed 2009-07-15):

On the topic of teasers, one of the things well be talking about in the coming weeks is project Gemini. I wont get into the details just yet (otherwise it wouldnt be a teaser), other than to say its a powerful data analysis feature, its an add-in to Excel (i.e. not a built-in Excel feature), and its the result of collaboration between the Excel and SQL teams. The BI Blog has been covering all news related to Gemini. From the BI Blog, here are a couple sneak peak videos:BI Power Hour: Sneak Pr...(truncated)...

Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Preview Released

(Indexed 2009-07-14):

Youve most likely heard the news by now. At the Worldwide Partner Conference in New Orleans, Microsoft announced that the next version of Office reached its Technical Preview engineering milestone. You can read the highlights in this press release (and Ill include some more links below). Im guessing the first question on peoples minds is how do I get a copy?. Currently the Technical Preview program is by invitation only and is not broadly available to the public. There is a waitlist you can...(truncated)...

Use the VBA SaveAs Method in Excel 2007

(Indexed 2009-07-07):

Todays author is Ron de Bruin , an Excel MVP. You can find more useful tips and links to Excel add-ins at his website: http://www.rondebruin.nl/ You see a lot of old SaveAs code that does not specify the FileFormat parameter. In Excel versions before Excel 2007, code without this parameter will not cause too many problems because Excel will use the current FileFormat of the existing file -- and the default FileFormat for new files is a normal workbook. But because there are so many ...(truncated)...

New Change to the Excel blog

(Indexed 2009-06-30):

Id like to take this opportunity to announce a new feature of the blog, which some of you might have noticed already. Our Content Publishing team has begun collecting Power Tips from members of the Excel community, including the product team, Excel MVPs, user group members, and other Excel enthusiasts. Power Tips are intermediate-level How-to tips that you can use to enhance your spreadsheets. We hope theyll be valuable to those of you who feel pretty proficient with Excel, but who dont consider...(truncated)...

Week Numbers in Excel

(Indexed 2009-06-30):

Todays author is, Ron de Bruin, an Excel MVP. You can find more useful tips from Ron and links to Excel add-ins at his website: http://www.rondebruin.nl/ There are four primary week numbering systems in use worldwide. Each system has subtle differences that you should be aware of. Excel can work with any of these systems: 1) ISO Week number: The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ISO8601:2000 Standard. All weeks begin on a Monday. Week one starts on Monday of the first we...(truncated)...

Formula to Access a List of Values Interspersed with Zeros or Blanks

(Indexed 2009-06-30):

Todays author is Bob Umlas, an Excel MVP since 1994. This tip is a formula which enables you to access a list of values interspersed with zeros or blanks and pick up only the non-zero values in the same sequence theyre listed. Its better to illustrate. Suppose you have this list in A1:A14: [Image] and you want to produce this list: [Image] The following formula entered in E1 and filled down to E6 does the trick. Its an array formula which means that you must press Ctrl+Shift+Enter after e...(truncated)...

Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Preview

(Indexed 2009-05-12):

Today, Microsoft is announcing a limited, invitation only Technical Preview program for Microsoft Office 2010 that will kick off in July. The program will provide you with the opportunity to experience early, pre-release versions of Office 2010 which will include the following applications: Word 2010, Excel 2010, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010, OneNote 2010, Access 2010, InfoPath 2010 and Publisher 2010. Check out www.office2010themovie.com for signing up to be considered for the Technical Previ...(truncated)...

VBA Coding Contest

(Indexed 2009-04-17):

I'm passing along some information I think will be interesting to many of the readers of this blog. Test your VBA coding skills and win!MSDN is sponsoring a coding contest for Office 2007, named OfficePalooza! This sweepstakes will run two weeks beginning April 20, 2009, and features ten fun Visual Basic of Applications (VBA) coding challenges in the form of puzzles and games. Each entrant will earn a chance to win one of hundreds of available prizes, determined by a random drawing at the end of...(truncated)...

Modifying Conditional Formatting Color Ranges in Excel 2007

(Indexed 2009-04-17):

Todays authors, Amit Velingkar, a Program Manager on the Excel team, and Bob Silverstein, a User Experience Researcher on the Excel team, talk about creating professional looking Color Ranges in Excel.Introduction:My fellow PM on Excel, Robin Wakefield, wrote a blog article on how to create professional looking charts in Excel 2007. Continuing with the same theme, we will investigate the idea of tweaking Color Ranges in Excel 2007. We will start with a default Conditional Formatting Color Range ...(truncated)...

A Robust Way To Reference Multiple Columns In a Table

(Indexed 2009-04-09):

Im sure many of you have built a spreadsheet like this before: youve got a table of data; one of the columns in this table contains a formula which references a span of columns in the same table. The number of columns you need to reference may change over time as requirements change. How do you you build this table in such a way that the number of columns can be changed without breaking the formula that references them?Lets walk through a somewhat contrived but simple example to demonstrate th...(truncated)...

Analyzing Data: Functions or PivotTables

(Indexed 2009-03-23):

Todays author, Monica Poinescu, a Software Developer in Test on the Excel team, discusses two different approaches to analyzing data in Excel.My earlier blog on the new Excel 2007 function SUMIFS spawned a very interesting discussion (thanks to everyone who posted comments there): when trying to analyze/aggregate data in a table, how do we decide whether to use functions versus PivotTables?This blog outlines reasons to use one option or another. To better illustrate the two alternatives Ill cons...(truncated)...

Excel VBA Performance Coding Best Practices

(Indexed 2009-03-12):

Todays author, Chad Rothschiller, a Program Manager on the Excel team, is back with a follow up from his previous post on VBA and Excel performance.I want to start off this post by thanking everyone who sent in their examples in response to my January request. It is incredibly helpful to be able to look at what you all are doing with Excel! Not only did I see a huge variety in how Excel is being used, you also pointed out various tips and tricks for writing fast VBA code in Excel.In this post I'...(truncated)...

Creating Dynamic Validation Ranges

(Indexed 2009-03-05):

Todays author, Dany Hoter, a Product Planner for the Excel team, shares a neat trick he learned recently for creating dynamic data validation ranges. The sample file used for this blog post can be found in the attachments at the bottom of this post.The problem: Validating data entry based on hierarchical (parent child) data. The example used is regions and countries but it could be countries and cities, product categories and sub-categories, class and student name, etc. You want to enter a regi...(truncated)...

How to Create a Professional Chart using Excel 2007

(Indexed 2009-02-25):

Today's author, Robin Wakefield, a Program Manager on the Excel team, discusses charts. As a new program manager in Excel one of my first tasks was to understand what problems users encounter when building professional charts in Excel. I defined professional as following the principles of Edward Tufte by reducing the amount of non-data ink on a chart. On an earlier post, there were a lot of comments about this particular aspect and I agree we could do better in helping users accomplish this goal...(truncated)...

Simple Expense Tracking With New Excel 2007 Functions

(Indexed 2009-02-10):

Todays author, Monica Poinescu, a Software Developer in Test on the Excel team, gives an overview of some new functions in Excel 2007 and along the way shows us how to do some simple expense tracking.Considering the current economic environment, one may desire to better keep track of personal expenses. The new functions introduced in Office Excel 2007 simplify this effort. Here is how: given a list of expenses sorted by dates and categories (food, travel, clothing, etc.), how do I find how much ...(truncated)...

Quick and Easy Data Access with Excel Services

(Indexed 2009-02-06):

Todays author, John Campbell, a Program Manager on the Excel Services team, shows us the quick and easy way to get external data access working with your Excel Services spreadsheets.I have seen a lot of great blog posts that tell folks how to do great things with refreshed data in an Excel spreadsheet using Excel Services. Ive seen posts about slicing dashboard pages, about using .odc files to manage data, and more. One thing that continues to be an issue is how to get connected to that data in ...(truncated)...

New Case Study Involving Excel Services

(Indexed 2009-02-02):

A new case study has been published that describes how Microsoft IT used Excel Services to build a portal for finance data. Here's a snippet from TechNet:Controller Workspace: Connecting With Excel Services in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007Describes how Microsoft IT created a centralized user interface platform, called Controller Workspace, that enables users to view reports, key performance indicators (KPIs), and other finance data. Out-of-box features of Microsoft Office 2007 Excel S...(truncated)...

Hidden and Invisible Objects

(Indexed 2009-01-30):

Todays author, Ben Rampson, a Program Manager on the Excel team, talks about cleaning up spreadsheets.I often receive files demonstrating issues customers are experiencing with Excel. Recently I have noticed a common problem in some of these files that impacts the files performance and size: hidden and invisible objects.When gathering data in Excel it is common to start with information found in a variety of sources, frequently lists or tables located on the Internet. Customers often copy and ...(truncated)...

Update to Microsoft's BI Strategy and Vision

(Indexed 2009-01-26):

Many of you might have heard or seen posts about a recent change to the Microsoft BI Vision & Strategy, namely, PerformancePoint will no longer be sold as a separate SKU but rather be part of the SharePoint Server enterprise offering, and the specific planning components will receive one more update this summer. More information on this change can be found on Microsofts Business Intelligence site and the The BI Blog. Just what does this change mean? For the most part, it means that more custo...(truncated)...

Repeating a Set of Data

(Indexed 2009-01-21):

I thought this would be interesting to share to see how other Excel folks might have solved this problem. I got a question recently from a customer asking how to automatically take a set of values in one column, say:10005000600and repeat each value, say, 4 times in the next column, so that it looks something like this:10001000100010005000500050005000... and so on.My response: the only way to truly do this automatically is to write a custom macro. However, if you can suffer through a few extra ...(truncated)...

When a Number is Not a Number

(Indexed 2009-01-20):

If you use Excel to track identification numbers (serial numbers, tracking numbers, etc.) you may find that if the IDs have more than 15 digits, Excel loses the digits after the 15th and makes them all zero. In other words, type "123456789123456789" into a cell and Excel will show you "123456789123456000". What's going on? Is this a bug?! Nope. You've hit an Excel limit with how large of a number Excel can handle when performing math operations on a number.But in this case, we don't care ab...(truncated)...

Custom Number Formats

(Indexed 2009-01-17):

I've decided to start posting some of the replies I send to customers who write me asking for help on how to do something in Excel or Excel Services, especially those which I think might be solutions to problems others are likely to have.For my first go I've picked - for no particular reason other than it was one of the more recent mails I've gotten - a question that has to do with custom number formats.This customer writes:What formula could I use to input a number like this 26-859-7423? with ...(truncated)...

Printing Envelopes Using Excel and Word

(Indexed 2009-01-16):

Today's author, Eric Patterson, a Program Manager on the Excel team, describes how to use Excel Tables as a source for a mail merge a great productivity tool for sending out holiday greeting cards! :) Eric wrote this before the holidays but unfortunately I was out of the office and didnt get to post this until now. Very useful nonetheless.At this time of the year I find myself preparing to send out a large number of greeting cards to friends and family. I have most of my addresses in Excel with...(truncated)...

VBA + Excel Performance: Your Feedback Requested...

