Add Excel Chart to PowerPoint?

Charts and Tables are both used to display data in a PowerPoint presentation. A Table is a fundamental method for organizing information into Rows and Columns. Your data is supposed to tell a story but rows of numbers can be difficult to read. The numbers, percents and formulas just get lost and your message isn’t heard.

Consider presenting your data graphically. People can look at a pie chart and see that one slice of “pie” is bigger than the rest. In this lesson, we will use Excel to create charts. Read more on Quora.


Here is a YouTube video that you can watch if you wish.

Enjoy! eBeth

Elizabeth Nofs

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Do You Do PowerPoint?

This question comes from Quora:

What is a good book to learn PowerPoint?

Hello, PowerPoint! This book on PowerPoint goes beyond the basics and teaches how to use PowerPoint with Tables, Excel spreadsheets, Charts, Animation, Media, and Videos. There is also a lesson on how to use the Presenter Tools to deliver professional presentations.

Here is a link to the Microsoft PowerPoint Certification Books at Amazon:

And here is a link to good Microsoft PowerPoint Certification course online:

If you wish to prepare for Microsoft Certification Exam 77-422: Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2013, this course will help you build the skills and knowledge you need.

  • Step-by-step video demonstrations.
  • Companion eBooks with 550 pages of detailed instructions.
  • Sample presentations and images.
  • Practice, Quizzes and Skill Test.

The following resources are available to download throughout the lessons:

  • Beginning and Advanced Guides to Microsoft® PowerPoint 2013. (PDF)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 Beginning and Advanced Sample files.

Good question. Thank you for allowing me to share my links,


Elizabeth Nofs, the Computer Mama

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Developing Great Courses

It took me a couple of years to become a Microsoft Vendor of Approved Courseware. I already had great lessons and good examples. But it required significantly more effort to be qualified to work with Microsoft. Here is how it worked for me, an expert in Microsoft Office.

Microsoft publishes a list of objectives for each certification test. The test writers and the course writers have the same list. One writes the questions (test) the other writes the answers (courseware). The official certification tests, including the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) are written by CertiPort, a Pearson company.

Here is a link to the certification topics for the Microsoft Office Specialist certification.


In the Microsoft Vendor of Approved Courseware program, courses must be reviewed by a third party, not Microsoft. My courses were reviewed by Procert Labs.

Procert Labs rigorous rules that writers need to follow. Here are the guidelines from their website:


Course objectives are often defined by the relationship between the technology and the job function it serves. Exam objectives are the principle of knowledge that are required to pass an exam and are ideally listed and specified somewhere in the course.


Readability refers to the level of language the course is written to as well as the skill with which the words are put together.


A complete review of every relevant exam objective is an essential baseline requirement of a training product designed to facilitate professional certification.


In order to assure relevance of the course content and methodology, effective courseware identifies that a student’s level of comprehension, interests and experience should be in order to effectively learn from the course.


Courseware should clearly state the prerequisite skills a student must have in order to effectively learn from the course.

A foundational table of contents is a critical element in demonstrating that content is presented in an understandable, logical and navigable manner.


A foreword gives the student a clear and concise direction for the course.


An accurate index enables cross-referencing of concepts and facilitates the finding of specific topics and references.


A glossary is a useful tool in the learning process as terms are continuously referenced throughout the text, providing an easy resource for learning refreshment if questions arise during additional study.


Learning is made more effective when students are able to establish a benchmark level of comprehension in the subject being studied.


Quizzes and other assessments at the end of each chapter help solidify the concepts associated with each exam objective, and provide a basis for memorization.


Achieving success on a certification exam is highly correlated with experience and involvement with the skills being tested.

Here are the results of my review: November 11, 2012

ProCert Labs certifies the Complete Guide to Microsoft Excel 2010 for the Microsoft Vendor of Approved Courseware program.

Summary: This is an efficient instruction to prepare student to become Microsoft Office Specialists. Moreover, its uniqueness and accuracy of content stands out among other courseware.

