We asked AI for help

ChatGPT is a wonderful magical tool that can give you the illusion that you are actually talking to an expert on everything. Let’s see how it will respond to questions about MS Excel. Can the AI solve problems? Can it be creative and develop something new from the simple request?

We tried ChatGPT 3 free version available on https://chat.openai.com/chat. They are still improving it so you will probably get better results. We were impressed with this version as well. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves now. Let’s start with the questions.

Question: Can you provide user guide for MS Excel?


Certainly! Here is a beginner’s guide to using Microsoft Excel:

  1. Opening Excel: To open Microsoft Excel, simply click on the Excel icon on your desktop or in your programs list.
  2. Creating a new workbook: Once you have opened Excel, you will be presented with a blank workbook. If you want to create a new workbook, go to the “File” tab, select “New,” and choose “Workbook.”
  3. Entering data: To enter data into a cell, simply click on the cell and start typing. You can also use the formula bar at the top of the screen to enter data.
  4. Formatting cells: To format cells, select the cells you want to format, right-click, and select “Format Cells.” From here, you can change the font, font size, cell color, and other formatting options.
  5. Creating formulas: To create a formula, select the cell where you want the result to appear and type the equal sign (=). Then, enter the formula using cell references and mathematical operators. For example, to add cells A1 and B1, you would enter “=A1+B1” in the formula bar.
  6. Using functions: Excel has many built-in functions that can perform complex calculations. To use a function, select the cell where you want the result to appear and enter the function name, followed by the input parameters in parentheses. For example, to calculate the average of cells A1 through A10, you would enter “=AVERAGE(A1:A10)”.
  7. Sorting data: To sort data, select the cells you want to sort, click on the “Data” tab, and select “Sort.” Choose the column you want to sort by and select either ascending or descending order.
  8. Creating charts: To create a chart, select the data you want to include in the chart, click on the “Insert” tab, and select the chart type you want to create. Excel will automatically create the chart based on your data.
  9. Saving and printing: To save your workbook, click on the “File” tab and select “Save.” To print your workbook, click on the “File” tab and select “Print.”

This is just a basic overview of Excel’s features. There are many more advanced features, such as pivot tables, macros, and conditional formatting, that you can learn with more experience and practice.

Question: What are the biggest differences between MS Excel 2003 and MS Excel 2019?


There are several significant differences between Microsoft Excel 2003 and Microsoft Excel 2019. Here are some of the most notable changes:

  1. User Interface: The user interface has changed significantly in Excel 2019 compared to Excel 2003. The Ribbon interface was introduced in Excel 2007 and has been refined in subsequent versions of Excel, including Excel 2019.
  2. Collaboration: Excel 2019 offers enhanced collaboration features compared to Excel 2003. With Excel 2019, multiple users can edit the same document simultaneously and see changes in real-time.
  3. Data Analysis: Excel 2019 includes several new data analysis tools, such as new chart types, improved pivot tables, and enhanced data modeling capabilities, compared to Excel 2003.
  4. Cloud Integration: Excel 2019 integrates with cloud storage services such as OneDrive and SharePoint, allowing you to access and edit your Excel files from anywhere, and collaborate with others in real-time.
  5. Security: Excel 2019 includes improved security features to help protect your data, such as new encryption options and enhanced protection against malware and other cyber threats.
  6. Performance: Excel 2019 is generally faster and more efficient than Excel 2003, thanks to improvements in hardware and software technology.

Overall, Excel 2019 is a more modern and feature-rich application than Excel 2003, offering enhanced collaboration, data analysis, cloud integration, security, and performance.

Question: Can you create xlsx files?