(Indexed 2009-01-07):

The Excel blog is back after a short break for the holidays. Happy New Year! Today's post comes from Chad Rothschiller, a Program Manager on the Excel team, who is looking at ways to improve performance in the next version of Excel.The Excel development team is currently investigating a number of scenarios where VBA macros take longer to run in Excel 2007 than in earlier versions (i.e. Excel 2003). We are looking for folks who believe they have run into a VBA performance slowdown and who wou...(truncated)...

UK Excel User Conference

(Indexed 2008-12-12):

Is Excel an important tool you can't live without?Would you like to meet with others to learn more about how to optimize your usage of Excel?Do you like London in the spring time?If you answered Yes to any of these questions, you might be interested in the upcoming UK Excel User Conference. It takes places on April 1st and 2nd, 2009. There will be great speakers from the Excel community, and the topics look to be very informative. And, it's free!To learn more, check out the full details here....(truncated)...

Understanding Excel Services Load Balancing Options

(Indexed 2008-12-12):

Today's author, Steve Tullis, a Program Manager on the Excel Services team, talks about the various load balancing schemes available for Excel Services. I have received a number of questions in the past few weeks about the load balancer administration options available for the Excel Services custom load balancer. Heres the scoop: the settings account for the OpenWorkbook method when first accessing Excel Services. Once you have an active session with a workbook, additional requests from that ...(truncated)...

Using Excel to Optimize a Network Problem

(Indexed 2008-12-04):

Today's author, Diego Oppenheimer, a Program Manager on the Excel team, delves into some of the more advanced functionality of Excel to solve a challenging problem. The file used in this blog post can be found in the attachments at the bottom of this post.Throughout this next blog post I will be using a tool that comes with Excel called Solver. For more information on solver please visit the Office Online site (http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/HP051983681033.aspx...(truncated)... Backgro...(truncated)...

Using the Open XML SDK to Work With Excel Files

(Indexed 2008-11-25):

Over on Brian Jones' blog there are two recent articles that may be of interest to our readers here. They deal with using the Open XML SDK to programmatically interact with Excel's XML-based file format. One deals with "document assembly", which is essentially building a file mostly from scratch based on other data that is fed from some other system (e.g. a database). The other deals with using the SDK to read data from an Excel file. If these scenarios interest you, have a look see:Document...(truncated)...

Using PivotTables to Analyze Data From a SharePoint List

(Indexed 2008-11-06):

Today's author, Diego Oppenheimer, a Program Manager on the Excel team, talks about connecting PivotTables to data stored in SharePoint Lists. Many of us on the Excel team have been approached by customers asking us how to create a connection to a SharePoint list. SharePoint lists can be exported easily by creating a Microsoft Office Excel Web Query. The connection can then be tied directly to lists or PivotTables in the workbook like any other Data Connection. I have a SharePoint List that we u...(truncated)...

Excel Web Application Announced at PDC

(Indexed 2008-10-29):

During todays Professional Development Conference keynote, Ray Ozzie made an exciting announcement about a new way to view, edit, and collaborate with Excel. If you werent able to watch the keynote, feel free to check out the following links: PDC Keynote Video, Official MS Press Release, and Channel 9 Video.In case youre in a hurry, heres the bottom line:We are taking Excel Services, which many of you are already familiar with, and extending it beyond just viewing spreadsheets to authoring, edi...(truncated)...

Creating a Master-Detail View in Excel

(Indexed 2008-10-24):

Today's author, Dan Battagin, a Program Manager on the Excel team, talks about joining two tables in Excel (a.k.a. returning multiple rows for VLOOKUP).Today, we'll take a look at the VLOOKUP function, and work out a way to get around its major drawback - it returns only a single value that matches the lookup. If you're like me, there are times when you have a big table of data which is pretty well normalized, and you want to pull all of the rows out of that table that match a certain criteria. ...(truncated)...

Don't forget about the "A" in "VBA"!

(Indexed 2008-10-17):

Today's author, Stephane Viot, a Program Manager in the Office Global Experience Platform team, reflects on how leveraging application features could help speed up the development of your VBA solutions, while improving their performance. Often -but hopefully not always- VBA developers forget about the "A" in "VBA". And by that I mean they might have the tendency of trying to do everything in VBA, like they would in VB, forgetting about what the host application has to offer. To illustrate that p...(truncated)...

Using Office Data Connection files (.odc) and the DataConnections Web Part in SharePoint to Specify External Data Connections in Newly Created Excel Workbooks.

(Indexed 2008-10-15):

Today's author, Christian Stich, a Program Manager on the Excel Services team, discusses how to enable users to quickly and easily create workbooks using external data connections specified in server based data connection files. OverviewExcel and Excel Services support importing external data, which can be specified using connections embedded in the workbook itself or in Office Data Connection (.odc) files. One of the advantages of using .odc files is that any updates to the external data connec...(truncated)...

What is the fastest way to scan a large range in Excel?

(Indexed 2008-10-03):

Today's author, Dany Hoter, a Product Planner on the Excel team, talks about some performance characteristics he recently discovered using various methods to manipulate large ranges using VBA.Problem descriptionYou have a large range in Excel with data. Let's say it contains 100,000 rows and 50 columns for each row (Yes you are using Excel 2007 of course). So altogether you have 5,000,000 cells. Columns A to F have some alphanumeric data that you need analyze and based on the combination of valu...(truncated)...

Building a Basic, Understandable Sudoku Solver Using Excel Iterative Calculation - Part 2/2

(Indexed 2008-10-02):

Today's author, Charlie Ellis, continues discussing the spreadsheet he built to solve Sudoku puzzles.In my previous post, I walked through a number of formulas for setting up the valid values and solution board. In this post we'll cover using iteration and other formula tricks to help solve the puzzle.Using valid values to drive solutionsLooking at cells P22:R24 below, we can clearly see that the only solution here is 7: [Image] Let's reflect this in the solution board. We're going to modify the...(truncated)...

Building a Basic, Understandable Sudoku Solver Using Excel Iterative Calculation - Part 1/2

(Indexed 2008-09-30):

Today's author, Charlie Ellis, a Program Manager on the Excel team, shares a spreadsheet he built in Excel for solving Sudoku puzzles. The spreadsheet can be found in the attachments at the bottom of this post.For those of you who don't already know, Sudoku is a type of logic puzzle (that I was completely addicted to about three years ago) that requires you to place the numbers 1-9 into a grid obeying certain rules (lots more information on Sudoku is available on the web). A while back, a fello...(truncated)...

Chart Advisor

(Indexed 2008-09-25):

Today's author, Scott Ruble, a Program Manager on the Excel team, is seeking feedback on a new prototype for building charts.When Office 2007 was released, one of the strong pieces of feedback was Excel needs to do a better job guiding users in the proper selection of charts to effectively communicate their data. Though it wasn't our intent, some of the new formatting options such as glow and legacy 3D charts can be used inappropriately, which obscure the meaning of a chart. Some people felt tha...(truncated)...

New Online Training Courses for Excel Services

(Indexed 2008-09-09):

We just recently released some online training courses for Excel Services and I wanted to call your attention to them.Excel Services I: The Basics - An overview of the value proposition of Excel Services as well as the basics for publishing and sharing workbooks using Excel Services.Excel Services II: Requirements, Recommendations, and Permissions - Delves deeper into the proper configuration settings you need to be aware of to get up and running smoothly.Excel Services III: Control What People ...(truncated)...

Video Tip: Conditional Formatting and Data Validation

(Indexed 2008-09-05):

Today's author: Sam Radakovitz, a Program Manager on the Excel team that enjoys creating VBA applications in Excel. A bit ago, Joseph had a blog post about community clips on OfficeLabs.com, so for this post, I wanted to take advantage of the video demonstration and do the post via community clips. The topic is an Excel tip about using conditional formatting and data validation to turn on and off the formatting on the sheet without needing VBA code. The video can be found here and is also embed...(truncated)...

Using Excel & Excel Services with SQL Server Analysis Services 2008

(Indexed 2008-08-28):

Today's author, Pej Javaheri, a Product Manager on the SharePoint team, talks about configuring Excel Services to work with the just-released SQL Server 2008.With the recent announcement of SharePoint Server 2007 supporting SQL Server 2008, like you, I was excited to setup my Excel / Excel Services environment to take advantage of the great new capabilities available, and there are many. I encourage you to take a look at how the new SQL environment will benefit your SharePoint deployment, and yo...(truncated)...

Using Excel 2007 for Progress Tracking in the Classroom

(Indexed 2008-08-21):

Today's author, Danny Khen, a Program Manager on the Excel team, discusses a solution he recently built using Excel.The Manual SpreadsheetSpreadsheets are the bread and butter of running the business world, where PCs are ubiquitous. The possibility, indeed even the need, to use spreadsheets in an environment where access to a computer is not taken for granted seems absurd to us, as business users and technology professionals. We do still print reports for some output scenarios, such as executive...(truncated)...

Reading Excel Files from Linux

(Indexed 2008-08-15):

Today's author, Chris Rae, a Program Manager on the Excel team, talks about using Perl code to read Excel's new file format.The OOXML Format As most readers will know, we spent a lot of time during the development of Office 2007 in creating and documenting a new XML-based file format (Office Open XML) to replace the much more complex binary formats the various Office applications have used for the last twenty years. A lot of time. Many of us dream in XML now. OOXML encompasses an XML file format...(truncated)...

How to Create a Perpetual Yearly Calendar in Excel

(Indexed 2008-08-08):

Today's author: Mark Gillis is an Excel writer. He was born October 3, 1952. Does his birthday fall on the same weekday as your birthday? Do you have nagging, unanswered questions floating around in the back of your mind like: "What day of the week does the date, January 23, 4589 fall on?", "What's the date of the eighth Thursday of 1922?", and "Is 9000 a leap year?". If you're like me, the answer is clearly no. Nevertheless, there's a remote chance that someday a question like this will arise a...(truncated)...

Building an Asset Tracking Application in Excel Services Part 5 of 5

(Indexed 2008-08-01):

Today's author, Dan Parish, concludes his discussion of building an Excel Services solution. In Part 4, I walked through creating the web part pages for the solution. At this point, you should have a fully functional asset tracking application up and running. The last piece, that we'll build today, is a simple web part that will allow your admin to archive all of the information they have collected. Overview At this point we now have the entire application up and running. We can collect informat...(truncated)...

Building an Asset Tracking Application in Excel Services Part 4 of 5

(Indexed 2008-07-24):

Today's author, Dan Parish, continues on his discussion of building an Excel Services solution.In Part 3b I walked through creating a User Defined Function (UDF) that pulls information from a SharePoint List into Excel Services. In today's post, I will describe how to create the two web part pages that make up the actual application: the page that end user's see, and the page that the admin uses. Overview Now that we have our spreadsheet running on the server and displaying data entered into the...(truncated)...

Building an Asset Tracking Application in Excel Services Part 3b of 5

(Indexed 2008-07-01):

Today's author, Dan Parish, continues his discussion on building an Excel Services solution. In Part 3a I walked through how to create the SharePoint List that stores the data users enter. In this post, I will walk through how to create the Excel Services User Defined Function (UDF) that will pull this information from the SharePoint List into Excel Services. Overview Out of the box, Excel Services does not support pulling in data stored in SharePoint Lists. However, you can add this functionali...(truncated)...

