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Open Thread For First Time Commenters – What do you like in Excel?



First Time Commenter - Say Something and Get a DollarIf you have never commented on PHD, this is your chance. Go ahead and say something and I will give you $1.00 discount on my Excel Formulas Help E-book.

The topic is: What do you like in Microsoft Excel?

Write one line, write 10 paragraphs, it is up to you. You have nothing to loose, but you can gain new friendships, learn something, find blog commenting an extremely good learning experience and get a dollar off my already dirt cheap book (it is just $5).


PS: Everyone is welcome to share their views, discount codes will be sent to first time commenters only. How do I decide you are a first time commenter? I have an elephant’s memory.


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20 Responses to “Open Thread For First Time Commenters – What do you like in Excel?”

  1. Jerry Betz says:

    What I like about Microsoft Excel is that there is a tremendous amount of help available for it online. I've learned more about writing macros and creating different charts not native to Excel by searching for what I thought were relatively obscure terms, only to be surprised with the amount of hits Google returns. These searches invariably bring me across other ways of doing things not related to the search, but still broaden my horizons. People share a lot of Excel tips, shortcuts, macros, formulas, different chart construction techniques, programming methodologies, and visual design guidelines. In addition, you can also get help on code or formulas that are holding you back, other folks will help you out.

    I wish this type of sharing would happen for other programs. The CAD package I currently work with does not have this same amount of information online.

  2. Oscar says:

    What I like about Microsoft Excel is how creative one can be with all the built in functions. It feels like almost any problem can be solved. Excel is so easy to start and use, it is a lot more powerful than a calculator. Start Excel instead of a calculator!

  3. Ben says:

    Pivot tables and VLOOKUPS FTW!

  4. Adam says:

    (one of many) But Excel allows you to become incredibly efficient. With the built in formulae, column spacing and ability to count when dragging down, there's no need to do many things by hand.

    I know this is quite a statement, but in my line of work I amass lines of syntax, which is made easy thanks to Excel (and a quick edit with Notepad++).

  5. Joe Mako says:

    The number one thing I use Excel for is manipulating data with VBA. I like the wide range of formulas available, but sometimes they do not easily adjust to changing data sources. When I combine the formulas with VBA, I feel like I have better control of my data.

  6. Finnur says:

    What I like most about Excel is the way it makes me feel about myself.

    And the abilty to help me do anything I want to.

  7. Angelo says:

    I think that the best thing about Excel is the availability of tools which provide the capability to present data in a way that can be understood quickly by an audience. Granted, it requires the user to provide some creativity, imagination and ingenuity... but it quickly rewards these contributions. From process flow charts which quickly demonstrate bottlenecks or repetitive loops, to data visualization in diverse ways, Excel provides flexibility, computational capability and speed to those who take the time to learn and use its potential. It is the one application which I most use.

  8. Ketan says:

    Bcoz of excel, we globally come on the common platform to help , share and enhance the skills by using brilliant ideas and questions too. I believe every thing is possible in excel but the limitation of any one is he/she does not know everything how to do in excel.

  9. Frederick says:

    Data validation lists. So simple yet so useful. After all the entries are done, its Pivot Tables next.

  10. anu says:


    The way you have shown in the spread sheet is very easy to understand.


  11. Sumeet says:

    Hi Chandoo, in your speedometer chart you have used 2 charts which are one on another. When I do it, I am unable to view one chart on another. How to make a chart transparent so that I can view both of them when I combine them.

    • Chandoo says:

      @Sumeet: You can make a chart transparent by selecting the chart and clicking the format chart and then setting the background color to none. (often you may need to repeat the same step for plot area too)

  12. iesmatauw says:

    what i like in excel?
    1. pivot table (solved 80% work in 20% time and the main reason i install windows)
    2. Help, tips 'n tricks available anywhere (like in this site)
    3. vba (great framework for almost everything i need)
    4. chart (No, not the default one)
    5. cool and usable addin (jeddox' palo, rimlinger's sparkline, peltier's boxplot, jkp's name manager, ron's send mail, etc)
    6. solver+scenario

  13. I like Excel flexibility, most ot the systems and databases are kind of difficult to make reports or anaylize data, with Excel I can extract any information from any database and then "play" with the numbers and arrive to conclusions easier.

  14. James says:

    put simply ... how was life before Excel?

    I use it for everything (ok, I sometimes use Access too).
    And I can join them together almost seamlessly.

    ... It great for quickly trying things out
    ... If they got rid of Excel in my company, I'd change companies!!

    However, a "fool with a tool" (some people give Excel a bad name)

  15. Tito says:

    The above url is of a password manager created with excel. For some reasons, its not working for me. I have a downgraded version of excel I think. Is there any way to use encryption the same way used in this excel, only with formulas.
    Looking for your ideas

  16. Barbara says:

    I enjoy being able to manipulate data, and using pivot tables and lookup to compare data. I love finding new tips and new excel web sites and gurus and using the wonderful and often free addins which they produce. I have been using spreadsheets for work for more than 20 years, and started with visicalc 1 on an apple. When I see a tip which looks useful I save it, and my colleagues at work sometimes ask me if I know how to do something, so I have my own library of useful tips I can refer to and pass on.

    • Chandoo says:

      @All.. thanks for the comments. I am overwhelmed to see quite a few first time commenters. You will get the discount coupons on Monday

      Meanwhile, keep the comments coming, the offer is still open.

  17. Navin says:

    I use excel a lot. There is so much to learn. Your website is amazing and I have learned quite a lot excel tips and will continue to visit the website for more tips. Thanks Chandoo

  18. Danilo says:

    I don't use excel, but I like cars! xD

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