Strengths: The course has a unique writing style and also covers the material concisely.Introduction: This course accurately and casually provides an introductory audience with an understanding of the needed information to pass the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification Series.

Test Results: This course offers you detailed, effective instruction to guide you through multiple lab exercises. Instructionally, you are provided with consistent and logical content, opportunities to practice the skills presented, and an accurate description of prerequisites and target audience.

Key Features: What works throughout the course is the use of conversational elements to move the student through the material. Additionally, the instructional graphics provide extra visual understanding cues to those working through the course.

Good question. Thanks for asking,


Elizabeth Nofs, the Computer Mama

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What Are the Trends in Technology?

Our “Top Ten” Word and Excel courses have a new content release program: DRIP.
Has anyone used this technology successfully in online courses?

With DRIP programming, the lessons are released one day at a time. Students receive an email each day with a summary of the day’s goals and benefits. The emails also include an invitation to return to our course and enjoy the next topic. The purpose of DRIP programming is to “engage students” with more interactivity.

In the course below, Top Ten Tools in Excel, students receive a daily email with a link to log in, watch a ten-minute video, download the eBook (PDf) and find sample spreadsheets.

This is BETA software and a new concept for me. What are your thoughts about this DRIP programming? Helpful or Inbox Overload? You can evaluate this DRIP programming by enrolling in our free course if you wish. You can also use this question to start a discussion. Please contact me HERE if you have questions.

Thanks, eBeth

Elizabeth Nofs

DRIP EVALUATION: Top Ten Tools in Microsoft Excel

How to Enroll: Sign In to the school, then Enroll in the free course. (Two steps)
Our promise: No cost or ankle biters.

CLICK HERE to ENROLLTop Ten Tools in Excel

The TOP TEN TOOLS in Microsoft Excel are:

  • Combine TEXT from different cells (CONCATENANTE)
  • Find the DATE: Month, Day, Year
  • Calculate the payment (FINANCIAL)
  • BONUS: Find the best payment with SCENARIOS
  • LOOKUP the information in a table
  • BONUS: LOOKUP the student records!
  • Visualize the data as a CHART

And the NUMBER ONE OPTION in Microsoft Excel…
Create an Interactive FORM with DataTools!

Another Computer Mama Guide:

  • Step-by-step video demonstrations
  • Companion eBooks with detailed instructions
  • Sample spreadsheet and examples
  • Practice, Quizzes and Skill Test

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Absolute Cell References in Excel

This question is from Quora:

How do you copy and paste a formula in Excel while changing one cell reference?

This is a little lesson that teaches the difference in Relative and Absolute Cell References: Legs, Eggs and Pigs. It is a spreadsheet that will calculate the daily sales for three products. There is one sheet for each product: Legs, Eggs and Pigs. There is a summary sheet that adds up the sales for all products on each day.  Each sheet is set up the same. There are only three parts to a spreadsheet: labels, data, and formulas. Start with the labels.

Enter Labels

Try This: Enter the Labels

Click on Cell A1 and type: Date

In Cell B1 type: Product

In Cell C1 type: Net

In Cell D1 type: Quantity

In Cell E1 type: Revenue

If these are labels–and they are–select Row 1 and make them Bold.

Fill the Dates with AutoFill

AutoFill is a quick method for filling in data. It is not quite the same as copy and paste.

Try This: Use the AutoFill Handle

Please select Cell A2, first. Column A is formatted for Short Date. The sample date is July 1, 2013.

Look at the bottom right corner of Cell A2.

The AutoFill Handle is a small square. When you run your mouse over the Handle, your mouse will become a thin black cross.

Hold the AutoFill handle and drag down to Row 24.

What Do You See? The dates will increment (add another day to each Row) as you Fill Down Cell A2.

AutoFill a Series

This little web site sells about 100 egg baskets a day. Suppose we sold another 5 baskets every day. What would the sales revenue be?

Try This: Enter the Data

In Cell D2 type 100.

In Cell D3 type 105.

