Archive for the ‘Excel’ Category

Rare Excel blunder reported

Thursday, 28th February, 2013

Blunders arent rare, of course, but fessing up in public is…

no matter how obtuse.

Sorry for lack of progress info on the conf. I have only just identified which country I will probably be in for the next few months. Progress should improve (well begin ,-))




secure security

Wednesday, 6th February, 2013

Got this recently:


Surprise surprise I chose… Disable!

If you are running 2010 and have VBA in password to open protected .xlsms then they should probably be in a trusted location if you want the VBA to run. (I didn’t try very hard but there didn’t seem to be an easy way to trust the doc, maybe temporarily taking the pw off it, trusting it, then redo pw, would work).

Unless you have AV that can scan them (which products do?).



Office version stats

Saturday, 2nd June, 2012

Anyone got any?

Kev emailed me asking and it dawned on me that I had no idea. So I did a bit of ratching around and here is the official smurfonspreadsheets Office adoption estimate.

Reasoning: I saw a figure of 200 million Office 2010 sales (soz cant find the link now), I estimate around 600 million windows pcs. I still speak to lots of people on 2003. there do seem to be a few major corps starting to look at migrating to 2010 (and often from win xp to win 7 too)


  • Office 2010 – 20 – 30%
  • Office 2007 – 20 – 30%
  • Office 2003 – 30 – 40%
  • Others – 10%

Thats my made up estimate (plus or minus 10%)- whats yours and why?

I would also add that I think a lot of larger cos are still on 2003 or maybe 2007, it seems the smaller cos that have made the move to 2010. and of course consumers, who have no choice. (Many big cos are buying 2010 licences with downgrade rights to keep their estate consistent).

I don’t really hear about many cos on anything before 2003. 2003 is under extended support until 2014 so there are still a couple of years left before big cos are really under pressure to move.

Office 15 is starting to look more like Office 2013 than Office 2012, although I guess they could always decouple the release date and the name to avoid superstition.

What do you reckon?




XL Dev Conf Resources

Wednesday, 15th February, 2012

I finally found a few quiet minutes to upload the speaker presentations from the recent xl dev conf.

Full details are here

Many thanks to the speakers for their hard work.

Thanks too to conference sponsors F1F9, if ever you need additional financial modelling fire power or many other related activities, give them a shout.

And a big thank you to all the attendees, I was delighted by both the number of people and the willingness to question and discuss.

In order to improve future events I would like to ask to feedback, both from attendees and non attendees, so here are a few questions, please copy and paste them into an email and fill in your answers and send to me.

If you didn’t attend I would be interested to know why. If you are going to suggest location as a reason for not attending please say how near to your house the event would need to be for you to attend, or what the agenda would need to include for you to be prepared to travel. And also if you would be willing to join in if it had been live on-line instead.


  1. Where did you hear about the event?
  2. What did you think of the venue?
  3. please rate and comment on the presenters on presentation skill and usefulness of presentation content
  4. What do you feel was missing from the event either logistics or content
  5. would you come again?
  6. anything else you would like to share with the conference organisers or speakers.


I am now in the process of organising an event in Manchester in July, along similar lines but perhaps targeted at intermediate to advanced users rather than developers. more on that later.



Excel developer conference thanks

Monday, 30th January, 2012

Thanks to everyone who came to the event last week.

And thanks to everyone that helped out, and a special big thanks to our magnificent presenters.

I hope everyone enjoyed themselves and found something useful.

The on the ball presenters have already sent me links to their stuff, the rest of us aren’t there yet. I will give it a few days and try and publish them altogether, this week at some point.

Bad news for those of you hoping for video – it was the one thing that got dropped due to too much other stuff going on. I think our excellent sponsors F1F9 may share some of their stuff but that’s more interviews and atmosphere stuff.

I’ll try harder next time I promise. Sorry.

And next time may well be in Manchester in July, unless the pub talk of a US event actually comes off. If you would have seen us carrying all our presenter kit and conference goodies for everyone on the way to the event, you would understand.

