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Generate random numbers in MS Excel

A common requirement is to generate a set of random numbers that meet some underlying criterion. For example, a set of numbers that are uniformly distributed from 1 to 100. Alternatively, one might want random numbers from some other distribution such as a standard normal distribution. While there are specialized algorithms to generate random numbers […]

Custom columns in Outlook

This tip applies to Outlook 2003, Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, and Outlook 2013. The names and locations of the ribbon / menu items may have changed with different versions but the ability to create a custom column and view applies to all versions of Outlook starting with at least Outlook 2003. The images in this […]

Draw a circle in an Excel chart

By default, Excel has a limited number of charts. That does not mean that those are the only charts one can create. It turns out that with a little imagination and creativity, we can format and configure the default charts so that the effect is like many other kinds of charts. One of the more […]

Analyze ‘free’ money

Recently, I received yet another promotion from yet another company offering me money at zero percent interest with the predictable asterisk next to the zero percent. Instead of just shredding the offer I decided to create a downloadable Excel template to analyze the offer, which was an interest-free 18 month loan for a 4% transaction […]

Excel corrupts certain workbooks in migrating from 2003 to 2007

I got a email from a client asking for help because Excel was “destroying,” to use his terminology, his 2003 workbook after conversion to the 2007 format. And, after analyzing the kind of change Excel made, I had to agree. The following in 2003 Figure 1 becomes, in 2013 (and in 2010), Figure 2 The […]

RIP Live Mesh, hello Cubby

Recently, I have had to make changes to my “computing infrastructure.” This is one of them.   For the longest time I synchronized files between my laptop and desktop with the help of a flash drive. Then, I discovered Groove but it didn’t really fit the bill and I don’t remember why. It was on […]

Worksheet as a chart – multiple conditional formats

Several years back, I wrote an article on how to use multiple cells to simulate conditional formats that involved more than 3 conditions. Three versions of Excel later, I still receive requests related to this post. So, I updated it to include more screenshots and a downloadable file. In Excel 2003 and earlier, conditional formatting […]

TM Goal Seek

TM Goal Seek enhances the existing user interface to Excel’s Goal Seek feature. The built in Goal Seek is a simple optimization tool that suffices for a large number of scenarios. The UI, unfortunately, is extremely unwieldy and unfriendly. TM Goal Seek is a simple add-in that is easier to use than the default dialog […]

The Excel FORMULATEXT function

With Excel 2013, Microsoft introduced several new functions, one of which is worth a separate mention. FORMULATEXT displays as text the formula in a cell. For a version in a page by itself (i.e., not in a scrollable iframe as below) visit Tushar Mehta

The Range.Find method and a FindAll function

Two things that could be better about the Range.Find method have been 1) up-to-date and correct documentation, and 2) adding the UI’s ‘Find All’ capability to the Excel Object Model. As of Office 2013 neither has happened. Consequently, every time I want to use the Find method, I continue to have to jump through hoops […]