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What is the most unusual thing you have used Excel for? [Quick Poll]

Posted on August 13th, 2010 in Featured , Learn Excel - 162 comments

Unusual uses of Microsoft ExcelOk. This is quick and short.

What is the most weird, unusual, out of the world thing you have used excel for?

I will go first.

While none of the above are batshit crazy, they are unusual and opened new avenues for exploration and learning for me.

What about you?

What unusual things you have done using excel? Share using comments. I am all ears.

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Written by Chandoo
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162 Responses to “What is the most unusual thing you have used Excel for? [Quick Poll]”

  1. Steve says:

    I’ve used Excel to create a city planner for Civilization 4. For anyone who’s played it, they’ll appreciate the complexity of trying to model that! 21 squares each needing input as to what type of terrain it is, whether it’s on a river, what resources it has, what improvements have been made as well as civic changes and modeling technological improvements over time all to work out how much commerce, science and production a city can produce at any given point.

    It provided a “dashboard” of sorts showing a representation of the city plus a whole load of stats and figures regarding it’s output depending on the status of each city square.

    It mostly worked, but I found it was overly pedantic and binned it…I spent more time playing with the spreadsheet than playing the game! :)

    Civilization 5 is coming out soon so I guess I’ll have to make another one…although the new version is a hex map instead of a squares grid. :/

    • vishal bhardwaj says:

      Hi,

      I used excel hwile my brothers marriage to know if we have included all the relatives or freinds in the list or not. i made a sheet on which i made a data base of the name of all the guest nad thene used match, Index and indirect formulas to find which i needed. to use this sheet we just put initial in the secrch colomn for example “a” and it gives us all the name starts from a in the list even duplicate ones too.

    • Kyle says:

      I used excel to model barge trim and list during a heavy transport roll-off. I made a 3D graph that simulates the barge movements during the roll-off steps animated. Everything is adjustable, I still play the barge animation every now and then just to make me smile :) I work in the heavy lift crane industry, I’m a mechanical engineer. 

    • Kyle says:

      I used excel to model barge trim and list during a heavy transport roll-off. I made a 3D graph that simulates the barge movements during the roll-off steps animated. Everything is adjustable, I still play the barge animation every now and then just to make me smile  

  2. Andrzej Ostromecki says:

    Hi Chandoo

    I’m using Excel for keeping track for my personal self improvement projects of dealing with bad habits “old habits die hard” and developing new one.
    I set:
    - ranks to traits (1-5)
    - expected force of “The Resistance” (1-5)
    - and guestimated/ expected time in week
    - corresponding table for good/ new habits and goals
    - if’s and macro based Gantt chart to see hole battlefield
    - and statistics allow me to kept motivation during turbulent times

    as e.g
    - I quit junk food – rank 4 (to often and to much), resistance 4 ( i like this s#%t), time 8 weeks.
    - I eat healthy nutritious self made meals – rank 5, it’s not going to be level easy so 4, and 12 weeks

    JunkFood Stats 4*4 =14 for 8 [weeks] => 14*8 = 112
    GodFood ;)Stats 5*4 = 20 for 12 [weeks] = > 20*12= 240
    Balance of forces = 112/240 = 50% or 2:1

    btw I’m at the end of week #3 and wining just as planed

    @ Chandoo: :I bet that many of us use excel to absolutely crazy things. I’m curious of others.

  3. - I used it to create the tiled mosaic background for my twitter page (http://twitter.com/nickhebb).

    - I’ve used it to do floor layouts.

    - I’ve used it as a code generator.

    - I’ve used it to create website graphics.

    - I’ve used it to create an arithmetic worksheet generator for my kids.

    It’s such a freeform tool that it lends itself to be misused and abused.

  4. jeff weir says:

    On those tortuously long work days where the clock seems to be running backward, I often turn on SPEAK ON ENTER and get Excel to speak the words “Take this job and shove it” to my co-workers (It’s actually from a country song, but has famously been covered by the punk group The Dead Kennedys). This really cracks them up. Speak on Enter is one of Excel’s most underrated functions, if you ask me. Why they didn’t put it right there on the ribbon in 2007 is a travesty. In fact, I’m not going to upgrade my version of Excel until they do.

  5. Shuchi says:

    Hi Chandoo

    I use it to track our Scrabble matches at home – how many rounds played per game, scores, summary analysis – win/loss ratio per player, max and average scores, and so on. When we play with someone new and open the Excel alongside, the look on their face is a sight to behold.

  6. XL-Dennis says:

    The most crazy solution I have created so far is a wine bottle list which alarm when it’s time to twist the bottles. Each wine type has it’s own time table and in total it was about 346 bottles!

    Kind regards,
    Dennis

  7. Mike says:

    Hi Chandoo,
    I use the paint flags .. ;-) .. and there are in fact people using
    Excel to write “normal” business letters.

    Kindly,
    Mike

  8. Mike says:

    Hi Chandoo,
    I use it to paint flags .. ;-) .. and there are in fact people using
    Excel to write “normal” business letters, but lucky not me.

    Kindly,
    Mike

  9. DanielH82 says:

    I used it to build a desktop management tool to turn off Pc’s which have been left on overnight.
    I tracked 2000 machines in the company, found out if they were turned on, then if anyone was logged on, if not, I remotely turned the machine off. Based on how many machines were turned off and the time until they came back on worked out real time cost savings.

  10. Martin says:

    Wedding planning (long before your last post…), distributing e-mail signatures for Lotus notes for my colleagues, based on the user list, first attempt for an interactive dashboard, where you can click a country in a map and automatically higlight its figures…. I’ve been using Excel for so long, and yet I believe I am a newbie…..

  11. Matt says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    I use excel and a few loop macros to obtain (from Yahoo) and display the UK FTSE 100 and FTSE250 companies’ stock prices, and do ‘technical analysis’, for my spread-betting hobby… I’ve not made much £ yet, but I have had a lot of fun and definitely learnt a lot :)

    Matt

  12. Chris U says:

    2 things stand out- neither are very technically difficult and I started both long before I knew much Excel.
    1. The college I attended (UNC) has an excellent basketball team and student tickets are limited. When I was there, there was a system of bracelets handed out in a numerical sequence, then a magic # drawn. Friends would get together and go get bracelets at different times to increase their chance of getting tickets. Because the #s wrapped around, I didn’t always feel like doing a calculation so I used Excel to tel me which of the bracelets was closest to the magic #.

    2. Each year I create a spreadsheet for my fantasy football draft. I use it for preparation but also to “mark off” players. Now I have macros to highlight players different colors depending on whether they are on my team or others’ teams. This year I’m thinking I will also use VBA to control a filter so i can see all players of a certain position from a combo box.

  13. Jan says:

    Once on holiday I needed a dice, but only had a work-computer and no internet.

