Berkshire13f

Free Excel Template to Track Berkshire Hathaway’s Portfolio

Warren Buffett fans like to track the billionaire investor’s moves, and a good way to do that is through Berkshire Hathaway’s 13f filings. His company reports its holdings every quarter, showing where there were changes in its positions. By looking at multiple filings, investors can track the changes from one period to another. With this free template, you can do that quickly and easily all on your own. All you have to do is specify the specific filings that you want to compare to one another.

How the template works

This template uses PowerQuery to grab the data from the 13f filings. It will then compare the two to find the changes in share count.

There are only two inputs you need for the template, both are on the Current.Holdings tab. You’ll need to paste the URL for the current 13f filing and the previous one (or whichever filings you want to compare against one another). It can sometimes be a bit tricky to get exactly what you’re after. Here’s how you can find the 13f filings for Berkshire Hathaway to use in this template:

  1. Click on the following link, which has company’s filings on the SEC website: https://www.sec.gov/edgar/browse/?CIK=1067983 (this link is included within the template).
  2. Click on the View filings button on the page.
  3. Do a search for 13f so that you can see just the 13f filings on that page:
Berkshire Hathaway's 13f filings on the SEC website.

4. Find the reporting period you want and click on the Filing button — don’t click on the actual description next to it.

5. When you open up the link, you should see multiple files you can open. Select the information table that is in html format:

Selecting the information table in HTML format from the SEC website.

When you open the file, you should see the holdings in a table format:

13f filing for Berkshire Hathaway.

If this is what you see, then the link you’ve downloaded will work. Note, on older 13f filings (e.g. 2013 and older), the format is in a text file and they won’t work with this template.

6. Copy the link and enter it into one of the fields on this template, either for the new filing or the old one.

Entries for the old and new 13f filings.

7. Once you’ve filled in both the new and old links, then go to the Data tab in Excel and click on Refresh All. This will update the queries that the template relies on, and calculate the changes.

Now the different sheets will update:

  • Current.Holdings: this will show you the current holdings as per the New13f file
  • Change.In.Holdings: this will show you the change between the two filings. The change will be reflected in total shares and as a % of change in shares.
  • Old.Holdings: this will show the number of shares held per the Old13f file.
Summary of Berkshire Hathaway's holdings per their latest 13f filing.

Download the template

This template is completely free to use and you can download the Berkshire Hathaway 13f Template here.


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SubscriptionTemplate

Manage Your Subscriptions With This Free Template

Nowadays, everything is available on a subscription. Even BMW now offers heated seats on a recurring subscription. It can be a challenge to keep on track of all your subscriptions, including when they renew and when trials end. However, I have a free template just for these purposes. With my free template, you can stay on top of your subscriptions and see just how much you are spending on them on a monthly and annual basis.

How the subscription manager template works

This template has no macros and is designed to be easy to update and track. Here’s how it looks:

There are multiple charts to show you the annualized cost of your subscriptions and the monthly cost (which is shown by category). This can be effective for budgeting purposes to know how much all of these subscriptions are costing you.

To add a subscription, simply add it to the bottom of the table. You can enter a category name, a frequency, amount, as well as subscription and renewal dates. The columns that have headers highlighted in grey don’t need to be updated as there are formulas there. This is where the amounts for the monthly and annual costs get calculated. Whether your subscription is paid monthly or annually, these columns will work out the calculation to determine what it costs you both on an monthly and annual basis. That way, you don’t need to worry about grouping monthly and annual subscriptions separately.

There’s also another column called Days to Action — this will calculate the days between today’s date and the renewal date. It will highlight in yellow when you are within 30 days of the renewal date, and it will turn red when you’re within two weeks of it. The point here is to give you a warning that a renewal is coming up (or a trial is ending). This can help you prevent forgetting about it and incurring a surprise fee. If you don’t care to track this, you can just leave the renewal date blank.

Updating the data in the template

When you enter a new line for a subscription or want to make modifications to one, the charts won’t automatically update as there are no macros within the file. In order to trigger an update, go to the Data tab and click on the Refresh All button. Upon doing so, your charts will be updated.

