17 07 2013
This Blog was initially called Excel 2007 with ExcelMaster. Time has passed now and we’ve got Excel 2010, Excel 2011 for the Mac and now Excel 2013
Anyway, this Blog contains an ever growing set of detailed pages on How to … do things and pages of simple but very useful Tips.
PLEASE COMPLETE MY SURVEY … IT’S ANONYMOUS AND FREE BUT WILL HELP ME WITH DATA ANALYSIS AND I WILL SHARE EVERYTHING WITH YOU. JUST GO HERE … http://sdrv.ms/1ihI7FT Many thanks in advance.
2nd December 2013: Merry Christmas, first of all. Secondly THREE really important posts for you today. Reverse Pivot UPDATE: I am learning more and more about reverse pivot and how to use it. Confidence Intervals: for anyone using statistics, hypothesis testing and so on, look at this page. Histograms using the REPT function: I THINK you might not find this anywhere else but do correct me if I am wrong. In any case, it’s great! All new pages/updates are in the Excel How To … menu.
12th November 2013: This blog now contains videos … I upgraded my subscription and can now upload and share videos. Number one follows … read this … you MUST read this. It’s not mine but there’s a video with it. The reverse pivot technique for turning a table into a list. It’s fantastic and so simple.
11th November 2013: read my new page on Wildcards and Numbers as Text. Very useful for you I am sure.
13th October 2013Oops! I used the Word 2013 automated blog uploading utility yesterday and the two posts on Beetlemania and Sports Day at the Primary School should have gone to another blog. Not my fault as I triple checked everything before I posted them. Then again, the power of Microsoft knows no limits. Enjoy them anyway!
15th September 2013: recently I set up a file to calculate the Piotroski F Score from accounting data. A bit involved but it looked fine and I used and demonstrated it. As I demonstrated it for the third or fourth time, I noticed an error. I THINK I know how it happened but I had not spotted it for a while. Corrected now 😁
20th August 2013: If you’re a bit nerdy you might love this page, in How to … Charts … it’s called The Moon: plotting the dates and time of a full moon … read on!
7th August 2013: a Then v Now Chart based on the work of chandoo.org. Look in the menu under Excel How to … Charting …
MY ONE HUNDREDTH POSTING ON THIS BLOG! … 4th August 2013: How to create a pattern for the tiles on a column in a building … including random tiling. See the menu Tips … Other.
27th July 2013: a basic page on stem and leaf diagrams … not really needed I don’t think but some people still talk about them! Other menu, … how to!
17th July 2013: back from my latest trip and I come bearing gifts … two mini projects and a nice little formula to learn. By the way, my first mini project was another one concerning a VERY slow spreadsheet. I watched in horror as this work book took at least 20 minutes to open. I was allowed to root round the file and very quickly ended up in a cell far far away from A1. In summary I was able to delete around 22,000,000 cells that each contained a formula that was being updated when Excel recalculated and opened. These formulas were created accidentally when the user clicked to fill down and for some reason it filled all the way down to row 1048576 instead of stopping at row 64800 where it should have stopped. The file opened normally after that! Go to the How to Others in the menu to see this new page: Mexican Projects!
Just follow the menus above and you will find a richness of content.
Here are the links to my three new books.
The Excel Project: Kindle
The Excel Project: paperback
Excel Work Book: kindle
Excel Work Book: paperback version to follow … this is my latest book and it’s an introductory guide to Excel spreadsheeting for beginners. It’s a short book at just 51 pages but beginners will find it a vital addition to their Excel bookshelf!
Case Studies on mSMEs: kindle
Case Studies on mSMEs: paperback
If you’d like my help and guidance on something, just ask and I’ll do what I can.
Introduction for Absolute Beginners: Introduction to Excel for Absolute Beginners
Excel Files for Practice:
The basics of spreadsheeting 1
The basics of spreadsheeting 2
The basics of spreadsheeting 3
The basics of spreadsheeting 4
22 11 2013
Another course completed and another post for the blog just suggests itself naturally.
This week a delegate wanted to know how to find the weighted average cost of capital for his company: not just an academic view but a real WACC value. One of the aspects of WACC that is often a bit tricky is to find the value of Beta. It’s easy to find Beta values for listed companies in the UK, Europe and the USA but this company is in Saudi Arabia and I could not find the Beta value on the Saudi stock exchange web site.