Community Clips

(Indexed 2008-06-25):

The folks over in Office Labs are testing out a new idea called Community Clips and I, personally, think it's a fantastic idea. It's a community site where anyone, not just Microsoft employees, can upload "how to" videos that take you step-by-step through accomplishing a particular task. Think of it as YouTube meets Office Online. If, like me, you're a visual learner, this is a great way to learn new tips and tricks on how to do any number of things with Microsoft products. There are already qu...(truncated)...

Building an Asset Tracking Application in Excel Services Part 3a of 5

(Indexed 2008-06-17):

Today's author, Dan Parish, continues his discussion on building an Excel Services solution. Part 3 turned out to be a bit longer than we had anticipated so we've split it up into two parts: 3a and 3b. Thus far in this series, I have given an overview of the solution, and detailed how to build the Excel workbook that is the core of how it works. In today's post, I will walk through building the SharePoint List that users will input their machine information into. Overview In order to collect the...(truncated)...

Building an Asset Tracking Application in Excel Services Part 2 of 5

(Indexed 2008-06-03):

Today's author, Dan Parish, a Program Manager on the Excel Services team, continues on with his multi-part post about building an application using Excel Services. In my last post I gave an overview of the asset tracking application that I am going to spend the next four posts describing how to build. The core of the application is the workbook it is based on. The workbook is what really makes this application work, since it is what pulls in the data users entered, figures out who has and hasn't...(truncated)...

VBA Focus Group at TechEd

(Indexed 2008-06-02):

Do you use VBA (or any other extensibility mechanism) in Office and are you headed to TechEd? If so the we would like to talk with you in an "invitation only" meeting. This is your chance to share your feedback and influence the work that Microsoft is doing in the programmability space. You must be available for either:TechEd Dev: Held at 4:30 on Thursday, June 5thTechEd ITPro: Held at 3:00pm on Monday, June 9thIf interested, please respond to the following questions to Amanda.Silver[at]microsof...(truncated)...

Building an Asset Tracking Application in Excel Services Part 1 of 5

(Indexed 2008-05-28):

Today's author, Dan Parish, a Program Manager on the Excel Services team, will discuss over the next few posts how he built an asset tracking application using Excel Services. At the SharePoint Conference in Seattle in March, I did a presentation entitled "Leveraging Excel Services to Build Rich SharePoint Applications". The talk included a demonstration of how to build a SharePoint application that used Excel Services to solve a data collection scenario in which group administrators had to main...(truncated)...

Ten Tips for Using Excel Services

(Indexed 2008-05-23):

A new MSDN article about Excel Services was just released. If you do any kind of work with Excel Services, whether you are just getting started with it or trying to do something a bit more advanced, this article is a pretty good read because it covers some of the more common pitfalls that we hear from customers. The following topics are discussed:Making an Excel Workbook Compatible with Excel Services Configuring External Data Connections Configuring Excel Services to Work with Kerberos Saving ...(truncated)...

New Technical Article on Excel Services

(Indexed 2008-05-22):

There's a new article up on MSDN that describes a custom solution built by the IT department here at Microsoft that uses Excel Services. Rather than re-paraphrase, I'll "borrow" liberally from Shahar's description:The solution is probably one of the most advanced implementation of Excel Services I have seen to date and includes lots of ingenious customizations - the white paper, specifically, talks about how to use Excel Services as a landing pad for data and then get the file stream from it, cu...(truncated)...

PivotTables: Calculated Items

(Indexed 2008-05-09):

Today's author: David Gainer, a Program Manager on the Excel team. PivotTables are designed to help users make sense of large amounts of data by providing an easy way to build a summarized report. In addition, PivotTables can be rearranged easily, so that once you have some summary data in a PivotTable, you can look at the same information in many different ways with only a few mouse clicks. For a slightly less brief overview of PivotTables as well as a list of the improvements made to the appli...(truncated)...

Append Multiple Text Files into a Worksheet without Code

(Indexed 2008-04-30):

Today's author: Mark Gillis, an Excel and SharePoint writer, who's been through six versions of Office, survived to tell the tale, and picked up a thing or two along the way. Excel doesn't have an easy way to append multiple text files into one worksheet through the user interface. From time to time I hear customers asking how to do this in an easy way. Do you have to use Access or VB code to solve this problem? No. There's a way to do it in Excel by using a simple SQL statement in the connectio...(truncated)...

Improving Sheet Selection

(Indexed 2008-04-22):

Today's author: Sam Radakovitz, a Program Manager on the Excel team that enjoys creating VBA applications in Excel. A bit ago I got a question through email asking if we could change the 'grid selection color' in Excel. Or at least I called it 'grid selection color', it's basically what the cells look like when you select a block or multiple blocks of them: [Image]As you can see, the color is a bit light and hard for some folks to see, especially on a laptop if you're looking at it from the wron...(truncated)...

Building the Excel Media Player Part 3

(Indexed 2008-04-18):

Last post we talked about how to use Excel as a flexible development environment and touched on how to use ActiveX Controls to enhance your solution and using tables programmatically to manipulate data. In this post we are going to drill into how to add custom Ribbon UI, context menus. Custom Context Menu In order to make playlist creation a lot easier in the Excel Media Player, I added the following custom right click context options to my Tables. [Image]To see how to do this open the MediaPlay...(truncated)...

Building the Excel Media Player Part 2

(Indexed 2008-04-17):

Last post we talked about how to use Excel as a flexible development environment and touched on the benefits of using Office graphics to build your UI. This post goes into how to use ActiveX controls in Excel and how to contain and manipulate data in tables to drive your application. Using ActiveX Controls First we need to enable that hidden Developer Tab, Click Office Button, Excel Options and Toggle 'Show Developer tab in the Ribbon' on. Now click Developer Tab, Insert, on the bottom right cor...(truncated)...

Building the Excel Media Player Part 1

(Indexed 2008-04-15):

Today's author, Jon Adams, a Tester on the Excel team. A copy of the spreadsheet discussed in this post can be found as an attachment at the bottom of this post. As you are probably well aware, Excel is a very versatile tool and is often used in ways that are hard to imagine. This blog post is a follow up of Joe's post "Unusual (but cool!) Uses of Excel" . I am going to show you how to use Excel for rapid application development using the new Office Art graphics Engine, ActiveX, Table Objects, ...(truncated)...

Understanding Floating Point Precision, aka Why does Excel Give Me Seemingly Wrong Answers?

(Indexed 2008-04-10):

We sometimes get mails from our customers claiming to have found a calculation error in Excel, when in fact the calculation isn't wrong, but the side effects of binary floating point precision make it seem that way. Today's author: Jessica Liu, a Program Manager on the Excel team, discusses the way Excel performs calculations, explains why sometimes you see answers you may not expect, and provides some tips on how to avoid rounding issues. Take a look at the following table: [Image]I want to be ...(truncated)...

Office Open XML, a.k.a. IS 29500

(Indexed 2008-04-02):

As everyone who has followed this blog already knows, we introduced a new file format with Office 2007 (and Excel 2007) with the extension .xlsx called Office Open XML (OOXML). Microsoft submitted the new file format to Ecma International, and in December 2006, that file format was approved as ECMA-376, and Ecma submitted the standard to ISO/IEC JTC 1 for fast-track processing to become an ISO standard. Over the last 15 months, many conversations have taken place between Ecma and the National ...(truncated)...

Statistics and Business Data: Detecting Unexpected Values

(Indexed 2008-04-02):

Today's author, Gabhan Berry, a Program Manager on the Excel team. A copy of the spreadsheet discussed in this post can be found as an attachment at the bottom of this post.Introduction When faced with a table of data, what kind of techniques do we employ to extract information from it? Maybe the first thing we do is create summaries. We might total up the columns or we might chart the data. Perhaps, we might even create a PivotTable and drill down into subtotals. All in all, summarizing data i...(truncated)...

Shadows on Charts and Cells in Excel 2007

(Indexed 2008-03-28):

Today's author, Helen Hosein, a Program Manager on the Excel team.Certain shadows created in Excel 2003 look different Excel 2007. In particular, you might notice that your old cell shadows, as well as shadows on things like Chart Titles might look a bit different when you open your workbooks in Excel 2007. This is because Excel treats these as shapes with no fill - a bit like a wire frame. The shadow that it casts is the rectangle of its outline. Only when the frame is filled in, does it cast a...(truncated)...

Setting up Excel Services to Refresh Workbooks When Opened.

(Indexed 2008-03-24):

Today's author, Pej Javaheri, a Product Manager on the Excel Services team, talks about one of the more common configuration questions we hear about from customers. One of the challenges in sharing Excel workbooks is ensuring that the right people see the right data. With Excel Services, this has become a lot easier ensuring user's only see the information they are authorized to view and not sharing information that is privileged or out of their scope. With a few simple configuration steps, work...(truncated)...

SharePoint 2008 Conference Recap

(Indexed 2008-03-10):

The BI Blog does a quick recap of the SharePoint 2008 Conference that just passed with particular emphasis on the popularity of the Excel Services session:Dan Parish, from the Microsoft Excel Services team, presented how you can extend the capabilities of Excel Services to a packed room of over 300 with tremendous feedback. Not to worry if you missed that sessions as we will be posting the content that was presented in a separate blog to showcase examples of how you can use Excel Services.[Imag...(truncated)...

Unusual (but cool!) Uses of Excel

(Indexed 2008-03-06):

Many of you who have been using Excel for a long time have most likely seen some of the creative, interesting, and rather unusual uses of Excel that people have conjured up. I'm talking about things like writing the Pac-Man game completely in Excel, stuff you wouldn't expect to see in a critical business application like Excel, but thanks to the ingenuity of spreadsheet hackers we get to see how the power and flexibility of spreadsheets can be put to use.I was reminded of this today when a coll...(truncated)...

Example file for PivotTable / Data Validation Trick

(Indexed 2008-03-05):

Recently I posted an article discussing how PivotTables can be used on Excel Services to mimick the Data Validation feature. The author, Dany Hoter, sent me a copy of the file he used in the example screen shots and I never got around to posting it for our readers. Here's a short description of the example file from Dany:The example implements a scenario of calculating the pricing for car insurance based on the details entered in a form. The form can be collected on paper and entered manually ...(truncated)...

Handling Workbook Dependencies using Excel Services

(Indexed 2008-03-05):

Today's author, Sanjay Kulkarni, a Program Manager on the Excel Services team. We have heard from several customers about scenarios where they have workbook dependencies. So the output of one workbook is used in other workbooks for calculations. The dependencies could be a result of the business model meaning different people in the organization being responsible for the workbooks or it could simply be a way of isolating related logic in different workbooks. In this blog post we will look at a s...(truncated)...

Chart Templates

(Indexed 2008-02-21):

Today's author, Ben Rampson, a Program Manager on the Excel team. Customers who author charts in presentations and reports often spend a significant amount of effort modifying their charts to get them looking just the way they want. While the new Chart Style and Chart Layout features in Office 2007 provide some great one-click options to quickly alter the appearance of a chart, there are still times when one needs to modify a chart even further. A company policy may require that a chart use part...(truncated)...