    So I used =trunc(rand()*6+1)…… Sad, but it worked :-)

  14. Ken Puls says:

    The craziest thing I’ve done is probably mocking up a website UI in Excel. (Buttons to flip sheets/pages.) I could get Excel to show what I wanted my site to look like. :)

  15. Yusuf says:

    @Mike & Chandoo

    I know a couple of people in the banking industry who compose and edit their emails in Excel. Once they are done, they copy paste the content in Outlook and send it. I have asked them and they say they are so comfortable in Excel that learning Word and Outlook is difficult for them :)

  16. Seth Tucker says:

    Years ago, I used Excel to study the distribution of outcomes from playing various strategies at a Roulette table. I wasn’t foolish enough to think I could ‘beat’ the game. My goal was to understand the right amount of hedging I’d be cool with at the casino.

    When I go to Vegas with friends, they’re all grumbling on day 2 about how little they can afford to do for the remainder of the trip. I use Roulette as a dumb-as-rocks stall tactic. They all lose their a**es at $25 blackjack tables, and I can ride a Roulette table for an eternity. Saves me from being the casino spectator friend, which sucks. :)

  17. Seth Tucker says:

    Okay, one more. I’ve used Excel to make a family tree chart — using a doughnut chart of concentric rings for each generation. The innermost ring is a full circle (me). The ring outside of that is partitioned into semicircles (or, I guess, semi-doughnuts), one for each parent. The one after that, 4 wedges for grandparents — aligned with their child (my parent), and so on. I added data labels for names, and callout boxes at the outermost rings with notes on where the trail went cold on tracing my ancestry. The visualization is great to about 7 generations back, after which the wedges get so tiny that it’s pointless. I’ve used ProDomoSua’s Grafi Excel add-in to build traditional family trees further back (http://www.prodomosua.eu/ppage02.html). I’m back to the 1400s for part of my tree, yet can’t get beyond 1905 on another branch.

  18. Mike says:

    Yeah, just one more: In the last minutes I used it to prepare groups of 30 emails. My email-account just accept 30 of them .. ;-)

  19. Oli says:

    The most unsual that I can think of is getting Excel to import my vast iTunes library (then after a little shrting and relabelling get Excel to update iTunes. It’s still a work in progress but I have some functionality. Free time to play is hard to find – I have 3 kids!! lol :)

  20. Cyril Z. says:

    I used it to plan civilization2 research, and also Final Fantasy Tactics spells ans artifacts combination with tree view construction to see what’s needed to achieve one spell. quite useful.

    I also use it to create INSERT INTO TABLE sql statements of values and formulas into databases.

  21. SeanD says:

    I created an Excel training book, but written in Excel ;) (www.ExcelEverest.com)

    Also, spectacular coincidence, I just dug around online for the wackiest uses of Excel I could possibly find (http://www.exceleverest.com/blog/post/The-7-Wackiest-Things-Ever-Done-With-Microsoft-Excel.aspx)

  22. Fabrice Cathala says:

    I used it to build a bulk of formatted web pages using it as a CMS: I would fill the information I wanted to publish in pure text within placeholders (specific cells in the spreadsheet) and on a different tab I would get the HTML code properly built to save in my web pages. All the resulting pages had real consistency and the whole site looked – errr, well… – not too bad. In fact, I later upgraded the whole stuff to Access…

    That was in the good old days when building a web site was about ftp’ing hyperlinked *.html files in a server. I now use a hosted blog and don’t bother with the actual HTML anymore.

    Cheers,

    Fab

  23. Writing poetry! I have used the concatenation function in Excel to generate all the possible words that could rime with the particular word I am using at the end of a line.

  24. Nicki says:

    I have used it to play pac-man and a few other games. No I didnt create the spreadsheet – someone else did years ago in 2000 but I still have it at home and occasionally play it when I get bored

  25. Cathi C says:

    I created a price book for grocery shopping. I keep it on my netbook and enter item, price, qty & units. I can see at a glance if what I am getting on sale is a good deal, bad deal or whatever. I have also used it to generate form letters with variables based on values in a list.

    • Randy says:

      Cathi C,

      I am trying to generate form letters from a list of variables.  There are several (+1000) names on the list.  Could you send me a copy, sample, or tips on how you did your project?

      V/R

      Randy

  26. Mel says:

    Someone at my former employer used it to create the maps of the building that were posted to show how to exit the building in an emergency. You are Here!

  27. Brian S says:

    Naming each of my 3 children.

    For each kid, my wife and I separately brainstormed a list of viable first and middle names. I entered them into a workbook to identify any matches. (Thankfully there always have been matches.) Then I had formulas to display all possible combinations of those matches, as well as up to 2 additional “favorites” from each of us. Those results were manually whittled down based on their sound (which combinations appear fine), and whether the associated first/last or first/middle/last initials create an unexpected result. (I, with initials B.S., threw that requirement in.) This always led us to a 1st and 2nd choice. But if necessary, I was ready to move to a Web data extract to determine an additional “name uniqueness” value.

  28. Vanessa says:

    I have a friend who dated three different guys at the same time, and she was just not able to decide which one she wanted. One day I was so tired of listening to her mobbling around that I sat her down and made her think racionally about each one, while I took notes on excel. I then made a colorful graph for her with pro’s and con’s of each one and she was able to stand back and see what she thought and how she felt about them. She then made up her mind, and now 12 years later they are happily married and have a gourgeous son together!

  29. Modeste says:

    Hi Chandoo,
    as I was professionnaly known by my collegues for giving them help when using Excel,
    I used to do weird things near the limits of Excel normal usage…
    particulaly some games and sounding tricks… ;o)))

    some are gathered here :
    http://www.excelabo.net/search/node/jeux%20geedee?page=1

    the last but not least (now I am retired), I use excel to make layouts (tracks) for my miniature railways. (using chart XY scattered)

    cheers…

  30. John says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    Sorry I can’t compete with any of the others above me (I’m just a beginner), but the oddest thing I have tried to create in Excel is a simple boxplot with genuine outliers rather than those fabricated min max’s that we show instead. I was hoping 2010 would have had the ability but sadly no. :-)

    John

  31. George says:

    Check my youtube channel for some unusual demos:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/EngineeringFun#p/a

    or just google “excel unusual”

    I started by making some stock trading strategies in 2003. In my frustration of dealing with expensive slow engineering software I used excel to model adaptive filters. In just 2 months of playing with excel I managed understand more about those filters than old veterans in the team. A contract at Freescale in 2008 prompted me to model micro accelerometers (for car airbags) in excel (both electric and mechanical models). Excel was about 2 orders of magnitude faster then their Matlab/Simulink models while precision was still good. Needless to say everybody from the interns to management hated that. It’s just not the way things are done in industry. Then I modeled some dynamic planetary systems in excel (first 2D then 3D). I also made some 3-dimensional graphics (a roller coaster) and a tetris game, a phase lock loop (fully interactive and dynamic) and some basic finite element demos. Once you figure out how to plot render sketches in 3D and solve basic differential equations excel can do far more than one can imagine.

  32. Bill Daves says:

    Hi Chandoo:
    I used Excel as a solver tool for substitution cipher puzzles, to take the dog work out of propagating assignments through the puzzle. The best feature of the tool is that it makes changing your mind easy — whereas on paper, you scrub holes with an eraser, or run out of room with cross-outs if you do it in ink. The tool also provides a letter count.

