# PCM Courseware Blog — Excel

## Calculate a Loan in Excel using the PMT Function

Posted by Roger Hyttinen on

The PMT function is used to calculate payments due on a loan based on constant payments and assuming a constant interest rate. With the PMT function, you can easily figure out what your monthly payments will be on a mortgage or car loan. To calculate loan payments, the PMT function uses 3 arguments: rate – the interest rate. If you had a loan that you had to pay monthly with an interest rate of 8%, this argument would read: .08/12 (interest rate divided by 12 months). nper – the total number of payments of the loan. If the loan is...

## Create a Drop-Down List in Excel

Posted by Roger Hyttinen on

If there are instances when you want to restrict the data that users can enter into certain cells, you might want to create a drop-down list. This allows people to choose from a predefined list of choices. Doing so makes it more efficient for the person entering data and can help eliminate errors or redundant data. To create a drop-down list in Excel, you will first need to create a list of the entries you want to appear in the list in a separate worksheet or in another area of the current worksheet and then use the Data Validation feature to...

## Analyzing Excel Data using Quick Analysis

Posted by Roger Hyttinen on

The Quick Analysis feature in Excel allows you to analyze and preview data quickly on the fly before you make a selection. As you move your mouse pointer over the different options, a data preview displays, so you can see what the data would look like if you click that feature. There are several analysis categories to choose from: Formatting Charts, Totals, Tables and Sparklines, with each category containing several analysis tools such as Data Bars, Color Scale, and Icon Sets. You may find this new feature to be a real time-saver. To access the Quick Analysis feature, select the...

## How to Total Data in an Excel Table

Posted by Roger Hyttinen on

You can quickly total data in an Excel table using the Total Row feature on the Table Style Options group of the contextual Design Ribbon (see our Creating a Table in Excel post for information on creating Excel tables). Clicking the Total Row check box adds a new row at the end of the table, with the word Total in the leftmost cell. Clicking in any of the cells in a total row displays a drop-down list from where you can choose an aggregate function to apply to the data in the row, such as Sum or Average. Typing a...