And Do This: AutoFill a Series

Select Cell D2 AND D3: both the 100 and the 105. Now you have selected enough of a Range for Excel to recognize that this is a Series, incrementing by 5s.

Double click the AutoFill handle and the Series will fill down to match Column C on the left.

What Do You See? When you AutoFill this Series, Microsoft Excel adds 5 more to the quantity in each Row.

Cell References

When you created the sales spreadsheet, you selected a range of cells to AutoFill. If we put 100 for the quantity in the first cell and 105 in the next, Excel fills down the series and adds 5 more to each cell. If you wanted a different forecast, you could enter new quantities in the first and second cells and use the AutoFill again. This could get old very fast. It is also a rather inflexible method of changing the data.

There is a better method: reference cells. Reference cells set up one place to enter the data. All of the other equations and spreadsheets that depend on that data look it up in the reference cells.

Create a Relative Reference

Try This: Create a Relative Reference

All good equations begin with “equals.”

Select Cell C6 and type: =

Click on Cell B1.

Type: ENTER on the keyboard.

What Do You See? The formula in Cell C6 says that C6 equals B1. If you change the number in Cell B1, it should automatically update in Cell C6.

Autofill a Relative Reference

In the previous step, we created an equation in Cell C6 and tested it. Please Autofill that equation to all of the dates in Column C.

Try This: Autofill a Relative Reference

Select Cell C6. Double Click the AutoFill handle in the lower right corner of the Cell.

What Do You See? The formula in Cell C6 will be copied to all of the dates in Column C. However, instead of copying $3.25, the price in Cell B1, Cell C10 says “Product” and Cell C11 says “Pigs.”

What Else Do You See? The numbers in Column E also indicate a problem. The first equation in Cell E6 calculates correctly.

#VALUE means the data doesn’t make any sense: there may be a mismatch. In this example, Excel can’t multiply Pigs*205 (Text times a Number).

Keep going…

Review the Relative References

You can double click any Cell that has a formula and see an outline of the Cell (s) that are used in that equation. Let’s audit this spreadsheet.

Try This: Audit a Relative Reference

Double Click Cell C6. You should see the formula displayed in the Formula Bar at the top of the spreadsheet. Cell B1 is outlined in Blue.

Double Click Cell C10. Cell B5 is outlined.

What Does That Mean? The formula in Cell C6 was =B1.

Instead of copying $3.25, the formula (=B1) was AutoFilled.

What Else Do You See? When the formula in Cell C6 was AutoFilled, the Cell Reference was updated for each Row.

This is an example of a Relative Cell Reference. It is Relative because it was updated for each Row.

Keep going…

Create an Absolute Reference

There is another way to manage copying formulas so that they point to the right data.

An Absolute Reference is defined as a specific Row or Column. The Absolute Reference will NOT update if it is copied to another Row with Autofill.

Try This: Create an Absolute Reference

Select Cell C6.

Click your cursor in the Formula Bar on B1.

On your keyboard, click on F4.

What Do You See? The formula in Cell C6 is now: =$B$1, where the dollar $ sign means that it is Absolute.

Try This Too: AutoFill the Absolute Reference

Select Cell C6.

Double click the Autofill handle.

It looks like it worked this time.

Keep going…

Using Reference Cells

The next task is to calculate the daily sales. In this example, we will make one Cell Reference in the formula Relative and the other Absolute.

Before You Begin: Edit the Data

In Cell B2 type: 100

In Cell B3 type: 5

Thoughts to Consider

Cell D6 is the initial quantity sold.

Cell D7 should be whatever we sold on the first day, plus the quantity we are forecasting for each day’s sales increment.

Try it: Create the Formulas

Select Cell D6 and enter this equation:


Select Cell D7, and enter this equation:

=D6 +B3

Absolute References

When you need to work with one particular cell you need an Absolute Reference.

Try it: Create an Absolute Reference

Select Cell D7.

The Formula bar shows =D6+B3.

Go to the Formula Bar and click on B3.

