Sunday, January 25, 2015

Excel is surprisingly powerful

First off, if you didn't know about Excel formulas and column filters, learn about them NOW. I'll update this incrementally as I use an excel feature; I don't want to spend to much time writing this post.

Exhibit A: =IF(AND((F2 > 0.09 + (0.68/1.3)*D2), (F2 > 0.025 + 0.8*D2)),1,0)

(TIL about a little summary bar at the bottom of your excel window which tells you the sum. If you set it up with an if statement like the one above, which outputs 1 if true and 0 if false, you can use this real-time-updating info bar to rapidly figure out how many of your selected rows satisfy a condition. Isn't that nifty?)

String concat
It can be done with an &; useful if, for instance, you need to turn "chr", "start", "end" into "chr:start-end" - but if you're doing to much of this you should probably learn inline perl. But this is handy if you already have excel open for some reason.

I've usually avoided having to use this but it can be used to do the equivalent of a join - though the far more intuitive way would be to sort the two tables by a common key. And if you're spending too much time on this you should, again, probably do it programmatically. It's just useful to remember.

Conditional formatting
This is really what I wanted to share on this post today. Don't waste time dumping your stuff into a separate heatmap application when a simple conditional formatting will suffice:

(sorry R/G colorbind folks...)


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