If you want to remove a subscription, simply right-click on the row and delete it. If you’re within the table, then while you’re on the row, right-click and select Delete. You’ll see an option to remove Table Rows. Either method will work fine.

Download the subscription manager template

The subscription manager template is available here


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InflationCalculator

How to Create an Inflation Calculator in Excel

Want to know how much something was worth decades ago? Or how much something costs in today’s dollars? Using inflation data, you can estimate that. And in this post, I’ll show you how you can create your own inflation calculator template in Excel. I’ll also provide you with my free template.

Getting the data

You can get inflation data going back to 1913 from the U.S. bureau of Labor Statistics. There’s an xlsx file there that I’m going use that will be the source for my calculations.

Once in Excel, you’ll see the data is neatly formatted by both year and month:

Inflation data going back to 1913.

This data will get updated so over time you may want to get the latest figures so that your calculations are as accurate as they can be. The data has 1st half and 2nd half numbers but one thing I will do is also add the 12-month average. I’ll add a new column so that it just averages the values. In most cases, you’re probably just going to want to compare data from one year to another.

Next, I’ll convert the data into a table. To do this, click anywhere on the data set and under the Insert tab, click on the Table button. Excel should auto-detect the range but if it doesn’t, you can adjust it. In my template, I’ve named this table tblInflation. It includes the average, which will auto-update as new data is included.

Setting up the calculations

The next step involves creating the inputs, doing the lookups, and then calculating the value. There are three inputs I’ll set up: the base value, base year, and the calculation year. The base year and value will act as the starting points and will convert to a calculated value based on what the calculation year is.

To determine the impact of inflation, I’ll use the base and calculation years to find their respective index values. To do that, I’m going to use a formula that includes INDEX & MATCH. Here’s what it looks like for the base year:

=INDEX(tblInflation[Average],MATCH(BaseYear,tblInflation[Year],0),1)

In the table, I’m extracting the value from the Average column and I will be matching the BaseYear (the named range for my input) against the values in the Year column. I’ll use a similar formula to extract the index value for the calculation year. I’ve put these index values next to my inputs but will hide them later:

In 1913, the index average was 9.9 and for 2022 it was around 286.8 (based on the data that’s available thus far). If I take the index value from the calculation year and divide it by the index value from the base year, that tells me the prices are approximately 29 times what they were back then. That comes out to a percentage change of 2,797%. This leads me to the next part of the equation: determining the new price, or as I’ve referred to it in my template, the ‘Calculated Value.’ The formula for this output is as follows:

=CalculationIndex/BaseIndex*BaseValue

In the case of the above inputs, it’s doing the following calculation:

=9.88/286.75*100

This gives me a value of $2,901.40. That means something that was worth $100 in 1913 would be worth $2,901.40 in 2022. I can also do the reverse calculation. I can work backward and answer the question of how much would something in today’s dollars be worth back then. To do that, I would enter the following inputs:

The calculated value is the $100 that I started with in the previous calculation.

My templates is complete and all that’s left at this point is just to add a header and modify some formatting:

Inflation calculator template.

You can download the inflation calculator template here.


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H2ESecReport

How to Convert a Table From an SEC Report Into Excel

If you want to download a company’s financial statements or data, the easiest place is often straight from the source: the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). You can download financials in Excel format if there is an interactive option within the SEC filing, but that won’t give you all the tables contained in an earnings report. In this example, I’m going to use Adobe’s most recent earnings report to show you how to get a table into Excel

Downloading the data

Adobe’s earnings report is found here, with the following financials on page 4:

Adobe's income statement for the quarter ending March 4.

Copying it into Excel

Copy the table and then go to paste it data into Excel. But when you right-click in Excel, make sure to select the option to paste it so it matches the formatting on the sheet, as shown below:

Paste with a format matching the spreadsheet.

Now, the data pastes without any of the colors and formatting onto my Input sheet:

Adobe's earnings report downloaded into Excel.

If when you paste it doesn’t show up like this and it looks like just a few lines, re-try copying the data. It may help not to include the header that says “three months ended” and simply start copying from the first line item (“revenue” in the above example”) to ensure that Excel picks it up as a table.