Click the F4 function key on the top row of the keyboard.

What Do You See? The cell reference becomes $B$3. This means “go to B3 only, and no place else,” to get the data.

Try This, Too: AutoFill the Formula

Select Cell D7 and AutoFill the revised equation to the rest of the rows.

A Mixed Reference uses Absolute and Relative cell references.

That is a brief explanation of the difference in Relative and Absolute References. There is a YoutTube video that shows all the steps that you can watch if you wish.

Microsoft Excel 2013 Intermediate: Legs, Eggs and Pigs in a Basket

Good question. .

eBeth, Elizabeth Nofs

This lesson is included in our Top Ten Tools in Microsoft Excel.
It is a free course that we are testing the new DRIP programing.

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Is Microsoft Excel Obsolete?

Today’s question comes from Quora:  Based on the linked article (Confessions of an Excel addict), do you agree that MS Excel may fade? Why do you think so? What might be the best alternative?

According to the article, Excel hasn’t changed but business has. I would ask, “How has business changed?”

Who Bought What? The fundamental question for all businesses is “Who bought what?” This task has been the same since the zero was invented. There has to be a method for entering data in Rows and Columns.

I agree that the User interface has changed. My grandfather was an engineer at Ford’s in Dearborn a hundred years ago. He had an adding machine and a slide rule.

My generation paid $600 for a programmable calculator! Now, the data could be added, compiled and reviewed…and plotted on a graph.

Today, I can use Excel on my phone. But the tasks are the same as when I ran my business with a calculator. There is a Table for the Customers, a Table for Products, another Table for Receipts.

Can a Business Outgrow Microsoft Excel?

Absolutely. The article describes in detail how Excel no longer fits his business needs. Very well: Excel can handle One-to-One relationships. Most offices enter customer and product information separately. There may be a spreadsheet for the customers (who) and another spreadsheet for the products (what). In our sample business the customers rent movies, so there will be a list of movies. A receipt lists who bought what.

Question: How Do You Show that in Excel?

A spreadsheet can record one-to-one relationships. Picture the receipt spreadsheet. Each row would have one answer in each column: receipt number, date, customer, movie, price. So far, so good.

Say the Business Grows

This sample shows a video rental store. Excel can handle one-to-many relationships with Lookup Tables and little drop-down boxes: one receipt has many items.

Databases Do Many-to-Many Relationships.

But, yes, a business can grow. One customer may get many movies, say 3 or 5 titles. At some point you need to document that many customers bought many products on many days.

Eventually, most businesses develop a database to handle what Excel cannot handle many-to-many relationships: many customers buy many products and return many times.


Here is a YouTube video that shows more options:

Microsoft Access 2013 Beginning: Hello, Access!

Please let me know if I answered your questions.
Thanks, eBeth

Elizabeth Nofs, the Computer Mama

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Excel: Conditional Formatting on Text

Conditional Formatting is an excellent method for highlighting the Text in a spreadsheet. Each word or phrase can have different formatting for the Font and Cell Fill. This sample spreadsheet has three products: Legs, Eggs, and Pigs that are sold each day. The goal is to format each product with a different color. Here are the steps.

Try This: Use Conditional Formatting to Format Cells Based on Text
Select Column B, the one with the products.
Go to Home ->Styles.
Go to Conditional Formatting.
Go to Highlight Cell Rules.
Select: Text that Contains…

You will be prompted to enter the Text you want to format. You can choose one of the built-in options if you wish. You can also click on Custom and select the Font and Cell formatting.

Please repeat these steps for each different word or phrase you want to format. In this example, these are three rules: one for Legs, one for Eggs, and another for Pigs.

That should work. Please let me know if I answered your question.
Thanks, eBeth

Elizabeth Nofs, the Computer Mama

Here is a YouTube video that shows more options:

Microsoft Excel 2013 Advanced: Tables Work for Me!

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Hello, Animation!

