Annual index: Year one

One year ago yesterday, the very first post went up on Swiss Army Spreadsheets. To celebrate this milestone, it seems like a good time to post an index to everything that’s gone up so far.

When I first started, I said that I was writing this blog to help people realize some of the possibilities inherent in spreadsheets. That’s still true, but there’s another reason as well. I got heartily sick of saying “I know how to do this in Excel 97, but how do I do it in Excel 2007? How do I do this in Google Docs? If all I have is Microsoft Works on my laptop, can I still do this stuff? And can open-source alternatives like OpenOffice Calc do it?” So, by writing this blog I’m learning the answers to those questions, often one step ahead of the readers!

In case this is your first time visiting Swiss Army Spreadsheets, let me start by saying that all of the “how to” posts contain instructions for how to do a certain thing in four different programs: Microsoft Excel 97, Microsoft Excel 2007, Google Docs Spreadsheet, and OpenOffice Calc. At some point during the year I started including instructions for Microsoft Works Spreadsheet as well. I haven’t included instructions for Excel 2010 because I understand that it’s mostly the same as Excel 2007, plus I don’t happen to have it. If at any point I get regular access to another spreadsheet program that’s significantly different from the ones I’m already exploring then I’ll start including instructions for that as well.

I chose this format partially because there’s no telling what program a reader might be using. If you happen to use a program I don’t have listed, but I could get for free/cheap, just let me know and I’ll see if I can add it!

That said, on with the index! Some of the links are duplicated, because I thought readers might have multiple different reasons for wanting to read them.

What’s in every spreadsheet, and how to work with it

Changing the appearance of your spreadsheet:

Functions and formulas:

Working with text:

Working with other data formats:

Paste Special options:

Defining and working with names:

Charts and graphs:

Sorting and filtering data:

Handling dates:

Finding and fixing problems:

Using spreadsheets to help with organization:

Using spreadsheets to help with budgets and money:

By the way, if anyone’s curious… in making this post I created a spreadsheet that had brief descriptions for each post in column A, and their URLs in column B. Then I used the right() function to extract the unique parts of the addresses so I could use relative links, followed by the concatenate() function to build the HTML for the links and insert the descriptions I wanted to use.

If I decide to re-use this data I’ll probably insert two columns before column A, and put the various categories in the first one, and the order within the groups in the second one. That will make it easy to sort the data so that I can just copy whole groups of links and paste them into the post, rather than pasting them one-by-one as I did in this one.

Anyway…one year done! Thanks for reading! I hope you’ve found it helpful, and will continue to do so in the future. :}