Spreadsheet Models for Managers

Getting Access to Spreadsheet Models for Managers

If Spreadsheet Models for Managersyou use Excel to model businesses, business processes, or business transactions, this course will change your life. You’ll learn how to create tools for yourself that will amaze even you. Unrestricted use of this material is available in two ways.

As a stand-alone Web site
It resides on your computer, and you can use it anywhere. No need for Internet access.
At this Web site
If you have access to the Internet whenever you want to view this material, you can purchase on-line access. Unlimited usage. I’m constantly making improvements and you’ll get them as soon as they’re available.

To Order On Line

Order "Spreadsheet Models for Managers, on-line edition, one month" by credit card, for USD 69.95 each, using our secure server, and receive download instructions by return email.
Order "Spreadsheet Models for Managers, on-line edition, three months" by credit card, for USD 199.00 each, using our secure server, and receive download instructions by return email.
Order "Spreadsheet Models for Managers, downloadable hyperbook edition" by credit card, for USD 199.00 each, using our secure server, and receive download instructions by return email.

To Order by Mail

Make your check payable to Chaco Canyon Consulting, for the amount indicated:
  • For the download: USD 199.00
  • For access online for three months: USD 199.00
  • For access online for one month: USD 69.95
And send it to:
Chaco Canyon Consulting
700 Huron Avenue, Suite 19C
Cambridge, MA 02138

To use the course software you’ll need some other applications, which you very probably already have. By placing your order, you’re confirming that you have the software you need, as described on this site.

Spreadsheet Models for Managers

Relative and absolute references 1/32
Session Links

Relative to cell A2 all of these references point to B3:

A1 Style R1C1 Style
Absolute $B$3 R3C2
Relative B3 R[1]C[1]
Column-Relative B$3 R3C[1]
Row-Relative $B3 R[1]C2

You can’t really tell the behaviors apart until you either

  • Copy
  • Paste
  • Fill Down/Fill Up
  • Fill Right/Fill Left

This is a basic spreadsheet concept that’s worth mastering

Readings: References


Many of you have used spreadsheets before, and you’ve typed cell references into formulas, perhaps not fully appreciating the difference between, for example, $A1 and A1. It never seemed to matter much.

But it does matter. This is your opportunity to spend the (surprisingly small) amount of time it takes to master this concept. When you do, you’ll leap past 98% of all spreadsheet users, because most of them never try to figure out what absolute, relative, and mixed references are all about.

You’ll find that mixed references can be very useful, even though — at first — you won’t see much opportunity to use them. Once you do find uses, you’ll wonder how people get by without them.

As a manager of others who build spreadsheet models, you’ll find a new use for mixed references. During the hiring process, or even afterwards, you can use this concept as a probe to determine the level of sophistication of candidates or staff. And by examining actual spreadsheet projects, you can tell a lot about their authors by looking for uses of absolute, relative, and mixed references.

In addition to Copy, Paste, and Fill, there is one more way to transport formulas from one place to another within a worksheet: Dragging. Using the mouse you can drag any selection consisting of a single area from wherever it is to someplace else on the worksheet. When you do this, the formulas in the cells of that selection are unchanged when they arrive at their new location even if they contain mixed or relative references. This property can be very useful when you’ve constructed a set of cells using relative references, and you decide you want to change their position, or open up some space between them and the rest of the worksheet.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 27-Apr-2016 04:15:26 EDT

Deciding What to Read

The first homework assignment has a fair amount of reading attached to it. Some students feel that the best approach is to read it all, and then try to do the homework. For most of us, such an approach doesn’t work very well.

Before you begin the course, read the general material, such as “Getting Started,” “Software You Need for This Course,” and “How to Work.”

Later, as you begin the homework, let the homework drive your reading choices. For instance, the first homework assignment does require that you master certain techniques. Read “Names” and “The Ripple Principle.” Then, if something confuses you, read up on it: examples are “The Basics of Recalculation” and “References.” Learning something when you need it, and only when you need it, is usually the best way to go.

Avoid Redundant Parentheses

Parentheses sometimes make a real difference. For instance A1*B1+2 is very different from A1*(B1+2). But A1*(B1*2) is exactly the same as A1*B1*2. When the parentheses don’t make any difference in the value of the result, it’s not usually a good idea to include them. They tend to make the formulas harder to read, and there’s always the chance that you’ll put them in the wrong place. More