What-If analysis in #Excel – Part 2

Basic of Two way Data Table

This is an extension of the post What-If analysis in #Excel.

Excel Tips - TwoWay Table 1

If you do not know about Goal Seek or One-Way Data Table, you may read Start the new decade with Goal Seek in #Excel and What-If analysis in #Excel before moving on.

We talked about a situation that we’d to have a list of outcomes with different initiate savings (Variable), by using One way Data Table.  Since we have two variables (the other one is the Weekly increment%), we may actually see the outcomes of different scenarios in a cross table, like this:

Excel Tips - TwoWay Table 4

With Two way Data Table under What-If analysis, this can be achieved easily… as long as you know the setup required. 😉

You may download a Sample File to follow along.

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Wanna boost your #Excel Dashboard skill?

Is learning Excel Dashboard one of your 2020 resolutions?

If so, then you’re in for a treat because today I’m excited to tell you about Microsoft Excel MVP, Mynda Treacy’s highly acclaimed <Excel Dashboard Webinars> are open for limited time!

Free Excel Dashboard Webinars

If you’re not sure what a dashboard is, or how these skills might be relevant to you, and help you overcome the challenges above, then you can attend one or both of Mynda’s FREE Excel Dashboard Webinars.

Webinar 1 – Excel Dashboard for Excel 2007/2010/2013/2016/2019/Office 365

The first webinar will teach you how to use Excel to build this interactive dashboard below, no additional software or add-ins required, just plain old Excel and some data.

Click here to register for webinar 1.

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What-If analysis in #Excel

Basic of One way Data Table

This is an extension of the post Start the new decade with Goal Seek in #Excel.  

In that post, we talked about using Goal Seek to find the initiate savings required to obtain a total savings of $1000 at period end, given the other variable remains constant.

How about if we want to have a list of outcomes with different initiate savings?

Do we need to change the value one by one manually and then do the great copy and paste?  Like the screen-cast below… 🤦‍♂️

Excel Tip - OneWay Data Table

Of course we don’t!  We can do it with (One-Way) Data Table under What-If Analysis.

You may download a Sample File to follow along.

Note: You may want to read this post to understand the context before moving on.

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#Excel Power Query solves a real life problem – Who eats what?

Interesting application of Power Query for real life problem – See how to transform table into different layout using Power Query

I came across this Power Query Challenge from Computergaga and I found it really interesting as it seems that it happened to some of my ex-colleagues for event planning before.

I took the challenge.  In this post, I will give a possible way of solving it with Power Query.  Yes only one of the possible ways.

The Challenge

You’ve got the following table. The headers of columns are different types of dishes that your guests can select from.  What underneaths are the guests who pick it.  The first there columns are Appetizers, while the middle three and the last three columns are for Main course, and Desserts respectively.

Power Query Challenge by Computergaga

Is the above a bad layout?  Well it depends.

If you serve the dinner, it works fine as you know exactly which dish goes to which guest.

However, if you are the event planner and you want to confirm the dishes selected by your guests, this above table is a nightmare to you.   Isn’t it? 😂

What you would like to see should be a table like this:

Power Query Challenge by Computergaga1

It clearly states who eat what (as appetizer, as main and as dessert).  It will certainly save your day! 🙂

And this is exactly the expected result #1 of the challenge.

Expected result #2 is more for the kitchen member, I guess.

They are more concern on the quantity of each dish.  They don’t (usually) care who eats what?  They just want to know the quantity required.  The following summary table will do.

Power Query Challenge by Computergaga2

If you want to watch the original video for the challenge and the solution from Computergaga YouTube channel, please click HERE. You can get the sample file to follow along from there too.

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Start the new decade with Goal Seek in #Excel

Happy New Year of 2020!  Wish you all an Excellent year decade ahead! 😉

Have you made your new year resolutions?

Or you are relying on Excel to set your goals of the year?

Did you know that Excel has a feature called Goal Seek?

Let’s start the year with a simple example to demonstrate how to use Goal Seek in Excel!

The situation:

Let’s say I want to set a saving plan for the year.  My saving plan is simple: On week 1, I started my saving with $10.  Following each week, I will save just 1% more than the previous week’s saving.

With Excel, I can calculate the total savings at the end of week 52 easily.

You may download a Sample File to follow along.

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Free Template: Party Expense Calculator

Christmas has just passed while New Year is just around the corner.  Party must go on!

As a token of appreciation for you visiting my blog, I am going to present you a free gift – Party Expense Calculator,  in form of Excel of course.

Party Expense Calculator

What it does?  I guess the name says it all.

If it doesn’t, maybe a GIF tell a better story:

Excel Template - Party Expense Calculator

Isn’t it clear now?  Nevertheless, it uses functions of dynamic arrays, which means it’s applicable to Excel for Office 365 (Insider) users only, as of today.

