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  Tip for using Excel
Sometimes you need to graph several variables one after the other – for example, in this weather database, we plotted the daily maximum temperature against time. For clarity, we  plotted just 10 days.

Next we clicked on the graph with the result that purple and blue boxes surrounded the cells ranges   we had used to make the graph.

We clicked on these boxes, held the mouse button down and moved them over to the daily minimum temperatures. The graph changed accordingly. Nice one – when you try this, note that you can move either or both boxes.

Another example: say you want to see how the number of moons planets have change with gravity. You also want to see how they change with the planets diameter.

See the Datafiles page to get a copy of a planets database. You can then open this file with Excel.

First make an x-y scattergraph graph of moons against gravity.

Click on the finished graph and move the coloured boxes from gravity to diameter.

And another example: If you want to analyse the Periodic Table as a database, you have options:

  • You can buy a periodic table program and use its data handling features. This is an idea I'd rate - see my software lists - especially Sunlower learning - Periodic Table, for examples.
  • You can use a database program - but I've found few that handle this data very well.   
  • You can use Excel:  See the Datafiles page to get a copy of an elements database. You can then open this file with Excel.
    • Choose Data / Autofilter. This put arrows beside the column headings.
    • If you want to see the ten most dense elements, click on the arrow next to density. Choose top ten. A subset of the data appears. Click again on the arrow to clear the selection.
    • Similarly, you can use the Autofilter to say, find elements which are liquid at room temperature. Click on the melting point arrow and choose melting points which are below room temperature. Click on the boiling point arrow and choose boiling points which are above room temperature.
    • Graphing - to show how melting points etc varies across the table, you graph the data. As in the Excel tip above, you move the boxes to graph different parameters.    

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