  33. Modeste says:

    To george…
    Whaoooo !!!!
    please share your Excel 3D roller coaster !!
    ;o))))

  34. Paul says:

    Hi Chandoo, I used Excel to re-synchronize the .SRT subtitles files of DIVX movies, when i couldn’t find the correct version of subtitles for the movie i download.

  35. bill says:

    i built a Sudoku puzzle analyzer/solver and used all facets of Excel to self teach statistics and statistic visualizations.

  36. chip says:

    A couple of things:

    A few years ago I made a Jeopardy game that we used for a team event. Macros fired to show the questions and returned to the board like in the TV game. A database of questions populated the rows/columns based on difficulty. My wife subsequently used it for a school game too.

    I created a Bingo game after a challenge by Debra Dalgliesh:

    http://blog.contextures.com/archives/2009/03/12/create-bingo-cards-in-excel/ (Mine’s the last one)

    I also created a time-out-of-office request form for the office. Not that unusual except that when you clicked to print it, it selected one of 10 audio clips randomly that played for the employee–all had to do with missing people and not being able to wait for them to return kinds of things.

  37. Lucasini says:

    Well, I have to admit that I use Excel for almost everything (work or investigation related)…

    Recently I was asked to do a model in Excel for some scenarios involving incentive payments for employees in my company, but my boss only asked for one set of initial values because the model was too complex… but I wowed him with the use of circular references (one of the most powerfull but unknown features of Excel) and modified the spreadsheet to present all the results for any combination of input values between some ranges automatically, and, best if all, without macros…
    Greetings from Panamá.
    SE HABLA ESPAÑOL!!! Y EXCEL TAMBIÉN!!!

  38. George says:

    Modeste,

    Send me a private email at lownoise333@yahoo.com and I’ll attach the excel roller coaster file to the reply.

    George

  39. beejay says:

    I once put together an Excel application that could take a list of addresses (or even just zip codes) in a worksheet, and create a kml file showing them in google earth. They could be shown as simple pushpins, or could be balloons including text, pictures and links (these would have to be listed in the worksheet too, next to their respective addresses). It seemed a lot easier to use than the templates google provided!

  40. Lynda says:

    Drafting weaving patterns!

  41. Christian says:

    For those that have used it to write/ create letters – I do this too.

    In a former role:

    In preparing Sales Reports, I then had an Incentive payment letter which gets given to each staff member at the end of the month.

    Excel is great for this because by simply changing a few drop down choices e.g. job title, date started with company, department etc excel then looks up a the data tables and pre fills all their targets – than also brings in their results via lookup to the sales reports, and depending on the achivement result, different messages can be set to appear…Congratulations….. Thank you for your effort….

    I always have a cell that runs the date in all of my report files, e.g. one cell controls date in the target file/ actual results file/ reports and letter files. This way by changing one cell we can see the sales report for any previous period, as well as being able to re create/ reprint reports and letters for any period required.

    And it’s as simple as copy/ paste to crreate a new letter in the file.

  42. Lucasini says:

    Another one: some time ago I wrote a small Excel 2003 macro to do a list of all files inside a directory (selectable trough a little UI) with filter capability. The list returned the full path, archive name, extension, filesize, date created and date modified… That little app saved me a lot of time!!!. Too bad I haven´t coded the Excel 2007-2010 version….
    SE HABLA ESPAÑOL!!! Y EXCEL TAMBIÉN!!!

  43. Mike says:

    (refer to earlier entry: itunes) … As a music-holic, I use Excel for a itunes-hitlist on monthly base .. actually, Katie Melua, One Eskimo, A Fine Frenzy and Aura Dione are on top .. ;-)

  44. Mourad Louha says:

    Hi there, I used and I’m using Excel for:

    - the Excel Soccer World Cup 2010 Planner,
    - planning the plants of my garden with shapes and VBA,
    - coding for fun in VBA, e.g. sending Tweets to Twitter, Rotating images, Karatsuba algorithm,
    - tools in production plants, e.g. serial number creator + printing plates + special hardware,
    - analyzing my website logfiles and additionally using the AddIn PowerPivot for Excel 2010
    - … (more surely coming)

    Regards from Germany :-)

  45. I really wanted to write something! but there are way weird people than me :)

    Hats off to everyone to make use of Excel in real innovative ways!

  46. Kate says:

    I’ve used excel to create audit tools which are RAG rated (red, amber, green – very popular in the NHS!) and calculate the % score, then printed off to send to the audited property. It has saved at least half a day’s work for the nurses that audit – and when they’re doing around 100 a year its a lot of time! This has now expanded to 4 other departments, saving them similar amounts of time so that they can be doing something more useful than report writing too.

    But more interesting – an American friend created a weight-loss spreadsheet for pet rats!

  47. Yas V says:

    Mine is probably quite tame, but when I was copying the start menu like a linux menu I used excel to list down all the apps and folders and then simplified them in excel. So that every app goes into only 5 or 6 folders, (e.g. Video, Music, Office, Accessories, Internet etc) every app would then go into one of those sub folders. I found the moving cells around quite nice rather than pen and paper or even moving lists around. It just felt very natural to use excel : )

  48. JohnW says:

    Spanish Excel guru Jorge Dunkelman (jldexcelsp.blogspot.com – written in Spanish although you can GoogTrans it into English) wrote a nifty formula to calculate the numerology value of any given name

  49. Tom says:

    I made a timetable dashboard for the local train system (LIRR). They have multiple branches, and a friend was going to two locations on two different lines. There were no official connecting trains, so I used some lookup tables and spinners to set various arrival times on one branch to find the next train on the other branch.

  50. Dom says:

    I’ve got a spreadsheet in which I’m keeping track of the dates my son loses his baby teeth. The cells are arranged in the shape of the orientation of his teeth. So it’s an upside-down “U” above a right-side-up “U”. Each time he loses a tooth, I open the sheet, go to the appropriate cell, and give a CTRL + semicolon.

  51. Barnett says:

    I used Excel to setup a mentoring program. Mentees and mentors submitted questionairre responses electronically and excel used a matching algorithm to pair up the most ‘compatible’ people. With over 300 participants, it was hard to tell if its optimization was perfect, but in smaller test groups it did great.

  52. Doug says:

    I’ve used Excel to design geometric crocheted quilt patterns using conditional formatting.

  53. Pedro Wave says:

    My friend Verzulsan and I have compiled a thread of Excel animations from ourself and others into the Spanish forum http://www.ayudaexcel.com dedicated to give and receive help about Excel.

    The thread page translated to English is:

    http://www.ayudaexcel.com/foro/f64/hilo-general-de-animaciones-en-excel-12369/?language=en

    My contributions:
    - Matrix Digital Rain Effect in Excel 2007 and 2010
    - Wave motion with bubbles
    - South Africa Goals as a bubble chart with 3-D effect
    - A 7-segments clock and display (post 46)

    Last three are explained into my blog.

  54. Jack Neefus says:

    Speaking of Monopoly, I once made a cost-value chart of each property with various housing levels. Surprisingly, it was not at all smooth — there is a huge jump in value between the second and third house. Now to combine it with the frequency function.