I hope you will find it useful, especially when you have parties to go!

If you are still reading this, I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for visiting my blog.  I hope you found something valuable to you on my blog.

Last but not least, I wish you and your beloved ones a Fruitful, Healthy, and Happy New Year of 2020.   BeExcellence! 😉

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Insert Current Time or Today using #Excel functions or shortcuts

Excel Tip - Insert Date Time using shortcuts.PNG

It’s not uncommon to insert a date stamp or time stamp on a spreadsheet.  We may use the following functions to get the results easily:

=TODAY() 'to get the date of today

=NOW() 'to get both the date of today and current time

=TEXT(NOW(),"HH:MM") 'to get just the current time* 
*Tip: If we want to display down to second, use "HH:MM:SS" in the 2nd argument

Example of outputs:

Formula Results
=TODAY() 22/12/2019
=NOW() 22/12/2019 16:59
=TEXT(NOW(),”HH:MM”) 16:59
=TEXT(NOW(),”HH:MM:SS”) 16:59:07

Nevertheless, these functions always update whenever there is change applied to the spreadsheet.  Most of the time, we would like to convert it to a static value by using Copy and Paste value afterward.  We just want to record a moment, not to have “ever-changing” values.  In this case, it’s better to use shortcut keys to insert Today, and Current Time.

And the shortcuts are: Continue reading

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Create in-cell chart with Sparklines in #Excel

🎵🎤Do you wanna build the Sparklines?

Excel tip - Incell chart with Sparklines

Sparklines is not a new feature of Excel.  It was introduced in Excel 2010.  Yes, almost a decade ago.  But I am quite sure it’s still something new to a lot of regular Excel users. Sparklines is a great tool to enrich your report and it is super easy to implement.

You may watch this short video to learn it in one minute:

If you prefer reading to watching, please continue with this post.

You may also download a Sample file to follow along.

First thing first: Where is Sparklines?  Continue reading

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Be cautious when using XLOOKUP

Excel Tip - Be cautious when using XLOOKUP

Can you spot the error in the above formula?

It’s not about the new function of XLOOKUP.  It’s about inevitable human error…

If you are an Excel fan, you should be aware of the exciting XLOOKUP function in Office 365.  It is, no doubt,  an awesome function that will beat VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, LOOKUP, INDEX/MATCH in the future when it is generally available to all Excel users.  You may find more details about XLOOKUP from Microsoft Tech Community.

There are many very well presented videos about XLOOKUP on YouTube already.  Just to name a few (my favorite YouTube channels),

So in this post, I am not going to talk about all the cool features of XLOOKUP.  Instead, I would like to draw your attention to a potential mistake when writing XLOOKUP function.

You may download a Sample File to follow along.

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Create in-cell chart with Conditional Formatting in #Excel

Have you ever seen an Excel sheet with in-cell bars to visualize the data like the ones below, and wonder how they are made?

Believe it or not, you can do it in one less than a minute with Conditional Formatting.

Let’s watch it in action:


Please continue to read this post if you prefer reading to watching.

You may download a Sample File to follow along.

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Last Chance for Dashboard Course and Free Webinars

Just a quick reminder that registration for the awesome Excel Dashboard and Power BI courses by Microsoft Excel MVP, Mynda Treacy, closes on Thursday Nov 21, 8pm in Los Angeles, to be exact.

With demand for Data Visualization skills and Excel data analysis jobs set to explode by 44% and 34% respectively, now is the time to get these skills so you can take advantage of these exciting opportunities. Demand for workers with these skills is also predicted to outstrip supply, and that means these jobs will command a premium salary.

Mynda’s courses will have you up to speed quickly so you can start benefiting ASAP. Continue reading

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Are you tired with data dump Excel Report?

that takes you long to prepare; and is hard for report consumers to get insight…

If you’ve ever felt like:

“My Excel reports take way too long to update each month/week”

“I spend hours collating and cleaning data, updating formulas and charts and then no one reads my reports anyway, what’s the point?”

“I need to get my Excel skills up to date so I can stand out from the crowd of other job applicants”

“I’m not sure how to approach setting up my Excel workbook the right way, so it’s easy to build and maintain”

Then you’re in for a treat because today I’m excited to tell you about Microsoft Excel MVP, Mynda Treacy’s Continue reading

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The power of Dynamic Arrays in #Excel 365

… in creating dynamic drop-down with conditions

Making a dynamic drop-down list is not difficult.  It may require multiple steps, helper formula and/or helper tables though.  And the number of helper tables depends on the complexity of the requirement.  I wrote a blogpost for a job-assignment task more than 5 years ago.  The requirement is simple: show the teacher with least hours of classes assigned to on top of a drop-down list… like the screen cast show below:

Excel tip - Dynamic dropdown with Excel 365_1

See!? The drop-down is changing according to the total hours assigned, as calculated on column F.