A PivotTable Trick That Brings Data Validation to Excel Services

(Indexed 2008-02-13):

Today's author: Dany Hoter, a product planner who works on the Excel Services team. Excel has a feature called Data Validation that controls the possible values a user might enter into a cell or a range of cells. [Image]As you can see there are many options for validating data entry. The most popular is probably validating against a list of values. The list can be included in the validation definition or can be a region in the sheet referenced from the dialog. Recently I saw an example created b...(truncated)...

Common Questions Around Excel 2007 OLAP PivotTables

(Indexed 2008-02-06):

Today's author: Allan Folting, a program manager who works on the Excel team.I have gotten lots of questions from customers around specific functionality in Microsoft Excel 2007 PivotTables that is missing when connected to Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services Service Pack 2 cubes: Filtering individual calculated members Showing non-visual totals when filtering I have also gotten lots of requests for the ability to add calculations to OLAP PivotTables using the object model, specifically:...(truncated)...

New Excel Blog in Town

(Indexed 2008-02-04):

Gabhan Berry, a Program Manager on the Excel team, has just started up a new blog devoted to Excel programming. To quote his first blog post:Starting from today, I'll be blogging about all things related to programming with Excel. From addins to automation; VBA to .NET. Oh, I'll also be posting about XLLs and coding in C/C++. Excel programmability is a huge and very popular subject with our customers and my aim with this blog is to make it a little bit easier by sharing what I know to whomever...(truncated)...

Clarification on VBA Support

(Indexed 2008-01-17):

Following MacWorld earlier this week, there has been some inaccurate information circulating online regarding VBA support in Office for Windows. While its true that VBA isn't supported in the latest version of Office for the Mac and the VBA licensing program did close to new customers last year, we have no plans to remove VBA from future versions of Office for Windows. We understand that VBA is a critical capability for large numbers of our customers; accordingly, there is no plan to remove VBA ...(truncated)...

Easier Access to Office Binary Format Documentation

(Indexed 2008-01-17):

Brian Jones writes in his blog about some new developments with the Microsoft Office binary file formats. In summary, Microsoft will make the binary format documentation available directly from its web site, removing any intermediate steps that were previously required. In addition, Microsoft will make the formats subject to its Open Specification Promise. There is also an Open Source project that Microsoft is sponsoring for a binary to Open XML conversion tool. See Brian's post for the full...(truncated)...

New Excel Viewer Available for Download

(Indexed 2008-01-17):

We are pleased to announce that a new version of the Excel Viewer is now available for download. To quote the download site:"With Excel Viewer, you can open, view, and print Excel workbooks, even if you don't have Excel installed. You can also copy data from Excel Viewer to another program. However, you cannot edit data, save a workbook, or create a new workbook. This download is a replacement for Excel Viewer 97 and all previous Excel Viewer versions."[Image]

Personalized Data in Excel Services

(Indexed 2008-01-16):

Today's author: Steve Tullis, a program manager who works on the Excel Services team.I've received a number of questions over the past months from customers wanting to deploy Excel Spreadsheets to SharePoint, such that when a user opens the page, s/he sees Excel Services content specific to either that individual or to a group to which s/he is a member. Our recommended solution is to put your data in a data store (e.g. Analysis Services), and implement the solution described in this MSDN article...(truncated)...

The 2008 Office Developers Conference

(Indexed 2008-01-16):

A bit of older news but worth mentioning again for those that might be interested. The Office Developers Conference (ODC) is being held this year in San Jose, California and will take place February 10-13. To quote the site:"ODC 2008 is the premier event for Microsoft Office and SharePoint developers, bringing together architects, developers, industry technical experts, Microsoft insiders, and key partners to redefine what it means to build on the Office system."[Image]

Replacing OWC Reporting with Excel Services

(Indexed 2008-01-09):

Today's author: John Campbell, a program manager who works on the Excel Services teams. Replacing OWC Reporting with Excel ServicesAs a Program Manager on the Excel Services team, I often field emails from people who have a thin reporting solution that is based on Office Web Components (OWC). They would like to migrate that solution to Excel Services, but aren't sure how or what the pitfalls are. In this entry I will talk about what OWC functionality Excel Services can be used to replace, som...(truncated)...

Integrating Excel (Services) and PowerPoint with the Microsoft SDK for Open XML Formats

(Indexed 2007-12-24):

Today's author: Danny Khen, a program manager who works on both the Excel and Excel Services teams.What is this about?Office 2007 introduced new default file formats Open XML. Excel, Word and PowerPoint take advantage of them. One of the nicest things about those file formats is that they enable easy manipulation of Office documents without needing the Office applications up and running by simply modifying XML parts within the files. In June 2007 we published an SDK that facilitates this proce...(truncated)...

Intraday Time Series Charts

(Indexed 2007-12-17):

Todays Author: Scott Ruble, a lead program manager on the Excel team who focuses on the area of data visualization. Scott is going to discuss how to create an intraday time series chart. Periodically, users need to create a chart where the data occurs within a single day such as by the minute or hour. This is actually fairly easy to do but unfortunately isnt very obvious. A typical scenario is you own a restaurant that takes phone orders and you want to reduce the wait time for customers plac...(truncated)...

Switching Data Sources in Excel 2007

(Indexed 2007-12-12):

Todays Author: Howie Dickerman, a program manager on the Excel team. Howie is going to discuss different ways to change data sources in Excel 2007. Prerequisite: This post assumes that you have read the blog post entitled Managing External Database Connections in Excel 12 which can be found here. Folks who connect to external data from Excel will sometimes encounter the following user scenarios:Switch between test and production data sourcesI want to test my spreadsheet while connecting to a te...(truncated)...

Office 2007 SP1 Available

(Indexed 2007-12-11):

The 2007 Microsoft Office suite Service Pack 1 is now available for download. To quote from the download site, "The 2007 Microsoft Office suite Service Pack 1 delivers important customer-requested stability and performance improvements, while incorporating further enhancements to user security. This service pack also includes all of the updates released for the 2007 Office suite prior to December of 2007. You can get a more complete description of SP1, including a list of issues that were fixed...(truncated)...

Tracking Split Costs

(Indexed 2007-11-28):

Todays Author: Joe Chirilov, a program manager on the who has done a lot of work on both the Excel and Excel Services teams. Joe is going to discuss a spreadsheet he recently built using Excel 2007.Recently a large group of friends and I went on a multi-city tour of Europe that lasted a couple weeks. We had a blast, but thats a conversation for another day. There was a lot of planning that went into this trip and responsibilities for booking different legs of the trip were spread out across t...(truncated)...

Chart Pattern Fills

(Indexed 2007-11-17):

Todays Author: Eric Patterson, a program manager on the Excel team. Eric is going to discuss applying pattern fills to chart data points and includes a sample add-in for this purpose.OverviewIn Excel 2007, the interface for applying Pattern fills to chart elements has been removed in favor of the interface for applying Picture and Texture fills. Charts formatted with pattern fills in previous versions of Excel will retain and display the pattern fills when opened in Excel 2007.Here is an examp...(truncated)...

Manipulating and Massaging Data in Excel

(Indexed 2007-11-12):

Todays author: Chad Rothschiller, a program manager on the Excel team. Chad is going to discuss using formulas to 'clean up' data in Excel. OverviewExcel is a great tool to use when you need to take data in one format, manipulate it into another format, and push the results along to another process, e.g. a database. In this context, Excel is a great landing pad or middle man, serving as a data transformation tool to move data from one system to another.This example considers a sample data set a...(truncated)...

Iteration & Conways Game of Life

(Indexed 2007-11-02):

Todays author: Chris Rae, a program manager on the Excel team. Chris is going to discuss iteration in Excel.Iteration is a powerful feature in Excel, but not one that is familiar to a large number of users. Im going to use iteration in Excel to create something which will be familiar to many people Conways Game of Life. Iteration Much the same as iteration in any programming language, theres a small leap to be made to understand the basic principle of interation in a spreadsheet. An iterative ...(truncated)...

Excel Services: Combining the EWA and API using AJAX

(Indexed 2007-10-29):

Todays author: Dan Parish, a program manager on the Excel Services team. Dan is going to walk through how to enable cell editing in Excel Services using a little code. The post assumes some base knowledge of Excel Services.Today I'm going to show how, through a combination of the EWA and API, you can enable editing of any cell in Excel Web Access (EWA) via JavaScript.Before we start, I'd like to recap a few things about the EWA:The EWA is the web part component of Excel Services that renders y...(truncated)...

Excel 2007 Web Data Add-In

(Indexed 2007-10-16):

Some folks at Microsoft Research have developed an add in that makes it easy to use a Web page as a data source in Excel. Here is a brief description:The Excel 2007 Web Data Add-In provides an intuitive user interface for importing textual data from any given webpage via a users selections of interest, such as stock quotes, weather temperature, ect, into a spreadsheet and keeping that data up-to-date. That is, if the webpage data changes, the spreadsheet can be updated by a click of the data Re...(truncated)...

Calculation Issue Update (Fix Available)

(Indexed 2007-10-10):

Two weeks ago, we posted about an issue involving the calculation of numbers around 65,535 and 65,536. As of today, fixes for this issue in Excel 2007 and Excel Services 2007 are available for download from the following locations:Excel 2007: http://download.microsoft.com/download/6/1/3/61343075-aa12-4...(truncated)... 64-bit Excel Services 2007: http://download.microsoft.com/download/c/d/c/cdcccd84-86cd-4...(truncated)... Excel Services 2007: http://download.microsoft.com/download/c/d/c/cdcccd...(truncated)...

Data Bars Feedback Please

(Indexed 2007-10-01):

Todays author: Scott Ruble, the program manager who leads the charting and visualization efforts in Excel. Scott is looking for some feedback on potential changes to data bar behaviour.Excel 2007 has a conditional formatting feature that graphically displays bars in a cell to represent the value of the cell. This feature is called Data Bars. You can see an example of this by using the following steps:In Excel 2007, enter 1, 2, 3 in cells A1, A2, and A3 respectively.Select cells A1:A3.From the...(truncated)...

Calculation Issue Update

(Indexed 2007-09-26):

Yesterday we were alerted to an issue in Excel 2007 (and Excel Services 2007) involving calculation of numbers around 65,535. The Excel team would like to provide a description of the issue and explain what we're doing about it. BackgroundYesterday evening we were alerted to an issue in Excel 2007 (and Excel Services 2007) involving calculation of numbers around 65,535. The first example that we heard about was =77.1*850, but it became clear from our testing as well as additional reports that ...(truncated)...

What Keyboard Shortcuts Do You Want To See In Excel?

(Indexed 2007-09-24):

About 18 months ago, I wrote a post on keyboard shortcuts: http://blogs.msdn.com/excel/archive/2006/02/23/538311.aspx. It was a well-read post that generated a lot of comments and a lot of follow-up email. To this day, I get emails about this post, a number of which have been people asking for an XLS version of this PDF (http://isamrad.com/dgainer/1_02-23-2006.pdf), presumably so folks can layer their own stuff on top. Accordingly, I thought it was time for a another post on the topic. Here...(truncated)...