Formatting the data

It looks pretty good except that I have many extra columns. And numbers that have dollar signs have been pushed out by one column. What I will do here is create a template in a separate sheet that will automatically pull in what is needed. The new tab, called Output, will be where I create my formulas. My assumption is that the spacing will be consistent and that the current period values are in columns D and E, and the ones from the prior-year period are in columns J and K.

Starting in cell A1, I’ll create a simple formula that checks if the same value on the other sheet is blank. If it isn’t, then it will pull in the value, otherwise, it will remain blank:

=IF(Input!A1="","",Input!A1)

I will do the same thing for column B, except this time I am looking at values from the Input tab in column D. And I will need to adjust for if there is a $ sign. If there is, I need to pull the value from column E instead. Here’s what that formula looks like:

=IF(Input!D1="","",IF(Input!D1="$",Input!E1,Input!D1))

That gets me a bit closer to where I want to get to:

Financial figures pulled into a separate tab with formatting applied.

There are still a couple of issues. The first is that on row 30, there is a symbol that isn’t a dash that I need to remove. This is character code #151. And there’s also a trailing blank space behind the numbers that needs to be removed. This isn’t your ordinary blank space and it is character code #160. I need a couple of SUBSTITUTE functions to remove those character codes:

=IF(Input!D1="","",SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(IF(Input!D1="$",Input!E1,Input!D1),CHAR(160),""),CHAR(151),0))

For character 151, I want to replace this with a 0 value since that’s what the symbol is in place of. Next, I need to convert these values to numbers. I can do this by multiplying them by a factor of 1. I’m going to use the IFERROR function as well so that in case it’s text, it will return the original value in column D. Here’s my completed formula:

=IF(Input!D1="","",IFERROR(1*SUBSTITUTE(SUBSTITUTE(IF(Input!D1="$",Input!E1,Input!D1),CHAR(160),""),CHAR(151),0),Input!D1))

Now, I can repeat this formula in the adjacent column. Except this time instead of referencing D and E, I’ll refer to columns J and K. Now, my output tab looks as follows, after applying some formatting to it:

Financial statement formatted in Excel.

This can be re-used over for other tables in an SEC report, as they generally follow the same pattern. For example, this is Adobe’s table showing sales by segment:

Adobe's sales broken out by segment.

By dropping this into my Input tab, this is what my Output now shows:

Output tab in Excel showing Adobe's segmented financial information.

All that I needed to do was to copy the formulas and just adjust the columns they referenced on the Input tab. If you’d like to use the file I’ve created for your own use, you can download it for free, from here.


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CCPaymentCalculator

Free Credit Card Payment Calculator Template in Excel

Are you wondering how much you should put down on your credit card each month to ensure you aren’t taking decades to pay off your balance? With this free credit card payment calculator template, you can plug in your balance, interest rate, and your expected monthly payment (either fixed or as a percentage of the balance) to determine just how long it may take you to pay off your debt.

How the template works

The cells that require data entry are highlighted in yellow on the template. At a minimum, the balance, interest rate, starting date, and one of the two fields for the monthly payment need to be entered in:

Empty credit card payment calculator template.

For the monthly payment field, you can enter in both a fixed dollar amount and a percentage of the balance. How it works is that if you enter in both values, the higher payment calculation will be used.

For example, if you had a $10,000 balance and planned to pay 5% of it, the monthly payment would be $500 and decline along with the balance. If you also set a fixed payment of $400, then that would ensure your monthly payment would never fall below $400, even as the balance declines. In effect, the payment will be the greater of these two values. If you only enter a percentage of the balance, then only a percentage will be used. Similarly, if you only have a value for the fixed amount, then that’s what your payment will remain at.

Once you’ve entered in these fields, the rest of the template will populate. This includes calculations on how many years it will take for you to pay off your balance, the end date, how much your payments will total, and the amount of interest you will have paid:

Credit card payment calculator template with fields filled in.

If you enter a payment that is so small it won’t even cover your interest, then the payment amount will be highlighted in red:

Credit card payment calculator where the payment is insufficient to cover the interest.