    I also played around with creating simple artwork with Excel. I used the auditing arrows to create arabesques of references on a black background. Also used a Wingdings-like font called Western to make landscapes with cacti, mountains, and campfires, introducing perspective by changing font size.

    This is not so weird, but at work I used to design long-distance plans by taking 50,000 random customers and modeling the behavior of each one in response to different pricing scenarios. The results were a much better predictor of results than prior ways of estimating.

  55. Duggirala Pawan says:

    Hi Chandoo,
    I am not a techie. I am a mariner interested in Excel. I used it for making a radar plotter program and to determine a ship’s position in the high seas without using a sextant. (ofcourse not with a GPS).Not that I have to use either of these applications, but it was a nice learning .
    Hmmm….we share the same surname too.

  56. Pedro Wave says:

    I share with you a new blog of my friend George Lungu about Excel Unusual Engineering
    http://excelunusual.com/
    with very interesting ways of solving engineering problems or modeling natural phenomena in MS Excel.
    He is the designer of some 3-dimensional graphics as an impressive Roller Coaster which can be downloaded from his blog. Enjoy it!

  57. Prem says:

    I have used excel to create a layout plan of a 30- person office with details on key numbers so that the attendant and receptionist can identify which key no. goes where

  58. Will says:

    Redesigned my kitchen and entire house with scaled images of furniture, cabinets, etc. Using the snap-to ability, it works almost like CAD-Key Lite.

  59. gerdami says:

    I have used Excel to draw a golf course stroke saver.

  60. Magnus says:

    I have used excel to, with filling in the any company’s legal number in my country, would pull down all the relevant contact data, auto complete the form I was supposed to fill in at work and then convert the form to an executable script that would run on our firms 80s mainframe.

  61. Roger C says:

    I used Excel to list every possible hand of black jack (including hitting 17). Then used it to determine the odds of winning a hand with my 2 starting cards v the dealer’s 1 revealed card. Then I calculated when to split, double-down, surrender, etc…. I left out non-sane hands (yes you CAN hit when you have J-Q, but not worth it to list hands like this).

    That’s the easy part. I’m also recalculating the odds as cards come out of the 1, 4, & 6 deck shoes (i.e. card counting). Having problems with this without VB… but getting closer.

    I’m working on turing into a simulation.

  62. I’ve used Excel to read-in and draw a bitmap image (*.bmp) using the cells as pixels

  63. Anup Agarwal says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    I mostly use excel for calculation etc. in my MBA. But I recently realized that excel graphs can be used to create illustrations (drawings).

    So, just for fun I created a chart (using cartesian co-ordinates) to make a logo.(not a new design but recreation)

    I have used excel charts and random number generator to create a dance simulator in excel. the chart shows a person dancing on an excel graph.

  64. Fred says:

    I used the text to speech feature to tell Momma jokes to my co-workers.

  65. Vijay Adapa says:

    I have created a game of cricket (T20), Where in once collumn i add the scored runs and it adds up to a score board. Though this not a very interactive kind rather a more of a manual kind of additions. would like to develop the same to more interactive.

  66. SUDEEP says:

    Dear Sir,

    NICE TO SEE LEARN ABOUT THE NEW “EXCEL” features, through your website.

    Please do keep up the good work.

    Thank You & Best Regards,

    Sudeep Sharma

  67. Srinivas Raju says:

    Hai Chandoo,

    I Have used excel for making an Award Bid Form of Junior Chamber International, which one of my friend felt could be done only in PAGE MAKER or Coral Draw. i showed him we can do it in excel.

  68. Vivek Karat says:

    Hi@daniel : Referring to this post “DanielH82 August 13, 2010″ of yours, i’m extremely keen to know how you did this :) the main reason being, in my company too, there are times when the systems are left on overnight. so jus to save energy[yup, i'm a eco-conscious guy :) ] so i wanna save power n do good basically. so it’ll be great if u cud help me :)

  69. Viswa says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    I used excel to create floor plan for buldings and houses by considering the land dimensions and vastu.

  70. Vivek says:

    I & many of my collegues use it for creating layout plans of Electrical Sub stations, Airconditioning Ducting layout, Layout plans of buildings & other drawings easily and quickly in MS excel for A4 size paper instead of using CAD or other complicated softwares.

  71. Brijesh D says:

    I have used Excel to create a Road Map to my House based on three different routes, which was used in the invite for a ceremony which I had sent to my friends and collegues.

  72. Chuck Bily says:

    I developed an electronic system for electing a team of job security in my company.

    Hey!
    I’d like to suggest, as a challenge, that staff develop a system to draw for the secret friend for Christmas.

    qhat do you think folks?

  73. Prem says:

    Monitoring sales persons reginal dispersion
    I have used EXCEL on a map of Mauritius with scatter plot, one colour each for a sales person to see the distrution of all the clients over the island. This I did in a wealth management company.

  74. Sadaf says:

    Used excel to make my resume. Was fed up with the formatting issues of MS word tables. Later replicated the format in Adobe Indesign.

    Played poker in the absence of chips using excel. But I guess many ppl must have done that. :]

  75. Fred says:

    Instead of using quickbook I use Excel to create my personal finance mgmt tool. it tracks everything other than writing a check (abolish check writing half way when online banking is out). LOL.

  76. thom says:

    My wife and I used random sorting of a db of boys names to find the best first/middle name combination that we used to name our second son.

  77. Vinod Satve says:

    on 31st -Dec night, me and my 3 crazy friends used excel to calculate the party contribution.

  78. Hi Chandoo,

    First off, congrats on your success, enviable but more importantly, for your creativity. I doff my hat to you… :-)

    As for the most unusual use of Excel, well, a former colleague of mine used an early version of Excel to design his furniture! :-D Weird, huh? But then, not that much perhaps…

    Personally, use it everyday for more mundane stuff… including, but not limited to, personal expenses, finances/ self financial worth, book tracking, weight monitoring and the like, with plenty of colour coding, auto-changes, date stunts and stuff… I enjoy this. And hey, once upon a time, I had written the courseware–course text book–for an early ancestor of Excel named VPPlanner (a Lotus 123 lookalike); heard of that? Only CUI though that was…

    Cheerio!

  79. psbhat says:

    Once I used excel to put together a map of Hyderabad. Through a website I got the JPGs in pieces. I just pulled in these JPGs into a spread sheet and just arranged them properly to get the big map of the city. Though I can’t save it back as a JPG it is still available for viewing and for printout. I guess no other image processing tool can make it easier than that.

  80. Hari says:

    I created a workbook which on opening would go to any other open workbook, delet all the data in it and save it. I used to send this file to my friend in office for fun.

  81. Craig says:

    I created a master schedule for my daughter’s college classes each semester to brainstorm and look for workable combinations against required courses in her majors. It imported the schedule of classes and then did lookups based on the course and section to display options. From there she was able to see days and hours to find the best combination. She gave it to friends who then asked how the heck to use it. I actually wrote documentation and how to operate but drew the line at manually updating different majors’ requirements.

