Contextures News 20150512

Running Total + more Excel tips

May 12, 2015

Analyze sales with a running total, select a file format, power query training, and more, in this week's Excel news. Visit my Excel website for more tips, tutorials and videos, and check the index for past issues of this newsletter.

Note: For some products mentioned below, I earn a commission on sales. That helps support the free tutorials on my site.

1. Contextures Posts

In case you missed them, here are the articles that I posted recently:

• Use the Percent Running Total feature, to analyze sales in a pivot table. Which products sold best, or how did sales progress over the year? (Level - Intermediate)
• For a humorous peek at what other people are saying about spreadsheets, read the latest collection of Excel tweets, on my Excel Theatre blog.

2. Power Query Training

Excel's new Power Query add-in can do amazing things with your data. If you'd like to learn more about it, experts Ken Puls and Miguel Escobar have launched a new website, where they will offer live, online Power Query training. You'll have two days of live online training (4 hours per day), then a live follow-up Q&A session, about a week later.

Level - Intermediate

3. Office 2016 Public Preview

The Office 2016 preview is now available to the public, and you can read about it on the main blog. Or, get instructions on how to get access to the preview.

Level - Intermediate

4. Resources for Formulas

Joel Lee shares 7 resources that will help you with Excel formulas. Contextures is included, so it must be a good list!

Level - Basic

If you've ever wondered how to build your own add-in in Excel, Jan Karel Pieterse shows you the steps.

6. Change YYMMDD to Real Dates

In a YouTube video, Mike ("ExcelIsFun") Girvin shows how to use a formula to change text numbers in a YYMMDD format, to real dates. Also read the comments, to see a couple of other formulas that solve this problem. (Note: video starts automatically)

Level - Intermediate

7. Choose a File Format

When you're saving an Excel file, which format should you use? xlsx? xlsm? xlsb? Zack Barresse explains the pros and cons of each format.

Level - Basic

8. Excel Book Sampler

You can download a free sampler of Excel books from Que Publishing, and you don't even have to provide a name or email address. The book is over 200 pages, and contains chapters from 8 books, with a range of skills levels. For example: Getting started with Excel 2013, Understanding Formulas, Understanding Data Models, and Creating a Basic Pivot Table. The download link is about halfway down the page, at the right side – click on the book cover, or the text link above it.

Level - Basic

9. Just for Fun - Excel Songs

Bill Jelen (Mr. Excel) has updated the list of Top 10 Excel songs on YouTube. At the top of the list is "Excel Funcs", a parody of (and even better than) Uptown Funk. The lyrics are in the description, so you can sing along. "Pivot Tables, hallelujah!" (Note: video starts automatically)

10. Cool Tools

A couple of weeks ago, I showed you an old coffee table that my father-in-law made. When their house was sold recently, all his workshop tools were donated to the local high school,where they'll be used in a workworking shop. There were lots of big power tools, and a small collection of old tools, like the ones in the photo below. That's a plane at the top left, I think, but I'm not sure about the others.

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