Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Excel Help Milestone: One Million Pageviews!

Today we reached a milestone here at Excel Spreadsheets Help blog - we've now had over ONE MILLION pageviews! Yeah, it’s taken a few years to reach this point but it still feels like a huge achievement. I started this blog in December of 2009, almost five years ago now - a lifetime in internet years. While I know there are thousands of other websites out there with much MUCH higher traffic, reaching this milestone made me quite happy, as this is a blog only I have worked on and just in my spare time.

At the beginning of this year I recommitted myself to this blog. I promised to deliver the same templates I always do (all the yearly sports spreadsheets) but also to post more tips and tricks that many of you have asked for and is why I wrote about the 11 best YouTube channels to learn Excel and Excel keyboard shortcuts you need to know. There’s many more Excel tips in the pipeline too.

I noticed there are now 220 articles on this blog (equivalent to the length of a 600-page book!), but looking in my Drafts folder, I see there are many unwritten ones waiting for further details or the right time to share them. More of them get added every day, sometimes originating as part of email conversations I have with many of you.

Thus, I want to take this time to thank each and every one of you. Without you and your comments, and kind emails, I never would have reached this point. Without your encouragement I would've quit a long time ago so for that I can’t thank you enough! Here’s to the next million pageviews!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2014 NBA Playoff Bracket in Excel

The regular season is over and it's time to download your 2014 NBA Playoff Bracket Excel file. The NBA playoffs start Saturday, April 19, three days after the end of the regular season today. All first games of the eight first round matchups will be played either April 19 or 20. Sixteen of the 30 league teams make the playoffs, eight from each conference. This produces eight first round matchups and no team gets a first round bye. Each matchup in all rounds is a best 4 out of 7 series in this format: HHAAHAH. Download the basketball bracket using the link below:

2014 nba playoff bracket in excel

  Remember, the NBA finals start Thursday, June 5. I'm looking forward to it, how about you?

Monday, April 14, 2014

2014 NHL Playoff Bracket

The NHL playoffs start Wednesday, April 16, three days after the end of the regular season. Sixteen of the 30 league teams make the playoffs, eight from each conference. Per conference, the top three finishers of both divisions and two wildcard teams make the playoffs. This produces 8 first round matchups. There are no first round byes. All rounds are best 4 out of 7 in this home and away pattern: HHAAHAH. Here's what the matchups look like this year:

2014 nhl playoff bracket

The 2014 NHL playoff schedule is included in the spreadsheet and lists the dates, times, and national broadcast information for the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Download the bracket for free by clicking the link below:

2014 NHL Playoff Bracket.xls download


I'll be cheering for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Who are you rooting for?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Unique Excel Uses: Writing a Book

If you haven’t been able to tell by now I’m a huge fan of amusement parks and roller coasters. Huge fan is probably an understatement. I’ve noticed top ten type lists are hugely popular right now (which is why I created the top 11 Excel YouTube channels and top Excel shortcuts) so I decided to write a short ebook about the top 50 most terrifying roller coasters ever built. My idea was to list each coaster with some stats then share my reasoning for why it’s so terrifying. Since I wanted the same format for all fifty coasters I knew I would be doing a lot of copy and pasting. That’s when I decided to put my Excel spreadsheet and programmings skills to use.

Where many authors begin writing in Microsoft Word or some other Word processor I started in Microsoft Excel. Pictured below is the table I created with all the relevant stats:

After data is entered for all fifty coaster I run a macro that export the information to Microsoft Word in the format I wrote into the code. An example of one of the coaster is shown below:

Known for: Nurse in the station
Park: Crystal Beach
Location: Canada
Type: Wood
Opened: 1926
Closed: 1946
Designer/Manufacturer: Harry G. Traver
Height (ft.): 96
Drop (ft.): 90
Speed (mph): 60
The Crystal Beach Cyclone is considered to be the most extreme roller coaster ever built. The mother of all roller coasters spawned in 1927 at Crystal Beach Amusement Park in Ontario, Canada. For over twenty years this demonic creation terrorized over five million victims, dragging them through its demented dives, twisted turns, and wickedly warped trackage. While its ninety-six foot tall lift hill may be relatively small by today’s standards the Cyclone made up for lack of height with rapid fire transitions and perverted elements, such as eighty-degree banked turns, a high speed figure-eight, jazz-track (trick track), and tiny one foot bunny hops. Although this terrifying trip lasted only around forty seconds after cresting the lift there was almost no straight track to be found and the unrelenting pace made the ride so severe it was probably more than enough for most riders.

The macro outputs all fifty coasters. Now, all I have to do is add the front matter (title, index, copyright information, dedication, etc.), resources, about the author, and insert my pictures and it’s done. From concept to publication took a total of four weeks, working all in my spare time (so to those of you who think you don't have time or the skill to write an ebook, I think you can do it too)! Check out the completed book on Amazon (borrow for free if you're a Prime member).
This same technique can be applied towards websites, blogs, papers, and a great number of other tasks. What unique projects have you done in Excel?