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How to use Quadrant Tags and Cell Comments

Quadrant uses Excel Cell Comments (known as "cell notes" in Excel 5 and 95) to identify which cells to collect results for when it runs.

The simplest way to indicate which cells to gather data for is to decide on a word (or sequence of characters) that you want to use to identify the output cells, then use this as a "Tag" at the beginning of the comment for each of the output cells.

This is the simplest way to use Quadrant.

If you simply use the Tag on its own as the Comment for several cells though, Quadrant will collect results for each, but it will have trouble giving unique names to the sheets it uses for displaying results. This is because, if all the comment contains is the Tag, Quadrant will try to use the Tag as the name for the results sheet.

The way around this is to give Quadrant more than just the cell identification Tag in the Comment.

A cell comment used by Quadrant can be separated into up to three separate parts. These parts are separated by using either a line break [enter] to start a new line, or by using an exclamation mark > ! < [exclamation point in US?, "bang!" to anyone who grew up with UNIX].

The three parts are the Tag part, the Name part, and the Description part.

So you can use the same Tag for several different cells, but put a Name for each cell (and its results worksheet) on the next line of the comment, and then add any additional descriptive notes as well.

Do not leave a blank line at the end of the comment. This can cause a runtime error as Quadrant tries to use <nothing> as either the Name or Description.

That is all you need to know in order to use cell comments to drive Quadrant.

Now for a clever trick: you also specify the output style you want for each cell you Tag.

You can override the overall output graph bin setting for an individual cell by setting the LAST character of the Name part to be # for Exact bins, % for Integer bins or + for Neat bins. (If there is no separate Name part, the last character of the Tag part is used instead.) Again, it sounds much more complicated than it really is, so put those characters at the end of the various bits of your Comments to see what happens and pretty soon you'll be wondering why it all seemed so confusing. Take a look at the examples page for worked examples.

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