All articles with 'Learn Excel' Tag

Lookup most frequent item [Homework]

Published on Feb 17, 2017 in Excel Challenges
Lookup most frequent item [Homework]

Here is an interesting problem to keep your brain cells fight boredom on this Friday & weekend.

Let’s say you have some data like above.

And you want to know, for a given customer name (in cell G4),

  • What is the most frequent quantity?
  • What is the most often purchased item?

How would you write formulas to get these answers?

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Use CTRL to make copies of worksheets quickly

Published on Feb 15, 2017 in Keyboard Shortcuts, Learn Excel
Use CTRL to make copies of worksheets quickly

The other day, I found myself making copies of a templated report worksheet. After trying the usual route of “right click on source sheet, select move or copy, check create a copy and press OK” a few times, I thought “well that is asinine.” So I figured, may be CTRL+Drag will create a copy. And what do you know, it does.

So that is our quick tip for the day. Whenever you need to make a copy of something, simply hold CTRL key and drag the thing.

It works for charts, drawing shapes, worksheets and even ranges.

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Road Trip Planner Template [Excel Downloads]

Published on Feb 1, 2017 in Learn Excel
Road Trip Planner Template [Excel Downloads]

We recently went on a road trip around parts of New Zealand’s north island. We have been to Taupo, Rotorua, East Cape and Napier. It took us 2 weeks, we drove more than 2,000 km and spent almost NZ $3,000 on the trip. Of course, being a data nerd, I made a plan of the trip in Excel and that helped us budget for this.

After getting back to home, I thought it would be fun to polish the planner workbook and share it with you all so you too can plan a fabulous road trip. So here we go.

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Check for two out of three conditions (Homework)

Published on Jan 13, 2017 in Excel Challenges
Check for two out of three conditions (Homework)

Time for some logic check.

Suppose, you have three logic values in A1:C1 (TRUE or FALSE values in each cell)

You need to find out if ONLY two of these values are TRUE.

How would you write the formula?

Got an answer? Awesome. Just post your formula in the comments. Let’s see how much variety we can get from all of our readers.

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Untrimmable Spaces – Excel Formula

Published on Jan 12, 2017 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel
Untrimmable Spaces – Excel Formula

Let’s talk about the untrimmable spaces.

We all know that TRIM() removes extra spaces from the beginning, ending and middle of a text.

So for example, if A1 has ” something and    one   more    ”

TRIM(A1)

will give “something and one more”

We can use CLEAN() function to remove non-printable characters (like the ASCII codes 0 to 31).  Of course, SPACE is technically a printable character, so CLEAN() won’t remove spaces.

The untrimmable spaces…?

The other day Sreekanth emailed me a sample of data and asked, “how do I remove the spaces in this list and convert them to numbers?”

Naturally I tried to TRIM().

But the data won’t budge. See above.

Hmm, let’s investigate why.

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An odd lookup problem [Formulas]

Published on Dec 6, 2016 in Excel Challenges, Learn Excel
An odd lookup problem [Formulas]

Let’s say you have some employee data in employee name, manager name format. But the data is all in one column, with odd rows containing employee names & even rows containing manager names. Something like above.

And you want to find out who is the boss for a given employee. Say, “Andrea Nichols”.

Your regular MATCH() formula for Andrea over the data range returns wrong answer as it will find first occurrence of Andrea (which in this case happens to be on even row, hence a manager record).

So how would you write the lookup formula?

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Can you solve this blood pressure problem? [IF Formula Homework]

Published on Nov 4, 2016 in Formula Challenges, Learn Excel
Can you solve this blood pressure problem? [IF Formula Homework]

Over on Facebook, Kristin asks, Help, my blood pressure is going thru the roof. I can’t seem to solve this blood pressure problem. 

Let’s simplify Kristin’s problem.

You have some data in the format shown above.

And you want to find out the BP category for each reading, using some rules. Read on to solve the problem.

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How to add a line to column chart? [Charting trick]

Published on Nov 2, 2016 in Charts and Graphs
How to add a line to column chart? [Charting trick]

Let’s say you work in super hero factory as floor manager. You are looking at the recent time sheet data submitted by your underlings and want to know who works more. So you did what any self respecting floor manager does. You made yourself a large cup of hot chocolate, whipped open Excel and created a column chart.