  82. jlathan says:

    I am using Excel for a wiring diagram for our FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) robot.

  83. Dan Santora says:

    I recently used Excel to create a floor plan for an art show I ran in December.
    I resized the columns and rows to resemble aisles and tables, then used the
    pattern tool to color the tables, used the text tool to lable the tables with the artists
    name, and used the draw tool to create electrical symbols. A quick and dirty drafting
    tool.

  84. George Lungu says:

    I used Excel for creating a PONG game with sound effects. One can map the mouse movement in Excel using some simple VBA code . The macro is written so that once you click the button that starts the tracking macro, the reference point will be reset where the button is, and then excel will display the X,Y deviation from that point. It is very fast and smooth far better than shortcut keys or button clicking. This way you essentially create a “mouse joystick”. The possibilities are virtually unlimited. Using this I will be making a 3-D flight simulator soon.

  85. George Lungu says:

    I’ve made a game of PONG in Excel with sound effects. The control is done by mouse and it is very fluid.

  86. minimaster says:

    Similar I created a game which I call “XcelAlign”. A box with 9 by 9 cells. (can be made bigger or smaller if you like) At Start and after each move 3 colored “balls” are added to randomly selected empty cells. Then the player can move one ball to an other empty cell with the aim to align 5 balls of the same color. When achieved the 5 (or more) balls disappear and the player gets points added to his score. In set intervalls more than 3 balls are added, this way the game becomes increasingly difficult. Can be quite addicting.

  87. rolo says:

    We have developed very advanced and unusual Excel models at http://www.todoexcel.com
    The biggest one was a 4 year development of an Excel Invoicing system.
    Our customer receive data in plain txt files and we build and email invoices from Excel.

    Onother one was a model redesign. Original Excel model was a huge 500 MB file that take 12 hours calculating. We rebuild it and ended with a 5 MB file which take 8 minutes calculating.

  88. Ste_elliott says:

    10+ years ago, whilst at Uni, I used Excel to “design and draw” a bridge. We came 3rd in a national competition, against people using autocad.

    The calculations were all loaded into one sheet and we filled in boxes to set the parameters, like span, width of road etc.
    then Using charts, we “drew” a scale representation of the bridge…. it was awesome, but took 10 times longer to do than if we had done it in a CAD package.

  89. Ranga Eunny says:

    I have used Excel to play Bulls and Cows guessing game. Also I used it to create scenarios for a 3 player prisoner’s dilemma real time game.

  90. Goutham says:

    Hi Chandoo,

    Your site is great. I used Excel to put the scores of everyone when we play cards, so that the totalling and keeping track becomes easy :)
    Keep up the good work!!!

  91. Jerome says:

    20 years ago my fiance and I used Excel as a page layout program to create our wedding invitation. Printed the invites and the envelopes with a laser printer on fancy paper that had lovely colored design. Still married – happily, no less.

  92. Cliff B says:

    Perhaps the wackiest thing OTHER PEOPLE think I have done in Excel wa to write my first book, entited “Windows Operating Systems and Services Architecture I” in 1995 and then went on the write another entitled “Windows Operating Systems and Services Architecture II” . Was it wacky? – well I did sell $12,000 worth of the books all over the world – self published. I found the “Fit to page” very helpful and was also able to put little boxes against the bullet-style of delivery so readers could grade their own understanding of each point and get an overall index. The first book was about 90 pages and the second book 270 pages. I had candidates from all over the world calling and thanking me for writing the books – it was a good experience.

  93. DeLisa says:

    I am a keyboard player and I use Excel to create sheet music. Not your traditional sheet music. Instead of staffs and treble clefts, my sheets have little keyboard images with the notes of the chord highlighted in the picture. I got the idea from a guitar website. In a spreadsheet, I enter the names of all the chords of the song (and their position) above the lyrics. When I click a button to run my macro, the corresponding keyboard images with notes highlighted are copied from another sheet throughout the song sheet. Kind of like guitar tabs, but for keyboard players. I’ve always been jealous of the guitar tabs in sheet music. :-). I can read regular sheet music, but I can “read” pictures quicker. Using Excel in this way allows me to create my own cheat sheets to learn more songs in less time. And I can transpose songs (and all the images) with one click, if necessary. I love Excel!

  94. Dave says:

    Most unusual?
    I used it to visualize the intervals between samples in the 3 and 4 digit U.S. lottery games. I found that in some states games, the flow of numbers are extremely “streaky” “uneven” or biased at times. Example….

    Session Chronology; 7661 8866 7476 8922 6348 3337 4327 7444
    Times Arrow or; ————————->> (or) x Chart Axis
    Sample Chronology; 76618866747689226348333743277444

    Measuring and plotting the intervals between each variable’s occurrence so that in text it would look like…

    Session Chronology; 7661 8866 7476 8922 6348 3337 4327 7444
    Sample Chronology; 76618866747689226348333743277444

    7′s Interval Chronology 7——–7-7————–7—77—-
    4′s Interval Chronology ———-4———4——4—–444
    3′s Interval Chronology ———————–333—3——-
    8′s Interval Chronology ——88—–8——-8—————
    2′s Interval Chronology —————-22———–2——-
    Together;————7—–88–747—22–48333743277444

    In tables and charts the intervals seem much more dynamic and compelling.

  95. Barry says:

    One time I a few hours to kill with only a laptop (no Internet) with Excel, so I decided to create some visualizations/animations in Excel with VBA. I’ve uploaded a video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGWO_58_4J0&hd=1

  96. Barry says:

    One time I had a few hours to kill with only a laptop (no Internet) with Excel, so I decided to create some visualizations/animations in Excel with VBA. I’ve uploaded a video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGWO_58_4J0&hd=1

  97. bruce says:

    Hi Chandoo

    Nice site.
    these sounded like good ideas at the time… but not so unusual as some of the stuff mentioned above!

    A sudoku generator and solver..
    http://sites.mcpher.com/share/Home/excelquirks/recursionlink/sudoku-generator-and-solver

    A roadmap generator..
    http://sites.mcpher.com/share/Home/excelquirks/recursionlink/roadmap-generation

    Something to generate google visualizations right out of excel
    http://sites.mcpher.com/share/Home/excelquirks/google-visualization

    cheers
    Bruce

  98. Justin_B says:

    I took our customers residential addresses, calculated Long & Lat for each and relative position to our location, charted all in a scatter plot and put a g**gle map behind the chart. Our company location was the x-y intercept.

    The chart needed a little nudging in size & position to get the overlay right, but all in all a cheap solution for ‘seeing’ where our customers come from.

  99. JT says:

    I used Excel to play Sonic the Hedgehog, Monopoly, and Original Mario Bros.

  100. Hardtoport says:

    Excel is my Swiss Army knife of Software. I can do letters, spreadsheets, databases, and floor plans, office docs. If I had to live with 1 piece of software, this would be it.

