In this week’s roundup, Excel history, Office 2016 reviews, add-ins to reduce Excel errors, and much more.
1. Excel 30th Anniversary – Recalc or Die
This Wednesday, Sept 30th, is Excel’s 30th anniversary. Check out GeekWire’s interview with 4 original members of Microsoft’s Excel team — Mike Koss, Jabe Blumenthal, Doug Klunder and Jon DeVaan. Learn what they almost called it, and find out why Excel’s motto is “Recalc or Die”. Read the comments too!
If you’d like to share your earliest memories of Excel, please email me your story today, so I can include it in an anniversary blog post here, on Wednesday. Also, let me know what name/nickname and URL link you’d like to use.
2. Excel Add-ins to Reduce Errors
During his doctoral research as a University of Eastern Finland PhD candidate, Bennett Kankuzi developed two Excel add-ins, to help reduce errors in spreadsheets. You can read about them (in English) on the university’s website, and there is a link to download the add-ins and test them. You can read more about the DomainTermsViz add-in, and how it works, on Bennett’s blog.
3. Excel and Chart Tips
Mike Wong shares 5 Excel tips “that you’ll actually use”. Note – The FORMULATEXT tip will only work in Excel 2013 and later versions. And I hope that date grouping in pivot tables isn’t really a “little known” feature.
If you’re building charts, there’s good advice in Scott McLeod’s article on 10 Design Tips for Excel Charts.
4. Charting Utility Version 3.0
Don’t miss the discount! Jon Peltier has released Version 3.0 of his Excel Charting Utility. There is a $10 discount if you buy before this Wednesday — September 30th. You’ll get additional discounts if you upgrade from a previous version. If you build Excel charts more than occasionally, you need this time-saving add-in!
5. Office 2016 Review
Office 2016 was released on Sept. 22nd, and Ed Bott took a look at the new features. It looks a little different from Excel 2013, and apparently the Help is better, with a little light bulb to click on the Ribbon. (Do you remember the old “Tip of the Day” that had a light bulb too?) There are many other small improvements, and you can read about them in Ed’s blog post.
The Verge also reviewed Office 2016, and reports that “Excel only has one notable change: six new chart types.”
6. Combine Text and Numbers
Ben Kusmin shows how to use the TEXT function to combine text and formatted numbers, in a specific pattern. In his example for a law firm, Ben combines a client name with raw numbers, to create a list of properly-formatted Bates numbers, such as BigBank_007550.
7. Data Culture Day – London
If you’re in the London area, you can register for the free The Data Culture Day London – Power BI Edition.
- Date: Saturday Nov. 28, 2015
- Time: 9.00 AM to 5.30 PM
- Where: Microsoft UK Ltd, Cardinal Place, Victoria Street, Victoria, LONDON SW1E 5JD
- Cost: FREE
- Registration and details: Data Culture Day London – Power BI Edition
8. Excel Humour
Finally, for a bit of spreadsheet humour, you can see what people are saying about Excel, in my weekly collection of tweets. Here’s one of my favourite tweets from this week’s collection. Can you work faster than Excel?