Monday, May 4, 2009

Excel Tips

I've been working in Excel with several teachers lately. They have found the program as a great resource tool for all subject areas. Sometimes we needed basic tips and then that information led to more advanced features. We built spreadsheets for K-5 students that displayed as labeling games, pictographs, questionaires, and much more. The help menu in Excel is great, but it always helps to have more backup.

While searching for more tips and suggestions for them, I found a really great resource website called ExcelTips. It is one piece of the publication which is a division of Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.. Allen L. Wyatt, writer and editor, started it ten years ago and has over 39,000 subscribers. He freely shares all the tips, tricks, and tutorials online or in a newsletter.

The free subscription to his site must be confirmed through your provided email link. Your email is not made public and they don't sell their mailing list. Watch for the latest publication every Saturday and it covers all the versions from Excel97 through 2007. The tips are noted with the version when it calls for different information. The site is searchable with links or keywords and information from past issues can be accessed online. If you want to have all the information available when you aren't online, a CD is available for purchase. He does have a version that provides more that the free version called ExcelTips Premium and has a nominal annual charge.

Using the Helpful Links and Newest Tips sections on the website, we were able to learn more ways to make Excel become an integral part of our curriculum. All we had to do was think of an activity to be used in a lesson and the tips, tricks, and tutorials were there waiting for us. If you want to find out what is happening at the moment, just follow him on his twitter account or sign up for the RSS feed that will give you an ExcelTip daily or weekly.

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