Title: Excel 2007 XLL SDK is released!

(Indexed 2007-09-12):

The Microsoft Office Excel 2007 XLL Software Development Kit is out the door at long last. Many Excel developers have been waiting for the new XLL SDK for a long time now, since we released Office 2007 at the end of last year. It took us longer than we had initially thought to update the SDK content and develop the new documentation, and as an interim measure we handed out a release candidate of the core API files to folks who asked for it. We hope that you will find the wait was worthwhile, and...(truncated)...

Comments and Server Docs

(Indexed 2007-09-05):

Someone (A User) recently sent me an email asking why comments on the blog are being disabled after a short time ... the thinking being that the short time discourages communication and community dialog. The posts are currently set to disable comments after a week. I will change that to three weeks and we can see what happens.I also received some emails recently asking about setting up trusted data connections for Excel Services deployments. There is information about that as well as a lot of...(truncated)...

Excel Services Books

(Indexed 2007-08-28):

Todays author: Eran Megiddo, the program manager who led the Excel Services 2007 effort. Eran is going to briefly talk about a few books that the Excel Services team wrote about the product.I wanted to let folks know about two new Excel Services books which can help you get familiar with this new technology, deploy Excel Services, and develop applications that work against it. Both were written by members of the Excel Services team. The first book is Beginning Excel Services. The first part pro...(truncated)...

Combining Chart Types, Adding a Second Axis

(Indexed 2007-08-24):

Todays author: Katherine Fifer, an intern on the Excel team. Katherine is just wrapping up a summer of fantastic work, and today she is going to discuss how to create a combo chart in Excel 2007. Often it is useful to create charts which compare different types of data. For example, you might want to compare share price with trading volume, or revenue with number of units sold, or poverty rate with unemployment and consumer confidence, or any number of other things. To quickly and clearly dis...(truncated)...

Working With Excel's XML-Based File Formats

(Indexed 2007-08-21):

Some readers have expressed interest in working with and better understanding SpreadsheetML, part of the Open XML Formats recently standardized by Ecma International (I received a string of about a dozen emails in the last week or two asking how to do this or that with SpreadsheetML). I wanted to highlight a good resource that covers that specific ground: www.openxmldeveloper.org. The site has news content related to the Open XML Formats, a library of how-to articles written up, and a forums sec...(truncated)...

Christian Stich on Excel Services: Financial option valuation implemented with Monte Carlo simulation using multithreaded User Defined Functions (UDFs)

(Indexed 2007-08-15):

Todays author: Christian Stich, a program manager on the Excel Services team who likes to combine his finance and engineering backgrounds. Christian is going to talk about building a multithreaded UDF for Monte Carlo simulations and using it for options pricing.The example code and workbook in this post demonstrate the implementation of a European Put/Call Option valuation model using a high performance Monte Carlo simulation. Readers with a finance background realize that European options ca...(truncated)...

Sam Radakovitz on Dynamic Ribbon Galleries

(Indexed 2007-08-07):

Todays author: Sam Radakovitz, a program manager on the Excel team that enjoys creating VBA applications in Excel.When I went to create my first Excel 2007 Ribbon application, I found it a bit difficult to get the right RibbonX and VBA functions setup correctly. I wasnt quite sure on the RibbonX attributes and I wasnt sure on the arguments to the VBA functions or when the ribbon would call them. I kept thinking if I would have had a sample Excel workbook to reference Id probably pick things u...(truncated)...

Sam Radakovitz on date pickers

(Indexed 2007-08-01):

Todays author: Sam Radakovitz, a program manager on the Excel team that enjoys creating VBA applications in Excel.Back in early 2005, Excel 2007 was under development, the Backstreet Boys released a new album, and I took a weekend out to create a date picker add-in for Excel. The add-in was fun to write, not super duper fancy code, but it got the job done and helped me learn about the various Excel events and Excels add-in model. I pushed it up on the web, got some feedback and made a couple o...(truncated)...

Now The Excel Team Blog

(Indexed 2007-08-01):

Over the past few months, there has not been a lot of activity on this blog. Today, we have made a slight change to the blog (specifically, turning it into the Official Excel/Excel Services blog). That means a couple of things. First, that activity is going to pick up again - we plan on having 1-2 posts per week. Second, the posts are going to come from all over the Excel team. The content will remain the same - Excel 2007 and Excel Services - and team members will be writing posts about ho...(truncated)...

Excel 2007 and SQL Server Analysis Services 2005 Service Pack 2

(Indexed 2007-05-07):

I have recently been talking to some customers (both at a conference and on a series of visits last week), and a number of them asked about Excel 2007 and Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services specifically, what changes in Excel when Services 2005 Service Pack 2 (or newer) is installed on the server. There are a number of differences manifested in Excel 2007, so I thought I would list them here for folks.First, some additional functionality is enabled in Excel. Specifically, the following fi...(truncated)...

Help us make Excel PivotTables faster

(Indexed 2007-04-23):

A long time ago, I posted a request for calculation-intensive workbooks and received a lot of very valuable Excel workbooks in response again, to those that helped out; it helped the Excel team optimize calculation performance around real-world usage. Currently, the Excel team is thinking about PivotTable performance, and we are looking for examples of large Excel PivotTables to help with our work. Given all the different features of PivotTables that can affect performance, we are always looki...(truncated)...

New Whitepaper - Designing SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services Cubes for Excel 2007 PivotTables

(Indexed 2007-04-10):

Another Excel 2007 whitepaper is available. According to the overview, "Microsoft Office Excel 2007 takes advantage of most of the features in Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services. To take full advantage of these features, it is important to keep in mind the end-user experience in Office Excel 2007 when you are designing cubes. This document outlines how you can create a good end-user experience by optimizing the cube design for Office Excel 2007 PivotTable dynamic views." You can find ...(truncated)...

New Whitepaper - Migrating to Excel 2007

(Indexed 2007-03-03):

Another Excel 2007 whitepaper is available. According to the description, "This paper has been developed to aid IT professionals in the process of migrating to Microsoft Office Excel 2007. Here you will find descriptions of the primary functional differences and how those variances might affect workbooks. This paper also explains some of the more common issues that may arise during migration and offers solutions where applicable. Additional resources are provided to help diagnose any issues tha...(truncated)...

Data Mining In Excel

(Indexed 2007-02-21):

One of the technologies available in SQL Server Analysis Services is data mining. You can read lots more about it here.We have just released a set of add-ins for Excel ("The Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Data Mining Add-ins for Microsoft Office 2007") that allow users to take advantage of SQL Server 2005 predictive analytics in Office Excel 2007. The download includes two components for use with Excel 2007:Table Analysis Tools for Excel: This add-in provides users with easy-to-use tasks that lever...(truncated)...

More MSDN Content That May Be Useful

(Indexed 2006-12-22):

I have been getting a lot of Excel Services questions lately (along with a bunch on setting up Analysis Services to work with Excel 2007 and a raft on conditional formatting), so I thought I would point out some Excel Services documentation that is now available on MSDN (as part of the SharePoint Server 2007 documentation) - two articles (written by Dan Battagin, Excel Program Manager) and related sample solution on MSDN:Using Excel Web Services in a SharePoint Web Part Deploying and Optimizing ...(truncated)...

Whitepaper - External Data Connections For Excel Services

(Indexed 2006-12-04):

From the Excel Services team: "We all know there are plenty of stumbling blocks that customers hit along the way in getting external data access configured for the first time. Some of you may have seen me shopping around a whitepaper that provides some both, basic background, and step by step detailed guidance to help users get external data setup. This paper is now live on technet. http://technet2.microsoft.com/Office/f/?en-us/library/7e6ce0...(truncated)... Enjoy.[Image]

Excel Performance New Whitepaper Available

(Indexed 2006-10-24):

In a recent post, I mentioned there were more Excel 2007 whitepapers coming. Today a whitepaper was released on Improving Performance in Excel 2007. Here is the summary from the MSDN site:Summary: Learn about the increased worksheet capacity in Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and techniques that you can use as you design and create worksheets to improve calculation performance. (40 printed pages)The article was written by Charles Williams of Decision Models Limited. Charles is an expert in this a...(truncated)...

Back Already - Updated XLL Paper on MSDN

(Indexed 2006-10-05):

On September 19 I announced Steve Dalton's article on Developing XLLs in Excel 2007, and posted a draft. This article has now been edited and finalized, and resides in its new home on MSDN - take a look here.[Image]

PWRDWNSYS

(Indexed 2006-10-03):

Just over a year ago, I started this blog with the goal of documenting the new features in Excel 2007 and Excel Services. My plan was to write this content until around the general availability of Office 2007. After 163 posts, ~1,900 comments, and ~1,800 emails, this goal has pretty much been met while I am sure there are a few small items that have slipped by, I am pretty sure that myself or another team member has written about every large- or medium-sized feature or change in Excel 2007. Alo...(truncated)...

Your Turn One More Time Limits

(Indexed 2006-09-29):

When we started Excel 2007, we made a decision that as part of increasing the grid size, we were going to address a lot of important other limits in the product. The entire list can be seen here, in the second post I ever made to this blog. (Note, this is probably a good place to note that we had to back out the change to The number of characters that can be stored and displayed in a cell formatted as Text recently we found a problem with the implementation that couldnt be fixed at this late ...(truncated)...

Excel 2007 Viewer

(Indexed 2006-09-28):

Over the past few months, I have had a number of questions about the Excel 2007 viewer mostly, will there be an Excel 2007 viewer, and when will it be ready. (For those that are not familiar with the term viewer, viewers are applications that Microsoft provides for free that enable people who do not have Office programs to open and look at Office files. There are viewers available for Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, and they work with files created in any version of Office between Office 97 and ...(truncated)...

Your Turn Again Data Validation

(Indexed 2006-09-27):

The other night at home, I was doing some work at home, I ran across a situation where I wished that our Data Validation functionality and Pick From List were integrated specifically, it would have been really nice if, after I set up Data Validation on a range, Excel recognized when I was typing an entry from the list of valid possible entries.Heres an example. Say I was categorizing some expenses in this Table, and I have set up Data Validation on the last column to make sure I do not mis-cat...(truncated)...

Excel 2007 & Internet Explorer

(Indexed 2006-09-26):

Today we have a guest post from Andy Tischaefer. Andy works on the Office Programmability team. Andy is going to talk a bit about a change in behaviour using Office 2007 and how you can turn the clock back if you want to.In prior versions of Office (since Office2000 at least), Office documents (ppt, xls, doc and others) navigated to in Internet Explorer would open with the application hosted inside of IE, like this:[Image]Note for the purposes of discussion in this blog, I am using Excel in m...(truncated)...

Excel 2007 & Internet Explorer

(Indexed 2006-09-26):

Today we have a guest post from Andy Tischaefer. Andy works on the Office Programmability team. Andy is going to talk a bit about a change in behaviour using Office 2007 and how you can turn the clock back if you want to.In prior versions of Office (since Office2000 at least), Office documents (ppt, xls, doc and others) navigated to in Internet Explorer would open with the application hosted inside of IE, like this:[Image]Note for the purposes of discussion in this blog, I am using Excel in m...(truncated)...

