Introducing Spreadcheats – Become Supergood with Excel in 30 days

Posted on October 31st, 2008 in blogging , Learn Excel - 11 comments

spreadcheats-excel-spreadsheet-productivity-tipsStarting next week, PHD is going to feature a 30 post series on spreadcheats. The purpose of these posts is to make day to day spreadsheeting a breeze. Each post will be less than 200 words in size and aspires to make your day at office a little bit more productive.

I have already identified around 25 simple topics for discussing like: relative vs. absolute reference in functions, chart formatting, printing and sharing workbooks etc.  But please feel free to drop your suggestions on what you would like to know. I like learning and sharing new stuff and your requests can motivate me to do that.

All the posts in this series will be tagged with “spreadcheats“. Once the series has a meaningful number of posts, I will create a seperate page where you can get all the links and discussion in one place.

Watch out for the first installment on next week. 🙂

Written by Chandoo
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11 Responses to “Introducing Spreadcheats – Become Supergood with Excel in 30 days”

  1. AlexJ says:

    Topics that come to mind include:
    Conditional Formating
    Data Validation
    Use of the OFFSET function
    How to make a valid data list
    Basic pivot tables

  2. Robert says:


    I think this will be quite a challenge: "supergood in Excel in 30 days". I am looking forward to the series.

    A few more ideas:

    - selection of the most powerful functions: OFFSET (as Alex already said) the LOOKUPs, MATCH, INDEX, SUMPRODUCT, SUMIF, COUNTIF, SMALL, LARGE, INDIRECT, etc.

    - Array formulas

    - Autofilter, special filter and SUBTOTAL

    - Custom number formats

    - Use of form controls

    - Keyboard shortcuts

    - Customizing the toolbar(s)

    - Trendlines for charts

    - Solver

    - Error handling in formulas

    - Range names

    - the must-have add-ins (Power Utility Pak, Name Manager, etc.)

  3. CraigM says:

    Date sorting intricacies - by week, month, quarter, year, etc independent of format

  4. Ketan says:


    Following topics are very useful :
    Goal Seek
    Query writing
    ABC of Visual Basic(for layman)

  5. Denise says:

    Mr PHD - I also struggle big time with OFFSET - I know that it is a mighty fine function - If only I could get to grips with it!

    Another function - INDEX. Can you try to cover this as well please.

    Many thanks Mr Chandoo

  6. Cheryl says:

    I am really looking forward to this! I also would like to see some fundamental Visual Basic info. Are you going to be doing this in '07 or '03?
    BTW, I just learned a new keyboard shortcut and I can't believe it took me this long to find it -- shift F11 for a new sheet.

  7. nixnut says:

    Are you aware that juiceanalytics also did something in this area some time ago? See


  8. BDA says:


    Sounds interesting and am waiting for the updates 🙂

  9. chandoo says:

    @All: thanks so much for the suggestions. It is nice to know that you are eager to make me learn and share all these ideas.

    Few clarifications:
    - all of these would be based on excel 2003 (dont worry, most of them may work with 2007)
    - the intention is to share simple answers to day to day excel problems that I have learned the hard way
    - SInce the posts are going to be bite sized (200 words max) I wont be able to learn or share some of the more complex excel spreadcheat suggestions you have given like : array formulas, form controls or solver etc. But let me understand some of these things in depth and write a bigger post whenever I can.

    Thanks once again. Let us use this thread to post any suggestions you may have. 🙂

  10. Bruno@Brazil says:

    Chandoo, nice idea you had!

    I'm interested in these topics that had been already suggested. But I'd like also to suggest you to comment something about tips for saving a worksheet in smaller files. Several times we need to send a worksheet by e-mail, but my worksheets get only bigger and bigger. Internet gets faster every day, but some people complain if they have to open a 10 Mb attachment... I don't know if it's related with the way I use formulas, I'd like to hear something about it from you.

  11. Robert says:


    ozgrid provides several methods that might help you:

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