How can we calculate the grades (A-F) in Excel if we have the test results as numbers? We know that a score of 90% or higher is an A, 80-89% is a B, 70-79% is a C, 65-69% is a D and less than 65% is an F.
The first thing we should do is to organize this information in a lookup table:
Sometimes some of the data in a table have the wrong format. Take a look at this table, where some of the records are in hh:mm format, and others in hh:mm:ss format.
Here is an easy way to fix it:
The picture to the right shows a table with some sales figures for July. There’s nothing wrong with the table as it is, but I find it very hard to read and make sense of it. There are just a lot of numbers and dates, and you can’t even distinguish between weekdays and weekends. If we could highlight the weekends (or weekdays) it would be a lot easier to read these numbers. In this example I want to highlight the Saturdays and Sundays. Here’s how we’ll do it:
An Extra Column Means Trouble
If you want to find a value in a table in Excel, a simple VLOOKUP function is usually a good and easy way to do it. But you have to be careful – if you insert a new column in your table, the function might not work anymore, and we have to find another approach. Here’s why:
This is a very useful trick if you have a report showing dates and budget figures, and you want to make it more readable by making the future dates less visible.
Take a look at the report to the right. Assuming today’s date is 7/10, we want the dates from 7/1 through 7/10 to be easy to read, while the dates in the future should be hidden or greyed out. The trick is to not only dim the dates, but also the other columns on the same rows. This is an easy trick that you can apply on any report you get your hands on! Here’s how to do it:
Can 2 +2 be 5?
Yes, at least if you look at this example in Excel:
Of course, Excel doesn’t make mistakes like that, so there must be an explanation. Let’s try to increase the number of decimals:
As it turns out, the real calculation wasn’t 2 + 2; it just looked like that. It was actually 2,4 + 2,4 = 4,8, but when you decrease the number of shown decimals to none, Excel displays the nearest integer in the cell, and it looks like 2 + 2 = 5. The actual number behind doesn’t change.
More Excel oddities:
Are you using a non-English version of Excel? Click here for translations of the 100 most common functions.