Using Parameters In Dashboards

(Indexed 2006-09-25):

Today we have a guest post from Dan Parish, who is a program manager on the Excel Services team. Dan is going to explain a bit more on how to use Excel Services to set up dashboards that are driven by parameters.Back in the original posts regarding Excel Services, Dave mentioned that Excel Services is targeted at consumers and explorers of workbooks. As such, Excel Services doesn't allow you to simply type into any cell or create new workbooks on the fly. Dave also mentioned that we do unders...(truncated)...

New Word Blog

(Indexed 2006-09-23):

The folks on the Word team have asked me to let you all know they have set up a new team blog which you can read here: http://blogs.msdn.com/microsoft_office_word/default.aspx. Check it out and follow along if you are interested.[Image]

Another Whitepaper - Developing UDFs for Excel 2007 and Excel Services

(Indexed 2006-09-22):

Danny Khen is back (Danny wrote a number of posts on programmability topics over the past year) with a white paper on developing UDFs for Excel client and server.In a few past posts, we discussed investments in user-defined functions (UDFs) in Excel 2007, and we showed (here, here and here) how UDFs can be used in an Excel solution that runs on both Excel 2007 and the new Excel Services. I now gathered all this information and elaborated some more, resulting in an article and an extensive set of...(truncated)...

Your Turn - Drawing Tools

(Indexed 2006-09-21):

The team that builds the drawing tools in Office (sometimes referred to as OfficeArt) is interested in understanding all the different ways people are using the OfficeArt drawing tools, images, and audio/video with Excel. While a lot of the usage is well-understood (on charts as callouts, as controls on the grid, as backgrouds in an application, as navigational items, etc.), we run into people doing all sorts of interesting things, so we thought it would be interesting to hear from blog readers...(truncated)...

Conditional Formatting Trick 3 The percentmin Property

(Indexed 2006-09-20):

Folks that have been using data bars (see here for more information) in Excel 2007 sometimes bump into a situation where the size of the bar painted by Excel on the smallest value in the dataset seems too big. An example will probably help. Take a look at this fake data and accompanying data bars:[Image]The size of the data bar for the last value 170 is too big given the relative size of 170 to the other numbers in the range (hundreds of thousands). Why would that be the data bar should te...(truncated)...

Developing XLLs in Excel 2007

(Indexed 2006-09-19):

Back in January I talked about updates we have made to XLLs. We will soon be publishing an extensive article on MSDN which will cover Excel 2007 features that affect XLL add-ins and enable new XLL functionality, as well as changes to the XLL C API itself. The article was written by Steve Dalton (author of Excel Add-in Development in C/C++: Applications in Finance). Today Id like to give you a preview of this very useful document - click here to download a copy. Please note that this is a draf...(truncated)...

Ribbon Shots

(Indexed 2006-09-15):

OK, for those interested, here are shots of the ribbon as they shipped in the beta that was released yesterday. These are more or less finalized there may be a few tweaks between now and when we are done, but not many. [Image]There are both XP and Vista versions (thanks Dan!), and I have grouped them by area. The XP versions are at a resolution of 1024x768, while the Vista versions are at 1600x1200 this should give you a good example of how the ribbon resizes for different resolutions. Defa...(truncated)...

Updated Beta Available

(Indexed 2006-09-14):

I wanted to let everyone know a new beta of Office 2007 is now available for download and testing. (Note you may see other sites referring to this as B2TR or using other similar terms. For all intents and purposes, you can think of this as the latest public beta of Office 2007, and the last public beta before we ship the product later this year).Here is a link to the page where you can download the beta. And here is a link to everything else available related to this beta (for example, the S...(truncated)...

Server System Requirements And A Few Other Items

(Indexed 2006-09-12):

Today I wanted to cover a few topics.First, based on the response to the last blog post, I will try and put together some ribbon screenshots for those interested. Hopefully this week. I might not get to XP and Vista, but I will do what I can.Second, some bad news. Previously I had written that we had added an xlCallerAddress function for use in XLLs. Turns out that there was a problem with the implementation that we only recently found, and at the stage we are with getting ready to ship, we ...(truncated)...

Question For You All + A Bit More On Server UDFs

(Indexed 2006-09-11):

A few months ago, I mentioned that around the time we fully locked down the user interface in preparation for shipping, I would post a series of blogs that featured the final ribbons for Excel 2007. It occurred to me today, however, that the public beta of Office 2007 was pretty heavily downloaded, and as a result most of the folks following this blog might have a copy of the software installed, in which case a series of posts with the final UI might not be all that interesting. So, before I f...(truncated)...

Hey, Where Did Solver Go?

(Indexed 2006-09-07):

To this point in the blog, I've covered most of the new features that we've added to Excel 2007, but I wanted to quickly mention a couple of tools that folks use in Excel and where they can be found in Excel 2007 specifically, the Solver and the Analysis ToolPak (ATP) Add-Ins.Enabling Excel Add-InsFirst, a quick detour, since I haven't covered this in great depth previously: enabling these add-ins is done through the Office Button | Excel Options | Add-Ins, which is where all Add-In management ...(truncated)...

Referencing Tables From RefEdit Controls

(Indexed 2006-09-06):

SamRad is back with another guest post. Today Sam is writing about another feature he worked on - supporting table referencing from places other than the formula bar. Enjoy.Dave posted about Tables and the new "structure referencing" feature in previous posts ... see here for the details. Youll be happy to know that the formula bar isnt the only area that gets these new table referencing capabilities, but some special RefEdits as well. This is a short post that will describe table referencin...(truncated)...

Making Excel Services UDFs Work in Excel 2007

(Indexed 2006-09-01):

Shahar Prish, one of the developers on the Excel Services team, has recently posted a few entries on his blog that explain how to make Excel Services UDFs work in Excel 2007. (UDF stands for user defined function, which refers to custom functions that you can create to supplement Excels set of intrinsic worksheet functions (SUM, MIN, MAX, etc.). UDFs are generally used to create calculation libraries, or to import data into Excel sheets in custom ways. See here, , and here for some earlier po...(truncated)...

PivotTable Compatibility

(Indexed 2006-08-30):

Today Eric Patterson finishes his series of posts on compatibility.For my last post about compatibility, I would like to drill down into more detail on Excels PivotTable feature. In Excel 2007, we have invested a lot of our time improving PivotTables. If you are just joining, you can find a number of blog posts describing that work here. With all of the changes to PivotTables in Excel 12, it is important to understand how files containing PivotTables can be shared between versions of Excel. ...(truncated)...

Deprecated Features For Charting

(Indexed 2006-08-28):

Today Eric Patterson continues his discussion on Compatibility.Last week I described the features that we have deprecated for Excel 2007. Today I want to expand on that list to include the features related to Charting in Office 2007. There has been a lot of work in Office 2007 to move charting to use a shared Office drawing layer. David has devoted a number of past blog posts on charting that describe all of this work.Reasons for change?As with other features in Excel, we never deprecate Char...(truncated)...

Deprecated features for Excel 2007

(Indexed 2006-08-24):

Today Eric Patterson returns with a few more guest posts on Compatibility.Thus far the discussion about compatibility has been focused on how new features in Excel 2007 are handled when saving files to previous versions or when working in Compatibility Mode. The flip side of the discussion is the list of features that are being deprecated for Excel 2007. That will be the topic for todays post.Why Remove Anything?Before jumping to the list of which features are being deprecated or removed, let ...(truncated)...

The Add-In Tab

(Indexed 2006-08-22):

Over the course of this blog, I think I have covered to some degree every tab in Excel 2007 except for the Add-Ins tab. Accordingly, today, I wanted to present some information on the Add-Ins tab.[Image]It turns out that there is already some good information out there on the Add-Ins tab, so here are some links.Jensens UI blog has a good post here. And MSDN has some information here. The basic idea is that all existing solutions and custom toolbars will continue to run in Office 2007, with th...(truncated)...

Sander Viegers Rides Again

(Indexed 2006-08-18):

Today we have a second guest post from Sander Viegers, a user experience designer who worked on many aspects of Excel 2007. Sanders previous post is located here.In my previous guest post (thanks for all the feedback) I talked about the holistic design approach to redesigning the entire charting experience. In this blog post, I would like to give an example of a very specific design problem: getting the data to show up correctly on your chart. Same Data Two Different ChartsThe problem we were ...(truncated)...

Feedback Please - Conditional Formatting For Right-To-Left Sheets

(Indexed 2006-08-17):

We are interested in getting some user feedback on how conditional formatting (Data Bars specifically see here for some info on Data Bars) should behave when the sheet direction is set to right-to-left (RTL). (Background for those not familiar with RTL - when a sheet direction is set to RTL, cell A1 is at the top-right corner as opposed to the top-left corner ... see two images below the one on the left is regular left-to-right sheet orientation, the one on the right is RTL.) Excel has an RT...(truncated)...

Recently Used Documents

(Indexed 2006-08-17):

In the Office UI blog, Jensen recently authored a post describing the improvements that had been made to the "recently opened documents list" in Office 2007. This is something that I was going to cover this month, but now I dont have to, because Jensen has. For those interested, I would suggest reading his blog post here. In a nutshell, we tried to address a few key problems there were too few entries (4 by default), important ones scrolled off the list, and long file paths could make all en...(truncated)...

Sam On Forms Controls

(Indexed 2006-08-16):

Today we have another guest post from Sam Radakovitz (Sam brought you a number of posts on the Trust Centre as well as an Excel 2007 game). Today, Sam talks a bit about Forms Controls and an example of the sort of thing you can do with them. Note this is possible in current versions of Excel too. This one off blog post is about forms controls. Many people dont know it, but there are quite a few things you can do with the forms controls in Excel. Ill start off by giving a brief description...(truncated)...

Developer Tab

(Indexed 2006-08-15):

Eric is out for a few days, so there is going to be a temporary break in the compatibility posts (they will resume sometime next week). In the meantime, I thought I would quickly review a few tabs that I have not talked about yet and potentially one or two other items.Today, I wanted to briefly review the Developer tab. As part of the general redesign of Office UI, a decision was taken that by default, features used primarily by solution developers would not be visible in the UI they would be...(truncated)...

Conditional Formatting Compatibility

(Indexed 2006-08-14):

Today we have the third guest post from Eric Patterson, Excel Program Manager. Eric is writing about compatibility in Excel 2007.Conditional Formatting is one of the areas where we have made a lot of improvements in for Excel 2007. Dave has already described in previous posts what we have done; here is a recap of our investments:Three new visualizations data bars, color scales, and icon setsNew UI for adding, removing, and managing conditional formats New conditional formatting rules Increa...(truncated)...

Compatibility Checker

(Indexed 2006-08-11):

Today we have the second guest post from Eric Patterson, Excel Program Manager. Eric is writing about compatibility in Excel 2007.As introduced in the last post, the Compatibility Checker scans your workbook for issues that are not supported by earlier versions of Excel. When saving a file to the Excel 97-2003 format, Excel 2007 will scan the file and display the following dialog to help you make decisions about compatibility issues.[Image]The dialog displays any issues found in your workbook ...(truncated)...

