Year 2009 is TAL's 14th Year Anniversary!

    Since its inception in 1995, TAL for Excel has quietly and gradually gained worldwide reputation as a reliable tool. It has been downloaded, used, and cited by students and researchers all over the world. I was amazed recently when I checked my weblogs (I rarely do this), and the logs show that TAL continues to be downloaded frequently. And citation of TAL's use in research work continues even up to today in peer-reviewed international journals and textbooks (even in the notable soil analysis manual, Methods of soil analysis by the Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Book Ser. 5, 2002).

    I developed TAL for Excel when I was studying for my Masters in 1995 (wow, such a long time ago). I created TAL simply because I wanted this kind of tool myself. I was then analyzing over a hundred soil samples, and I wanted a tool to easily and quickly lookup the texture classes for all my samples. At that time, there was not one similar software that I liked.

    After TAL for Excel, I created a whole suite for TAL: there was TAL for Windows, TAL for Lotus 123, and even one for TAL for Psion 5/5mx! At one time, I toyed with the idea of creating TAL for handphones! Imagine using your handphone to lookup the texture class of a soil at the field. :)

    Fast forward to June 2009 and on a sleepy and lazy work day at the office, I decided to blow off the dust from TAL and check if it continues to run without problems in Excel 2007. What's the verdict? No problems! TAL for Excel continues to run without problems in the radically revamped Excel 2007. I also took this opportunity to update some information and web links in the TAL help file.

    So here's for another 14 years!

What is TAL for Excel?

    Texture AutoLookup (TAL) for Excel is an Excel add-in that works within a spreadsheet to determine the soil texture classes based on 4 soil classification schemes:

  1. USDA (U.S. Dept. of Agric.)
  2. UK (England and Wales)
  3. Canadian
  4. International

    Because TAL works seamlessly within a spreadsheet, you use TAL like you would use any of the spreadsheet's functions. Seamless integration also means you can use the spreadsheet's capabilities of data handling and manipulation, then use TAL to determine the texture classes of your samples.

    You need not re-enter changed values into TAL; changes in your data will automatically be "seen" by TAL and will result in new texture lookups. This is especially useful when you handle large number of soil samples routinely as you need not enter new values into TAL each time.

What's new in version 2.81?

Changes in ver. 2.81 - Jun, 2009

  • Minor tweak to the user interface and help file. Checked that TAL works without problems in Excel 2007.

Changes in ver. 2.8 - Nov, 1999

  • International soil classification scheme added. TAL ver 2.8 now supports 4 major soil classification schemes, including USDA, UK and Canadian schemes.
  • No longer supported: Automatic installation of TAL in Excel is withdrawn. The automatic installation fails in Windows NT. This has something to with the user status (e.g., network administrator or normal user).

See previous changes


1. Before you download ...

    TAL for Excel is provided as is, without any expressed or implied warranty. TAL is free, but please read the license in the provided documents before you use TAL.

    If you are not planning to subscribe to TAL's mailing list, I would greatly appreciate it if you would email to me that you are downloading TAL. Lots of people have downloaded TAL without informing me; is this too much to ask for a free cool product? email me

    Please let me know the following information: 1) name, 2) profession, 3) organisation, and 4) how you heard about TAL. These information are for my personal reference only; they will not be shared or distributed.

email cbsteh@yahoo.com

2. Get the file now...

    Version 2.81 works in Excel97 or greater versions only. You can check your Excel version by going to the menu commands Help|About. Please go here if you use older versions of Excel (ver. 4.0, 5.0, and Excel95).

    Important: If are currently using TAL for Excel, please uninstall it before installing the latest version. Refer here for details for uninstallation.

TAL for Excel ver. 2.81 download talxl281.zip (220 k)

    The file is compressed as a .zip archive. To decompress it, you can use Winzip or Pkzip programs that are widely available. Once decompressed, store the files in a separate folder (e.g., C:\TALxl).

You install TAL in Excel like any other Excel add-ins. If you have never installed add-ins before, read the provided TAL.hlp for instructions.

Charting capabilties: TAL partners Trixcel

    TAL for Excel does not have any charting capabilities. However, you can use Trixcel written by Julien Furrer, Universite de Lausanne, Switzerland (note: he is no longer attached there). Trixcel is a free Excel add-in that draws tri-axial charts. However, Trixcel was originally written in French, has a few bugs, and draws the x-axis in the reverse direction from what is usually found in soil texture charts.

    Consequently, I have translated Trixcel into English, corrected the bugs, and modified it so it draws its charts the "right way round". You can use my modified version of Trixcel in conjuction with TAL for Excel.

Trixcel (modified and translated) download xtxc.zip (272 k)

    The above zipped archive includes the original Trixcel files.

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  updated: 12-Jun-2009