# Excel University Blog

Read on for in-depth articles, tutorials, and videos. Search or browse for specific topics. Be sure to subscribe if you'd like to be notified when we write something new.

# Techniques

## Income Tax Formula

| December 31, 2014 |

In this post, we’ll examine a couple of ideas for computing income tax in Excel using tax tables. Specifically, we’ll use VLOOKUP with a helper column, we’ll remove the helper column with SUMPRODUCT, and then we’ll use data validation and the INDIRECT function to make it easy to pick the desired tax table, such as single or married…

## Heat Maps in Excel

| October 29, 2014 |

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…

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

| October 2, 2014 |

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

| September 18, 2014 |

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…

## Unique Data Validation Drop-Down From Duplicate Table Data

| September 10, 2014 |

In this post, we’ll explore a method for generating a drop-down that contains a unique list of choices derived from a table column with duplicate values. Objective Before we get started on the mechanics, let’s take a look at what we are trying to achieve. We have a data table that is exported from our…

## Transpose Values and Formulas in Excel

| September 4, 2014 |

In this post, we’ll explore three methods for transposing data in Excel. The first method can be used when you just want to quickly to transpose the values manually. The second method can be used when you want formulas to perform the transposition automatically based on the labels. The third method can be applied when…

## SUMIFS with OR

| August 14, 2014 |

Of all the functions introduced in Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013, my personal favorite is SUMIFS. The SUMIFS function performs multiple condition summing. The function is designed with AND logic, but, there are several techniques that allow us to use OR logic instead. This post explores a few of them. Note: if your version of…

## Format Locked or Unlocked Cells

| May 7, 2014 |

This post explores options for formatting cells that are locked, or unlocked, in an Excel worksheet. Scenario Let’s pretend we have a worksheet that helps a user compare three different loans. The user is required to enter information, such as interest rate and number of years, into designated input cells, but shouldn’t be allowed to…

## Recent CalCPA Article

| May 2, 2014 |

How do you ensure your workbook is accurate? One approach is to set up a structured error check sheet. My recent California CPA Magazine TBRG (May 2014) article discusses the ingredients needed to build a reliable error check sheet. Here are the relevant links: Article: Put Errors in Check Sample workbook: Download Excel File