In the above example, the years and end date will not be accurate since, under this example, the balance will grow rather than decline over time, and thus, will never be paid off.


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H2Etaxes1

How to Calculate Taxes in Excel

Want to estimate how much you might owe in taxes next year? If you are self-employed or have other income besides what you get from an employer, then you may find it useful to plan ahead of time and determine how much you might owe to ensure that you are putting aside enough money for taxes. It’s not a fun process but it can save some headaches later on. The good news is that Excel can make that process easy. Below, I’ll show you how you can calculate and estimate your taxes in Excel. And if you’d just prefer to download the file that I have created, scroll to the bottom of this page.

Determining your marginal tax rate

To estimate your taxable income and marginal tax rate, the first thing you’ll need is a table for the tax brackets. For this, I will use the schedule for federal income tax brackets 2021 found here.

I can’t simply copy the table into Excel as I will need to format it a little differently (the values contain text and won’t be helpful if I need to do a lookup). The table needs to be organized by income threshold rather than tax rate. This is how I have set it up in Excel:

Income tax brackets set up in Excel.

To make this table easier to reference to, I am going to create named ranges for these tax brackets plus the income I am going to enter in. This will make it easier to follow along.

If I want to look up the incremental tax bracket for a given level of income, I can accomplish this using a VLOOKUP formula. This is the formula I would use to accomplish that:

=VLOOKUP(Income,TaxBrackets,2)

What it is doing is taking the income number, and looking up the tax bracket table, and pulling in the second column (the tax rate). The VLOOKUP formula doesn’t look for an exact match (as I have left the last argument empty) and it will pull the closest number without going over. This is where it’s important to put in the numbers that the tax bracket start at, rather than a range. Using this formula, it correctly tells me that income of $100,000 would be at the 24% tax bracket as it does not yet reach the minimum amount for the next bracket — $164,926:

Determining the marginal tax rate in Excel.

That tells me the correct tax bracket but I still need to calculate the taxes that are due at each level, which I will cover in the next section.

Determine how much you owe at each tax bracket

For the first tax bracket, I will need to determine if the income level reaches the second tax bracket. If it does and the income is at least $9,951, then I can multiply that by the tax rate of 10% as that would be the maximum that can be taxed at the first bracket — 9,951 x 10%. If the income is not at least $9,951, then I just multiply the total income by the tax rate. Here is what the formula looks like using named ranges:

=IF(Income>=IncomeLevel2,IncomeLevel2-IncomeLevel1,Income)*TaxRate1

For the second tax bracket calculation, I can follow similar logic. I will multiply the difference between the start of the third and second income levels. Here’s how that calculation looks:

=IF(Income>=IncomeLevel3,IncomeLevel3-IncomeLevel2,MAX(0,Income-IncomeLevel2))*TaxRate2

I also use the MAX function just in case there is a negative number (where the income doesn’t even reach the next level). The same logic can now be applied for all of the remaining tax brackets except for the last one. Like the first one, it needs to be calculated differently. In that case, I just need to know if the income is above that threshold. And if it is, I take the difference between it and the total income, and multiply it by the highest rate:

=IF(Income>=IncomeLevel7,Income-IncomeLevel7,0)*TaxRate7

If the income isn’t above the last level, then I put a 0 and multiply that by the tax rate. Now, when I’m all finished, I can sum up the tax owing at each level and come to a total tax number that would be due based on a given income number:

Tax owing calculation in Excel.

At this stage, you could now decide to deduct how much you may have already paid in taxes and any deductions or credits that you are entitled to.

But I’m not going to go any deeper here because there are too many different variations from one country and jurisdiction to the next when it comes to taxes. However, this should at least give you a good starting point for doing the rest of your estimation, however detailed you want it to be. But by at least estimating the taxes owing and deducting how much you have already paid, you should have a good idea of how much you might owe come tax time, under a worst-case scenario.

If you’d like to just download the file that I created when making this post, you can do so here.


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adc

Average Down Calculator Template

If a stock you invested in dropped in price, it could be a good opportunity to buy more shares and bring your average down. You can use the average down calculator on this page to do a quick what-if calculation to determine how many more shares you would need to be. However, you can also use this template, which will allow you to run through the same scenarios within Excel.