    My most interesting project was creating a macro to find the optimum build quantity to minimize stuck inventory on a product assembly with hundreds of parts. Each part had a different price, on-hand qty, and minimum purchase qty. I could test the model 10, 000 times (for production builds of 1-10,000 pcs). Each test would net the total onhand value of remaining unused inventory and report that as a factor (total inventory dollars unused/qty build). I call that the X-factor (excess inventory factor). This allows the buyer to select the best order qty that minimizes excess inventory. Big help to contract manufacturer’s who need to factor this variable into the quoted cost of a product assembly. Stuck inventory is a negative asset. Buying 4522 pcs might generate a $15.00 excess inventory factor, buying 4523 might reduce it to $7.5. Very insightful tool.

  101. Todd says:

    Just recently discovered your site. Thanks so much for all the help.

    I use excel to create a grocery shopping list. Sheet 1, you check the items you need (I entered the items we most commonly purchase). Sheet 2, press the button, and it sorts the items you have selected by aisle (yes I had to document what aisle items were in). It displays the price, and also has columns to note coupons, sales items, or price matching. Now, you don’t waste time trying to figure out what to buy or where it is in the store. Shopping is so much more efficient.

  102. jason says:

    Its nothing crazy but has been very helpful… I use it as a roll-a-dex for family/friends addresses. I developed it after I got married. but all i have to do now is type in someones name or select it from a drop-down list and it will show me their address. much easier than trying to write it down somewhere and find it or sort through those old style roll-a-dex’s.

    BTW: I just found your site and am enjoying your posts; though most of this is beyond my use of Excel.. (for now at least).

  103. Deborah says:

    I created a community map. It has every home with their house number, street names, community buildings, lakes, green areas, etc. We use it for the Neighborhood Watch and as a quick reference for homes and street issue for our community!

  104. Marianne says:

    Back in the spring of 1993 I used Excel (don’t recall the version) to design a house I was building. I created a grid on scale with graph paper (1/4″ = 1 foot) and used borders for walls, thick borders for exterior wall, thinner for interior wall, double lines for windows, etc. I moved into the house August of 1993 and still live here today.

  105. Gary Cushman says:

    I used a Excel spreadsheet to evaluate graduate schools for my daughter. Laid out undergraduate, graduate and Phd schools for every professor and color coded as to the quality of the school. Then compared the colors. The University of Illinois in Champaign tied Northwestern for quality of music professors. She went to U of I.

  106. Tarcilio says:

    I realize I am late in the game, but I havo only “discovered” this site this week. First of all, GREAT site! Really learned a lot in this past week working on your tips and tricks for excel. Second, I realized I use excel for a lot of things people usually don’t use when somebody came to me and asked: “Do you know of a software other than Paint I can use to make quick drawings/sketches?” – My reply as you know was: “I use excel. I have great control on what I am drawing, like size of figures, alignment, etc.” I was going to see if anybody else uses it for this, but there was so many comments that I just decided to pitch in. Best regards.

  107. George says:

    Hi guys,

    I made two flight simulators on 2D scatter charts. One is a 3D basic simulator, purely kinematic with no physics involved, just perspective handling. The second is a 2D simulator based on real physics. On this one you cannot change the airfoils but you can change maybe 20 different parameters including weight of the glider, center of gravity position, chords, lengths, heights, span etc. Both simulators are fast in 2003 or earlier versions controlled by virtual joysicks (mouse driven) which are an original idea of mine. I hate controlling a vehicle by using the arrow keys since it’s not smooth enough. Unfortunately in 2007 and 2010 the models are slow. Microsoft ruined the computation speed by adding childish features to its new versions of Excel. Check the models out at: http://excelunusual.com/, there are some video previews too if you are reluctant to download the files. All the files are open (unprotected) so you can see how they are made. There are detailed tutorials too for most of the models on the site so you don’t have a hard time trying to figure things out.

  108. Brown Sugar says:

    About a month back, I did performed a thorough analysis for my Fantasy Football Draft. I was weighing a ton of different factors such as as schedule ease, bye weeks, power rankings based off of a couple of different sites, etc. As you know you only have about 1:30-2 minutes to choose your players and if the people right before you steal your next 3-4 choices, you might be frantically be scrambling to figure out who you want. My goal was to organize the data in a way that I could make an educated split second decision about someone I didn’t know anything about… if only I could have somehow synched up the outputs of Yahoo Fantasy football to my database…

  109. Rikard says:

    Hi Chandoo.

    - I used Ecxel, that actually is quite excellent in handling text, to generate a long “script”-file for use in AutoCAD.
    (I’ve made a 21.000 command-line script without any greater effort)

    - I’ve made a Christmas Quiz for my kids to get a password for use in a treasure hunt.

    - I’ve used Excel to generate a configuration-file for ProEngineer to be able to create variations for a generic Pro/E (3D) model.

    - I’ve used Excel for making a easy-to-use Order-Form with check-boxes that in the end generate a Flowchart in AutoCAD.

  110. Chris says:

    Like others, I’ve recently discovered this site. Its great!
    I recently used Excel to create a Vitamin/Supplement reorder tracker. I recently got into health and fitness big-time and now take about 30 different supplements. The difficulty was figuring out when to reorder each one, and do so in a manner that doesn’t kill my budget (as a total order with everything costs over $600!). So, I created a spreadsheet that tracks the supplement, how many capsules are in each bottle, the proper dosage, and if I’m taking it, or both my wife and I are taking it. I then added in the supplier and cost and setup the spreadsheet so it would tell me in two week intervals (my normal pay cycle) what was due to order (based on different color combinations). Its setup for 2 months in advance so I can manage my budget properly and see if I have a big order coming up in a month so I can properly prepare. I even took into account the shipping time depending on the supplier. It took a while to put together, but works great.

    Thanks for all the tips / tricks!

  111. Jagmohan says:

    I use excel every day for various reporting formats however i wish to mention that i use and love to use it as a drawing canvas.
    i have made several drawing using excel it is one of the best 3d engine i have witnessed.

    http://expressionuni.blogspot.com/2008/12/home-is-with-you.html
    http://expressionuni.blogspot.com/2009/01/expression-season.html

    these are some of them…

  112. iPepere says:

    Chandoo,

    I am new to your website and Wow, I am so glad I found your site; you are making me look so good to the boss.

    I wanted to share an Org Chart that I created in Excel, but did not see any way of attaching a doc with this post. I had read that you gave an example using the google.org but it did not seem to provide an easy way to print etc.

    The only drawback with May Org Chart for me is I need to add some colored text but could not figure out how to do so. I will find a way to share the spreadsheet because I know you and your reders will make it even better. Thanks again for this great website.

    Norm (iPepere)… Pepere is French for Grandfather, and because I’m always on the computer my daughter called me the iPepere

  113. Carty239 says:

    I used Excel to mimic the scores on University Challenge for a student version of the event. Made it easier for the scorer, too. One button click to +5 for starter questions, separate button to +1 for others

  114. Steve says:

    I have an excel doc that uses circular references to crack any sudoku puzzle.

  115. Todd Fox says:

    The craziest thing I ever used it for was to hack a local news site online poll.
    They had simple Javascript poll to vote on which local high school football team would be featured that week.
    Using VBA to drive an IE browser in the background, I distributed the spreadsheet amongst 30 colleagues (yes at work). Each person simply opened the sheet, clicked start, minimized the workbook and went about their day. The spreadsheet would tally the number of votes it cast. They did this each day for a week and we ended up winning by over 70,000.

