14: Jon Acampora, Excel MVP

Ring the Bell… School’s in

Introducing ExcelCampus.com’s fearless leader Jon Acampora. Jon is a surfer/analyst from sunny southern California.  He is a recent Excel MVP and is best known for the solutions and Add-ins that are available on his site.  During our interview, Jon explains what an Add-in is, and how he learned to build them.  He started with Excel straight out of college, using Excel for Accounting, Finance, Inventory management, etc.  He further discusses when you are in “add-in territory” and when you are not.  Jon started learning to build Add-in by recording macros and deconstructing them.  This is a good interview for the wannabe Excel programmer.

Win a FREE Copy of Tab Hound

In the first few moments of the discussion, Jon announces that he is giving away a few copies of his Excel Add-in TAB HOUND that was released the same week.  To win, you have to comment one the strangest ways that you have used VLookup.  Scroll down to the comments section to see several of the entries.  Pickle-flavored drink?  Seriously?  🙂

The Good Ole Days

Remember Clippy?  What about that Wizard in the turbine that used to pop out of Excel and ask you about your day? Remember the dog/puppy?  The days before the ribbon and the million rows?  In this episode the panel discusses how Excel used to look and changes in the form and functionality throughout the years.  The good and the bad.

Where to find Jon:

What to do next:

Follow us on our social channels.  Also, head on over to Jon’s Excel Campus site and check out his add-ins and his blog.  Lots of good stuff over there.  Also, right below you will see a newsletter sign up form — put your email in to get access to our new episodes as they become available.  Don’t be the last kid on your block that knows what’s going on with Excel TV.  All the cool kids are doing it.


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  • I work in the supply chain industry and I constantly use VLOOKUP to look up case configurations for the various consumer packaged goods companies that we bid. One of the strangest products I remember doing a VLOOKUP against was a pickled flavored beverage.

      • Haha! I’m sure he would do a straight-up trade for one of those yo-yos of yours. 🙂 I didn’t see those during the broadcast, but that’s a pretty cool collection you got there!

        I had a blast! You guys are hilarious. Looking forward to next time, and 100 more episodes from Excel TV!

        • Yup! And there are more yo-yos that don’t fit in the case.

          Man! You take me back. Since you grew up in Cypress, you’ll know that intersection, Katella & Valley View where I’d catch the bus and go into Long Beach.

  • Why was Rick talking about crazy VLOOKUP stories anyways? Well, I think it had something to do with a blog post I wrote about vlookup at Starbucks. It’s an introductory explanation of vlookup using a Starbucks menu. For those that are already experts at vlookup, this might help you explain the function to co-workers or clients. And yes, you can replace Starbucks with your favorite beer menu. Although we might need a function that returns multiple values for that…


    As we mentioned in the episode, anyone that leaves a comment about vlookup will be entered to win one of three free licenses I’m giving away for my new Tab Hound add-in. You can watch videos about Tab Hound and Tab Control at the following link.


    I explained a few tips during the episode, but after watching the video playback I realized you can’t see much of what I was doing on my screen. My apologies and I will get that figured out for next time. Fortunately, I have videos and blog posts on those tips. You can checkout the links below for more details.


    Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks! 🙂

  • I used VLOOKUP to findout how many of the girls I am interested in are on the list of the ones I actually dated 😉 😀 hahaha

  • Hey Jon,

    The craziest stuff I so with vlookup is fuzzy matching
    I don’t need to use any UDF or any other add-in for it,

    Simply using wild card mostly * asterisk joined by & ampersand

    Vlookup value. “*”&lookupvalue&”*”



  • I can’t find any personal weirdest or craziest use of Excel so I will post about the dumbest way I have used it for:
    1) A calculator
    2) A list maker

  • The most common uses for Excel are a list and a calculator very important key of Ms Excel. Thanks for sharing Jon Acampora!

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    Free Power User Quick Guide

    Discover The BEST Ways To Use Lookups And Conditional Calculations Quickly And Easily With This Reference Guide -- You Won’t Want This To Leave Your Side

    With so many ways to use Excel, it can be difficult to memorize all of the key functions, calculations, and techniques you can employ to meet your goal: simply get the job done.