I'm an engineer who enjoys making Excel VBA spreadsheets to do mechanical & chemical engineering calculations. I was a pretty ordinary user until getting a lucrative commission in 1995 to write a program to count snowflakes. I learned Excel VBA for that project, and liked it so much that I started coding VBA functions for almost all of my routine engineering calculations.
My day job is designing fluid processing equipment. I'm able to evangelize use of VBA for engineering problems within the firm, and am beginning to increase their productivity as a result.
I live now in the part of Florida called the Redneck Riviera, having swapped midwestern tornadoes for the hurricanes of the Florida Panhandle.
I have 22-year old twins who attend football arch-rivals in a part of the country where college affiliation is always a topic of conversation. They are a true delight as young adults, a blessing I attribute to nurturing from my bride.
It's amazing how much one can learn at EE--both from trying to solve the questions and from seeing how other experts approached the problems.
You may send me e-mail byundt@ at one of: experts-exchange.com alum.mit.edu
These addresses are forwarded to my ISP--so just try one of them.
Want to ask a better question?
1) Give us both the overall problem and the specific request. You may think that the best way to solve your overall problem would be if you only knew how to do xyz--but the people trying to help you have a whole lot of experience with Excel and just might know an even better way.
2) Many problems can be solved with either a macro or a formula/worksheet user interface tricks. You may get both approaches suggested. If for some reason, you absolutely have to have one or the other approach, please tell us why in your initial question.
3) Which version of Excel do you use? Always let us know, because the answer or the explanation frequently depends on it.
4) Whenever possible, post a sample workbook showing both the starting point and the desired results. Excel puts three worksheets by default in each workbook--this is a good reason for two of them. If your real data is confidential, consider posting made-up data that replicates the problem. We don't need a lot of data--10 or 20 properly selected lines is sufficient in most cases.
5) If you encounter an error message, please post its text. Let us know which line of code triggered it. If it only occurs with certain inputs, let us know that too.
6) If you have tried and failed to do something, please include your failed attempts in your sample workbook. We might be able to tweak it here and there more quickly than developing something from scratch.
7) Even though the steps to reproduce the problem are obvious to you, it may not be so obvious to someone opening your sample workbook. Which worksheet should we look at? Which cells? Which macro do we run?
8) If you want to know how to solve a vexing error message, a sample file that reproduces the error message makes the problem easy to resolve. There are always more than one way to skin a cat. But if you don't (or can't) post a file that allows the problem to be reproduced, the Experts can only offer guesses based on experience and their resourcefulness using a search engine. You will need to go through detailed troubleshooting steps in the links furnished.
Want to get a better answer to your question?
1) Pay attention to your In Box. You'll get responses within minutes in most cases. If additional information is requested, please provide it. If solutions have been proposed, please test them. Let us know of any shortcomings.
2) The more you interact with the experts, the better the answer will be. Let us know which parts you don't understand and which features are still missing from the suggestions. These interactions are more fun for the people trying to help--and since we are all volunteering our time, more fun is a good thing.
3) Review the suggestions made by all parties. The expert making the most posts doesn't necessarily have the best solution. Another expert might take pride in posting a complete answer the first time.
4) "Doesn't work" is a very common response by Askers. I test 100% of my suggestions before posting, so that response usually means that your workbook is different from my test workbook in some critical detail that wasn't mentioned in the question. If an Expert posts a sample workbook, please test it before saying "doesn't work."
5) When a suggestion doesn't work, the most common reason is worksheet layout differences. Other trouble sources include protected worksheets, variations in worksheet names, merged cells, blank cells that actually contain one or more space characters, numbers or dates that are stored as text rather than numbers or dates, and closed workbooks used as a data source.
Picking the Answer
1) If more than one right answer is offered, which one will you actually use?
2) When more than one person offers the same suggestion, everyone understands if you pick the first embodiment. But if a later post offers supporting discussion that you found valuable, people will understand a split in points or even full credit if you explain your reasoning.
3) If you aren't completely happy with the suggestions made so far, explain why and keep the question open for another day. We have good experts in this Topic Area from all around the world, and the one you need might be asleep or busy at his day job.
Want to get more "Good Answer" e-mails?
1) Test your suggestion before posting it. Make up data if the Asker didn't provide any. This allows you to catch mistakes in your suggestion as well as the two or three other errors that the Asker didn't mention in the original question.
2) If somebody else posts in a question you are working on, test their suggestion as well. Sometimes, it will be better than yours. Other times, you may realize that you and the other expert made different assumptions. If you post after making such an examination, highlight the different assumptions so the Asker is aware of them.
3) Give credit to the other Expert. Even if you developed your suggestion independently, acknowledge the similarities and discuss the improvements you are making.
4) Read the entire thread, including the posts by other Experts. Before hitting that Submit button, make sure that your post offers either a palpably better solution--or that you provide additional information the Asker may find helpful. You'll find that posting good information in fewer threads will build you a better reputation as an Expert.
5) Always post your formula and code in the Comment. Even if you post a sample workbook, the formula and code should always appear in the thread too. This practice makes it easy for other people to scan the thread and realize that you already have matters under control. Attachments aren't searchable, so putting formulas and code in the Comment makes the thread more valuable in the EE database.
6) Add comments to those parts of your code that the Asker might need to change. Put textboxes on worksheets with instructions--I compose many EE Comments that way.
7) If you post a workbook, delete the unnecessary worksheets.