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The Excel Team Blog

The Excel Team Blog
  • Update to Microsoft's BI Strategy and Vision

    Many of you might have heard or seen posts about a recent change to the Microsoft BI Vision & Strategy, namely, PerformancePoint will no longer be sold as a separate SKU but rather be part of the SharePoint Server enterprise offering, and the specific planning components will receive one more update this summer. More information on this change can be found on Microsoft’s Business Intelligence site and the The BI Blog . Just what does this change mean? For the most part, it means that more customers...
  • Hidden and Invisible Objects

    Today’s author, Ben Rampson, a Program Manager on the Excel team, talks about cleaning up spreadsheets. I often receive files demonstrating issues customers are experiencing with Excel. Recently I have noticed a common problem in some of these files that impacts the file’s performance and size: hidden and invisible objects. When gathering data in Excel it is common to start with information found in a variety of sources, frequently lists or tables located on the Internet. Customers often copy and...
  • New Case Study Involving Excel Services

    A new case study has been published that describes how Microsoft IT used Excel Services to build a portal for finance data. Here's a snippet from TechNet: Controller Workspace: Connecting With Excel Services in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 Describes how Microsoft IT created a centralized user interface platform, called Controller Workspace, that enables users to view reports, key performance indicators (KPIs), and other finance data. Out-of-box features of Microsoft Office 2007 Excel...
  • Quick and Easy Data Access with Excel Services

    Today’s author, John Campbell, a Program Manager on the Excel Services team, shows us the quick and easy way to get external data access working with your Excel Services spreadsheets. I have seen a lot of great blog posts that tell folks how to do great things with refreshed data in an Excel spreadsheet using Excel Services. I’ve seen posts about slicing dashboard pages, about using .odc files to manage data, and more. One thing that continues to be an issue is how to get connected to that data in...
  • Simple Expense Tracking With New Excel 2007 Functions

    Today’s author, Monica Poinescu, a Software Developer in Test on the Excel team, gives an overview of some new functions in Excel 2007 and along the way shows us how to do some simple expense tracking. Considering the current economic environment, one may desire to better keep track of personal expenses. The new functions introduced in Office Excel 2007 simplify this effort. Here is how: given a list of expenses sorted by dates and categories (food, travel, clothing, etc.), how do I find how much...
  • How to Create a Professional Chart using Excel 2007

    Today's author, Robin Wakefield, a Program Manager on the Excel team, discusses charts. As a new program manager in Excel one of my first tasks was to understand what problems users encounter when building professional charts in Excel. I defined professional as following the principles of Edward Tufte by reducing the amount of non-data ink on a chart. On an earlier post , there were a lot of comments about this particular aspect and I agree we could do better in helping users accomplish this...
  • Creating Dynamic Validation Ranges

    Today’s author, Dany Hoter, a Product Planner for the Excel team, shares a neat trick he learned recently for creating dynamic data validation ranges. The sample file used for this blog post can be found in the attachments at the bottom of this post. The problem: Validating data entry based on hierarchical (parent child) data. The example used is regions and countries but it could be countries and cities, product categories and sub-categories, class and student name, etc. You want to enter a region...
  • Excel VBA Performance Coding Best Practices

    Today’s author, Chad Rothschiller, a Program Manager on the Excel team, is back with a follow up from his previous post on VBA and Excel performance . I want to start off this post by thanking everyone who sent in their examples in response to my January request. It is incredibly helpful to be able to look at what you all are doing with Excel! Not only did I see a huge variety in how Excel is being used, you also pointed out various tips and tricks for writing fast VBA code in Excel. In this post...
  • Analyzing Data: Functions or PivotTables

    Today’s author, Monica Poinescu, a Software Developer in Test on the Excel team, discusses two different approaches to analyzing data in Excel. My earlier blog on the new Excel 2007 function SUMIFS spawned a very interesting discussion (thanks to everyone who posted comments there): when trying to analyze/aggregate data in a table, how do we decide whether to use functions versus PivotTables? This blog outlines reasons to use one option or another. To better illustrate the two alternatives I’ll consider...
  • A Robust Way To Reference Multiple Columns In a Table

    I’m sure many of you have built a spreadsheet like this before: you’ve got a table of data; one of the columns in this table contains a formula which references a span of columns in the same table. The number of columns you need to reference may change over time as requirements change. How do you you build this table in such a way that the number of columns can be changed without breaking the formula that references them? Let’s walk through a somewhat contrived but simple example to demonstrate the...
  • VBA Coding Contest

    I'm passing along some information I think will be interesting to many of the readers of this blog. Test your VBA coding skills and win! MSDN® is sponsoring a coding contest for Office 2007, named OfficePalooza ! This sweepstakes will run two weeks beginning April 20, 2009, and features ten fun Visual Basic of Applications™ (VBA) coding challenges in the form of puzzles and games. Each entrant will earn a chance to win one of hundreds of available prizes, determined by a random drawing at the...
  • Modifying Conditional Formatting Color Ranges in Excel 2007

    Today’s authors, Amit Velingkar, a Program Manager on the Excel team, and Bob Silverstein, a User Experience Researcher on the Excel team, talk about creating professional looking Color Ranges in Excel. Introduction: My fellow PM on Excel, Robin Wakefield, wrote a blog article on how to create professional looking charts in Excel 2007. Continuing with the same theme, we will investigate the idea of tweaking Color Ranges in Excel 2007. We will start with a default Conditional Formatting Color Range...
  • Microsoft Office 2010 Technical Preview

    Today, Microsoft is announcing a limited, invitation only Technical Preview program for Microsoft Office 2010 that will kick off in July. The program will provide you with the opportunity to experience early, pre-release versions of Office 2010 which will include the following applications: Word 2010, Excel 2010, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010, OneNote 2010, Access 2010, InfoPath 2010 and Publisher 2010. Check out www.office2010themovie.com for signing up to be considered for the Technical Preview...
  • New Change to the Excel blog

    I’d like to take this opportunity to announce a new feature of the blog, which some of you might have noticed already. Our Content Publishing team has begun collecting “Power Tips” from members of the Excel community, including the product team, Excel MVPs, user group members, and other Excel enthusiasts. Power Tips are intermediate-level “How-to” tips that you can use to enhance your spreadsheets. We hope they’ll be valuable to those of you who feel pretty proficient with Excel, but who don’t consider...
  • Week Numbers in Excel

    Today’s author is, Ron de Bruin, an Excel MVP . You can find more useful tips from Ron and links to Excel add-ins at his website: http://www.rondebruin.nl/ There are four primary week numbering systems in use worldwide. Each system has subtle differences that you should be aware of. Excel can work with any of these systems: 1)  ISO Week number: The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) ISO8601:2000 Standard. All weeks begin on a Monday. Week one starts on Monday of the first week...
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