# Blog

## Indirectly Refer to Table Columns

Previously, we explored using the INDIRECT function to refer to various tables in a workbook. In this follow-up post, we’ll expand the discussion and refer to individual table columns. Objective Let’s start with our objective. We have several tables in a workbook. They have the same structure and store department data. For example, here is […]

## Referring to Tables Indirectly

In this post, we’ll allow the user to select a table name from a data validation drop-down and our Excel formulas will operate on the values from the selected table. Thanks to Neelima for asking about this technique! Objective Before we get too far, let’s be clear about our objective. We have several data tables in […]

## Excel University V3 Course is Available!

I am pleased to announce the immediate availability of the Excel University Volume 3 online course! This online course teaches the content of Volume 3 through online videos, homework activities, quizzes, and includes instructor-moderated forums in case you get stuck. It picks up right where Volume 2 ends. More Info   The topics include PivotTables, external […]

## Heat Maps in Excel

In this post, we’ll recreate a heat map presented in Stephen Few’s Information Dashboard Design, 2nd Edition, using an Excel PivotTable and a bit of conditional formatting. Objective Before we get too far, let’s take a look at our objective. We are trying to create a heat map that uses variation in color intensity to […]

## Bullet Graphs in Excel

I recently picked up a copy of Stephen Few’s outstanding book Information Dashboard Design. First of all…wow! If your reports include any type of chart or graph, you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of this incredible resource. Stephen developed a graph called a Bullet Graph, and in this post, I’ll walk through […]

## Simulate Structured References in Named Ranges

The table feature introduced in Excel 2007 is amazing and has nearly eliminated the need to build dynamic named ranges since tables auto-expand. Beyond auto-expansion, tables offer numerous other benefits, including, structured references which allow us to refer to an area within the table, such as a specific column. In this post, we’ll examine a method […]

## Dashboard Course

The charting capabilities of Excel are remarkable. During the course of my career, I have developed only a cursory knowledge of Excel charts and graphs. I recently took an online Excel dashboard course, and I wanted to share my experience and provide a link so you can check it out…plus….a 20% discount is now available! […]

## Excel University Volume 3 Now Available!

I’m pleased to announce the immediate availability of Excel University Volume 3 on Amazon! Amazon link: amazon.com/dp/1500399434 The third installment in the Excel University series picks up right where Volume 2 leaves off. At the end of V2, we used many features and functions (SUMIFS, EOMONTH, data validation, concatenation, named references, DATE, and so on) to […]

## Select Drop Down Item and use VLOOKUP to Return Multiple Attributes

In this post, we’ll explore a method to allow a user to select an item from a drop-down list and then use formulas with the VLOOKUP function to retrieve multiple values from the related item table. Objective Before digging into the mechanics, let’s review our objective with an example. We would like to allow our […]

## Date Data Validation Drop-Down

In this post, we’ll create two data validation drop-down cells that provide the ability to select From and To dates based on the transaction dates stored in the source data. This will ensure that the date selections fall within a valid range of dates, that is, those months with data in the table. This technique […]