Compatibility Mode

(Indexed 2006-08-10):

Guest writer: Eric Patterson. Over the next several posts, Eric, one of the members of the Excel Program Management team, is going to discuss backwards compatibility in Excel 2007. I hope readers find this interesting.Over the next several posts I will describe the features that we have built-in to Excel 2007 to make it easy to migrate from previous versions.If youve been reading along with this blog, you should have a good picture of the scope of the changes that we are making in this release...(truncated)...

Templates, Templates

(Indexed 2006-08-09):

In the past I have written about Office Online (you can get to Office Online using Help|Office Online in any current version of Excel). One of the great things that Office Online provides is a wide variety of templates that can help users get going more quickly, solve specific problems, etc. Here is a link to all the existing Excel templates. There are all sorts of useful things for example, here is a pre-built buy vs rent calculator, which you can see has been downloaded ~70,000 times. For...(truncated)...

Trust Center Part 5: Data Connection Security

(Indexed 2006-08-03):

Today we have the fifth and final guest post from Sam Radakovitz, Excel Program Manager. Sam is writing about the Trust Centre, a new feature for Office 2007.To properly secure Excel, the Data Connection security has been moved into the new Trust Center space. This means that the prompts from data connections you got on open from previous versions of Excel will now be in the Trust Bar and their security options in the Trust Center.To be specific, when I say data connection Im referring to:Quer...(truncated)...

Trust Center Part 4: Trusted Locations

(Indexed 2006-08-01):

Today we have the fourth guest post from Sam Radakovitz, Excel Program Manager. Sam is writing about the Trust Centre, a new feature for Office 2007.While we have talked at length about reducing the impact of security decisions on end customers, and of having Office 2007 make secure default decisions, its important to note that the implications of those decisions is usually to disable code or some part of a solution because we dont have sufficient information to trust it.In the past one way to ...(truncated)...

Trust Center Part 3: Making Sense of Security Settings

(Indexed 2006-07-28):

Today we have the third guest post from Sam Radakovitz, Excel Program Manager. Sam is writing about the Trust Centre, a new feature for Office 2007.Our goal is to have secured and reasonable default settings to allow customers get most work done while staying safe, however, from time to time there is also value in being able to easily and quickly verify that your settings remain secure. In previous versions of Office, checking ones security settings was often a significant challenge due to the ...(truncated)...

Trust Center Part 2: Trust Bar - Eliminating Unnecessary Trust Decisions

(Indexed 2006-07-26):

Today we have the second guest post from Sam Radakovitz, Excel Program Manager. Sam is writing about the Trust Centre, a new feature for Office 2007.Prior to Office 2007 the Office security model has had solid success in helping combat things like macro viruses, but that has come at a price for legitimate macros and for customers who didnt care about macros at all.To even open a document you first had to get past a prompt something like the following:[Image](Click to enlarge)As mentioned the cu...(truncated)...

Trust Center Part 1: Principles

(Indexed 2006-07-24):

Guest writer: Sam Radakovitz. Over the next several posts, Sam Radakovitz, one of the members of the Excel Program Management team, is going to explain a new feature in Office 2007 called the Trust Centre. While Sam will be discussing the Trust Centre in the context of Excel, it is a feature that has been implemented across Office (Word, Access, PowerPoint, etc.), so you can apply much of what Sam has written about there as well. Enjoy.Security means different things to different people and e...(truncated)...

All About File Formats

(Indexed 2006-07-20):

To this point in the blog, I haven't talked too much about the file formats that Excel 2007 uses, since Brian Jones has been covering the new Office Open XML format pretty well in his blog. Today I thought I'd give an overview of the three main formats that we have in Excel 2007.File Format Number 1 - Office Open XML (XLSX, XLSM, XLTX, XLTM, and XLAM files)The Office Open XML format is a full fidelity (all features of the product are supported) file format for Excel 2007, and it is the default ...(truncated)...

Fun With Conditional Formatting

(Indexed 2006-07-19):

Yesterday I wrote about some work I was doing with Tables recently. Today I want to do the same for conditional formatting specifically, using colour scales. (For a refresher, or for those that are new to this blog, you can read up on changes to conditional formatting in this series of blog posts, and you can read specifically about colour scales here).In this case, I was looking at a table that contained the results of a set of tests. The table looked like this (again, I made up the data fo...(truncated)...

Fun With Tables

(Indexed 2006-07-18):

A few weeks ago when I asked readers what they wanted to see in the way of content over the next few months, a few people suggested some discussion about everyday use. Accordingly, I am going to write today about some things I was doing with Tables in Excel 2007, and tomorrow I will try to write a bit about conditional formatting.Specifically, what I want to walk through with regard to tables was using calculated columns and structured referencing. (For those that are new to the blog or who ne...(truncated)...

Office Web Components Roadmap

(Indexed 2006-07-17):

Since I have been writing this blog, I have periodically been asked whats up with the Office Web Components. Today, I wanted to post the official roadmap from the Office Web Components team. Here you go:As some of you have recently noticed, the Office Web Components are no longer installed when installing Microsoft Office 2007. The Office Web Components (OWC) are a set of ActiveX controls that provide four principal components: Spreadsheet, Chart, PivotTable, and Data Source Control (DSC). M...(truncated)...

XLLs: A New Way To Optimize

(Indexed 2006-07-13):

Some XLL add-ins may gain a performance boost if they take into account the worksheet context that calls them. For example, if a function is called from a sheet that is not currently active, and the rest of the workbook does not have dependencies on the results that the function returns to that sheet then the function may choose to skip its calculation. This way, only the calls within the active sheet actually take up compute time. In order to do this optimization, the XLL code needs to be able...(truncated)...

Meet Sander Viegers, Excel User Experience Designer

(Indexed 2006-07-12):

Today we have a guest post from Sander Viegers, a user experience designer who worked on many aspects of Excel 2007.Hi, my name is Sander Viegers. I am user experience designer in the Office Design Group. Ive had the pleasure of working with the Excel team on Excel 2007. In this blog entry I would like to provide some insight into how I contributed as a user experience designer. Since charting seems to be a highly popular topic on this blog, Ill focus on the creation of the new charting experi...(truncated)...

Custom Task Panes

(Indexed 2006-07-11):

Today we have a guest post from Kevin Boske, a program manager on the Office Programmability team. Kevin discusses a feature that will make it much easier for developers to add their own task panes to Office, so while the example presented here is in Excel, the same thing is possible in Word, PowerPoint, etc. Kevin also writes a blog on Office development.Prime Real Estate In OfficeWith UI, like in real-estate, its all about location, location, location. Previous versions of Office provided l...(truncated)...

Thanks For Your Help, Open XML Translator (ODF Support For Office), Comments

(Indexed 2006-07-10):

First, I would like to thank everyone that provided feedback on our PivotTable questions there were many helpful comments. I will see if I can get a member of the PivotTable team to post a reply sometime this week.Second, last week Microsoft announced the creation of an Open XML Translator project that will help translate between the Office Open XML formats (the new file formats in Office 2007) and the OpenDocument format (which is a specification developed by the open source community). Spec...(truncated)...

Defrosting your code

(Indexed 2006-06-30):

One of our team members recently noticed an issue with Excel VBA code running on Windows Vista (it is something that happens on WindowsXP too, it is just more pronounced on Windows Vista), so I thought I would write it up. While it is not the sort of issue that the Excel team can easily address, it is something worth mentioning to all the VBA developers out there, in part to see how people might be handling this situation already.The behaviour in question is how Excel behaves when VBA code runs...(truncated)...

4 More Shortcut Keys

(Indexed 2006-06-28):

A while ago, I wrote a post about 214 keyboard shortcuts. In the last few months, we have added 4 more for one reason or another, so I wanted to pass them on. (I have not updated the matrix I included as part of that post, because I accidently misplaced the file that I used to make it in the first place. At some point I will.)In no particular order, here they are:Reapply Sort and Filter (to a Table or an AutoFiltered range) - CTRL+ALT+LRefresh (Query Table, PivotTable, etc.) = ALT+F5Refresh...(truncated)...

Excel And High-Performance Computing Part I

(Indexed 2006-06-26):

Fairly recently, the Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 team publically released their product. What is Windows Compute Cluster Server? Lots of information available here, but, to borrow a line from their site, Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 is an integrated, standards-based compute clustering platform built on top of Windows Server 2003 x64 Edition. The goal of this work is to empower users by allowing them to easily harness distributed computing resources to solve ...(truncated)...

Calling all PivotTable users: Let us know how you like to summarize your data...

(Indexed 2006-06-22):

A few months back I wrote several posts about the improvements that we made to PivotTables in Excel 2007. I even showed how summarizing data in different ways is now just a right click away on the Summarize Data By... menu. What I didnt show was that in addition to these standard ways of summarizing data (sum, count, max, min, average, etc.), Excel already supports some more complex summary views for items contained in a PivotTable. For instance, by selecting More Options, you can choose to s...(truncated)...

Managed Add-In Improvements

(Indexed 2006-06-21):

Today we have the second of two guest posts from Patrick Smith, a program manager on the Office Programmability team. Overview and BackgroundManaged code is becoming more and more prevalent in add-ins written for Microsoft Office products. Also shipping around the same time frame as the 2007 Microsoft Office System is the next version of Visual Studio Tools for Office (VSTO). The next version of VSTO has added support for creating application level add-ins. The demand for better support of m...(truncated)...

The "Command Well"

(Indexed 2006-06-20):

One of the topics I was going to cover at some point was the "command well", which is the list of commands in the various Office products. You can use this list to add or remove things from the "Quick Access Toolbar". For example, for those of you that want to continue using the PivotTable wizard to build PivotTables, you can find it in the command well and add it to your QAT.Jensen just wrote a couple of detailed entries on his UI blog, so instead of covering the same ground twice, I will jus...(truncated)...

2007 Microsoft Office System Primary Interop Assemblies

(Indexed 2006-06-19):

Today we have the first of two guest posts from Patrick Smith, a program manager on the Office Programmability team. Writing managed code against the 2007 Microsoft Office System products requires the use of an interop assembly. Just as we did with Microsoft Office System 2003, we are providing primary interop assemblies with the new 2007 Office. Weve also made some changes to make the PIAs a better experience with 2007. Among the areas weve addressed are:InstallationRedistributionBackward Co...(truncated)...

Comments

(Indexed 2006-06-17):

Greetings since I was in absentia for more than a week, comments are shut off for recent posts. Accordingly, I am going to reply here to the last round of comments here.For those of you that suggested new topics, I have written them down, and will try and work them in over time. Thanks for your help.Sam asked Any changes in the audinting toolbar in Excel 12? Answer not except better exposure in the Ribbon.Phillip Lundeen asked What happens if I use Excel 12 and bring in a 150,000 item query...(truncated)...

Suggestions Please

(Indexed 2006-06-08):

Over the next few days, I am on a ridiculously over-scheduled training course, so I will not be producing any new content until sometime mid next week (and probably not answering comments or emails until then too). In the meantime, I wanted to ask you what you would like to see covered in this blog over the next few months. Way back when I started this last September, I wrote I plan to write this blog from now until around the general availability of Office 12, and I am hoping to talk in some ...(truncated)...