But now, you want to add a line to it at 6:00 PM (or some other arbitrary  point) so you can clearly see which superheros are over working.

So how do you go about it?

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Decorate your TPS reports with spooky spider web chart [Halloween Fun]

Published on Oct 28, 2016 in Charts and Graphs
Decorate your TPS reports with spooky spider web chart [Halloween Fun]

It’s Halloween time. As adults, we can’t go trick or treating. We can of course dress up in costumes and entertain others. But what about the poor spreadsheets. Don’t they deserve some of this fun too?

Hell yeah! So I made a spider web generator in Excel. Just use it to make a spooky cob web pattern and add it to your report / dashboard / time sheet or whatever else. Surprise your colleagues.

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CP056: So which formulas you should care to learn?

Published on Oct 27, 2016 in Chandoo.org Podcast Sessions
CP056: So which formulas you should care to learn?

In the 56th episode of Chandoo.org podcast, let me answer the chicken and egg question of Excel users. How many formulas should you care to learn?

What is in this session?
In this podcast,

  • Two personal updates
  • 3 legs of formula writing
    • Function knowledge
    • Operators
    • Referencing
  • 6 categories of must-know functions
    • Basic math
    • Conditions
    • Lookups
    • Text
    • Date & time
    • Work specific
  • Closing remarks & resources for you
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Find first & last date of a sale using Pivot tables [quick tip]

Published on Oct 26, 2016 in Pivot Tables & Charts
Find first & last date of a sale using Pivot tables [quick tip]

Here is a quick Pivot table tip. Let’s say your work at ACME inc. requires some fancy pants analysis of product sales. Imagine looking at below data & trying to find out the earliest & latest date for each product sale.

Of course, we can concoct a version of MINIFS & MAXIFS to answer the question. But why bother, when you can answer the question with just a few clicks.

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How many formulas should you learn? [Weekend Poll]

Published on Oct 20, 2016 in Learn Excel

Over at twitter, @for_the_moves asks,

That got me thinking. How many functions should you care to learn?

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Finding if a cell has 7 in it… [Pattern matching in Excel]

Published on Oct 18, 2016 in Learn Excel
Finding if a cell has 7 in it… [Pattern matching in Excel]

Imagine you work at MI5 as a HR officer. You want to find all agents who have license to kill (licence 7). Your data looks like above.

How would you go about it? 

If you filter the list or use FIND() or SEARCH() formulas, you will end up with agents who also have licenses 77, 17 or not7. So how would you solve this problem?

Of course, you do what any smart person does. You summon Excel and ask it nicely by using some wicked pattern matching logic.

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CP055: “Yes, I am back” edition (and a bonus Excel tip)

Published on Oct 13, 2016 in Chandoo.org Podcast Sessions
CP055: “Yes, I am back” edition (and a bonus Excel tip)

Ladies & gentlemen, its time we revived the much loved Chandoo.org podcast. In the 55th episode, I do a lousy imitation of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous “I will be back” and tell you why there was such a long gap between episodes, my plans for reviving our podcast and more.

What is in this session?

In this podcast,

  • Why there was such a long gap between last and this episode
  • What next?
  • How to extract every 6th item from a list?
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Interactive Decision Tree Visualization in Excel [Trump vs. Hillary in Swing States]

Published on Oct 11, 2016 in Charts and Graphs, Pivot Tables & Charts, VBA Macros
Interactive Decision Tree Visualization in Excel [Trump vs. Hillary in Swing States]

It is election time in USA, and that means there is a whole lot of drama, discussions and of course data analysis. There are tons of cool visualizations published on all the data. Previously, we talked about “How Trump happened” chart.

Today let’s take a look at the beautiful decision tree chart by NY Times explaining what would happen if each of the 10 swing states vote for Democrats or Republicans. Go ahead and look at that chart. And when you are done playing with it, come back.

My first thought after looking at the chart is: Wow, that is cool. I wonder how we can recreate that experience in Excel?

But as you can guess, making a dynamic tree visualization in Excel is pretty hard. You can create a bubble chart mixed with XY chart to show all the nodes of the decision tree, but as this tree has 2^10 nodes at the bottom level (and 2^11-1 total nodes) our chart would look very clumsy and busy.

So, instead of replicating NY Times chart, why not make our own version that explains the data? You can reuse this idea when visualizing outcomes of several what-if scenarios.

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