What I did was to go and find a sample of the changes in the index of the entire stick exchange and the changes in the price of the share. I found the information I needed at bloomberg.com and here is the table I prepared in the Excel file:
All we need to do then is to create this formula: =SLOPE(C5:C12,B5:B12) … in cell E16 and the estimate of Beta this gives is 0.8314 … with a market Beta of 1, this tells us that Savola is rather a conservative company as far as the Saudi stock market is concerned.
If I have time over the next week I will try to expand this table to 70 prices and changes to give us a more reliable estimate of Savola’s Beta.
Watch this space!
14 11 2013
I had a delegate this week whose Pivot Tables would take any of his numerical data and by default count them rather than sum them. When he asked me why that happened I went through the normal explanation of data v numbers … which is true. However, in his case there seemed to be no reason behind this phenomenon: his data was clean as he was using my files and no one else had the same problem. He was using a good quality company laptop too.
We both checked on the internet last night and gained nothing from the many discussions on this problem: most of which related to data v numbers I have to say.
This morning I suggested that we look at his Windows Regional etc settings. His default language etc was US English and that seemed to be in order; but I said, let’s try this, change it to UK English and see what happens.
Ta daa! For some reason, this change did the trick and now this delegate’s Pivot Tables sum his data rather than counting it.
Another success story fromExcelMaster!
11 11 2013
UPDATE: 2nd December 2013
Watch the video and then imagine that you have downloaded a five year set of financial statements for a company. Nothing wrong with the data or the database they came from but imagine you want to set up a pivot table from them. Probably not possible unless you are lucky enough to have a data provider who has designed their output with this in mind.
Let’s cut a long story short: open this file amazon_case_reverse_pivot and try to apply the reverse pivot technique in my video to the data you will see there. Good luck and it will be worth any effort you put into it! PLEASE READ THE NOTES in this work book re copyright …
I didn’t invent this technique but I learned it a couple of weeks ago and used it in earnest just now … watch the video!
I had a table that had months across the top, years down the left hand side and data in between. What I wanted was the data in a list in three columns:
year month value
transposing, rotating, copying and pasting can give you what you want but it will take a long time. My original table covered all twelve months and five years …
Reversing a Pivot table is what it’s called and this is how to do it:
- Press Alt + D then P to call up the pivot table wizard and select Create a “Multiple Consolidation Ranges PivotTable.”
- Select “I will create my own page fields”.
- Select your data range and choose 0 page fields
- When you see your pivot table, double click on the intersection of Row Grand and Column Grand, in the bottom right hand corner of your pivot table
- You will be presented with your new table in the form of a list … that is, from pivot table style to list style … it’s magic!
11 11 2013
I know I learned this function a while ago but then I forgot about it. The aggregate function was newly created for Excel 2010 and it provides us with some interesting functionality: overcoming shortfalls in the performance of such functions as AVERAGE, MIN, MAX, LARGE, SMALL and a few more … 19 of them altogether. The trouble is, good as it is, it is not that simple to apply. What I have done then is to create templates that will help you to use the aggregate function in one or both of the formats in which it might be used.
From the Excel Help File:
Returns an aggregate in a list or database. The AGGREGATE function can apply different aggregate functions to a list or database with the option to ignore hidden rows and error values.
AGGREGATE(function_num, options, ref1, [ref2], …)
AGGREGATE(function_num, options, array, [k])
The AGGREGATE function syntax has the following arguments (argument:
Required. A number from 1 to 19 that specifies which function to use
Required. A numerical value that determines which values to ignore in the evaluation range for the function
Required. The first numeric argument for functions that take multiple numeric arguments for which you want the aggregate value
Optional. Numeric arguments 2 to 253 for which you want the aggregate value
For functions that take an array, ref1 is an array, an array formula, or a reference to a range of cells for which you want the aggregate value. Ref2 is a second argument that is required for certain functions. The following functions require a ref2 argument:
The AGGREGATE function is designed for columns of data, or vertical ranges. It is not designed for rows of data, or horizontal ranges. For example, when you subtotal a horizontal range using option 1, such as AGGREGATE(1, 1, ref1), hiding a column does not affect the aggregate sum value. But, hiding a row in vertical range does affect the aggregate.
