Wednesday, April 16, 2008

MS Excel: Part 1

I’ve been working a lot in Excel lately. It’s a fine, even marvelous program if you know what you’re doing. I sorta know what I’m doing, which means I only occasionally try to perform math functions on sentences.

Which, frankly, would be cool if you could.

However, Excel, despite it wonderfulness, is really boring. It needs some flash, some pizzaz, a bit of ‘je ne sais quoi,’ which is French for ‘albino tuxedo.’

So here are my recommendations for making Excel into the raging spreadsheet monster it was meant to be:

Theme Music
Imagine you’re working in Excel. For those of you actually working in Excel this should be easy. For those of you who have never seen Excel, tape a piece of graph paper to your monitor. This will simulate the experience.

Anyway, you’re working in Excel. You’re filling in columns and rows. Calculations are happening, numbers are popping up. In the background, music slowly begins.

You start working faster as the music picks up tempo. Your fingers fly about the keyboard. Numbers flare into life. Keys are pressed. Cells are filled. The mouse . . . mouses.

And suddenly, the theme from Indiana Jones blares out.

Now, you’re not longer Joe or Jane Smith working on the numbers for the Wilson account. You’re Indiana Jones and you’re fighting Nazis, with Excel!

Every time you tabulate a row, it’s like punching a Nazi in the face. Every time an algorithm is calculated, it’s like swinging across a chasm on a whip. Every time you switch sheets, well, you’re just switching sheets, but it’s cool, ‘cause that’s what Indy would do.

The possibilities are endless. Working on personnel files? Then the Imperial March plays. Computing taxes? Chopin’s Funeral March (or Dirge, or something). All that’s needed is a little imagination.

Later: Naughty Pictures

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