Formulas explained

Let me tell you, I used to be an Excel noob. I'd enter data haphazardly, trying to format rows and columns as best I could. However, once I started to understand the power of Excel formulas, everything changed. Suddenly, I could spend less time typing things out and more time analyzing and interpreting my data. In this article, I'm going to explain everything you need to know about MOD formulas. It's a little confusing at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll wonder how you ever survived without it.

Before we dive into specific formulas, let's tackle the basics first. MOD stands for modulo (which just means "remainder" in math speak). Essentially, if we take two numbers and divide the first by the second, the remainder will be the result of a MOD formula. For example, if we take 5 and divide it by 2, the remainder is 1. Therefore, the MOD formula for 5 and 2 is MOD(5,2) = 1.

Okay, so you know what MOD means. But how do you actually use it in Excel? Well, there are a few main ways:

One of the handiest ways to use MOD is to highlight even and odd numbers in a data set. Here's how you do it: let's say you have a column of numbers (A1:A10) and you want to highlight all the even numbers in a different color. First, you'll need to create a new conditional formatting rule. In the "New Formatting Rule" window, select "Use a formula to determine which cells to format". In the "Format values where this formula is true" box, enter "=MOD(A1,2)=0". Then, choose the formatting you want for the even numbers. Voila! Your even numbers are now highlighted in a jiffy.

Another use for MOD is to divide numbers into equal parts. For example, let's say you have a column of numbers (A1:A20) and you want to divide them into groups of 5. First, you'll need to add a new column (say, in B1) with the formula "=MOD(ROW(A1),5)" (which will give you the remainder of each row number when divided by 5). Then, you can use that column to group your data in different ways. For example, you could use a pivot table to group the data by every 5 rows.

Finally, you can use MOD to find duplicate values in a data set. Let's say you have a column of numbers (A1:A20) and you suspect that there are duplicate values in the list. First, add a new column (say, in B1) with the formula "=MOD(MATCH(A1,A:A,0),ROW(A1)-ROW($A$1)+1)". Then, filter the data by the new column. If any values are left over, they're duplicates. Easy peasy, right?

That's it for today's lesson on MOD formulas. As I said before, it can be a bit tricky to wrap your head around if you're new to Excel formulas. However, once you start using it regularly, you'll wonder how you ever did without it. Good luck, have fun, and happy calculating!