How the average down template works

There are only six inputs on this template:

  • Amount invested
    • This is how much money you have already invested into the stock.
  • Shares owned
    • The number of shares that you own.
  • Current share price
    • What the share price is.
  • Desired average price
    • What price you want to average down to.
  • Budget
    • How much money you can afford to invest.
  • Increment price by
    • This is for the sensitivity analysis and determines by how much you want it to move by. The default is set to $0.50.

Once you’ve entered that data, the rest of the template will populate. Here are the two scenarios that it will show you:

1. Getting to your desired average price

In this scenario, the template will show you how much to invest at different price points to get your average down to your desired average price. You will see up to 20 different data points to show you if the price continues to get lower, how many shares you will need to buy to reach the average price you are targeting.

And any scenarios that fall within your budget will be highlighted in green, and so will the corresponding chart:

Average down calculator showing how to get down to an average desired price.

If all the data points aren’t filled in or it looks like the chart doesn’t go all the way to the right, this is a sign you need to fix your Increment Price by value. Enter a smaller price increment and you’ll see more data points and a more complete chart.

2. How low you can get your average

The second scenario ignores the desired average price and simply tells you the different average prices you can average down to if you buy at the current price. This is good if you don’t have a specific average in mind and just want to see how low you might be able to go.

Average down calculator showing how low you can get your average.

You’ll notice on the x-axis it refers to the average price rather than the share price in the earlier chart.

Please note that the template is locked down and this is to prevent overwriting formulas which could lead to errors in the calculations and the charts.

Download the file

You can download the file for free, from here. The free version is limited to five price points. On the full version, there are 20 different prices, no ads, and the file is unlocked.


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H2EStockScreener1

Creating a Stock Screener in Excel

A stock screener allows you to filter through stocks that meet your investment criteria. It can help you find undervalued stocks and great dividend investments. But sometimes it can be cumbersome to always go back to a website and re-apply filters, even if you save them. In this post, I’ll go over how you can populate a list of stock data into Excel and then run your own filters on it, and thus, creating a screener you can easily access from within your own spreadsheet.

Step 1: Populating the list

The one thing you’ll want to do before you can create the screener in Excel is to download an array of stock data from a database. Personally, I like using Barchart because it has lots of useful information on there and you can get a wide range of data, and it is easily downloadable into an Excel format. It lets you do five free downloads each day and you can download 1,000 rows at a time. That’s thousands of stocks you can add. Using that in conjunction with the STOCKHISTORY function, and you can create a pretty versatile template. After all, since data like earnings, dividends, and other fields won’t often change, downloading a snapshot from Barchart once a month or even less frequently shouldn’t be a big issue. You can obviously use other databases but I’m going to use a free example for the purpose of this post.

On Barchart, I’ve customized the fields I want to use for my downloads, and this allows me to re-use them again and make subsequent downloads easier. To keep it simple, I am going to download just the top 1,000 North American stocks based on market cap. This is what my download looks like in Excel:

Stock screener downloaded into Excel.

Now that the data is loaded, the next step is to create the layout.

Step 2: Organizing the stock screener and setting up the fields

I find it most convenient to always put any inputs on a spreadsheet on the top of the page, and the results below. This way, you can freeze panes to make it easy to scroll through all the rows while seeing your selections.

To start, I will create a field for each major field I have downloaded. After formatting some of my values, this is how my screener looks thus far:

Stock screener with input fields.

Off to the right, I’ve added a date field because I am going to utilize Excel’s STOCKHISTORY function to pull in the price. This will allow me to calculate the current price to earnings ratio without having to download it from the screener as that multiple will change every day based on the stock’s price.

When downloading so many stock prices, it may take a while for the formulas to update. But once they are loaded, then I can calculate the P/E ratio by just taking the stock price and dividing it by the earnings per share.

Step 3: Creating the formulas to evaluate the criteria

The part that will take the most time is to now evaluate each of the criteria to determine if a stock meets all of it and whether it should be included in the results. Rather than trying to do this in one large formula, I’m going to break this up into one formula per field. I’m going to name these fields exactly the same so that it is easy to reference them.