  116. Sam says:

    - created an internal work order form with input validation that auto-saved to a particular directory and in a specific file name whenever a user submits the form
    - created a tracker log to auto-monitor how many work order forms were coming in for above
    - created a monthly phone call statistics/number cruncher then use that to run various regression analysis
    - used excel as a query tool synced to an external MS Access DB

  117. Andrew says:

    On a christmas theme, i once created a secret santa random number generator…sounds dull at first, but when you clicked your name, santa would gently fly across the top on his sleigh and drop a number which floated down against your name. Oh and it played a random christmas tune for each person too. All very festive.

  118. Ksandra2901 says:

    - Hubby has used it to track his Racing Frogs (strange online tactical game, think it’s still about somewhere!)
    – I created a diet tracker which kept a track of daily and weekly points used
    – I created a simple tracker for a works Football tournement with my very first macro which when you pushed the button put the teams into order allowing for goal differences (which as a bit of a girlie I was quite proud of.)

    I just want to say that this site is an absolute GEM and I am sooooooo happy I have found it. I am learning so much and I thought I was quite advanced! Clearly I am a serious newbie!

    Again thanks guys xx

  119. Eric Jelle says:

    Like Mr. Tucker, the oddest thing to date i have done with Excel is designing family tree chart templates and research tools and legacy preservation items. I combined them with other MS office tools in the innovative forms library at Genedocs on wetpaint.com. In 2010 over 350 friends on fb approved of them and 100 who joined the site too so I am happy with excels amazing capabilities which I’ve honestly only just begun to explore.

  120. Andrew says:

    A former co-worker used it to design his kitchen and deck, after figuring out how to make the spreadsheet into a piece of gridpaper. Details of how to do this are here:
    http://www.mrexcel.com/tip071.shtml

    Shows many tips on how to get the column width correct, plus some architectural drawings and also a wiring diagram. I was really impressed, but have never attempted to use it this way.

    My son uses Excel during college lectures for note taking.

  121. Destructa says:

    I’m using a workbook now as a wedding planner…guest list with addresses, seating chart for the reception, keeping track of important dates and to-do’s…

  122. Savio says:

    I have prepared the calculation of our electricity bills. Just by putting the current meter reading I get to know what is the current bill, also I can predict what it could it be.

  123. Lori says:

    I use excel to design quilts. I change the cells to be square and insert shapes to design the quilt square, then fill them in with colors or actual fabric samples and move them around. Once I design a square I like, I group it, and copy and paste to create a quilt top.

    Then I buy fabric, cut, and sew…

    (I use it extensively at work for projections).

  124. Bhaskar says:

    I’ve designed a simple randomize formula to generate baby names for girls and then select top n names from the list to show on the summary tab.

  125. Kuldeep says:

    I used to analyse the number of issues active from all different (~30) regions with details to how many issues are active from how many weeks along with their as on date status to different states (like completed, pending, in progress etc.)

  126. bruce says:

    Personally, I cant see past the stuff on http://excelunusual.com/ which is all amazing.

    Paling into insignifcance against the amazing stuff on http://excelunusual.com/, here’s a few that I’m fond of I’ve done in the past

    1. Generate complete data driven javascript applications using Google Maps and Google Earth from some Excel data and parameters.
    http://ramblings.mcpher.com/Home/excelquirks/getmaps/mappingapplications

    2. Create topographic maps using heatmaps and excel surface charts
    http://ramblings.mcpher.com/Home/excelquirks/snippets/heatmap/rampcharts

    3. Combining Twitter sentiments and google finance feeds and tracking them over time in Excel to look for correlation
    http://ramblings.mcpher.com/Home/excelquirks/json/rest/combine

    4. Not strictly speaking Excel – although it started in Excel – but Outlook VBA – using a tagcloud to summarizeand quickly read Outlook selections of mails
    http://ramblings.mcpher.com/Home/excelquirks/json/tagoutlook

    Bruce

  127. Pedro Wave says:

    I posted an unusual Excel chess viewer without any VBA of chess games stored into spreadsheets in 50 languages with figurine algebraic notation.

    http://pedrowave.blogspot.com.es/2012/02/data-conversion-1-chess-viewer-in-excel.html

    The original idea is from Excel Hero Chess Game Viewer by Daniel Ferry, based on ICCF Numeric Notation, using a state machine as input to a dynamic chart. This gives us the ability to view a game forward and backwards.

    The novelty of my approach in this new chess viewer is that the movement of chess pieces are converted from algebraic notation to numeric notation.

  128. FinAnalyst says:

    I used excel to rename a large bunch of text files as the export program would prefix the entire path to filename.

  129. Godsbod says:

    Strategy mapping in Gaming. Campaign history, and attack history to prevent recurrent attacks where no further gain could be made that week.

    I have also created a Total Domination battle simulator that will tell you in advance of a battle what your likely losses will be, without using complex level advancement bonuses, this is still good to within 5% of actual results.

    Creating location maps of enemy bases, using name, x and y co-ords.
    This is not so successful though, and anyone having any ideas on speeding this process up and being able to create an XY plot with each point labelled… any thoughts much appreciated.

  130. tim says:

    I used excel to map out a large directory tree structure, test files for naming convention adherence and generate the stats on a dashboard.  

  131. bashishtha says:

    I export data from MSProject to Excel and generate similar graphics with VBA based on the data. This excel print out gives almost similar output to MSProject Gannt view. Thus you can share/get update on schedule in Excel Sheet, which has bar graphics also in timescale.

    https://skydrive.live.com/redir?resid=73F2091141FF50AA!146

  132. Lavina says:

    I used Excel to create a cookbook with an index that I can easily update & share with my grown children.
    Each recipe is on a separate worksheet & then I hyperlink the worksheet tab to the front worksheet as the index.
    This way I can share my recipes with my kids (they want to know how I make it & my changes are many so cookbooks don’t match my cooking!)
    :)

  133. [...]  In this edition: strange uses for Excel.  I must admit this post will be based primarily on a similar post at chandoo.org that I found [...]

  134. XLCalibre says:

    I created a Slide Puzzle: http://xlcalibre.com/just-for-fun-the-amazing-macro-powered-excel-slide-puzzle/

    It’s where you have a scrambled picture made up of little tiles and you have to slide them around until you get the picture right. There’s a macro for sliding the tiles and a macro for scrambling. Also, you can change the picture to whatever you like.

