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Propel Documentation

Welcome to Propel, an Excel productivity template for Scientists and Engineers (and abstract thinkers alike)!

Getting Started

  1. Enable Macros. By default, Excel disables VBA code from running. Change security settings under Excel Options, Trust Center, Trust Center Settings, Macro Settings.
  1. Learn how to use Array formulas. No need to be afraid, they are actually very simple. Array formulas are just formulas with more than one result. Just select result cells, type your formula, and press Ctrl-Shift-Enter.

Solve and Encapsulate

Write formulas once, reuse anywhere. Solve equations, automatically and functionally.

SOLVEWITH(outputs_range, inputs_range, new_inputs, <monitors>)
SOLVEROOTS(roots_range, variable_range, <monitors>)
SOLVEODE(dxdt_range, x0_range, delta_t, <t0>, <monitors>)

Widgets and Formatting

Simplify and expedite forms. Query form results, without macros. Format and hide, explicitly.

FORMAT(conditions, palette_true_range, palette_false_range, <value_to_display>, <remote_rows>, <apply_font>, <apply_border>, <apply_fill>)
HIDEROW(conditions, <value_to_display>, <remote_rows>)
CALLMACRO(macro_name, <condition>, <value_to_display>, <monitors>)

Data Manipulation

Common-sense functions--missing from Excel--for ranges, arrays, and matrices.

RANGES(range1, range2, ...)
RANGESIF(ranges, <conditions>, <trim>)
MATRIX(array1, array2, …, ";", array3, array4, ...)
RESHAPE(matrix, <rows>, <cols>)
INTERPOLATE(matrix, lookup_array, lookup_value, <fit>)


  • Credit to "Excel for Scientists and Engineers: Numerical Methods" by E Joseph Billo for inspiring many of the above functions.
  • The template includes automatic macros to correct common Excel annoyances:
    • Auto-Filter tables, if table name includes the word "auto".
    • Auto-Refresh pivot tables, upon worksheet activation.
    • Auto-Size height of merged cells with wrapped text.
  • Propel's goal is to extend the basic functionality of Excel such that abstract thinkers using Excel can be more expressive and productive. Propel provides the core functions that we feel are missing from Excel. The goal of Propel is NOT to replace other numerical software (i.e. Matlab) or provide pre-packaged calculations. However, if you feel Propel is missing a basic function, please let us know.

Last edited Apr 28, 2014 at 5:57 AM by chadspen, version 32