I learned a great new modeling tip this weekend that I wanted to share. As you may know, I’m in the process of building a beta version of a real estate DCF in Excel; albeit rather slowly given my limited spare time! Thetip workbook has grown quite large – 31 tabs, including 9 input tabs – and is intended to be an alternative to ARGUS DCF. As I was adding a test property this weekend, I realized that the only way to see how changes to the assumptions on each input tab affected the overall risk and returns of the property was to scroll to the summary tab. What this meant is every time I wanted to see how the latest changes to my assumptions affected risk or returns, I had to scroll through  31 tabs. I thought to myself, there has got to be a better way; I wish I could add a floating box in the corner of each tab with a summary of the most basic risk and return information.

The solution I came up with is found in the video below. Essentially, using the ‘Paste Linked Picture’ feature in Excel, I was able to add a floating summary box to each of my input tabs and reduce the number of times I had to scroll back to the summary tab. This little trick not only saves time, but adds a nice look to your input tabs. Because the box is basically a dynamic image, Excel’s ‘Picture Tools’ ribbon becomes available, which allows you to add even more visual appeal to your floating summary box.

Watch the video, then download the Excel file below with floating summary boxes on each tab.


The Floating Summary Box
  • Sample file from tutorial on how to add a floating summary box to your next financial model in Excel