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jethro's picture

Using a slider to control values in a cell in Excel

This is a cool function that can assist you to make easy to use adjustable tables and charts.
Using the example of a mortgage, I used the mortgage template spreadsheet in Excel (under New Worksheet) to create a mortgage example. I then added a graph of the closing balance.

So now we have a nice looking chart that shows the closing balance of our mortgage over time.
Lets say we want to add the ability to easily change the additional payments and see graphically what that will do to our loan timeline.

From the Forms toolbar select the spin button. Then click and drag your mouse where you want it on your sheet . You can resize it later if necessary.

Now right click the control and select format control. Set it up as follows.

Now you can scroll up and down and as you do the monthly loan payments changes by $10 a time, and the loan balance adjusts accordingly. Obviously you can make these settings what ever you desire for any application where you need to rapidly change 1 (or more) variable and see the results.

jethro's picture



Crushed purple velvet

leached dye

swirling as it washes away

Small boy

tentatively pulling the legs off a spider

waiting to see when it dies

New husband

unthinkingly damaging tender emotions

grinding away trust

© Timothy Miller 1995

jethro's picture

The End of Live Mesh

imagesIts been coming for a while with the (rather unsuccessful) merger of Windows Live Mesh and Microsoft Skydrive. In fact the recent round of Live Essential updates forced the uninstallation of Live Mesh.


Here is a portion of the official email I got from Microsoft the other day.

Dear Mesh customer,
Recently we released the latest version of SkyDrive, which you can use to:

  • Choose the files and folders on your SkyDrive that sync on each computer.
  • Access your SkyDrive using a brand new app for Android v2.3 or the updated apps for Windows Phone, iPhone, and iPad.
  • Collaborate online with the new Office Web apps, including Excel forms, co-authoring in PowerPoint and embeddable Word documents.

Currently 40% of Mesh customers are actively using SkyDrive and based on the positive response and our increasing focus on improving personal cloud storage, it makes sense to merge SkyDrive and Mesh into a single product for anytime and anywhere access for files. As a result, we will retire Mesh on February 13, 2013. After this date, some Mesh functions, such as remote desktop and peer to peer sync, will no longer be available and any data on the Mesh cloud, called Mesh synced storage or SkyDrive synced storage, will be removed. The folders you synced with Mesh will stop syncing, and you will not be able to connect to your PCs remotely using Mesh.
We encourage you to try out the new SkyDrive to see how it can meet your needs. During the transition period, we suggest that, in addition to using Mesh, you sync your Mesh files using SkyDrive. This way, you can try out SkyDrive without changing your existing Mesh setup. For tips on transitioning to SkyDrive, see SkyDrive for Mesh users on the Windows website. If you have questions, you can post them in the SkyDrive forums.
Mesh customers have been influential and your feedback has helped shape our strategy for Mesh and SkyDrive. We would not be here without your support and hope you continue to give us feedback as you use SkyDrive.


While Skydrive is a great tool and very useful cloud backup and synchronisation tool and I set it up for many of my customers as a way of keeping their data in synch between multiple machines and backed up as well, there are some significant gaps between it and Live Mesh and other cloud data services.

Use Skydrive when:

  • You have two (or more devices) you want to keep data synched between them
  • You have a windows Phone and want data backed up – eg phone camera photos can be uploaded to Skydrive automatically
  • You want secure web access from anywhere to your data – eg airport browser, friends house or shared PC.
  • You want to share web access only to files and images


Dont use Skydrive:

  • If you want to share folders to others to synch in their skydrive or on their PC or devices.
  • For me this was the big one that means we now use Dropbox for all our team and family file management.
jethro's picture


In 1993 I wrote a bunch of poetry. I’m not entirely sure why that year was so prolific. It was the year I came out of a very dark time in my life, started being less introspective, was dry for 9 months (a big thing for a drug and alcohol dependant person) and did a lot of sport, raced national level mountain biking and local triathlons and endurance triathlons.

I have posted a bunch of poems up. Each is its own little island of thought.

I will continue to post all my poetry in time order over the next few weeks. Hopefully balanced with some other work!

My poetry is intensely emotional and comes from a place in my soul unbidden, unforced and often from a dream or in times of deep introspection.

Feel free to comment and share.