Excel School Deadline Is Today

Just a quick heads-up that Chandoo’s Excel School is closing enrollment today.
If you want to reinforce your Excel foundation you should seriously consider Chandoo’s Excel School. A few months back I had the honor of reviewing his online school, just before he started the 2nd round of students.
I can tell you categorically that he has done a fine job. His online school is first rate, as are the downloadable workbooks and videos. It is obvious from the moment you first log on that Chandoo has put a lot of effort into designing the curriculum and developing the lessons, with the business user in mind.
The motto of Chandoo’s blog is Become Awesome in Excel. Excel School will definitely help get you there.
Every lesson can be viewed online or downloaded, and the class includes over 1,200 minutes of video instruction hosted by Chandoo himself who not only is the creative force behind the famous Chandoo.org Excel blog, but he is also a Microsoft Excel MVP.
Working your way through this pertinent material will leave you with a solid, well-rounded Excel foundation. Just look at the lesson plan:

 

excel_school_lesson_plan.png
For Excel School 3, Chandoo has added several nice features and bonuses, including a live webinar.
Chandoo’s Excel School comes with over 40 crystal clear example workbooks and access to the Online Classroom which is an extremely valuable resource where class-members share ideas, ask questions, and discuss lessons.
This class already has well over 200 students enrolled, so the class forum interaction is rocking.
Today is the last day that enrollment will be open for Excel School 3.

You owe it to yourself to watch the five-minute introductory video to check out how Excel School works. The video is on the extreme right of the Excel School description page.
excel_school.png
P.S. I am planning on starting Excel Hero Academy on October 11, 2010. I will have sample course material available and enrollment will open during the first week of October. A huge thank you to each and everyone of you who have expressed interest, and especially to those who have taken the time to submit the questionnaire. I hope to answer all your questions when I officially open the enrollment.
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Excel Optical Illusions Week #32

This week’s Excel Optical Illusion is called The Haze Illusion. I found in on the MIT website.

haze_illusion_mit_excelhero.com.gif
My Excel version is built from shapes. I made the pies from a pie chart and then copied it to an image (wow, two uses for a pie chart in a month!). This illusion is both subtle and strong – very interesting… All of the animation is done with VBA. As always, the Excel animation looks startlingly better than the above animated GIF.
Here is the file.
Excel Hero Academy coming soon! I have scheduled a start date for October 11, 2010. I will try to get the details out this week!
If you like my blog, please be sure to sign-up for the new Excel Hero Newsletter. Subscribers receive all of my articles AND extra Excel Hero tips.
Why do I share these optical illusions? The techniques that are used to make them, when mastered, can be used in many other Excel projects, in charting, formula crafting, and formatting. Learn them. They will aid you on your journey to become an Excel Hero.
Here is a list of other Excel Optical Illusions here at Excel Hero:

– The Haze Illusion

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Learn Excel – 2 Awesome Ways

As most of you have heard by now, I am starting a fantastic new Excel training program called Excel Hero Academy. So far there has been a tremendous amount of interest in learning to craft Excel projects the way I do. Thank you for this. It truly is an amazing feeling that so many of you would have such strongly positive feedback. I am still working on the details and hope to have much more concrete information to you in the next week or so. Over a hundred people have already filled-in the questionnaire giving me valuable information on what to cover in the course. Please take a moment to add your input!
I’ll immediately send you the quick survey.
This will be a one-of-a-kind training program with lots of interactivity and direct access to me. I’m really looking forward to it. My goal is to start the 12-week course on October 11, 2010.
Excel Hero Academy will be advanced training, but as long as you are intelligent, you need not be an advanced user already to benefit tremendously from the course. Completing the course will make you advanced. Scratch that. It will make you much more; it will make you an Excel Hero.
— — —
If you are just learning Excel for the first time – a beginner – you should also seriously consider Chandoo’s Excel School. A few months back I had the honor of reviewing his online school, just before he started the 2nd round of students.
I can tell you categorically that he has done a fine job. His online school is first rate, as are the downloadable workbooks and videos. It is obvious from the moment you first log on that Chandoo has put a lot of effort into designing the curriculum and developing the lessons, with the business user in mind.
The motto of Chandoo’s blog is Become Awesome in Excel. Excel School will definitely help get you there.
Every lesson can be viewed online or downloaded, and the class includes over 1,200 minutes of video instruction hosted by Chandoo himself who not only is the creative force behind the famous Chandoo.org Excel blog, but he is also a Microsoft Excel MVP.
Working your way through this pertinent material will leave you with a solid, well-rounded Excel foundation. Just look at the lesson plan:
excel_school_lesson_plan.png
For Excel School 3, Chandoo has added several nice features and bonuses, including a live webinar.
Chandoo’s Excel School comes with over 40 crystal clear example workbooks and access to the Online Classroom which is an extremely valuable resource where class-members share ideas, ask questions, and discuss lessons.
The last class had over 200 students enrolled, so the debate was very stimulating. This will be the third class and I have a feeling it will be even more of a success.
Admissions open on September 15, 2010. You owe it to yourself to check into Chandoo’s Excel School 3.
excel_school.png
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Excel Optical Illusions Week #31