For the first criteria, Market Cap, my formula looks as follows:

=IF(E2=””,TRUE,IF(D2=”>”,C9/1000000>E2,C9/1000000<E2))

D2 is where I have the dropdown for the > or < symbol and E2 is the value that I want to filter for market cap. C9 is the first row of data. My goal here is to evaluate to either a TRUE or FALSE value. I also divide the value in C9 by 1,000,000 just to make it easier to filter the market cap by millions.

For the % change calculations, I will do a similar calculation. Except this time I don’t need to divide by 1,000,000 and so it looks a lot simpler:

=IF(E3=””,TRUE,IF(D3=”>”,D9>E3,D9<E3))

D3 is my > or < dropdown while E3 is the percent change I am entering. Since I will enter a percentage here, I don’t need to make any special calculations. This is the same format that I will follow for the other fields.

Once I have set up all my calculations for the various criteria, I’m going to add one column that will check to see if the stock meets all of them. This is a simple formula where I can multiple all the values. A TRUE value will compute as 1 and a FALSE will be 0. And so even if there is one FALSE value, the entire result will return FALSE and not meet the criteria. The formula looks as follows:

=(T9*U9*V9*W9*X9*Y9*Z9*AA9*AB9*AC9*AD9*AE9*AF9*AG9)>0

Step 4: Converting it into a table

The final step is a simple one but it’s also important to make this sheet work smoothly. Select anywhere on the data set and on the Insert tab, click on Table. Hit OK and now you should see Excel’s default table applied to your data.

The reason for converting this into a table is that now we can apply slicers to it. And really, only one is needed here. If you go to the Table Design tab, there is a button to Insert Slicer. Click on it and select the one for the field that checks all the other criteria. In my example, it is called Criteria Met.

After hiding all the criteria fields, changing some of the formatting and adding the slicer, this is now how my screener looks like:

Stock screener after applying a table slicer to it.

The beauty of this stock screener is that by clicking on the TRUE button in the slicer, you are automatically refreshing the data in Excel and updating your filters based on the selections. All this is done without macros and it makes the screener easy to change with the press of a button.

You can download my completed template here. Please note that if you do not have STOCKHISTORY available on your version of Excel, some of the values will not populate.


If you liked this post on creating a stock screener in Excel, please give this site a like on Facebook and also be sure to check out some of the many templates that we have available for download. You can also follow us on Twitter and YouTube.

H2EForm

How to Create a Form in Excel

In a previous post, I covered how to add checkboxes. Now, I’m going to go a step further and show you how you can create a form in Excel from start to finish. And at the bottom of the page, you can download a file that you can use for your own custom forms. It will incorporate, list boxes, checkboxes, validation rules, and allow you to move the data onto a separate sheet. For now, let’s start from scratch.

Step 1: Determine the data you want and how it should be entered

The first step in creating a form in Excel is determining what information you want to collect. In this example, I’m just going to include name, address, city, state, email, a checkbox to confirm if it is okay to contact the person, a rating, and an area for comments. It is also important to determine how users should enter these values. While it’s easy to leave everything as text, that can make it difficult to ensure someone doesn’t enter invalid data. And if the data is not useful, it will defeat the purpose of the form.

Here are the types of inputs I’m going to use for my fields:

  • Name: Text
  • Address: Text
  • City: Text
  • State: List box
  • Email: Text
  • Contact confirmation: Checkbox
  • Rating: Radio button
  • Comments: Text

Next, let’s work on the form’s design.

Step 2: Designing the form and creating the inputs

One thing I did to help make the form cleaner from the beginning was to turn off gridlines. You can do that by going to the View tab and unchecking Gridlines under the Show group:

Hiding gridlines in Excel.

This will make your form look more like a form and less like a regular Excel sheet. Another thing you can do is in that same section, unselect the Formula Bar and Headings, which will add more white space and are unnecessary if someone is just filling in a form. However, you may want to save this for the end when your form is done.

Since an Excel form can come in all shapes and sizes, the one thing that may help you in the design process is to set every column to a width of 2. This way, it will be easier to maneuver in case one field needs to be bigger than another without having to try and force everything to be a similar length.

