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Baby Name vs. Baby Name

Down to just a few baby names, but having a hard time deciding between them?

Here's a tool that might help you make a choice -- a free tool called Baby Name vs. Baby Name, which is a paired comparison analysis. You can use it to make pair-by-pair baby name decisions, then the spreadsheet will determine an overall winner automatically.

Here's what to do:

1. Go to the Baby Name vs. Baby Name, which I've put online as a Google Doc. It's set to "public" so no sign-in ought to be required, but I've found that this can be glitchy depending upon your browser. Hopefully Google will address the issue soon.

2. Click "File," then "Download as..." to save a copy of the spreadsheet to your computer. This way, you can modify the spreadsheet, save your work, and return to it later.

3. Remember that you'll only be writing in the white cells. Please don't type anything into the gray or yellow cells, as these cells contain formulas that can be overwritten. If the formulas are overwritten, the spreadsheet won't work correctly.

4. Add baby names, up to 10 of them, in column A. If you don't have 10 names, no worries -- just fill in as many names as you have.

5. Automatically, the names will pop up in the gray cells of row 1 (and elsewhere).

6. Do battle! That is, compare a name on the left to a name at the top. Which one wins? Type the winner into the cell where the left name's row and the top name's column intersect. Do this for every pairing.

7. Now score each match-up. How much more do you like the winner than the loser? Give it a number (a high number means "a lot" and a low number means "not so much") and write that number in the small cell to the right of each intersecting cell.

8. As you score the battles, two things will happen automatically. Total scores will appear in the gray cells of the bottom table. As that happens, percentages will start showing up in the yellow cells of the bottom grid. The name with the highest percentage is the winner.

Finally, please note that the spreadsheet comes with three pages. The top page is blank, for you to fill in. The next page is an example of a filled-in page, so you can see what the end result should look like. The last page is another set of instructions.

I hope you find the tool useful! Please contact me if you have any comments or questions.

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