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Excel Tips for Using Mood Charts

1. Toggling
          To switch back and forth ("toggle") between programs (e.g. Excel and your browser; for Windows users)

Hold down the "Alt" key to the left of the space bar with the thumb of your left hand.  Nothing's happening yet, right?  Okay, now read the entire next sentence before doing anything.  When you -- while holding down the Alt key --  push the Tab key once and let go, you'll jump to the other program; and if you then push the Tab key once more, you'll pop back to this window.   Don't worry, you can't get lost:  if you have several programs or windows open, just hold down the Alt key and press Tab slowly a couple of times until you find yourself back here. Okay, you can try it now.  

  2. Enter the same value for many days in a row:

(This is also known as "Copying the contents of one cell all the way down that column". You can use this to "zero" a whole column at at time, you'll see (enter zero for Day 1, then take the steps below)).

Click a cell, and hold the mouse pointer over the lower right hand edge of the cell.  You're looking for the little black square at the lower right corner, though if there's a drop-down box the square is almost entirely hidden underneath that.  When you get in the right place, your cursor turns from a white cross into a black cross, see?  Click there and hold down while you pull down the column.  The value in the original cell should appear all the way down, as far down the column as you pulled. 

  3. Viewing the charts so that you can see both your entries and the graphs at once. 

Use the Chart and Graph version which lays them out side by side as pages one and two.  If the whole data entry table and three graphs don't all show up, go to View (up there just under the blue banner at the top) and pull down to "Normal".  Click View again and pull down to "Zoom", and set it at 75%. 

What if you started with the "Notes" version, and now you want to use the no-notes version so that you can see your graph without having to scroll around?  You might want to just switch versions at the end of this month.  Watch What's New? for a version which will allow you to graph a year or more from the data you've already saved, as that might be the version you'll want to use in the long run.  

  4. To start next month while saving all your settings as they are:

Here are two approaches:

#1: Take your current month that is about to end.  First, Save As the following month (e.g. re-title January 2005 to February 2005).  Now "re-zero" each column by entering zero,  for the first day of the month, in each column; then use the copy-contents trick above to quickly zero an entire column.

Careful not to perform this trick without the first Save As step, okay?  You will wipe out an entire month's record!

#2: (thanks to Mr.RE) A safe, efficient and  effective way to maintain the chart integrity so it is clean and ready to use each month (rather than save/re-save method) is to initially save the 'blank' chart as an Excel template (.xlt).   Each month just open that template, write in the month and save it as a new .xls, then chart away!