With dynamic arrays, this task is super easy.

You may download a Sample File to follow along.

Note: As of today, Dynamic Arrays is available to Excel for Office 365 Insider only

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Get a list of A to Z in #Excel

Have you ever tried to input “A” and then drag it down with a hope of getting a list of A to Z?

Excel Tip - Fill A to Z

If you tried (and without success), you may be wonder how I did it?

You may find the trick (using Custom List) in the following video: Continue reading

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Add Data Labels for Total to Stacked Columns in #Excel

When we create stacked columns in Excel, we exclude Total from the data as it may give an extra stack that we don’t want.  However, we may want a data label for Total on the stacked columns, like the one below:

Excel Tips - Add data label of total to stacked columns

So how can we do that?  This is what I am going to show you in a short video.

You may download a Sample File to follow along.

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You think you know Copy and Paste in #Excel?

11 Excel Copy and Paste Tips and Tricks you should know

Perhaps Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V are the pair of shortcuts you use on a daily basis.  And probably you learned that on the first day your learned Excel.  Nonetheless, do you think you know Copy and Paste well?

In this post, I’d like to share 11 practical tips and tricks about Copy and Paste in forms of short videos.  Check them out!

Copy and Paste Visible cells only in Excel


Paste with column widths preserved in Excel


Multiply a value to a range of data in Excel


Convert text date to numeric date using Copy and Paste in Excel


And seven more… Continue reading

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Suggestion: Adding a button for number formats in thousand/million/billion in #Excel

Did you know what you may submit your ideas to improve Excel through UserVoice?

The recent HOT news in the Excel community – the new XLOOKUP function is also resulted from an idea submitted in UserVoice.

While everyone is super exciting about the XLOOKUP function, I would like to suggest a minor thing that is very basic but super helpful to most all Excel users.

My humble suggestion:

Adding a button for number formats in thousand/million/billion

Number Units_v1

Why have I come up with this idea?

Long time ago, I wrote a post Show number in thousand (k) or in million (M) by using custom format, which to my surprise, have become one of the top 3 posts in my blog.  It reflects the truth that it is a very common demand from Excel users.  Although it is not really “difficult” to use the custom format to solve the problem, it is not obvious nor intuitive for sure.

Then I searched the UserVoice to see if anyone has the same idea.  Of course, there is.  I came across the idea submitted HERE.  I VOTED for that immediately and left my additional suggestions in comments.  However, the number of VOTE is surprisingly low (only 28 votes including mine).

So, if you like the idea, may I ask you to VOTE for it!  And more importantly, spread the word to invite more votes.  Every VOTE counts.  Sometimes, a tiny change would make a big difference.  🙂




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CTRL A to Z – Learn 25 #Excel Shortcuts with demonstrations

Do you know how many keyboard shortcuts we have in Excel?  Honestly, I don’t know.  I just know the shortcuts that I need to use.  Believe it or not, from Ctrl+ A to Z, I use them all but M, because no action is assigned to Ctrl+M yet.  Having said that, I am using M codes more and more recently.  Maybe Microsoft could assign Ctrl+M as Open the Power Query Editor to complete the list.  😛

Let’s talk about the shortcuts.  Maybe you already know most of them, but do you know ALL of them?  Especially the secret use of CTRL+J? Check it out! (02:07)

You can learn all the 25 shortcuts in a 7-minute video embedded in the end of this post.

Here’s a list for quick reference.  

CTRL + A Select All (00:11)

CTRL + B Toggle BOLD (font) (00:34)

CTRL + C Copy (00:42)

CTRL + D Fill Down (00:49)

CTRL + E Flash Fill (Excel 2013 or later) (00:59)

CTRL + F Find… (01:11)

CTRL + G Go To… (01:28)   Continue reading

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The proper way of copying worksheet in #Excel

It is not uncommon for people to copy entire worksheet to another sheet (be it on the same workbook, or another workbook, even a new workbook). Nevertheless, are we doing it the right way?

Many people would do so by selecting ALL cells in the worksheet, and then paste in a blank worksheet.  BUT this is not the proper way to do so…  We should do so by right-clicking the worksheet to be copied, followed by “Move or Copy…”

Excel Tips - Copy Worksheet1

Even if you have known the “proper” way to “Move or Copy…” a worksheet, did you know that you can do it with mouse drag and CTRL key quickly?

Excel Tips - Copy Worksheet


Let’s watch it in action:

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Copy chart formats to other charts in Excel

Excel tip - Copy and Paste Chart Format

If you know Format Painter, the on top of your mind solution should be using Format Painter to copy Chart Formats to other charts.  However, it doesn’t work… 😦

No worries.  Copy and Paste comes to recuse!! Really?!

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