As for the input fields, there are a few things you will want to do:

  • Make sure they are long enough. A good way to test this is by entering a long value, or what you might think will be the longest value into each field and then adjusting its length so that everything displays correctly.
  • Assign a named range. This is useful to keep things organized and it will make it easier for you to refer back to the field later on if you only have to remember its name, as opposed to its cell reference.

Now, let’s move on to creating the fields in the Excel form. What you can do for text entries is to just add some outlining and highlighting to existing cells. A subtle light grey can be a good way to indicate that is an input value. And I’ll also add a border to help make these fields stand out. If you set the column width to 2, you’ll also need to merge the cells as needed.

Creating text fields in Excel.

For the State field, I’ll go back to the Developer tab where I will select the option for a List Box from the Form Control section — which is next to the Radio Button on the right. When in doubt, you can hover over each control to see what it is.

Form controls in Excel.

After creating the List Box, I need to populate the list plus link to a cell where the selected value should go. I’ll start with creating a range of cells for all 50 states and then assign a named range for them called StateList.

Then, I will set up a named range called StateNumber for the linked cell. Here is what the List Box control shows when I go into Format Controls and select the Controls tab:

Format control properties for a list box.

But this is not enough as the list box returns a number, not the state’s initials. I will need another cell to pull that in. I created a named range for State and here is what my sheet looks like:

List box displayed on an Excel spreadsheet.

In the list box, I selected MT, which returns a value of 26 in the StateNumber range. To extract the state’s initials, I need to use a formula to get that. Since I’m getting the data from one column, I’m just going to use the INDEX function. Here is what the formula in the State named range looks like:

=INDEX(StateList,StateNumber,1)

It is looking at the StateList and pulling out the row that relates to the StateNumber. Since MT is the 26th selection, that is the value that gets returned. So now my List Box is working correctly. What I like to do with these named ranges is to hide them so that the user doesn’t see all these intermediate steps. All it takes is to just move the List Box over top of these cells:

List Box in Excel.

And just like that, the user only sees their selection and not the calculations afterwards. You could certainly use a drop-down list for states but I thought I would try something different and more user-friendly for this example.

Next, let’s go to the email field. This can be tricky because although you want this to be text, you also want to control what a user enters to avoid a possible error. You can’t guarantee the email will be correct but you can take steps to at least prevent some errors. The key here is going to be to create a data validation rule. There are two things that should be present in email addresses: the @ sign and a period. To create a data validation rule, select on the cell and click on Data Validation under the Data tab:

Selecting data validation rules in Excel.

There are many rules you can set up such as limiting the entry to fall within certain dates, making sure it is a whole number, or that it is from a drop-down list. But this situation is unique and will require a custom formula.

Creating a custom formula for data validation in Excel.

To check for both the period and the @ sign, I will need to use the FIND function and check that the value is a number (which means that it was found). Here’s how that looks inside of an AND function:

=AND(ISNUMBER(FIND(“.”,Email)),ISNUMBER(FIND(“@”,Email)))

Since I set the field to a named range of ‘Email’ it is easy to reference it without worrying about whether I have selected the right cell. If I put this calculation in the formula section, now you won’t be able to enter a value that doesn’t include both a period and an @ sign. In addition, you can also specify the error alert and determine what pops up if someone enters something different that violates these rules. However, that’s not necessary as they will get an error anyway.

Now, I’ll add the checkbox for the email. This again comes from Excel’s Developer tab and the Form Control section. Simply select the checkbox and set up a linked cell. If you want more details on this, refer to the link at the top of this post for a more detailed outline of how to add checkboxes. I have positioned the checkbox right below the email field:

Email fields set up in Excel.

Next, I’ll add some radio buttons to allow someone to leave a rating. These are useful if you want to specify a number. Here I will go back to the Developer tab and create some radio buttons and re-size them so they don’t take up much space. Unlike the other controls, you will want them to all have the same linked cell; the purpose of radio buttons is that there is only one selection. Here is how I added them, just below the numbers that they refer to:

Radio buttons in Excel.

