Sunday, October 25, 2020
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Formulas & Functions

Virtually everything business users do with Excel involves worksheet formulas and functions. And this category concentrates on that topic.

This category also includes what Microsoft calls “Names”—which many of us call “Range Names.” More accurately, however, “Names” are named formulas.

Check tags for information about specific functions.

Most loans and many investments are annuities, which are payments made at fixed intervals over time. Here's how to use Excel to calculate any of the five key unknowns for any annuity.

Excel’s Five Annuity Functions

“Help!” the message said. “I know the payment, interest rate, and current balance of a loan, and I need to calculate the number of...
You can use probability distributions to manage the uncertainty about your assumptions when you create simulations in Excel. Here's how.

How to Return Random Numbers from a Normal Distribution for Your Excel Forecasts

(This is the first of two articles about normal distributions. The second article is, How to Create Monte Carlo Models and Forecasts Using Excel Data...
Most Excel users need to look up data in workbooks. But what's the best lookup method?

Excel’s VLOOKUP vs INDEX-MATCH Functions

Excel offers two primary lookup methods: VLOOKUP and INDEX-MATCH. Although the two methods are similar, INDEX-MATCH is more powerful. I suspect, however, that VLOOKUP is better-known and more...
Excel provides several worksheet functions for working with normal distributions or 'bell-shaped curves.' This introduction to Excel's Normal Distribution functions offers help for the statistically challenged.

An Introduction to Excel’s Normal Distribution Functions

(Download the workbook.) When a visitor asked me how to generate a random number from a Normal distribution she set me to thinking about doing statistics...
INDEX-MATCH is Excel's most-powerful lookup method. But many users find it challenging. This is the first of a three-part series designed to INDEX-MATCH clearer.

How to Use INDEX-MATCH, Part 1: The INDEX Function

Which is best, VLOOKUP or INDEX-MATCH? You might be surprised at the question, because the answer never has been in doubt. INDEX-MATCH can do anything...
How to Work with Dates Before 1900 in Excel

How to Work with Dates Before 1900 in Excel

(Download the workbook.) If you work with dates prior to the year 1900, Excel's standard date-handling system will be no help. However, there are several...
Although Excel's FREQUENCY function was designed to calculate frequency distributions, you also can use the SUM-IF, SUMPRODUCT, INDEX-FREQUENCY, and COUNTIFS functions. Here's a summary of the methods and your options.

Five Ways to Calculate Frequency Distributions in Excel

Walt captures blood-pressure readings and wants to find how often the readings fall into various ranges of values. This is a common need for a...
Excel's FREQUENCY function was first created to calculate frequency distribution tables, which are needed for charting histograms. But the COUNTIFS function offers more power, and it's easier to use.

Use COUNTIFS, not FREQUENCY, to Calculate Frequency Distribution Tables for Charting Histograms

Because the Texas and California governors have been bickering over the Texan's attempt to poach California employers, I got curious about the distribution of...
Term loans can have a variety of repayment periods, interest rates, amortizing methods, and so on. Here's how to calculate amortization schedules for the two most common types of amortizing loans.

How to Use Excel Formulas to Calculate a Term-Loan Amortization Schedule

"How do I calculate cumulative principal and interest for term loans? I have scoured the web for a function that will perform this task,...
To reduce errors in reports, you should foot and cross-foot them. But Excel's floating-point arithmetic gets in the way. Here's how to fix the problem.

How to Foot and Cross-Foot Excel Reports in a Floating-Point World

At first glance, the following report is an ordinary one. It merely sums an Excel Table by Product and Region, and then foots and...

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If you want all your Excel reports, analyses, forecasts, and other Excel work to be highly productive, this is the strategy that will make it happen.

An Introduction to Excel Data Plumbing

Would you like to: Create your new reports, analyses, forecasts, and other Excel work quickly? Update your Excel work with one command, without using...
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The Excel charts below are professional-quality. But that's not what makes them so unusual. Instead... ● You can update them in a few seconds, with...
Use this Excel dashboard to track 27 economic indicators of the United States' recovery from the Covid-19 recession.

Learn How to Use Excel to Track the US Recovery from the Covid Recession

The Covid recession is the worst recession the world has experienced since the Great Depression. And the Recovery Tracker workbook and Excel training can...