Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Microsoft Excel Tips

Former Excel developer Joel Spolsky demonstrates some basic ways to use Excel more effectively (tweet, Trello notes). I don’t usually like watching videos, but this one is fast-paced and had some tips that were new to me. The more you learn about Excel, the harder it is to like Numbers and Google Sheets, although the latter is unbelievably convenient for collaborating.

Via the Twitter replies, I also found a mind-bending talk by Felienne Hermans called “Spreadsheets for Developers.”

Previously: Microsoft Excel 2011 for Mac Keyboard Shortcuts.

Update (2015-09-13): Marcel Weiher:

Intuitively, restricting the variables to take only integer values should be easier/quicker, but the reverse is true, and in a big way: once you have integer programming or mixed-integer programming, everything becomes NP-hard.

In fact, I just saw this in action during Joe Spolsky’s talk “You suck at Excel”: he turned on goal-seeking (essentially a solver), and it diverged dramatically. The problem is that he was rounding the results. Once he turned rounding off, the solver converged to a solution fairly quickly.

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