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Knowing is half the battle. The other half is the Help function.

A big shout-out goes to tbone, she of the abandoned blog, for teaching me yesterday how to use the Fill > Series... command in Excel to fill in columns or rows with consecutive numbers. Previously I had done this manually, although I knew there was a way to make Excel fill them in for you.

Last semester, I was in a Marketing project with a group of engineers. They were wizards at Excel, whereas I had never ever ever used it for a class project. They filled in fields with such abandon that their fingers (and mouses) flew over the screen too fast for me to catch on to how it was done.

But now I know! Oh Excel, there is so much that we do not yet know about each other...

srah - Wednesday, 20 April 2005 - 1:04 PM

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Comments (5)

gravatar Gary LaPointe - April 20, 2005 - 7:59 PM -

Excel is an awesome product. It might be the best Microsoft product out there. Back in the day, Visicalc on the Apple II and Atari 400/800 is what made a lot of people see the future in computing.

OF all the things I show people and classes that I teach it's Excel that always gets a lot of "wows!". And somehow many people "get it" in an intuitive way that they can ask questions like "how do I make it do ______?" and then they understand the answer since they asked the question (even when they aren't the most computer savvy users).

gravatar sarah - April 20, 2005 - 11:31 PM -

dude. that's awesome. how DOES one do that? i've often wondered while doing it manually myself.

gravatar srah - April 20, 2005 - 11:36 PM -

You put in the first number, then you highlight all the rows/columns you want to fill in with the other numbers. Go to Edit > Fill > Series then pick linear if you just want them to number one by one (or two by two or a hundred by a hundred or whatever you choose as the 'step'). Otherwise you can do other fancy things like make them grow exponentially, I guess!

gravatar tbone - April 21, 2005 - 1:30 AM -

I love the shout outs to me! I also learned another new excel skill tonight in the form of PIE CHARTS!!!! I made two!! And after spent like an hour making the pie chart all pretty and getting everything lined up, I realized that I needed to change some numbers...

So I went back in and changed my numbers--and guess what? the pie charts changed too without me doing anything. It was exciting, seriously. It's nice being married to a nerdy economist sometimes.

gravatar srah - April 21, 2005 - 1:33 AM -

I love pie charts! And line graphs!

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