  135. lockdalf says:

    Well I think I have you all beaten here with the bizarre use. I have once used excel to recreate some of my mother’s crochet templates (from old and barely legible printouts) for her. of course it was done manually, line by line, cell by cell… ;o]]]]

    That was the most stupid thing I have ever done with Excel and I had to tell myself not to do it ever again

  136. John G says:

    For work, I once built a quick-and-dirty macro animation to assign myself and my twelve colleagues to unique physical areas of our facility for hazard analysis homework, with scrolling names, flashing cells, and beeps. 
    For a more serious effort, I built a weather forecast tracker.  I used a macro to fetch weather forecasts every six hours from two different websites for eighteen months, stored them, and compared the results to the actual temperatures to see if they were any kind of accurate.  Result: the forecast error formed the classic bell curve, centered at a forecast error of 2° F below the actual recorded temps.  The three most common results (-1, -2, and -3) accounted for about 25% of the forecasts, and 80% of the forecasts fell within a +3 to -7 range. 
    I put lots of hours into an Excel version of a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) to bridge a six month gap between corporate systems.  (I know Access was probably the better software for the purpose but I don’t know Access, I know Excel.) 
    I have two home improvement projects being tracked in Excel using surface plots: the warped floor of my living room as I jack the floor beams toward level from the crawlspace, and the hills and valleys in my front yard as I push the dirt around to try and get drainage away from the foundation. 
    And probably the most frivolous thing I ever did was tracking the results of the game show “Deal or No Deal” to see if there was a pattern to the banker’s offers.  Nothing emerged beyond the fact that the banker rarely offered the expected value, or even anything close to it; your best bet was almost always to reject the offer and play on.  Which was the point, I suppose.

    • Godsbod says:

      Are you prepared to share your weather dashboard. I would love to be able to do this sort of analysis but cannot seem to be able to get the web element working.

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  138. alphamax says:

    After seeing a couple of excel 3d animation on youtube
    I decided to make a countdown timer towards UEFA Euro 2012 in Poland/Ukraine.
    It’s a simplified Excel VBA 3D-engine made with standard Windows 32Bit API functions (polygons, only rotations, no translations, no shading).
    Several 3D-models are made with Excel for generating geometric data and Wings3d for combining them.
    There is also a marquee/scroller/ticker with colored letters and
    Midi-music
    All in a excel userform
    See for yourself on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw3U_sam81g&feature=youtu.be

  139. cameron says:

    When i brought my brand new baby home from the hospital, I was struggling with the overwhelming unpredictability of my new son.  I was accustomed to being able to know what would happen at any point during the day.  A new baby is a hinderance to this sort of living.  In order to regain control of a situation that was completely unpredicatable, I started tracking the baby in Excel.  When did he poop, when did he pee, when did he eat and for how long, when did he sleep and for how long.
    I created a nice little chart of the hours he was awake versus the hours he was asleep, the number of wet diapers compared to the total number of dirty ones.
    It took me a couple weeks before I finally got into the swing and was able to predict what would happen and when and abandoned the workbook, but i have to admit it was my saving grace for those first couple weeks.   

  140. ruraljuror says:

    I use it as a Photoshop workaround. I paste screenshots, pictures and photos etc, crop or resize them, add text etc. Then its copied to Paint and I  save it as a gif, jpg or tiff file. Sometimes I’ll use an online image editor for blending images together but on the whole use Excel for most of my graphic needs. I’ve made graphics for work instructions, Christmas party invitations, ‘enhanced’ photos of work colleagues for my own demotivational emails. I love it!

  141. Clive says:

    Hi
    I parsed & downloaded the data from a WAV (audio) file into a spreadsheet so i could treat the numbers mathematically. Unfortunately I was unable to write the results back to the file successfully, so there’s a great Excel song the world will never hear wandering around my hard drive somewhere

  142. David says:

    To play bingo at work.
    They emailed a list of numbers and I pasted them into a column and let conditional formatting tell me if I won.

  143. Steve LeLaurin says:

    To keep track of golf scores and a host of stats, plus betting games, plus winnings/losses, plus course stats, plus much much more

  144. Dwi Budi H says:

    To download series of picture from mangapage..

  145. Steve says:

    To produce batch files that convert my ripped CDs into MP3, using the ‘Lame’ app - I just have to type in the Artist, Album Name, then each song title.

  146. I’m working on an application to track my stats for playing BlackOps 2: Zombies. I created a printable form I use to quickly take down my stats including score, top round reached, number of kills, multiplayer and other settings. Then I’ve manually calculated some stats such as points per kill and kills per round.
    I’ll use VBA and a userform to allow the user to pick which a player and select a variety of stats to display and report, as well as using it to compare the difficulty of different levels and settings (such as Hellhounds or require Headshots only).
     

  147. dougp01 says:

    I call this the poor man’s finite-element-analysis (FEA) and I used this to study voltage fields in a 200,000 Volt power supply.
    I built a very large array of cells (1000s x 1000s), each cell represented a dimensioned square of 0.01” x 0.01”.  In every cell was the Pythagorean equation something like this C10=SQRT(C9^2+C11^2+B10^2+D11^2).  Yes, it works with more than three terms under the radical.  BTW, select only manual recalculation.  Next, I strategically replaced a number of cells with fixed numbers representing high voltage electrodes, their shapes and relative positioning.  I used conditional formatting in three colors on the entire array to show low to high voltages in green/yellow/red.  Column wide and row height are adjusted to something small like 3 clicks or so and just minimize font size.
    Now setup manual calculations with a few hundred iterations and you can watch the voltage distribution map develop.  Change to a few thousand iterations and let it run overnight.  The results are rather interesting to watch
    If you want to see the voltage differential go to the Sheet2 tab and do something like C10=MAX(ABS(Sheet1!C9- Sheet1!C11),ABS(Sheet1!B10- Sheet1!D11)) and copy it through the dimensions of the array of Sheet1.  Use conditional color formatting for max and min values and you get a map of high voltage stress points. 
    This saved my neck a few times as it found place where the design would have arced across in dramatic fashion.

  148. grahamj42 says:

    I used Excel to plan a new paling fence with the top a raised cosine function. I was able to calculate the length to cut my pales and, as a chart, print a template to cut the tops.

  149. [...] of a different drummer, whether that means you have a unique occupation or hobby, you may have a more esoteric use for Excel. That makes it more difficult to get your information into a spreadsheet. Creative types always [...]

  150. Suchros says:

    I was assigned to a stupid beginners excel-class… So I used extra time to create pong via TCP/IP, and had my teacher to open it too. Played it sometimes :)

    Maybe I should post it here if I ever find the CD it is on, it was just a VBA side-project so I have no clue where it is ATM, this is about 8 years old “game” :)

  151. Akin says:

    To create line-ups for my football team

    To get a list of cocktails I can do at home (by filtering existing ingredients that narrows the number of cocktails I can make)

    Solving a problem in PC game Myth

    Attempted to solve a sudoku puzzle

  152. A Fan says:

    A little late to the party, but this is the most unusual thing I have seen been done in Excel: http://www.spoon-tamago.com/2013/05/28/tatsuo-horiuchi-excel-spreadsheet-artist/

  153. I spent about 18 months developing an approximation to game theoretically optimal poker (GTO).

    extensive use of the =COMBIN() function was invaluable here, plus a hell of a lot of goal seeking.

    it doesnt help that there are 2.5 million ways to deal a 5 card poker hand, and excel only allows 1 million rows of data. So there had to be some shortcuts and assumptions.

    I probably shouldn’t have used excel for this, and used C++ or something similar instead!

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