29 Excel Formula Tips for all Occasions [and proof that PHD readers truly rock]
It is no exaggeration that knowing excel formulas can give you a career boost. From someone starting at the long list of numbers, you can become a data god who can lookup, manipulate and analyze any spreadsheet by learning few excel formulas.
So when our little excel blog hit the 5000 RSS Subscriber milestone, I celebrated the occasion by asking you to share an excel formula through twitter or comments with rest of us. And boy, what an excellent list of formula tips you have shared with us all.
Here is the complete list of entries for the twitter formula contest.
Follow the links next to contributor’s name to see the original twitter post or comment
To return the full Path+Filename of your (saved) workbook
by Dmurphy on PHD comments
Create a Dynamic Range that Grows and Shrinks with Data
Find the last cell in a row
Cleaning your data (Example, changing the values in a column)
by artjohnson on twitter [@artjohnson]
Extract the month from a date
by Alan on PHD comments
Clean your text before you lookup
by rushikul on twitter [@rushikul]
Find if two ranges are statistically different
by nandoaires on twitter [@nandoaires]
Lookup 3 criteria and return the match
by Alan_xls on twitter [@Alan_xls]
Offset with Match, get data from somewhere else
by Arnab Bose on PHD comments
Using SUM with multiple conditions
VLOOKUP but get values from the left
by bsamson on twitter [@bsamson]
Getting data from a dynamic range
by Arnab Bose on PHD comments
Find the difference between maximums of two ranges
by PreetAulakh on twitter [@PreetAulakh]
Find the top 3 values of a range
by JassiAulakh on twitter [@JassiAulakh]
SUMPRODUCT with multiple conditions
by Martin on PHD comments
Get the name of the workbook
by Dmurphy on PHD comments
Excel Formula Fun – Should we fight… ?
by chrismelck on twitter [@chrismelck]
More ways to use IF and Then formula
by Olu D. on PHD comments
Using INDIRECT along with VLOOKUP to make dynamic lookups
by squash86 on twitter [@squash86]
Calculate the pvalue of a tstatistic [Don’t ask me what it is 😛 ]
by David on PHD comments
What is on the right side of that string
Find frequency distribution of a range of values
by Cody on PHD comments
Incell bar graph
by JohnCorp on twitter [@JohnCorp]
Get the name of the current worksheet
by Dmurphy on PHD comments
Excel formula fun – Usetheforce()
by _mikii on twitter [@_mikii]
UDF to calculate to royalty, I am not getting any
by chrislbs on twitter [@chrislbs]
Find the Next Friday the 13th
by S3bast1an on twitter [@S3bast1an]
Split first name and last name
by Mahmut on PHD comments
IF with a VLOOKUP
by m4th1337 on twitter [@m4th1337]
And now for the winners
I wish I had more prizes to give. All the tips are truly marvelous. I have learned several cool uses of excel formulas. But alas, we have only 2 prizes in this contest.
Dashboard bundle from Bonavista Systems goes to Govi
The excel formulas 2007 book by John Walkenbach goes to DMurphy
Both the winners are randomly selected. I have already sent them an email with the further instructions to claim the prizes.
Big thank you to Bonavista Systems, the contest sponsor
I would like to thank Andreas from Bonavista systems for sponsoring the dashboard bundle. Bonavista systems makes some really cool tools for excel dashboards, sparklines and helps you make cleaner and better looking charts. Checkout their products and know more about them from their site.
Further Resources if you want to learn Excel Formulas
 15 Excel formulas to transform you from beginner to pro
 Important excel formulas: IF and Then, Vlookup, Offset, Sumif, Countif, Working with date and time
 Debug excel formula errors
 50 Everyday excel formulas explained in plain English
Hello Awesome...
My name is Chandoo. Thanks for dropping by. My mission is to make you awesome in Excel & your work. I live in Wellington, New Zealand. When I am not F9ing my formulas, I cycle, cook or play lego with my kids. Know more about me.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Visit Excel for Beginner or Advanced Excel pages to learn more or join my online video class to master Excel.
Thank you and see you around.

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12 Responses to “29 Excel Formula Tips for all Occasions [and proof that PHD readers truly rock]”
Some great contributions here.