Answer: As an AI language model, I don’t have the capability to create files directly. However, I can guide you on how to create xlsx files using Microsoft Excel:

  1. Open Microsoft Excel on your computer.
  2. Click on “File” in the top left corner of the screen.
  3. Click on “New” to create a new Excel workbook.
  4. Click on “Blank workbook” to create a new blank workbook.
  5. Save the workbook by clicking on “File” and then “Save As.”
  6. In the “Save As” dialog box, select the location where you want to save the file.
  7. In the “Save as type” drop-down menu, select “Excel Workbook (*.xlsx)”.
  8. Give your file a name and click on “Save.”

Your xlsx file is now created and saved on your computer. You can start adding data, formatting, and performing various operations on it using Excel’s features.

Question: How to quickly find duplicate values in MS Excel?

Answer: To quickly find duplicate values in Microsoft Excel, you can use the built-in “Conditional Formatting” feature. Here are the steps:

  1. Select the range of cells that you want to check for duplicates.
  2. Click on the “Home” tab in the ribbon menu.
  3. Click on “Conditional Formatting” in the “Styles” section.
  4. Select “Highlight Cells Rules” and then “Duplicate Values” from the drop-down menu.
  5. In the “Duplicate Values” dialog box, select the formatting style you want to apply to the duplicate values. For example, you can choose to highlight the duplicates with a different color.
  6. Click “OK” to apply the formatting.

Excel will then highlight all the duplicate values in the selected range with the formatting style you have chosen. You can now easily identify and work with the duplicate values in your Excel sheet.

See our solution some years ago: https://excel-example.com/duplicates/quickly-find-duplicate-values-excel

Question: How to SUM visible cells and exclude hidden rows and columns in MS Excel?

Answer: To SUM visible cells and exclude hidden rows and columns in Microsoft Excel, you can use the SUBTOTAL function with the 9 option. Here are the steps:

  1. Select the cell where you want to display the SUM result.
  2. Type the following formula: =SUBTOTAL(9,range)
  3. Replace “range” in the formula with the range of cells you want to sum.
  4. Press “Enter” to calculate the result.

The SUBTOTAL function calculates a subtotal for a range of cells, but it can also be used to exclude hidden rows and columns. The 9 option in the SUBTOTAL function specifies that only visible cells should be included in the calculation.

Note: Make sure that you do not include any total rows or columns in the range, as these will be included in the calculation even if they are hidden.

Question: How to create a button for hiding rows or columns in MS Excel?

To create a button for hiding rows or columns in Microsoft Excel, you can use the “Developer” tab and create a macro that will be assigned to the button. Here are the steps:

  1. Show the “Developer” tab in the ribbon menu if it’s not already visible. To do this, right-click on any of the tabs in the ribbon, click on “Customize the Ribbon,” and then select the “Developer” checkbox in the right-hand pane.
  2. Click on the “Developer” tab in the ribbon menu.
  3. Click on the “Insert” dropdown and then click on the “Button” form control button. This will create a new button on your worksheet.
  4. Right-click on the button and select “Assign Macro.”
  5. In the “Assign Macro” dialog box, click on “New” to create a new macro.
  6. Type a name for the macro, such as “Hide Rows” or “Hide Columns.”
  7. Click “OK” to create the macro and open the Visual Basic Editor.
  8. Type the following code to hide the rows or columns that you want:

To hide rows:

Sub HideRows()
   Rows("1:10").EntireRow.Hidden = True 'replace 1:10 with the rows you want to hide
End Sub

To hide columns:

Sub HideColumns()
   Columns("A:C").EntireColumn.Hidden = True 'replace A:C with the columns you want to hide
End Sub
  1. Close the Visual Basic Editor and return to the worksheet.
  2. Click on the button you created to run the macro and hide the rows or columns you specified.

Note: If you want to unhide the rows or columns, you can use a similar macro that sets the EntireRow.Hidden or EntireColumn.Hidden property to False. You can assign this macro to a different button or use the same button to toggle between hiding and unhiding the rows or columns.

See our solution: https://excel-example.com/vba-excel-macros/sum-visible-cells-exclude-hidden-rows-columns

Question: I have an error in Excel table. It always changes numbers to dates or to currency. Can you help me?

