5 MS Project Settings You Need to Know

Microsoft Project has many settings that control the behaviour of the application, and of your projects.

These settings can be accessed by clicking the File tab on the Ribbon and then Options. There are many useful options in here, but this blog post focuses on 5 MS Project settings you need to know.

Calculate Multiple Critical Paths in  a Project

Although a project can only have one true critical path (the tasks that directly affect the finish date of the project). You may wish to view the critical path for each independent series of tasks.

This can be done to view the critical path for each subproject for a large master project, or maybe you have different independent series of tasks that are performed by different departments or regions in the project.

Continue reading

MS Project: Display Multiple Fields Next to Task Bars in Gantt Chart

In Microsoft Project you can display different project information next to the task bars in a Gantt Chart. This ensures that you can see the information you need to see about a task without having to keep looking over to the table.

You can display the information in different positions in relation to the bars such as to the left, right, above, below or in the middle. However, Project only allows one piece of information per position.

Gantt Chart showing resource names by task bars

This can limit the feature somewhat so we will look at how to add multiple fields next to the task bars in a Gantt Chart.

Continue reading

Add Your Own Function to the Status Bar in Excel

When a range of cells are selected, Excel automatically displays formula results on the status bar. This can be an incredibly useful feature of Excel, especially when combined with filtering data.

Excel can display the sum, average, max, min, count of cells containing values and count of cells that are not blank in the status bar.

Excel displaying formulas in status bar

This blog post looks at how you can get Excel to display your own function on the status bar. For example, you may need to know the median or mode value, or count the number of blanks in the selected range.

In this post we will get Excel to display the number of blank cells in the selected range on the status bar.

Continue reading

MS Project: Specify the Working Days for a Project

For Microsoft Project to accurately calculate your project schedule, you will need to specify the working days for the project.

Part of this will include adding recurring holidays and any ad-hoc non-working days to the calendar. These ad-hoc nonworking days could for instance be caused by bad weather, a national celebration day, or another project taking priority.

Specify the Working Days for the Project

The default base calendar of MS Project, the Standard calendar, assumes a Monday to Friday working week. However your project working days may differ from this.

Continue reading

World Cup 2014 Flags Quiz

With the FIFA World Cup 2014 in full swing. Today I have another World Cup related post to share with you.

Are you good at recognising the flags of different countries? Well here is your chance to impress. This spreadsheet contains the flags of all 32 countries participating in the FIFA World Cup 2014. Your task is to name them.

Download the World Cup Flags Quiz spreadsheet.

World Cup flags quiz spreadsheet

Continue reading

FIFA World Cup History – Excel Dashboard

On the eve of the FIFA World Cup 2014 I have created a world cup history dashboard full of fascinating statistics from the previous 19 world cups.

I find creating spreadsheets involving your passions a great way of developing and testing your Excel skills

This dashboard incorporates a few different Excel dashboard techniques which are explained in this post.

The spreadsheet is completely unprotected so all the formulas and code can be explored.

Continue reading

Animate a Chart in Excel

Animate a chart in Excel to create a cool effect for your charts. You will see the chart build itself in front of your very eyes.

The chart can be created in the usual way and then VBA is used to create the animation effect.

In this example a combo box is used to provide a way for the user to select the chart they want to see. The chart then gradually appears one data point at a time.

Continue reading

Create a Hangman Game in Excel

I created a hangman game using Excel VBA for fun, and thought I would post it here for all budding Excel VBA learners to look at.

I find creating games, quizzes and sports spreadsheets an enjoyable way of keeping my Excel skills fresh, and to develop them further.

The game asks you to guess a letter to complete the phrase. A hint is provided for a little help, and the phrase will be related to music, sports, people, film or geography.

The spreadsheet is unprotected so you can check out the code and play around it with it further.

The VBA used to create this hangman game includes;

  • Dynamic arrays.
  • Creating a userform.
  • Module scoped variables.
  • Lots of text work including functions such as Left and StrConv.
  • Lots of For Loops, IF statements and a Select Case statement.

Continue reading

Separate Text into Different Cells

A common requirement in Excel is the need to separate text into different cells. The reasons for this are numerous, but typically it is because the way the data was imported or received is not sufficient for your analytical needs.

This article looks at four techniques for separating text. Use the links below to jump to a specific technique.

Continue reading

Count the Unique Entries in a range

A common question from Excel analysts and enthusiasts on my courses is to count the number of unique entries in a list.

This post looks at using a formula to calculate this distinct count.

Consider the list below of a list of delegates attending our courses. A normal count on this range will tell us how many attendances there were. That’s good, but we want to know how many unique attendees there were.

List of delegates

Continue reading