Animation is the heart and soul of PowerPoint. Animation keeps your audience interested and focused on your key points. Animation Effects can be applied to pictures or text. A picture can have more than one Animation. For example, a baseball can fly in (Entrance) and fly out (Exit). The Animation can include sound as well. This lesson is fun, creative and playful.

Every picture tells a story. Pictures motivate your audience and focus on the message you are trying to convey. Please add one or two pictures to each slide.

Try it: Insert Pictures
Begin on Slide 2.
Go to Insert ->Illustrations->Picture.
You will be prompted to Browse for the pictures.
Add pictures to each slide.

Memo to our Readers: Our computer courses offer many sample graphics online. You can also use your own pictures if you wish.

Add Something to Animate: This presentation uses a sports metaphor to promote the message. Think about sports. There’s always something “moving on the screen” when you are watching it.

Try it: Add an Animation
The football on Slide 2 is selected.
Go to Animations ->Animation
Select: Fly In.
What Do You See, Now? By default the picture probably flies up from the bottom, and that just isn’t the right direction for a football, is it?

Keep going…

Edit the Effect Options
Each animation Effect
has options. For example, you can change the direction of the animation. A football should fly in from the top, not rise from the bottom.

Try it: Edit the Effect Options
The football on Slide 2 has the Fly In animation effect. It is selected.
Go to Animations ->Animation.
Go to Effect Options->From Top-Right.
What Do You See? The football begins in the top right corner and stops where you placed it on the slide.

I enjoy teaching this lesson yesterday at college.
Here is a YouTube video you can watch if you wish.

PowerPoint 2013 Advanced: Top 10 Reasons to Hire Me!

I hope you enjoy these tools in PowerPoint. Thanks for stopping by.

Elizabeth Nofs, the Computer Mama


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The Right Tool for the Task

When something goes wrong, everyone wants to go through the data and find out what happened. The Data Tools are: Sort, Filter, Group and Subtotal. A PivotTable combines all of the best Data Tools together. A PivotTable presents the data in a visual, interactive format. PivotTables summarize, sort, compare and filter the data. A PivotTable summarizes data and displays the results. It is a reporting tool that works very well. Here is how you start.

Try This: Insert a PivotTable
This is an example of the Monthly Sales spreadsheet. Select all.

Go to Insert ->Tables.
Click on PivotTable.

OK, Try This: Choose the data

If you selected the entire Monthly Sales sheet, Excel will display the Table or Range: ‘Monthly Sales’!$A:$H  In words, that means “name of your spreadsheet” ! “all of the data in Column A through Column H.”

And Try This, Too: Where do you want to place the new PivotTable report? The choices are create a new PivotTable in a new worksheet or place it on an existing worksheet.

Select: New Worksheet.
Click OK.

That’s all it takes to create the PivotTable. The next steps are fun: working with the data. The PivotTable Field list on the right side is simple to use. Here is a YouTube video you can watch if you wish.

Microsoft Excel 2013 Advanced: PivotTables

Thanks for stopping by.

Elizabeth Nofs, the Computer Mama


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Statistical Functions in Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel has an extensive set of statistical functions. These functions work well if you select and Name a Range of data. Here are the steps.

Select a Range: By definition, a RANGE is a one or more cells on a spreadsheet. The cells may be adjacent or not.

Define a Range: The Name Box is a special tool in the top left corner by the Formula bar. You can use the Name Box to Define a Range

Syntax Rules for Defined Names: The first character must be a letter. The next characters can be text, numbers, periods and underscores. Names can be up to 255 characters.

Names cannot include Cell References. For example, a Name cannot be $B$1. Names cannot include “C”, “c”, “R”, or “r” because they are used as shorthand for selecting Columns and Rows in the Name Box.

Spaces are not allowed.

Examples of Statistical Formulas Available in Excel


I just taught this lesson yesterday at college. Here is a YouTube video you can watch if you wish.

Microsoft Excel 2013 Intermediate: Name that Tune

Thanks for stopping by.

Elizabeth Nofs, the Computer Mama


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