This week’s Excel Optical Illusion is called Square Circle Spiral. I first saw this on the Discover Magazine website.

square_circle_spiral_optical_illusion_excelhero.com.png
My Excel version is a simple XY Scatter plot of four circles. That’s right, circles. The illusion of spirals is particularly strong, at least for me. To the right of the chart I left the various markers so you can see how it is done.
Here is the file.
Excel Hero Academy coming soon! I plan to release a lot more details later this week.
If you like my blog, please be sure to sign-up for the new Excel Hero Newsletter. Subscribers receive all of my articles AND extra Excel Hero tips.
Why do I share these optical illusions? The techniques that are used to make them, when mastered, can be used in many other Excel projects, in charting, formula crafting, and formatting. Learn them. They will aid you on your journey to become an Excel Hero.
Here is a list of other Excel Optical Illusions here at Excel Hero:
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Excel Data Visualization

This is going to be a short post because I’m hard at work on the Excel Hero Academy and need to spend my time on it in order to be ready for next month!

This visualization, originally by axiis.org, caught my attention some time ago. Here is my version of it in Excel 2007.
w3schools_historical_browser_stats_excelhero.com.gif
The animated GIF looks terrible. The Excel chart is much better.
I arbitrarily picked a date range for the chart that was different than the original as a means of dealing with Excel’s nutty limitation of 255 series in a chart. So there are exactly 255 series in the above chart, and yes I know that Safari and Opera were shorted on the outer ring, but it is easy to see that their data did not change much in that month. The date range that I chose from the available data (all of which is on the data sheet) tells the best story in 255 series, I believe.
I chose not to use two charts on top of each other as I did on the Smith Chart since this visualization called for mouse interactivity with the series and doing so would have left only the top chart’s series interactive. Compromises.
Additionally, this chart suffers the same limitation of the HTML 5 Readiness visualization in that line End Caps must stay rounded instead of flat as there is no VBA access to that part of the object model! And if you change the lines manually with the format dialog, they will revert to rounded when changing the line color with VBA!!!
Another challenge was that Excel draws circles counter clockwise starting at 3:00. Getting all the arcs to start at 12:00 and rotate clockwise took some doing! And I should add that they don’t – they just look like they do…
Tough chart and although it is functional, I’m not convinced I like how it turned out. But it remains extremely instructive. What do you think?
I do like how in the most abstract way, it looks like the Firefox logo.
Here’s the file.
Please check out the Excel Hero Academy.

Chandoo’s Excel School Now Open

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Excel MVP Chandoo has opened the third round of his awesome Excel School a day early, well at least here in the USA.

If you want to build a solid foundation in Excel, you owe it to yourself to watch the five-minute introductory video to check out how Excel School works. The video is on the extreme right of the Excel School description page.
And please don’t forget that my new training program, Excel Hero Academy, begins on October 11, 2010.
There is a new visualization coming later in the week to this blog! It’s going to be pretty cool.

Excel Optical Illusions Week #30

Wow! Thirty straight weeks of Excel based optical illusions, right here at Excel Hero. Number 30 is called Curry’s Paradox Missing Square. It is brought to us by Hui who has contributed several illusions this year.

currys_paradox_hui_excelhero.com.gif
Hui’s original was very creative. I tweaked the animation a little. I think it looks great.
So where does that square come from anyhow?
The workbook has the solution. Here it is.
Excel Hero Academy coming soon!
If you like my blog, please be sure to sign-up for the new Excel Hero Newsletter. Subscribers receive all of my articles AND extra Excel Hero tips.
Why do I share these optical illusions? The techniques that are used to make them, when mastered, can be used in many other Excel projects, in charting, formula crafting, and formatting. Learn them. They will aid you on your journey to become an Excel Hero.
Here is a list of other Excel Optical Illusions here at Excel Hero:
And here’s a list of other animated charts on Excel Hero:
 – solarsong
 – Excel, A Presentation Platform (Number Spiral)
 – Lilac Chaser (Optical Illusion)
 – Stereokinetic (Optical Illusion)
 – Illusory Contours (Optical Illusion)
 – Breathing Square (Optical Illusion)
 – Enigma (Optical Illusion)
 – Two Sinusoids (Optical Illusion)
 – Perpetual Collisions (Optical Illusion)
 – Freezing Rotation (Optical Illusion)
 – Reverse Spoke Illusion (Optical Illusion)
 – Stepping Feet Radial Illusion (Optical Illusion)
 – Swimming Fish (Optical Illusion)

– Mutually Interfering Shapes (Optical Illusion)

 – Kaleidoscope Motion (Optical Illusion)
 – Curry’s Paradox (Optical Illusion)
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Faith and G.D.P.

