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How to Create Better Excel Spreadsheets: Part Four

Aug 17, 2007
If you feel like there is more that you could be doing with your data, chances are that Microsoft has already figured out a way to make it simple for you. Most people are amazed at just how much there is to learn about this seemingly "bland" spreadsheet program. In Excel training, you'll find that Excel is far from bland! Microsoft has thought of just about everything to make working with data smarter and simpler. Here are just a few things that you'll learn in classroom based Excel training that will impress your boss and colleagues while making your job a lot easier.

Problem: I want to insert an interactive spreadsheet into my Word document!
Let's say you're creating a business plan in Microsoft Word, complete with charts and graphs created in Excel. As anyone who has ever worked with goal setting data knows, things are bound to change. A business plan often goes through multiple revisions before it's complete. But what about all of those values that were copied and pasted statically into Excel!

Since many results are often dependant on one little variable, you would have to make multiple changes if you had just copied and pasted a flat data chart or graph onto your Word document. Instead, you can insert Excel data on your page that transforms into an interactive spreadsheet once double-clicked.

Simply highlight the Excel data you want to appear in your document and copy it. On the toolbar of your Word document, select "edit," "paste special," and then choose "Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet Object." At first it will appear to be a regular chart, but double click it and you'll be able to use it as an Excel sheet. To move the object around the page, right click the object, select "format picture," click "layout", and then choose "square." Now you can resize the object and move it around on your page.

Problem: I want to display a value on one spreadsheet and have all of the "behind the scenes" data on another!
It often takes a lot of data to produce the one numerical end result of interest. If you're putting together a spreadsheet report for your boss or coworker, you probably don't want them to overload them with all of that data just to display the results of interest. However, you'll want the data available should they want to look into it further, so hiding the cells isn't necessarily the best answer.

Instead, create a "coversheet" for your workbook - one that displays the summary text and the important values from all of the other spreadsheets. This requires a trick you'll learn in basic Excel training where you can reference the value of a particular cell from another cell in the workbook. On your coversheet page, simply type an "="sign, navigate to another worksheet, select the cell you want to display the value of, and then hit enter. The other cell's value now appears on your cover page.

Want to make your cover page even more interesting? You can even display the contents of another cell inside of an auto shape. If you don't see "AutoShapes" at the bottom of your Excel spreadsheet, choose to view the "Drawing" toolbar from the "view" menu. Then choose an AutoShape, draw it on your sheet, and enter "=cell value" in the function bar.

These are just some of the many tricks you'll learn in Excel training. After Excel training, you'll be able to share workbooks online, create pivot tables, build drop down lists, and even master Visual Basic for Applications. Classroom based Excel training programs are normally broken down into levels of advancement, so you can choose your level of mastery. Whether you take one Excel training class or five, you're sure to learn plenty of ways to work smarter with your data.
About the Author
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on Excel Training, visit www.MicrosoftTraining.net.
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