Contextures News 20150929

Happy Birthday Excel

September 29, 2015

Read Office 2016 reviews, build better charts, 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.

They Built Excel

Tomorrow, Sept 30th, is Excel's 30th anniversary. Check out GeekWire's interview with 4 original members of Microsoft's Excel team -- Mike Koss, Jabe Blumenthal, Doug Klunder and Jon DeVaan. Learn what they almost called Excel, and find out why their motto is "Recalc or Die". Listen to the fascinating hour-long podcast, read the story, and take a look at the pictures. They pulled an all-nighter to get Excel done in time!

Peltier Charting Utility

Deadine tomorrow: Jon Peltier has released Version 3.0 of his Excel Charting Utility. There is a $10 discount if you buy by tomorrow, Sept 30th, and additional discounts if you want to upgrade from a previous version.

The new version will work on both Windows and Mac systems, and will save you hours when building complex Excel charts. If you build Excel charts more than occasionally, you need this!

Office 2016 Reviews

Have you installed Office 2016 yet? Ed Bott took a look at the new features, and thinks the Help is better, with a light bulb to click on the Ribbon. There are several other small improvements, and you can read about them in Ed's blog post.

The Verge also reviewed Office 2016, and reports that "Excel only has one notable change: six new chart types."

Excel Articles

Here are a couple of Excel articles I read recently, that you might find interesting and useful.

Better Charts -- If you're building charts, there's good advice in Scott McLeod's article on 10 Design Tips for Excel Charts.  (Level - Basic)

Add-ins to Reduce Errors -- During his doctoral research at University of Eastern Finland, Bennett Kankuzi developed two Excel add-ins, to help reduce errors in spreadsheets. You can read about them (in English) on the university's website, and there is a link to download the add-ins and test them. (Level - Intermediate)

More Excel Articles -- Find links to more articles in the latest Excel Weekly Roundup on my Contextures blog. And for a bit of spreadsheet humour, you can see what people are saying about Excel, in my weekly collection of tweets.

Fall Flowers

It's fall now, here in Canada, and a few of the garden plants are still going strong. I love my marigolds, because they bloom from spring until fall, outlasting almost everything else. However, I was surprised to see a couple of beautiful purple blossoms on the Clematis vine -- I thought it was done for the year.

Weekly Photo

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That's it for this week! If you have any comments or questions, send me an email.

Debra Dalgleish

Debra Dalgleish

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Last updated: December 15, 2019 2:42 PM