The radio buttons will automatically increment on their own so if you don’t pay attention to what order you’ve added them in you may get some unexpected results.

Lastly, I will add a large comment box where people can leave detailed comments. This can just be a large merged cell that takes up more space.

But the one thing you will want to do is make sure that Wrap Text is selected so that the comment fits in the box. And you will probably want to align it so that it is in the top left corner of the cell:

Wrap text selected for a cell.

Then, when I enter the text it looks correct:

Comment box filled in with top-left alignment and wrap text enabled.

Here is what my completed form looks like:

Form in Microsoft Excel.

It looks good, but we are still not done. Something needs to happen with these inputs otherwise the information goes nowhere. Let’s go over that next.

Step 3: Storing the data from the form in an Excel sheet

If you are sending just a single form over for someone to enter data in, what you can do is create an output page that will link to these values. Since they are all named ranges, you can easily reference back to them as such:

=Name

In the above example, if you created a named range called Name for the first field, it will pull in the data from there. On an output sheet, you might have formulas and values that look like this:

In column B I am showing the formulas. You can keep this tab hidden if you want it out of sight. You can even go one step further and make them very hidden.

Not sure whether your fields should go horizontally or vertically? In most cases, you’ll actually want them going across the top. When in doubt, consider the number of fields you have versus how much data you will be entering into the sheet. If you will have dozens of results that you will need to populate (or more), you probably don’t want to be cycling through that many columns; rows are easier to scroll through and that’s why it will probably make more sense for the fields to go across the top.

Once you have your output tab set up, you can copy the values you get back from these forms and start populating a database.

But what if you are doing data entry and need to make these entries multiple times and need the data to push to the output tab automatically after each entry? This is where you will need to set up a macro and need a button to trigger this movement onto the output tab. If you’d like to see how that code might work or just want a ready-to-use file that you don’t have to mess around with, you can download this free template.

The template will grab the input values and based on the named ranges, it will populate them in the output tab once you click the Post button on the main page. If there isn’t a named range that matches to a header on row 1 on the output tab, the data just won’t get copied over. Give it a try!

One additional step you may want to consider is locking down the form in Excel to make sure people don’t accidentally move things around or delete any formulas. You can protect the workbook and the individual sheets do that. Click here for information on how to lock cells.


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CorporateBingo

Play Corporate Bingo

Are you stuck doing boring Zoom calls or have a boss that likes to say the same phrases over and over? I’ve got a great way for you to help pass the time at the office and make your meetings more interesting: play Corporate Bingo with your co-workers. This Excel-based template is easy to use and you can quickly hide it if necessary.

You can download it here.

How the game works

If you’ve played Bingo before then you know how to play this game as it works the same way. There are 24 squares (plus the free center square). To win, you need to mark off a row, column, or diagonal set of spaces. Although I have set the squares up as phrases, you could also use this Bingo card for actions. To the left of the Bingo card is where you can enter the values you want to use. I’ve already populated some of my most dreaded corporate phrases/words for you:

Bingo words.

You will need to enter something for the center square as well as the others. When you make a new game, the other squares will be randomized. Here’s how the board looks:

Bingo card.

If you’re in your meeting and someone says one of these terms, what you can do is double-click on the cells, and then there will be a red ‘X’ that marks that spot.

Red X on a Bingo card.

Once you have a line, whether it is across, down, or diagonally, it will highlight in red:

Bingo! card after win.

If you make a mistake or want to create a new game, use CTRL+SHIFT+N and the board will re-populate.

The values and formulas on the board are password-protected. This is to prevent accidentally overwriting the values on there, since they are automatically randomized each time.

Hiding the sheet

I made this game easy to hide in case someone walks past your desk or you want to keep it discrete. Using the shortcut of CTRL+SHIFT+Z, you can quickly hide the sheet. And if the game is hidden, using the same shortcut will unhide it again for you. The one caveat is you need to ensure that the sheet names remain unchanged.

Although you can’t change the sheet names, you can change the name of the Excel file to something other than Bingo.


If you liked this post on Corporate Bingo, please give this site a like on Facebook and also be sure to check out some of the many templates that we have available for download. You can also follow us on Twitter and YouTube.