29 Excel Formula Tips for all Occasions [and proof that PHD readers truly rock]
Last updated on September 21, 2009
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.
To return the full Path+Filename of your (saved) workbook (and dropping the  characters) to get, for example, C:\Data\ExcelFiles\MyWorkbook.xls: =SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(LEFT(CELL(”filename”,$A$1), FIND(”]”,CELL(”filename”,$A$1))),”[“,””),”]“,””)
Create a Dynamic Range that Grows and Shrinks with Data
This formula looks up data from another sheet considering three parameters keeping into account the column A and column B with sub-components (both on another sheet) and matching them up with the heading on both sheets. =OFFSET(’Data Sheet’!$C$1,MATCH(D$2,’Data Sheet’!$A$2:$A$140,0)+MATCH($B5,’Data Sheet’!$B$2:$B$20,0)-1,MATCH(D$3,’Data Sheet’!$C$1:$J$1,0)-1)
This formula extracts data from a dynamic data range and returns a zero value if there is an #N/A error. =IF(ISNA(HLOOKUP($A14,Data!$AB$2:$AW$9,MATCH(”P”,Data!$AB$2:$AB$2,0),0)), 0,HLOOKUP($A14,Data!$AB$2:$AW$9,MATCH(”P”,Data!$AB$2:$AB$2,0),0))
Find the difference between maximums of two ranges
Here’s my little contribution (previously posted 😉 Named Ranges (should be dynamic, but….) Ship $A$2:$A$8 Captain $B$2:$B$8 flights $C$2:$C$8 in F:F Summary_ship $F$2:$I$2 this 3:3 Summary_Captain $E$3:$E$6 data is in range A1:C8, and summary is in E1:I6. =SUMPRODUCT((Ship=in Summary_ship)*(Captain=this Summary_Captain)*(flights))
This formula determines the Active (=”T”) status or otherwise of Employees in an Excel spreadsheet: =IF(AC2=””,”X”,IF(AND(AC2=500000,AD2=””),”T”,IF(AND(AC2500000,AD2?”),”F”,”Pls Enter Leaving Reason!!”)))
Using INDIRECT along with VLOOKUP to make dynamic lookups
=FREQUENCY(DY5:DY118,EU4:EU14) for creating frequency distributions. I can’t believe I went so long before discovering that there’s an easy built-in array function that does this. Constructing the distribution by hand was always a pain.
Both the winners are randomly selected. I have already sent them an e-mail with the further instructions to claim the prizes.
Big thank you to Bonavista Systems, the contest sponsor
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Further Resources if you want to learn Excel Formulas
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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"
I would like to share a method to convert a number-stored-as-text before you lookup:
@Peder, yeah, I loved that formula
@Aires: Sorry, I misunderstood your formula. Corrected the heading now.
@John.. that is a cool tip.
That p-value formula is really great for a statistics person like me.
What a p-value 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.
Go to Data > Data Analysis > T-Test 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.
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; one-tail and two-tail. (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 p-value formula makes my life a LOT easier!
Fantastic stuf..One line explanation is cool.
Thanks to all the contributors
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
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.