Sunday, April 28, 2013

2012-2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Printable Bracket

The 2012-2013 NHL regular season has ended and the Stanley Cup playoffs are here which means it's time to download, print, and fill out your NHL Playoff Excel bracket. I have created a downloadable Excel spreadsheet with the complete NHL playoff bracket. Fill it out on your computer or print it out. Maybe next year I'll get around to adding a bracket manager in order to keep score in a pool. Download the 2013 NHL bracket here or sign-up for my Excel tips newsletter to receive the .xls file as an email attachment (you can unsubscribe at any time).

2013 nhl stanley cup playoffs printable bracket

One note about the Stanley Cup playoffs - unlike March Madness the top seed always plays the lowest seed so you may have to reshuffle the picks on your bracket after the first round. I just updated the spreadsheet and added the 2013 NHL playoff schedule including the date, location, time, and TV network for all the games in the first round of the playoffs.

2012-2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff Printable Excel Bracket.xls download

Thursday, April 18, 2013

2013 NBA Playoff Bracket Download

The NBA Playoffs start on Saturday, April 20th (two days after the end of the regular season), thus you don’t have a lot of time to complete your 2013 NBA Playoff bracket. All the first games of the eight first round match-ups will take place on either April 20 or 21st.

The NBA playoff structure is a bit unique in that there are no first round byes, all sixteen teams (eight from each conference) compete in the first round of the playoffs. The format of the NBA playoffs consists of each team needing to win four out of seven games in order to advance to the next round. In the first three rounds of the playoff the series follow this home and away format: HHAAHAH.  The Finals follow the format: HHAAAHH.

Miami has clinched the number one seed in the East while Oklahoma City wrapped up the West. My Cleveland Cavaliers will be watching from home again. Who do you think will win the title? Miami has looked nearly unstoppable this season and I think it will be a major shock and upset if they do not win it all. What about you?

2013 NBA Playoff Bracket.xls download

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Unique Excel Uses: Video Game

We’ve seen some very unique Excel uses in the past but this just might be the best (or most fun) application: Excel as a video game! Cary Walkin, a Canadian accountant, has transformed a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet into a playable video game. Arena.xlsm is a turn-based fantasy role playing game where the goal is to collect loot to become more powerful all the while warding off increasingly difficult  monsters. In fact, there are currently over 2000 possible enemies with different AI abilities. Sounds complex! Remarkably, it only took Cary four months to completely program this game.

arena xlsm excel as video game

Cary has received a lot or press and attention since creating his Excel game. Recently, he was featured on one of Reddit’s “I Am A” features. A few quotes from Cary:

“I'm an accountant by profession, I use excel every day of my life. I simply worked with what I knew. Also there is an old adage that underneath every RPG is a massive spreadsheet, so now the massive spreadsheet IS the RPG!”

“...a number of calculations are dependent on the background colour of a cell (such as if you are standing on fire).”

“Never stop learning.”

Read the entire interview feature here. Additionally, to see an example of how one would even begin to go about coding this massive gaming macros see Cary’s great VBA tutorial here.

Visit Cary’s site and download Arena XLSM today and try it out for yourself! But be warned, your productivity may decrease greatly after playing a few levels.  Please note you must have macros enabled in order to play the game. Arena.Xlsm will only work in Excel 2007, 2010 and 2013. It will not work in other spreadsheet programs either. Have fun!

Of course I’m not playing this at work ;)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

My Excel 2016 Wishlist

Today, I started thinking about my Excel 2016 wishlist. Microsoft Excel has been updated every three years beginning in 2007. Knowing this, we can only assume the next edition of Excel will come out in three years from now in 2016. The latest update, Excel 2013, includes new tools like FlashFill, PowerView, Timeline Slicer, and over 50 new functions. Don’t get me wrong, Excel is a very powerful tool but it’s not completely perfect yet.
excel 2016 logo

Thus, it’s never too early to start thinking about the next edition of Excel and what improvements can be made. There are a number of features that I think would make creating spreadsheets even easier. A couple of simple improvements could help save users even more time. Here are some of the things I’d like to see in Excel 2016:

  • A FIXTODAY() function that holds the date of the day the formula was first created or entered into the spreadsheet.
  • I don’t know if this will ever be possible outside of Google Docs but allowing multiple users to edit the same document at the same time would be wonderful.This would eliminate all those extra copies of spreadsheets floating around.  This option is already available!
  • I don’t know why you can’t do this already but it would be great to be able to unhide multiple worksheets at the same time. Currently, you can only unhide one sheet at a time which can be a major headache and quite inconvenient.
  • Along this same line, I would like the ability to unprotect multiple sheets at once. Something like a global password may be the solution.
  • An easy way to be able to see exact revision history.
  • More options when protecting a sheet, like being able to use CustomViews.
  • More text manipulation functions and options.

That’s what I think. What about you? What would you like to see in future versions of Excel? What’s on your Excel 2016 wishlist? Please let me know in the comments below. Who knows, maybe Microsoft will even be taking notes!