Creative Usage of the Office Add-Ins

General Information

  • We have listed below some of the best practices we recommend for the Anaplan product. These are based on our experience and are subject to change as we deliver new functionalities and learn more about how our customers use the product.
  • If you would like to contribute or comment, please contribute to this forum post.
  • You do not have to apply these best practices and we will still support you if you don’t follow them, these are recommendations and there are times when it makes sense to do things in a different way.

About This Article

We give you some ideas about how to use the Excel and PowerPoint add-in in a creative way to achieve your business goals.

Best Practices

1 Use Excel add-in for Word documents

We do not offer a Word add-in. Based on the feedback from our customers, using the Excel add-in to retrieve the data from Anaplan, create tables and charts, and then paste them as a link into Word works well for them. This is because Excel gives you a lot of flexibility, for instance adding conditional formatting or additional rows and columns, which you would not be able to do in Word directly.

2 Use Excel add-in for PowerPoint documents

We do offer a PowerPoint add-in. Some customers find that using the Excel add-in to retrieve the data from Anaplan, create tables and charts, and then paste them as a link into PowerPoint works better for them. This is because Excel gives you a lot of flexibility, for instance adding conditional formatting or additional rows and columns, which you would not be able to do in Word directly.

3 Macros to filter out parent items

It may be difficult to filter all the parent items in a hierarchy using the native filter functionality. Some users retrieve the entire list with the Excel add-in, and then run a VBA macro they have written that deletes some rows (or columns) based on the formatting. This is because you can choose in the settings of the add-in to keep the Anaplan formatting, so by default the parent items are shown in bold. Writing a macro that just keeps those items in bold will effectively filter out the children items.

Note that we are unable to provide this macro. Also, some macros may interfere with the add-in, please contact Anaplan Support if you face this situation. We do not support macros with the add-in (for example refreshing or changing a page selector using a VBA command).

4 Burst reporting

With Excel add-in 3.4, you can create a multi-sheet connection. For example, connect to a module that has your different cost centres as a page dimension. If you select the multi-sheet connection option, the add-in will create one sheet per cost centre.

If you now want to distribute those reports to the relevant people responsible for those cost centres, you can write a VBA macro that splits the workbook into multiple workbooks, and then sends automatically those reports to the relevant people.

Note that we are unable to provide this macro. Also, some macros may interfere with the add-in, please contact Anaplan Support if you face this situation. We do not support macros with the add-in (for example refreshing or changing a page selector using a VBA command).

The content in this article has not been evaluated for all Anaplan implementations and may not be recommended for your specific situation.
Please consult your internal administrators prior to applying any of the ideas or steps in this article.
Comments

@MagaliP 

On point #3 while I'm a big fan of VBA, the hierarchy situation can be avoided if you pass through a Boolean that = TRUE at the hierarchy level you want. You can filter and delete the rows, or use a pivot. No macro required. To be honest, I'm still a little confused about why we can't use filters (saved views) to handle this but hopefully it's something that can be addressed in a future release! Thanks for this great post!

That is a great idea, @JaredDolich .

With regards to saved views, I have tested it and I can confirm that if you change the filtering in Anaplan, and then overwrite the view, then the new view will be displayed in Excel when you refresh it. Let me know how that goes, and if the behaviour is not as expected, please raise this with our support team and we will investigate.

Thank you!

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