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Spreadsheet Day 2013

Spreadsheet Day http://spreadsheet-day.com/blog/

Happy Spreadsheet Day 2013! In honour of this special occasion, here is a collection of my favourite spreadsheet tweets from this year.

I collect and post Excel tweets every Friday on my Excel Theatre blog. They give an interesting glimpse into the strange and wonderful ways that people use (and abuse) spreadsheets.

And remember, onions and spreadsheets don’t mix!


Create Labels in Microsoft Excel

On her blog, A Typical English Home, Angela Shear shows us how to make labels in Excel.

These aren’t the typical, boring address labels that you’d make at the office. No, these are fun labels, that you can stick onto a child’s toy box, to show what’s inside.


Easy to Use

Yes, Excel was built for budgets and lists, but creative people have found thousands of other uses for it too. As Angela explains:

“All you need is Microsoft Excel. It is incredibly user friendly and even though I’m relatively proficient in the Paint Shop Pro software I’ve had for years I still tend to favour Excel for label making!”

See the Instructions

I don’t see a sample file that you can download, but there are step-by-step instructions for making the labels.

To see the details, click here: How to Make Labels


Spreadsheet Day 2012

SpreadsheetDay822Happy Spreadsheet Day 2012! What are you doing to celebrate?

To mark this special occasion, I’ve posted links to 5 of my favourite Excel tips from the past year, on my Contextures Blog.

The tips include:

  • adding check boxes to a worksheet, that you can double-click to add a check mark
  • creating a chart with conditional formatting based on labels and values
  • building an interactive sales dashboards
  • and two more tips.

If you have any other favourite spreadsheet tips, for Excel or any other spreadsheet program, please share them in the comments below.


Excel Is For Lists Not Formulas

Sure, you use Excel for all kinds of fancy calculations. imageYour workbooks are full of mega-formulas and user-defined functions. Your macros magically summarize the data, and you create monthly reports with the click of a button.

But what about the guy in the next cubicle? Does he use Excel for anything more than a grocery list?

Joel Spolsky on Excel

In his article, How Trello is different, Joel Spolsky, who was on the Excel development team, talks about the team’s concept of how Excel would be used. Then, they started visiting customers, and found a different story.

"Most Excel users never enter a formula. They use Excel when they need a table. The gridlines are the most important feature of Excel, not recalc."

That sounds about right to me.


Freedom From Spreadsheets

How much personal stuff do you track with spreadsheets? Does all that tracking take the fun out of your free time?

It’s not just you – in her blog, Vicariously Yours, Sarah Layden talks about her years of recording all the books that she read. "I tallied my reading habits on nerdalicious spreadsheets, sharing and comparing with my readerly friends."

But now, she’s given up that tracking habit, and reads without logging all the details. You can find her story here: Spreadsheet No More! A tale of liberation.

That "Sad Animals" book looks familiar – I’ve read something like that a few hundred times in the past. But usually I stick to the technical books, and those aren’t too interesting to track anyway.