Easily update Excel graphs; AutoHotKey saved me 100’s of repetitive clicks

Easily update Excel graphs

Easily update Excel graphs

In market research I used to spend a lot of time making sure my charts and graphs were beautiful visualizations that conveyed the data in an easy to understandable way.

I always wanted to make complete use of the range of the graph and would have to, manually, update each one.  I finally learned some object oriented programming and wrote an script in AutoHotKey to easily change the axis on scales in and easily update Excel graphs.  The below video demonstrates how I can just hit a key combo and scroll up/down to adjust the scale.

Tweaking Graphs in Excel

Transposing clipboard content in any program- No need to run to Excel!

Transposing clipboard content

While it is easy to use Excel to transpose rows into columns, I’ve created an AutoHotkey script which negates the need to.  Basically it examines what is on the clipboard and replaces tabs with line breaks, then it sends paste to the program thus it is transposing clipboard content.  I have it triggered of hitting a hotkey and comes in pretty handy and can save some time if it is something you do frequently.

Below is a video which demonstrates it usage.

Transposing clipboard content

Transposing clipboard content in any program

Preferred payment types by Industry- Guess I won’t write a check at McD’s

A national study of various industries in 2010 led to some interesting findings for our client in the finance industry.  The below chart displays the preferred payment types by industry by industry.  Given how “cashless” our society has become, it would be very interesting to see how much of a shift from Cash to Credit/Debit cards has occurred.  And does anybody actually write checks anymore?  I keep one in my wallet for “just in case” scenarios but I often go a year or so without using it.

Preferred payment types by Industry

Preferred payment types by Industry

Here’s a great book to get ideas on conveying data visually

Web Scraping intro with AutoHotKey 101-Getting data from a page, handles & pointers

Web Scraping Intro with AutoHotkey

Web Scraping Intro with AutoHotkey

Being able to, programatically, navigate to an Internet page and scrape the contents in a reliable fashion is best things invented since sliced bread!   I spent years manually going through pages and copying/pasting contents from IE to Excel then spent even more time trying to clean it up.  Done properly you can get the data very, very close to how it is on the web with little effort.

The below video walks through using AutoHotKey to obtain basic values from a Web page.  It also demonstrates a script I wrote that helps write the syntax (yes I’m that lazy!)  The AutoHotKey script I wrote is further down this page and can also be found on the AHK forum here.

In this beginning tutorial I how to:
1) get a pointer to IE
2) navigate to a page
3) get text from a page

Web Scraping Intro with AutoHotkey

Webscraping with AHK 101-Pointer and getting values from page

Here is the script writer to use during your web scraping intro with AutoHotkey.