Anyway never mind all the grovelling apologies, we have the next event to look forward to. I am thinking we should do something Eusprig week (July) in Manchester. Partly to give potential delegates more justification to attend one or both events, and partly to encourage the two crowds to connect more.

We will have a tug of war to decide once and for all if spreadsheet errors are important, or usually resolved by other parts of the info system. If the tug of war is inconclusive we can have tag team wrestling about whether lots of names is a good thing or a bad thing. I’ll definitely video this as underpants over trousers is a classic comedy hit.





Excel Dev Conf Presenter Bob Phillips

Wednesday, 11th January, 2012

Well known Excel MVP Bob Phillips is presenting a session on Self Service BI at our Excel Conference, his profile is here.

I am really looking forward to this session as the Excel BI story is getting better and better. Eventually people will actually start using the stuff and stop some of the current poor working approaches. Bob has been doing this stuff for a living for years so I am keen to hear how it actually works, rather than the Microsoft/Contoso fantasy stuff.

Conference bookings have been better than expected, but there are still a few spaces left. Booking will be open for another week or so if you don’t want to miss this excellent event.



Last few hours of conference discount

Friday, 6th January, 2012

The Early bird discount for the 2012 Excel Developer conference expires tonight at midnight (ish). (European time, CET not GMT) (11pm for the Brits).

Please visit the booking page here ASAP and get yourself booked on.

After tonight, the price goes up to 250 GBP, still a staggering bargain actually.

Hope to see you there,



LinkedIn comedy

Wednesday, 4th January, 2012

I don’t really use LinkedIn, but I happened to be on there today and saw something that made me laugh.

Recently I was approached about doing some work for a potential client. After a brief discussion and issues with my availability (I didnt have any), the project went to someone else. No problem (for me), but lets just say the work was quite specific, oh I don’t know let just say taking some data from Excel and creating a drawing.

I skipped over one of the Excel groups on linkedIn and lo, a question from ‘recently’ : ‘How do you create a [specific type of] drawing from [a very particular type of] Excel data?’ Made me laugh…

No idea if it is exactly the same project, but its a pretty damn close coincidence. (I didn’t bother to look if it had been solved.)

At least they didn’t wait until I had scoped it out and incurred time and costs then blow me out on rate. Although I guess if the forum approach fails badly they could be back in touch. With even less budget having blown half of it on the failed hobbyist version.

This sort of thing always makes me wonder if I should move over to a server based tech so I am not always in competition with hobbyists? No disrespect at all, I got into VBA as a hobby because it was more interesting than my proper job. But I am not sure how many people would get into the nitty gritty of Oracle, or Sharepoint just for fun?

Any of you passed up some work only to see it hawked around the forums shortly after?



Excel Dev conf presenters

Friday, 23rd December, 2011

In the run up to the magnificent, exciting, exclusive, once in a lifetime Excel Developer conference, I thought it would be interesting to get to know the presenters a little more.

First up on the conf blog is Stephen Allen. Stephen will be taking us through some tools and techniques for reviewing real world spreadsheets. And dealing with the review findings.

If you haven’t booked yet you risk missing out on THE hottest event in the 2012 Excel calendar. The organisers are generously offering a full 50 quid early bird discount for those folks organised enough to book before Friday 6th Jan 2012. This isn’t just to punish those people who don’t know who they are or where they will be from one day to the next, it’s also so Mike knows how many custard creams to bring.

I can confirm that there will be a prize for whoever brings the nicest biscuits (hint: custard creams won’t win – even if they are the only entry).

Get over to Codematic now to book, then you can relax and just worry about the biscuits.



The moment of truth

Tuesday, 13th December, 2011

Laydeees and Gintelmen….

Drum roll please…….

The…January…2012…Excel…Developer…Conference…Booking…and …payment…page…is…online.

finally. phew.

I know I promised to get it up earlier, but hey, I’m a busy boy…

I was away all last week in busy meetings and drinkings with limited internet access and typing ability.

please don’t all book at once and kill the intarwebs.