Being in bioinformatics, you come across all sorts of data, text files, excel, missing columns, no format data, bad data, no meta-data data, all sorts of symbols in names data, you name it. Using excel is not the most pleasant experience, but there are times when the trade-off saves time. Otherwise get the tab-delim data, move it over to your account for manipulation using unix/perl or any script. So here is a new excel function I used, vlookup.
Simply, it filters a list using another list. What was my data-manipulation at hand? Use the list of positions in-place-in-excel and add the SNP information from dbSNP that I had in another file.
=vlookup(myPosition, listOfPositionsAnddbSNPID, 2, FALSE)
I selected 2 columns for the listOfPositions.. one the actual position and the other rsID from dbSNP. The next parameter 2 implies, if myPosition is in the list of listOfPositions.. then print the corresponding 2nd column, which is the rsID. The last param is for some sort of ‘close’ matches, which I did not want, so FALSE. voilaa!
Source of motivation: http://www.mrexcel.com/tip096.shtml