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

This reading is especially relevant for Session 1Avoiding Computer Viruses

In this course, as in your workplace, you’ll be working with others. You’ll be exchanging files, containing your homework and a course project. And that’s why there’s a danger of accidental transmission of computer viruses. Here’s how we prevent virus infection.

All of the files you receive for this course have been checked for viruses. We’ve taken every possible step to prevent transmitting computer viruses to you. Here are some simple steps that you can take to protect your own computer and those of others around you.

Your homework and course project

One important category of computer viruses is the macro virus. In this course, macro viruses can appear only in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files. To limit the spread of these viruses, do not include macros in any file you submit for this course, or in any file you exchange with anyone else in the course, except for homework assignments that explicitly permit them.

One homework set is submitted in a workbook that we provide to you, which does contain macros. But other than that one exception, we won’t accept files from you that contain macros. If you submit a homework file with a macro other than the one exception, we’ll deduct five points from your homework and notify you by email. This may also result in your resubmitted homework being delivered to us late, since we can’t guarantee that we’ll notify you of the macro in time for you to resubmit a macro-free version on time. Thus, the penalties for submitting homework or projects with unexpected macros can be severe. See How to check that your homework has no macros.

Set your preferences

Not feeling too goodYou can protect your computer from accidental infection by setting preferences in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. With the proper setting, these programs warn you when you open a file that contains macros. Once you’re warned, you can decide whether to continue opening the file, or whether to open the file with macros disabled, or whether to abort opening the file. Since macro viruses are macros, these options enable you to screen out unexpected macros, which are the chief source of macro viruses.

To set this preference in Excel 2007:
Click the Microsoft Office button, then the Excel Options button, then Trust Center category, then the Trust Center Settings button, then the Macro Settings category. Click the radio button labeled “Disable all macros with notification.” This is, by the way, the default setting, so unless you or someone else has changed the setting, you shouldn’t have to do this.
To set this preference in Excel 2010 and 2013:
Click the File tab, then the Options menu item. The Excel Options dialog appears. Click the Trust Center menu item to expose the Trust Center. At the bottom of the pane, click the Trust Center Settings… button. Next, click Message Bar in the list in the left-hand pane. In the page that appears, ensure that the option button is activated for “Show the message bar in all applications when active contents, such as ActiveX controls and macros, has been blocked.” Then click OK. This is, by the way, the default setting, so unless you or someone else has changed the setting, you shouldn’t have to do anything more than verify that it is set this way.
To set this preference in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint in Office 2011:
Choose the menu command (Word, Excel, or PowerPoint)>Preferences…. The Preferences dialog appears. In the row called “Sharing and Privacy” (Excel), or “Personal Settings” (Word), click Security. Then enable the checkbox for “Warn before opening a file that contains macros”. For PowerPoint, click General and then click the checkbox for Enable macro virus protection, and click OK.

Although you won’t be submitting files to us containing macros (except as noted above), some of the files we deliver to you do contain macros. When Excel or Word warn you about these macros, you should accept the file and enable the macros.

How to check that your homework has no macros

Once you have set your preferences correctly, checking a workbook for macros is a simple task. If it’s loaded into Excel already, close the file to remove it from Excel. Then load it again. If Excel warns you that the file has macros, then it has macros. If not, it doesn’t. If you get a warning for a file that you don’t expect to have macros, your computer could be infected with a virus. You should run your virus scanning software to be sure.

If your virus protection software says that your computer is OK, and you still have macros in your workbook, create a new blank workbook, and save it with your name as its name. Send it to us by email and we’ll examine it to see what’s going on. Your computer might be infected.

Virus protection software

Despite our best efforts and care, it’s always possible that your computer might be infected by us or by some other source — or it might already be infected. To address this possibility, we strongly recommend that you acquire a virus protection software package, install it, scan your computer regularly, and keep your virus protection software up-to-date. Even better, configure the software to scan your computer automatically. This software is inexpensive, and it’s a real must-have for any serious professional today. Three excellent products are available: Bitdefender Antivirus Plus (2014), Norton AntiVirus (2014), and Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus (2014). There are many more.

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