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Old 10-18-2017, 03:31 PM
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Mary Pat Campbell
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Default Most Inappropriate Use of Spreadsheet

The topic of inappropriate spreadsheet use kicked off a big discussion in the European Spreadsheet Risks Interest Group, but it seems to have devolved into wanting to get a good definition of spreadsheet. So let's not go down that route.

What the most inappropriate use of a spreadsheet you've seen?

In my own case, it was something I did -- a Monte Carlo model for a lifecycle mutual fund. I really shouldn't have done it (at least I didn't use RAND()...and that's about the only good thing I can say about it), but there ya go. It led to further stupidity on my part, when I embedded the results into a Word document, unknowingly. I know it now. That's about the dumbest thing I've ever done in a professional setting.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:31 PM
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I've done some silly stuff in Excel -- like the Sierpinski fractal:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/i0x00hlwzw...ngle.xlsx?dl=0

but that was just a stunt from boredom.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:39 PM
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Back in the day, I saw a lot of memos written in spreadsheets. Nobody knew how to use word processing but the secretaries. (That says how long ago it was.)
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMO View Post
Back in the day, I saw a lot of memos written in spreadsheets. Nobody knew how to use word processing but the secretaries. (That says how long ago it was.)
I've used Excel to make nice tables, because I hate making tables in Word.

Not recently, because now I've got editors who make the tables for me in the format our style guide requires.
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMO View Post
Back in the day, I saw a lot of memos written in spreadsheets. Nobody knew how to use word processing but the secretaries. (That says how long ago it was.)
I use excel to write memos all the time. I use them for rate filings that I do annually, when I have to embed numbers into the wording. I use formulas for some of the text.

e.g. ="The credibility weighted loss ratio for "&A1&" is "&text(a2,"0.0%")&"."

It's cumbersome but only the first time, but it's better than searching a word doc for all the numbers to change and accidentally missing one.
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Old 10-30-2017, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by llcooljabe View Post
I use excel to write memos all the time. I use them for rate filings that I do annually, when I have to embed numbers into the wording. I use formulas for some of the text.

e.g. ="The credibility weighted loss ratio for "&A1&" is "&text(a2,"0.0%")&"."

It's cumbersome but only the first time, but it's better than searching a word doc for all the numbers to change and accidentally missing one.
Can someone help me with the "right" way to do this using excel and word? I've just been assigned a report that uses numbers from a spreadsheet and I want something slicker than typing them in.

Is the answer Mail Merge? That seems intended to make many letters, but I guess you could use it to make just one at a time.
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Old 10-30-2017, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow View Post
Can someone help me with the "right" way to do this using excel and word? I've just been assigned a report that uses numbers from a spreadsheet and I want something slicker than typing them in.

Is the answer Mail Merge? That seems intended to make many letters, but I guess you could use it to make just one at a time.
I had asked this question in a thread years ago, and the suggestion was mail merge. I found that it was way too much effort for one letter at a time. It may be the "correct" way to do it, but I found, practically speaking, the excel method is easier.

Only caveat: numbers (dollars with commas, percents and dates) have to be formatted before using them in a formula. I do this by a by a text() formula.
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Old 12-11-2017, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llcooljabe View Post
I use excel to write memos all the time. I use them for rate filings that I do annually, when I have to embed numbers into the wording. I use formulas for some of the text.

e.g. ="The credibility weighted loss ratio for "&A1&" is "&text(a2,"0.0%")&"."

It's cumbersome but only the first time, but it's better than searching a word doc for all the numbers to change and accidentally missing one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodrow View Post
Can someone help me with the "right" way to do this using excel and word? I've just been assigned a report that uses numbers from a spreadsheet and I want something slicker than typing them in.

Is the answer Mail Merge? That seems intended to make many letters, but I guess you could use it to make just one at a time.
I've never used mail merge before... I think what cooljabe is doing is entirely legitimate. If your model is in Excel, then you should feel comfortable using Excel to compose the text. It will be easier to understand and audit then shoving it into another program. Also lends itself to conditionals.

If you want to spice it up a bit, you can use VBA to compose outlook emails from Excel as well, and then attach that to a button or something. Just make sure you have adequate error checking first!
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Last edited by Sredni Vashtar; 12-11-2017 at 11:12 AM..
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Old 12-11-2017, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llcooljabe View Post
I use excel to write memos all the time. I use them for rate filings that I do annually, when I have to embed numbers into the wording. I use formulas for some of the text.

e.g. ="The credibility weighted loss ratio for "&A1&" is "&text(a2,"0.0%")&"."

It's cumbersome but only the first time, but it's better than searching a word doc for all the numbers to change and accidentally missing one.
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Last edited by clarinetist; 12-11-2017 at 08:37 PM..
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Old 12-20-2017, 10:58 AM
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I created a magic eight ball - as a joke for a coworker, I swear. There was a button in the middle of a blacked out "circle" of cells that when pushed would shake the ball by deleting and adding rows above and to the side a few hundred times, and using wait or pause or something like that to slow it down. Then after a few dozen shakes it rolled through a few of the standard 8 ball responses and a few non-standard.

Still have that gem.
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