Updated! Interactive Excel files on web pages: An Excel PM explains

See more spreadsheet and chart images at office.com/images

Update: See near the end of this post for the latest Office how-tos on embedding Excel and PowerPoint files.

Hi everyone,

My name is Larry Waldman and I’m a program manager on the Excel team. This week, the Crabby Office Lady was nice enough to let me combine a couple of Office’s cool features to highlight one of my favorite little tricks. (Note that this post and these features refer to the Office Web Apps.)

First we’ve got a feature called Excel embedding that lets you put Excel files—yes, interactive Excel files—into your web pages by using Office Web Apps and SkyDrive. You may have seen Crabby’s earlier posts about embedding Excel (or PowerPoint) files into web pages and making sure they ARE interactive. Doug Thomas also did an Office Casual video about the free Office Web Apps and SkyDrive accounts.

Also, I’ve long been a fan of the file templates we have in Office—that’s right, Office.com Templates that you see when you click the File tab and then click New in Office 2007 or 2010. For me, things really come alive when you start with a fully functional (and premade) Excel template, tweak it as you need, and then plop it on your site. An example (and I got my example below straight from the Office.com Templates site) is worth a thousand words.

Using an out-of-the-box template, I’ve made a mortgage calculator for my site. All I had to do with this particular template was remove data validation, since checking whether the type of data you enter is valid isn’t supported with this type of Excel spreadsheet. (You can read more about that here.)

In addition to playing with numbers in the Extra Annual Payment box to see how much quicker I can pay off my mortgage, if I pay a little extra money each month (Payment Interval of 1 means a month), I like to:

  • Try different Compounding Periods (Monthly, Semi-Annually).
  • Try different Payment Frequencies (Monthly, Semi-Monthly, Bi-Weekly, Weekly, Acc <accelerated> Bi-Weekly, and Acc <accelerated> Weekly).
  • Try a Variable Rate instead of a Fixed Rate.

I like playing with numbers in the Extra Annual Payment box to see how much quicker I can pay off my mortgage if I pay a little extra money each year. Go ahead and try it out. Afterward, if you like this, you can download this interactive mortgage calculator yourself to see how quickly you can pay off your mortgage.

New!

Thanks, Larry; I was happy to have a day off and also learn from a pro about what’s possible these days with Excel and web pages. (And you also got me thinking about how to pay off that monkey—I mean that mortgage—down quicker.)

Find lots more images at office.com/imagesCrabby’s Find of the Week: Think your e-mails are safe from prying eyes because of your oh-so-clever passwords? (DAD?!!?) ? Think again. Is it even possible to ward off email snoops?

— Crabby

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