Answer: If you have a problem with Excel changing numbers to dates or currency, it’s likely that Excel is interpreting the data in the wrong way. Here are a few possible solutions to this problem:

  1. Change the data type: Select the column of data that’s being interpreted incorrectly, right-click on it, and then choose “Format Cells.” In the “Format Cells” dialog box, select “Number” as the data type, and then choose the appropriate number format that matches your data.
  2. Use the text-to-columns feature: If your data is separated by a common delimiter, such as a comma or a semicolon, you can use the “Text to Columns” feature to separate the data into different columns. To do this, select the column of data, click on the “Data” tab in the ribbon menu, and then click on “Text to Columns.” Follow the prompts in the wizard to separate the data into different columns.
  3. Use an apostrophe: If you want Excel to treat your data as text, you can add an apostrophe before the data. For example, if you want to enter “123” as text, you can type “‘123” (without the quotes) in the cell. The apostrophe will not be displayed in the cell, but it will tell Excel to treat the data as text.
  4. Check your regional settings: If you’re using a version of Excel that’s set to a different regional setting than your computer, Excel may interpret the data incorrectly. Check your regional settings by going to the “Control Panel” on your computer, selecting “Region,” and then verifying that the settings match the country or region where you’re located.

I hope one of these solutions helps you resolve the issue with Excel changing numbers to dates or currency.

Question: It did not help. Do you have any other suggestions?

Answer: If the solutions I provided earlier did not resolve the issue of Excel changing numbers to dates or currency, here are a few additional suggestions:

  1. Check the format of the cell: Sometimes, even if the column is formatted as a number, individual cells may have been formatted as dates or currency. To check the format of a cell, select the cell or range of cells, right-click, and choose “Format Cells.” Make sure the “Number” tab is selected, and then choose “General” as the format.
  2. Use the VALUE function: If Excel is still interpreting the data incorrectly, you can use the VALUE function to convert the data to a number. For example, if cell A1 contains the value “1,234.56” but Excel is interpreting it as a date, you can use the following formula to convert it to a number: =VALUE(A1). You can then copy this formula down to the rest of the column.
  3. Check for leading or trailing spaces: Sometimes, there may be leading or trailing spaces in the data that are causing Excel to interpret it incorrectly. To remove leading and trailing spaces, use the TRIM function. For example, if cell A1 contains the value ” 1,234.56 “, you can use the following formula to remove the spaces: =TRIM(A1). You can then copy this formula down to the rest of the column.
  4. Try opening the file in a different program: If Excel is consistently interpreting the data incorrectly, you may want to try opening the file in a different program, such as Google Sheets or OpenOffice. If the data is interpreted correctly in the other program, you can save the file in a different format, such as CSV, and then reopen it in Excel.

I hope one of these suggestions helps you resolve the issue with Excel changing numbers to dates or currency.

See our solution: https://excel-example.com/quick-tips/excel-always-changes-numbers-to-dates-or-currency-solution

Question: How to create Pareto Analysis in MS Excel?

Answer: To create a Pareto Analysis in MS Excel, follow these steps:

  1. Enter your data: Enter your data in Excel, with one column for the categories and another column for the values. The values should be in descending order.
  2. Calculate the cumulative percent: In a third column, calculate the cumulative percent for each category by dividing the sum of the values up to that category by the total sum of all values. Use the formula =SUM(B$2:B2)/SUM(B$2:B$10) for the first row, and then copy the formula down to the rest of the column.
  3. Create a bar chart: Select the category column and the cumulative percent column, and then create a clustered bar chart. The category column should be the x-axis, and the cumulative percent column should be the y-axis.
  4. Add a secondary axis: Click on the cumulative percent bars to select them, and then right-click and choose “Format Data Series.” In the “Format Data Series” dialog box, choose “Secondary Axis” under the “Series Options” tab.
  5. Format the chart: Format the chart as desired, such as adding labels, changing the colors, and adjusting the axes. You can also add a line at the 80% mark to highlight the top 20% of categories.
  6. Interpret the results: Interpret the Pareto Analysis by focusing on the categories that make up the top 20% of the values, as they have the biggest impact. You can use this analysis to prioritize your efforts and resources accordingly.