Gotta love the Friday 13th formula 😀
Great tips from you all! Thanks a lot for sharing! bsamson, particularly you helped me on a terribly annoying task. 🙂
(BTW, Chandoo, it's not exactly "Find if a range is normally distributed" what my suggestion does. It checks if two proportions are statistically different. I probably gave you a bad explanation on twitter, but it'd be probably better if you fix it here... 🙂 )
Great compilation Chandoo
For the "Clean your text before you lookup"
=VLOOKUP(CLEAN(TRIM(E20)),F5:G18,2,0)
I would like to share a method to convert a numberstoredastext before you lookup:
=VLOOKUP(E20+0,F5:G18,2,0)
@Peder, yeah, I loved that formula
@Aires: Sorry, I misunderstood your formula. Corrected the heading now.
@John.. that is a cool tip.
Hey Chandoo,
That pvalue formula is really great for a statistics person like me.
What a pvalue essentially is, is the probability that the results obtained from a statistical test aren't valid. So for example, if my p value is .05, there's a 5% probability that my results are wrong.
You can play with this if you install the Data Analysis Toolpak (which will perform some statistical tests for you AND provide the P Value.)
Let's say for example I've got two weeks of data (separated into columns) with the number of hours worked per day. I want to find out if the total number of hours I worked in week two were really all the different than week one.
Week1 Week2
10 11
12 9
9 10
7 8
5 8
Go to Data > Data Analysis > TTest Assuming Unequal Variances > OK
In the Variable 1 Box, select the range of data for week 1.
In the Variable 2 Box, select the range of data for week 2.
Check "Labels"
In the Alpha box, select a value (in percentage terms) for how tolerant you are of error.
.05 is the general standard; that is to say I am willing to accept a 95% level of confidence that my result is accuarate.
Select a range output.
Excel calculates a number of results: Average (mean) for each week's data, etc.
You'll notice however that there are two P Values; onetail and twotail. (one tail tests are for > or .05), the number of hours I worked in week two is statistically equivalent to the number of hours I worked in week one.
So here’s a way you might want to use this. You put up a new entry on your blog. You think it’s the best entry ever! So you pull your webstats for this week and compare it to last week. You gather data for each week on the length of time a visitor spends on your website. The question you’re trying to prove statistically is whether there’s an average increase in the amount of time spent on your website this week as compared to last week (as a result of your fancy new blog post). You can run the same statistical test I illustrated above to find out. Incidentally, it matters very little to the stat test whether the quantity of visitors differs or not.
Anyhow, the Data Analysis toolpack doesn't perform a lot of stat tests that folks like me would like to have access to. In those cases I have to either use different software, or write some very complicated mathematical formulas. Having this pvalue formula makes my life a LOT easier!
Thanks!
Eric~
Fantastic stuf..One line explanation is cool.
Thanks to all the contributors
OS
Take FirstName, MI, LastName in access (you can fix it to work in excel) capitalize first letter of each and lowercase the rest and add ". " if MI exists then same for last name:
Full Name: Format(Left([FirstName],1),">") & Format(Right([FirstName]),Len([FirstName])1),"") & ". ","") & Format(Left([LastName],1),">") & Format(Right([LastName],Len([LastName])1),"<")
I teach excel, access, etc etc for a living and i have my access students build this formula one step at a time from the inside out to show how formulas can be made even if it looks complicated. Yes I know I could just do IsNull([MI]) and reverse the order in the Iif() function but the point here is to nest as many functions as possible one by one (also I illustrate how it will fail without the Not() as it is)
Extract the month from a date
The easiest formula for this is =MONTH(a1)
It will return a 1 for January, 2 for February etc.
if in a column we write the value of total person for eg. 10 if we spent 1.33 paise each person then how we get total amount in next column and the result will in round form plzzzzz solve my problem sir................... thank u
@Anjali
If the value 10 is in B2 and 1.33 paise is in C2 the formula in D2 could be =B2*C2
If the values are a column of values you can copy the formula down by copy/paste or drag the small black handle at the bottom right corner of cell D2
kindly share with me new forumulas.
How to convert a figure like 870.70 into 870 but 871.70 into 880 using excel formula ? Please help.