I came across this provocative infographic on FlowingData. I made mine into a dynamic Excel chart. Here is an animated GIF of the Excel 2007 chart:

religious_outlier_nyt_excelhero.com.gif
This project demonstrates the quickest formula lookup method that I know, array-entered INDEX feeding off a common MATCH. It’s a simple bubble chart. All of the interactivity is accomplished by formulas. There is no VBA here.
The most frustrating data to work with is a data table embedded within an image. Unfortunately this project required doing just that with Gallup’s religiosity data. Notably missing from their data is Australia. I suspect that they would be more like the USA and less like Europe, but I could be wrong. Also it is interesting that UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Singapore were left off the original infographic published in the NY Times. All of these countries are even more of an outlier than the USA.
The rest of the data came from the CIA’s The World Factbook.
Here is the file.
If you haven’t heard, I am gearing up to start Excel Hero Academy, the purpose of which is to teach you how to do Excel projects like I do.

Excel Hero Academy – Interested?

Please take a moment to give me some feedback.
For several months now I have been working on and planning to start an online Excel training program that I’m calling Excel Hero Academy. And for planning purposes it would be very helpful to know if YOU are interested in this.
In a nutshell, this is it:
  • In depth lessons to develop your skills to the point where you can craft Excel projects like I do! Topics covered will include charting (Excel Hero style, including animation), advanced named formulas, advanced array formulas, creative formula combinations, proper VBA coding (including branching, looping, subs, functions, modularization, classes, etc.), making forms, advanced macros, integrating Excel with other products and other workbooks, dealing with huge workbooks, optimization, dashboards, Solver, and many other things.

  • All content will be 100% original. Like my blog, it will be stuff you will not find anywhere else.
  • Completing the course will make you an Excel Hero, without question.
  • The program will be online and delivered once a week for 12 weeks.
  • The program will be paid.
  • In addition to videos and workbooks, we will learn from each other and share creative tips in a private, member only website.
  • I am calling this “Excel Hero Academy.”
HERE IS WHAT I NEED FROM YOU:
Are you up for such a program? Please take a second and tell me your name and email if you are interested.
I will add you to our list and keep you updated on the program.
I think I have a robust agenda, but I want to make certain that I am covering items of interest to you as well. So I’ll send you a very short survey and you can tell me what topics you are interested in. 

Excel Optical Illusions Week #29

This week’s Excel Optical Illusion is called Kaleidoscope Motion and was originally created by Peter van der Helm in 2007. I modeled mine after Michael Bach’s version, but with a twist:
kaleidoscope_motion_optical_illusion_excelhero.com.gif

From Michael Bach’s site…


The red cogwheel rotates, but does it rotate smoothely? Physically, the rotation is perfectly smooth as you can confirm by making parts of the arrangement transparent. However it seemingly jolts ever so often.
To my eye it looks as if the blue inner cog jumps to the left periodically. While I included the outer cog, I decided to color it white to enhance the effect.
My Excel version of the illusion uses simple shapes that are grouped and rotated via VBA.
As always, the workbook animation is much, much better than the GIF.
Here is the file.
If you like my blog, please be sure to sign-up for the new Excel Hero Newsletter. Subscribers receive all of my articles AND extra Excel Hero tips.
Why do I share these optical illusions? The techniques that are used to make them, when mastered, can be used in many other Excel projects, in charting, formula crafting, and formatting. Learn them. They will aid you on your journey to become an Excel Hero.
Here is a list of other Excel Optical Illusions here at Excel Hero:
And here’s a list of other animated charts on Excel Hero:
 – solarsong
 – Excel, A Presentation Platform (Number Spiral)
 – Lilac Chaser (Optical Illusion)
 – Stereokinetic (Optical Illusion)
 – Illusory Contours (Optical Illusion)
 – Breathing Square (Optical Illusion)
 – Enigma (Optical Illusion)
 – Two Sinusoids (Optical Illusion)
 – Perpetual Collisions (Optical Illusion)
 – Freezing Rotation (Optical Illusion)
 – Reverse Spoke Illusion (Optical Illusion)
 – Stepping Feet Radial Illusion (Optical Illusion)
 – Swimming Fish (Optical Illusion)

– Mutually Interfering Shapes (Optical Illusion)

 – Kaleidoscope Motion (Optical Illusion)
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