Project Management

Got Any Excel Questions?

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Categories: FAQ

I’m delighted that Carl Nixon, The Excel Expert, has offered to answer your questions on spreadsheets, and in particular, Excel.

In my experience project budgets are often done in Excel – it’s certainly the product I turn to. I use it for everything from doing the odd sum instead of loading that calculator desktop app, to building complex financial trackers.

They aren’t really that complex. I’m not an Excel Expert, unlike Carl.

So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to Carl in his own words. At the bottom you’ll see how to get in touch with your queries. I’ll collate the questions, feed them back to Carl and in a future article he’ll answer them for you. I’m really excited! I think we could all learn a lot.

Introducing Carl Nixon – The Excel Expert To Answer Your Excel Questions

As a freelance “Excel Expert”, I provide Excel spreadsheet services to companies big and small around the world. I have helped them to save thousands of hours and to reduce their errors to the barest minimum.

Working as a freelancer has resulted in me working on some very unusual and exciting projects. I have helped farmers understand data gathered from drones, supermarkets plan their pricing and global brands to plan billion-dollar expansions.

As well as providing freelance services, I am currently developing a number of off the shelf solutions for smaller companies.

Tell Me About Your Excel Problems

I have teamed up with Elizabeth and to answer any of your questions on Excel spreadsheets. So, if you have any issues in the following areas get in touch:

  • Problem / broken formulas
  • Problem / broken macros
  • Problem reports / charts
  • Error prevention / capture
  • Security

My aim is not to just look at practical issues of building a spreadsheet (formulas, macros etc); I can also give you advice on more general spreadsheet concepts as well. We can talk about good spreadsheet design, automation, error prevention and even data security.

So fire away with your Excel questions, no matter how big or small they are!

My Bio

Just over 6 years ago, I decided to become a freelance Excel consultant ( My reputation for creating no-nonsense solutions soon spread and I quickly picked up clients that included Pepsico, Walmart, General Mills and many other household names.

When I manage to get away from spreadsheets my life revolves around kids. Especially my four wonderful grandsons who seem to eat up every minute of my spare time.

A real passion of mine is helping children’s charities and causes here in the UK and in Eastern Europe. I have done everything from organising film premieres to delivering aid in war zones (Kosovo).


Thanks, Carl!

Leave a comment below with your Excel queries and we’ll be in touch when the answers are up.

Posted on: November 05, 2015 11:59 PM | Permalink

Comments (11)

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Andreia Reis IT Coordenator| Macmillan Education Mairinque, São Paulo, Brazil
Thank you for Sharing and help , because I believe that There is always have some doubt in relative to Excel, in my opinion is powerful tool.

I use very much Excel to do for importing data , schedule , Flash Report , Excel pivot table, Excel formula(VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, SUMIF). I can't imagine my work life without Excel
but also , I have my doubts about :
Create a histogram like graphic to the cells interval selected.
VBA Function

Thank you in Advance

Best Regards,

Mazen AlRefaai Sr Engineer| Saudi Bin Ladin Group Mecca, Saudi Arabia
Excel is important for any technical dealing with data

Carl Nixon Tonypandy, United Kingdom
Hi Andreia

What problems do you have around histograms and scatter plots? I will be happy to answer some of those for you.

I will probably be answering questions on VBA functions and Macros at a later date i.e. when I have covered the less advanced questions people have.

Elizabeth Harrin Director| London, England, United Kingdom
Thanks for your comments, Andreia and Mazen. Looking forward to hearing the other questions!

fosco frongia Senior project manager| ENTE PATRIMONIALE CHIESA GESU' CRISTO SUG Fino Mornasco, Como, Italy
many thanks for your help Carl, I'm a "standard" user ( I use few commands, formulas etc.) and don't take advantage of the great potentialities of the program. before to ask you some specific questions I'd like to improve the use of the program, may you suggest us a good manual to support it?
many thanks

Andreia Reis IT Coordenator| Macmillan Education Mairinque, São Paulo, Brazil
Hi, Carl!

Thanks for answering my issues.

My doubt about Histogram is the following :
: How I do to determine number of block / class and also determining the amplitude and frequencies of each block .
For Example : How build a Histogram to determine closing price adjusted to dividend payout and stock split at Company XYX of the periodo YYYY-MM-DD (eg 2015-10-1 - 2015-10-30).

My doubt about scatter plots is the following :

I'd like to receive an example How Can I apply in the Project Management? , What type of analyse Can I do?

Debora DeLacy Sr. IT Project Manager| Orlando Health Eustis, Fl, USA
Hi Carl,

Is there a good way to translate a Report from .RTF into Excel without loosing the columns? I would be happy to do multiple steps if needed to get to the end. My challenge is occasionally we get 100 page reports in .RTF format and do not have an option of going back and requesting Excel, Text or delimited files.

Thanks! Deb

C Joseph Nower Senior Business Analyst| Hennings and Nower LLC Decatur, In, USA
This is what I do when converting a rich text format (RFT) document to excel. Be aware that WordPad does not have a size limit but other text editors such as NotePad++ would work.

Step 1

Open your RTF file in WordPad.

Step 2

Remove all formatting except for tabs and carriage returns. Delete any graphics embedded in the file.

Step 3

Delete any tabs that aren''''t used to separate pieces of information that would appear in different columns in a spreadsheet. Insert tabs to break up your data where you need column breaks. Use carriage returns to separate what will become individual spreadsheet rows.

Step 4

Check your file to verify that each row contains the same number of tabs. If not, your columns won''''t line up correctly. Insert a tab in front of another tab to place a blank cell where the new tab appears.

Step 5

Click on "Save As" (available under the blue menu button) and specify the file name. Set the file format to Text.

Step 6

Open the File in Microsoft Excel. The program detects the tab delimiters that separate your columns and presents the Import Text Wizard. The wizard asks different information about the data. One thing to note is to choose "text" for any number column where leading zeros are relevant. Click on the "Finish" button to complete the import.

I hope this helps.

Michael Adams Solutions Architect| Lanl Los Alamos, Nm, USA
Carl, how about converting a table in a PDF to excel?

John Herman . Us, Aa, USA
What a generous offer !! I will certainly keep it in mind. Thanks, Carl.

Elizabeth Harrin Director| London, England, United Kingdom
Hi everyone. Just wanted to let you know that Carl hasn't been able to get back to me on the questions but we are in touch and hopefully I'll be able to follow up this article really soon. Thanks for your patience!

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