My templates will tell you if you are trying to use the wrong format of aggregate and has then been set up to ensure you don’t make any other mistakes when using it. This includes providing combobox guidance for choosing which functions and options you need to use.
The Excel file is available here: aggregate_function … just click!
All feedback is warmly received as are suggestions for improvement.
11 11 2013
As I am working away this week, I can be found looking at, opening up, working on a spreadsheet or two. Last night I came across yet another excuse to build an Excel data set. I found the TopTrack 250 and just had to have it: all seven years’ worth of day for the top 250 companies according to the Top Track definition. Look here for the 2013 data set.
So I duly copied and pasted the data for 2013 into a spreadsheet and edited it. Having seen that I liked what I had done I then copied over the other six years’ worth of data from Top Track. Because the data copied over in a very standard and predictable way, I was able to select all six sheets of the additional data and work on them all concurrently: moving data from one row to another, setting up columns in a better way, lining up the data to make it consistent with what I had already done with the 2013 set. Easy and not too time consuming.
But now the wildcards. On the web site that the data came from they had symbols such as asterisks that pointed to a note that said … average, estimate … or something like that. I needed to get rid of them all! As it was late and I wasn’t looking carefully, I carried out an edit and replace of * and having pressed Replace All, found that ALL of my data disappeared … it was doing what a wildcard must do … in this case, any character was being replaced by nothing! A very hasty Ctrl+Z put everything back to the way it was but I still had to get rid of these symbols.
What to do? Delete every symbol manually? No, there were too many of them. Given that the symbol was in the same place in the cell it was in, at the beginning, I ended up with a formula solution that I entered in a new blank column that I would eventually use to replace the current data:
Why D6? That’s where the first of my data points is in each of the tables I set up. I then copied the formula across to the next cell on the right and then down to the bottom of the table … it worked a treat.
I remembered that I should have added that there were other symbols in the data in addition to the * and I amended my formula to cope with the ‡ symbol:
Now I had to copy and paste my edited values as text rather than leaving them in formula format, otherwise I have to leave the original data in the file AND have the edited version. So I just copied and pasted the edited values over the original data and my data were now clean and tidy … but read on!
Numbers as Text
One problem remained: having replaced these symbols, the result was numbers as text rather than number as number. In this case I did this:
- enter 1 in any available cell
- copy that cell
- select the entire range of numbers … all of them so you miss nothing and don’t waste your time selecting just the affected ones if your data set is large like mine
- paste special, multiply
- ta daa! your numbers as text have now become numbers as numbers
- Delete that cell with 1 in it
There you are wildcards and paste special to set up a nice, clean table of data copied from the web.
Eeessh! Calm down!
So, you know your work book compriees ar least two work sheets but you cannot see any tabs at the bottom of your Excel work book.
Click on maximise in the top right hand corner, just in case. If you still cannot see them, try this
Click the office button at the top left, it’s either a Windows circle or a rectangle saying File
Scroll to Display options …
Select Show sheet tabs if it is not selected
That should solve this problem.
This happened to me yesterday with an old file and since I NEVER deselect show tabs, I just wonder how these things happen!
01 11 2013
I wonder if this is a feature, a bug or a coincidence within 24 hours of uploading this post it happened again … see below8w.
Last week I was working on a file in Excel and one aspect the work was to use the COUNTIFS () function. I know this function and have used and demonstrated it many times. Would it work? Yes it did and then it point blank refused.
Yesterday a friend asked me about setting up hyperlinks in an Excel file and then saving that file as a Web Page before uploading it on to an intranet. I set to work and created two basic hyperlinks, saved as Web Page … one link worked and one didn’t. I corrected the error, saved the file again. Did the correction work? Not at all. I went back and checked my work but still it didn’t work.
Is there a theme here? Yes!
In both cases, when I deleted the error completely and started again from scratch I got rid of the errors, no amount of editing in these cases looked as if it would work.
This morning I was working through some lookup examples that included a complex formula that included INDEX, ROW and should have been array entered. I copied and pasted an example formula that I knew would not work. Then I edited the formula but just could not make it work. So I started again I a new cell and bingo, it worked.
If something you KNOW is correct is not working: delete, start again.
Let me know if this worked for you too.