Perform Quick Calculations in Excel

It is possible to perform quick calculations in Excel without having to write any formulas. This technique is brilliant and provides the formula result you need quickly and easily.

You can count, sum, average and find the maximum or minimum number in a range simply by selecting the numbers you want to calculate. Continue reading

Outline Tasks in Microsoft Project

Outline tasks in Microsoft Project to organise your list of project tasks and make it more readable. Creating an outline requires indenting tasks. The indented tasks are known as subtasks and the task above them a summary task.

These groups of tasks can then be collapsed and expanded making the list of tasks easier to work with.

There are many approaches to organising the tasks in your project. You may decide to group tasks by the phases of the project, the teams who will be doing the work, or in the case of manufacturing a product the different parts that make up the product.

As well as making the list more readable and easier to use, the summary tasks also provide project data at a glance. Information such as the start and finish date of that project phase, its duration, cost and variance is made easily available. Continue reading

Validate an Email Address in Excel

If you collect email addresses in your spreadsheet. You may want to validate an email address in Excel.

Using Data Validation you can check the syntax of an email address to ensure it is legitimate. It cannot check the existence of an address, or who it belongs to. But it will ensure the existence of the @ symbol, a period (.) and no spaces in the address. Continue reading

How to use the Trunc Function in Excel

The Trunc function in Excel is used to reduce the number of decimal places on a number without rounding.

Excel provides a few different rounding functions such as Round, RoundDown and Ceiling to cater for all your rounding needs. However the beauty of the Trunc function is that you can set the number of decimal points for a number without rounding. Continue reading

Create an Organisation Chart in Visio from an Excel Spreadsheet

Got data in an Excel spreadsheet that you want to use to create an organisation chart. Visio makes it easy to create an organisation chart from an Excel spreadsheet.

This feature works very well in business situations to collect data from others who do not have Visio on their machines. By using an Excel template you can collect organisational data and incorporate it in your Visio diagram. Continue reading

Use a Baseline to Measure Project Progress

Set a baseline for your project so that you can track its progress against the original project plan. A baseline is a reference point for the project schedule. It can be used to measure the project progress in certain categories.

The baseline saves nearly 20 reference points in 5 different categories for all the tasks in your project. These are the Start Dates, Finish Dates, Durations, Work and Cost. For an effective baseline you should ensure that these estimates are accurate in your project before you set the baseline. Continue reading

See Two Presentations at the Same Time

It is very easy to see two presentations at the same time in PowerPoint. This can be useful to compare the two presentations.

It may be that you need to compare last years presentation to this years, or to check a colleagues version against yours. Whatever the reason, fortunately there is a feature to view the presentations side by side on screen at the same time. Continue reading

Add a Deadline Date to a Task

Add a deadline date to a task to keep track of it’s finish date against the deadline. As Microsoft Project updates the schedule a warning will appear if the task is due to miss it’s deadline date.

Using a deadline is considered a better approach than using a constraint. By using a deadline, Project continues to schedule tasks and displays a warning for any potential problems. But a constraint is inflexible and limits the scheduling of the project. Continue reading