Fun And Games With Excel

(Indexed 2006-06-07):

Every release, part of what the team (and the entire company) does when working on a new release of Excel is use it in all sorts of ways (often referred to as dogfooding). We use it in our daily work, we build solutions that the team uses to manage the development process, we help other folks inside MSFT (finance, sales, marketing, etc.) upgrade their workbooks and build solutions, etc. Almost all of this work is focused on running the business at Microsoft, and the goal is to make sure the pr...(truncated)...

A Bit More On Charting

(Indexed 2006-06-06):

Last week, in response to my post on charting, Harlan pointed at a few Economist charts as examples of professional charts. Today, I spent a few minutes with Excel 2007 trying to create a similar chart. I thought I would share the results.The chart in question is located here. It is a line chart with a title and some series labels. Here is a screen shot.[Image]Source: The Economist web siteTo start with in Excel, I typed in the data (source: The Economist web site) and inserted a line chart ...(truncated)...

Some Words About Charting

(Indexed 2006-06-02):

Over the past few months, when I have posted information about charting in Office 2007, there has been plenty of feedback and discussion about the work presented. Today, I wanted to spend a bit of time addressing some of that feedback.When I read over the feedback, especially the feedback that resulted from the survey post last week, it seems to fall into three categories:Why did you not add (insert your most important chart feature here) in Office 2007?There is too much of an emphasis on eye c...(truncated)...

"Save As PDF" Not In The Box After All

(Indexed 2006-06-02):

A few months back, I wrote a post about how Excel 2007 will enable customers to save their work as a PDF file by simply using the Save As command from within Excel. Well, it turns out thats not looking like it will be the case the feature will be available as a free download, but it will not be installed out-of-the-box. More information at Brian Jones blog, or lots of other news sources out there on the web.[Image]

Multi-Threaded Calculation Tip and File Format Converters

(Indexed 2006-05-26):

I have received a few emails from folks that have downloaded the beta and tried out multi-threaded calculation thanks, it was great to hear from you. One thing I wanted to point out is that for most workbooks, you will see the maximum improvement in performance the second time you calculate a workbook (you will still see a good improvement in the first calculation it is just there will be further improvement in the second calculation). The reason is that there is a bit of work to be done whe...(truncated)...

Tools|Options The Rest

(Indexed 2006-05-25):

A few days ago, I outlined some changes that had been made to Tools|Options. Today, I wanted to run through how the options were organized for those of you that are curious, and point out one other feature I forgot to mention Monday. Since we already looked at the Personalize tab, lets start with the Formulas tab.[Image](Click to enlarge)As you can see, the most commonly changed options are available here. (Harlan, I think you made a comment about many of the options on the Personalize tab bei...(truncated)...

Give us your thoughts on chart and table styles

(Indexed 2006-05-23):

In previous posts, I have talked about new features we have added around chart styles and table styles. These features, as you may or may not recall, are designed to make it easy to apply good-looking formatting and to create consistent-looking documents. We are in the process of finalizing the content for these styles, so we are looking for some help from readers of this blog. Below is a link to a survey on the consistency of a number of table and chart styles. The survey takes 10-15 minute...(truncated)...

Whatever happened to Tools|Options?

(Indexed 2006-05-22):

In the course of writing this blog, between comments and direct emails, I would estimate that I have fielded over 1,000 questions. Of those, only one had anything to do with Tools|Options, which I found to be a surprisingly low number, given how often I hear people comment about it when I am talking to customers on the road. Like most of the UI in Office2007, Tools|Options has had a significant makeover (it is gone, really, replaced by a new design). Today I want to give an overview of those...(truncated)...

Word Blogging

(Indexed 2006-05-18):

Short post tonight. Several of my recent posts have been written in Word. The beta2 version of Word 2007 includes blog support, which means you can write in Word and output blog-compatible HTML. Word supports publishing text and pictures to many common blog servers. More info available on the Word blog.[Image]

SmartArt Graphics with Style

(Indexed 2006-05-16):

Here is the second guest post from Matthew Kotler, a lead program manager on the SmartArt team.In the last post, I presented an overview of SmartArt Graphics. In this post, I'll show how to take the basic SmartArt Graphic that you have created and format it to make it really stand out (or subtly fit in, depending on your goal). Just like cells, tables, and shapes, SmartArt Graphics build on the rich functionality of document themes. When you insert a SmartArt Graphic into your spreadsheet (or...(truncated)...

Introducing SmartArt Graphics

(Indexed 2006-05-15):

A few weeks ago a few folks sent me email asking about what the new shapes features meant for things like org charts and other diagrams. Today we have the answer in the form of the first of two guest posts from Matthew Kotler, a lead program manager on the SmartArt team. The impact of graphics in spreadsheets, documents, and presentations is significant, improving comprehension and recall of information. Yet, the vast majority of content created within Office is textual and with today's tools ...(truncated)...

And now for something completely different regulatory compliance and spreadsheets

(Indexed 2006-05-12):

Spreadsheets today support critical business processes, from financial reporting and analysis to research and development. As a result, they have become an important enterprise resource that must be included when addressing compliance requirements. Some of the more recent regulations like Section 404 of the Sarbanes Oxley Act even offer specific guidance around spreadsheets supporting financial reporting processes. Over the past year, weve talked with customers, regulators, and solution prov...(truncated)...

A bit more on Icon Sets answers to Biffs and Harlans questions

(Indexed 2006-05-12):

Since a few of the comments that were made on the last post were more easily answered with pictures, I thought I would just go ahead and make a new post out of it. (I have answered the other comments in the comments section of the previous post.)Biff commented That 2nd screencap with all those icons applied looks like a real mess. I would not want to see that in any of my spreadsheets. Actually, Biff, my example wasnt the greatest that is not how I suspect that most people will use Icon Sets...(truncated)...

Conditional Formatting Trick 2 How to get an icon in some cells, but not all cells

(Indexed 2006-05-10):

A few months ago, I described the new features we have added to Excel 2007 in the area of conditional formatting. One of the new formats we added is called a icon set check out this earlier post for a refresher, but the basic idea is that Excel draws an icon in each cell representing the value of that cell relative to the other cells in the selected range. Here is a shot from that post.[Image](Click to enlarge)The Excel 2007 UI allows you to choose from a wide range of icon sets to apply to y...(truncated)...

Excel 2007 investments in UDFs #3: client/server solution using a core library

(Indexed 2006-05-05):

In the previous post I showed how an existing set of UDFs, defined in an Excel addin, can be used with Excel Services by wrapping them with a managed UDF assembly.Some companies develop calculation libraries in a modular way. They want to use their library functions for various purposes on various platforms, and Excel UDFs is just one of those purposes. So they develop a function library, say in C or C++, which is independent of any of those platforms, and does not assume any application-specifi...(truncated)...

Excel 2007 investments in UDFs #2: Existing UDFs

(Indexed 2006-05-04):

Here is the second post from Danny Khen, a program manager on the Excel Services team. In the previous post I explained about the investments we made around UDFs in Excel 2007 and in the Excel Services. I also showed how Excel Services use a different UDF technology than those used by the Excel client managed UDFs. Whoa, you may be asking so what about all my investment in Excel UDFs cant I take them to the server as well?Well, you actually can, with some limitations. And we believe that many...(truncated)...

Excel 2007 investments in UDFs #1

(Indexed 2006-05-03):

For the next few posts, we have a guest post from Danny Khen, a program manager on the Excel Services team. Danny is going to talk about UDFs in Excel and Excel Services. Enjoy.UDFs are user-defined worksheet functions custom functions that you create to supplement Excels set of intrinsic worksheet functions. UDFs are used to create calculation libraries, or to import data into Excel sheets in custom ways.In Excel 2007, weve made a number of key investments around UDFs. They revolve around tw...(truncated)...

Crystal Ball® User Conference + Excel Services Video

(Indexed 2006-05-03):

I am spending some of this week at the Crystal Ball User Conference, where I had the good fortune to be able to present an overview of Excel 2007 to the conference attendees. I want to thank the folks as Decisioneering for the opportunity, and I would also like to thank all of the folks that I have met at the conference who took the time to provide feedback about Excel and requests for new functionality. It is always very helpful to be able to have candid discussions about what people do with...(truncated)...

Wanted: Excel Programmer Writers in Redmond

(Indexed 2006-04-27):

Today we have a guest post from our Documentation Team the folks that bring you help, content on the web, etc. They have a few open positions they are looking to fill. Enjoy.I want to relay information from our documentation group today (more specifically its "Data" team) and let you know that were looking for 2 programmer-writers to help us build Excel developer content. If you are as passionate about Excel as you are about its help system for developers, these positions will hopefully be o...(truncated)...

One More Great-Looking Documents Post Shapes

(Indexed 2006-04-25):

A few weeks ago I posted a series of articles about great-looking documents. I have had a few questions about shapes since I wrote those posts, so I thought I would write a quick post on changes to shapes in Excel 2007 (and Office 2007 really anything I write here applies to all the apps).Much the same way that charts were improved (new great-looking visuals, results-oriented ribbon UI), shapes have been improved as well. Here is a summary of the changes, which fall into a number of categorie...(truncated)...

Charting V PivotCharts

(Indexed 2006-04-20):

Whenever we talk to users about PivotCharts, the first request we hear is that they behave more like regular charts. In previous versions, PivotCharts had very limited layout and formatting options. In addition, if you refreshed the PivotTable that the PivotChart was based upon, the PivotChart would lose whatever formatting it had. We heard from many users that they would often just create regular charts instead of PivotCharts, since could be problematic As PivotTables and charts changed in Ex...(truncated)...

Charting IV Charts in PowerPoint and Word

(Indexed 2006-04-17):

One thing we know is that many of the charts that folks created in Excel end up in PowerPoint presentations or Word documents (I think the statistic is that 50% of all charts in PowerPoint presentations originate from Excel. While users work in Excel to analyze their data, the final results are often given to others, and they rarely want to include all the intermediate steps from Excel. Furthermore, users have all kinds of solutions to transfer their charts. Most just use copy and paste, but ...(truncated)...

Charting III Tabs and Templates

(Indexed 2006-04-13):

In the previous two charting posts, I wrote about how you can make a professional chart with four simple choices chart type, chart layout, chart style, and document theme. As useful as we hope that is, we know that some users will want to tweak and control every aspect of their charts. Today I want to walk through the tabs that are available when you are working with a chart and provide an overview of all the capabilities that are exposed in the ribbon. I am also going to briefly cover templ...(truncated)...

Charting II Professional charts, made easy (continued) + Excel 2007 keyboard access model

(Indexed 2006-04-12):

Keyboard AccessToday I want to start with a link to Jensen Harris' UI blog, where Jensen has put up a post that describes the Office 2007 keyboard model. I am personally a big keyboard user, and I know the same is true for a lot of Excel users, so this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. You can read the details for yourselves, but I want to summarize the key design points.Every one of the Office 2003 keyboard shortcuts (i.e. CTRL+B) continues to work the same in Office 2007; there's...(truncated)...