I hope this helps you create a Pareto Analysis in MS Excel.

See our solution: https://excel-example.com/charts/pareto-analysis-in-excel-part-1

And now something more complex. One of our largets Excel template for Sport league schedulle and standings table: https://excel-example.com/templates/sport-tournament-template

Jan: Let us have sport league with 6 sport teams.

ChatGPT: Sure! Let’s create a sport league with 6 teams. What sport would you like the league to be based on? Some popular sports with leagues include football, basketball, soccer, hockey, baseball, and cricket.

Jan: Each team plays each other twice. There are 3 points for a win, one point for a draw and 0 points for a loss.


Great! So in this league, each team will play against every other team twice, meaning there will be a total of 10 games per team. A win is worth 3 points, a draw is worth 1 point, and a loss is worth 0 points.

To keep track of the standings, we can create a table with the team names and their current points. We can start with all teams having 0 points:

Team NamePoints
Team 10
Team 20
Team 30
Team 40
Team 50
Team 60

After each game, we can update the table with the points earned by each team. For example, if Team 1 beats Team 2, the table would look like:

Team NamePoints
Team 13
Team 20
Team 30
Team 40
Team 50
Team 60

We can continue to update the table after each game until all teams have played each other twice. At the end of the league, the team with the most points will be declared the winner.

Jan: I need template for this sport league with schedule of matches and score table. How to create this template in MS Excel?


Sure, I can help you create a template for the sport league in MS Excel. Here are the steps to create a schedule of matches and a score table:

  1. Open MS Excel and create a new workbook.
  2. In the first sheet, create a table for the schedule of matches. The table should have 4 columns: Date, Home Team, Away Team, and Result. You can also add a column for the Round number if you want to keep track of which round the matches are in. The table should have 10 rows (2 matches for each of the 6 teams).
DateHome TeamAway TeamResult
Round 1
Match 1
Match 2
Round 2
Match 3
Match 4
Round 3
Match 5
Match 6
Round 4
Match 7
Match 8
Round 5
Match 9
Match 10
  1. In the second sheet, create a table for the score table. The table should have 3 columns: Team, Points, and Games Played. The table should have 6 rows (one for each team).
TeamPointsGames Played
Team 1
Team 2
Team 3
Team 4
Team 5
Team 6
  1. To populate the schedule of matches, you can use a formula in the Home Team and Away Team columns to generate a round-robin schedule. In cell B3, enter the formula =IF(MOD(ROW()-3,6)=0,6,MOD(ROW()-3,6)) and in cell C3, enter the formula =IF(MOD(ROW()-3,6)=0,MOD((ROW()-3)/6,6),MOD((ROW()-3)/6+1,6)). Then, copy and paste these formulas down to cells B12 and C12 to generate the complete schedule.
  2. To update the score table, you can use a combination of formulas and conditional formatting. In the Points column, you can use the formula =SUMIF('Match Schedule'!B:B,A2,'Match Schedule'!D:D)+SUMIF('Match Schedule'!C:C,A2,'Match Schedule'!D:D) to calculate the total points for each team. In the Games Played column, you can use the formula =COUNTIF('Match Schedule'!B:B,A2)+COUNTIF('Match Schedule'!C:C,A2) to count the number of games played by each team. You can then use conditional formatting to highlight the team with the highest number of points in green and the team with the lowest number of points in red.
  3. Finally, you can link the schedule of matches and the score table to create a dashboard that updates automatically. You can use the INDEX and MATCH functions to pull the results from the schedule of matches into

Add a comment »One comment to this article

  1. Is there an 18 team version of this please?


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