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Excel Weekly News from Contextures July 31, 2012

Limit the total amount that can be entered in a worksheet, fix problems with shared workbooks, pick the right chart type, and other tips, in this week's Excel news from Contextures.

 -  Debra

Recommended Product: Excel Dashboards Course

Dashboard skills are in demand, and if you're not yet an expert in this area, I recommend the upcoming online Excel Dashboard course offered by Mynda Treacy from My Online training Hub. Mynda is an accountant, and her dashboards focus on the numbers, not the fluff.
 Excel Dashboard
There are 9 sessions in the course, with video tutorials that are short and to the point. They cover the key steps and features, and you can practise the techniques in the sample files. Replay the videos as often as you need, for up to 12 months. The course includes 6 weeks of support from Mynda, so you can post questions, read comments, and ask her to review your completed dashboard.
This course is not for Excel beginners, because the fast pace could be overwhelming. Lots of material is covered, very quickly. And, if you're already a dashboard expert, you won't need this course. It's designed for Excel users who are beyond the basics, and who enjoy learning by seeing a demo, then practising the new skills, with support when needed.
You can see the course details and a sample video here: Excel Dashboards Course
Registration is only open until August 14th, and if you sign up by  August 7th, you can get a 20% discount.

Control Budget Limits in Excel With Data Validation

When setting up a budget workbook for other people to use, you can limit the total amount that is entered in a range of cells, by using data validation to check the total.
You can even create a custom message that appears when the amount goes over budget. Tell users what they did wrong, and explain how to fix the problem.
In the sample file, you can also see the unbudgeted amount that is still available, and adjust the entries if required.
Click here to read the details and get the download: Control Budget Limits

Project is Unviewable - Shared Workbook Limits in Excel 2010

There are many limitations and problems that come with using shared workbooks in Excel 2003.When I wrote about the limitations a few years ago, there were many comments, with most people agreeing that shared workbooks cause trouble.
Last week, I ran into another problem caused by shared workbooks, and you can read about it on my Contextures blog.
Click here to read about the problem and limits: Shared Workbook Limits Excel 2010

One Potential Reason to Use a Pie Chart

On the Tableau blog, Daniel Hom sparked a lively discussion when he asked if a pie chart is the best way to show values as part of a whole.
Click here to see his examples, and read the comments: One Potential Reason to Use a Pie Chart

Office 2013 Recommended Reading

If you're interested in keeping up with the news on the next version of Microsoft Office, here is a recommended reading list for you: Recommended Reading

When to Use Line vs Area Charts

When should you use a line chart, and when would an area chart be more effective? In his blog, Drew Skau gives examples of both charts, and explains their strengths and shortcomings.
Click here to read this interesting article, with its useful tips on selecting a chart type.

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