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Archive for the ‘MS Excel’ Category



Corner to Corner

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

Corner to Corner

I’m sure you’re all aware of the quick and easy Ctrl + Home function in MS Excel, which is an immediate selection of cell A1, right? I mean, no matter where you are in your worksheet, Ctrl + Home will quickly take you to cell A1.

It’s an excellent time saver!

But, what about the other end of the spectrum?

Is there a way to get to… Continue reading

Moving with Choices

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Moving with Choices

We all know that if we click, hold and drag the outline around a selected MS Excel cell (that is, when you have the four direction arrow), we can then drag the contents around the worksheet and move them to a new location.

Very nice. Quick and easy.

But would you like some choices added to this maneuver?

No problem!

Instead of a left click, hold and… Continue reading

Picture it in a Header

Friday, October 12th, 2007

Picture it in a Header

So, you’ve finished work on an MS Excel file and you’re printing the worksheet. Your eyes drift to the top of the page and it occurs to you that it sure would look more professional if you added the company logo to the header.

Hmm.

Can it even be done?

Yes, it can! And quite easily too. So, let’s not waste any more time and… Continue reading

A Paste That Inserts Instead of Replacing

What do you do when you need to copy or cut cells in MS Excel and then insert them between existing data?

Do you insert the blank space needed (row, column or cells) and then go elsewhere in the worksheet to copy or cut, only to return to the blank area to paste?

That’s too much “back and forth” for me! Wouldn’t it… Continue reading

But I Wanted to Use ClipArt!

Friday, October 5th, 2007

But I Wanted to Use ClipArt!

While you were investigating Friday’s MS Excel tip on jazzing up your graphs, did you try the Picture tab on the Fill Effects window?

I’m sure you noticed that by clicking the Select Picture button, you were led straight to the My Pictures folder found in your My Documents.

But what if you were hoping to use a ClipArt image instead?

I suppose you… Continue reading

Graphs That Grab Attention

Friday, September 28th, 2007

Graphs That Grab Attention

Ever find yourself bored with the same old graphs in MS Excel?

Looking for a new way to “jazz” them up and get your reader’s attention?

I’m sure you’ve tried all the standard stuff with color changes and by now, I’d bet you’re wondering about some other options. Am I right?

Well, though I’m positive there are more ideas out there than I could possibly imagine… Continue reading

Navigating the Selected Range

Friday, September 28th, 2007

Navigating the Selected Range

Have a large range selected in MS Excel?

Need to move the selected cell, within the highlight, to another location to check data or functions?

I know you’re not considering the idea of simply clicking somewhere else, taking a look at your data and then reselecting the range all over again, are you?

Let’s hope there’s a better way!

Here’s a list of quick key options… Continue reading

Moving Backwards

Friday, September 28th, 2007

Moving Backwards

Ever find yourself about to hit the Enter key in MS Excel and realize you need to move up a cell to fix something?

What did you do?

Most people go ahead and use the Enter key and then use the arrow keys (or mouse) to move back to the cell above.

This works, but doesn’t it seem like there should be a more efficient way? Well, as… Continue reading

Listing the Choices

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Listing the Choices

Yesterday, we discussed the idea of data validation in MS Excel using a range of values. It’s a great idea and it’s definitely very helpful in certain situations, but what if you have a list of data items that are the only acceptable choices?

Maybe it’s a list of specific values and the range would allow for unwanted data to be entered. Or, maybe it isn’t numeric… Continue reading

Data Validation

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Data Validation

Did you know you have the ability to set limits on the data that’s entered into an MS Excel worksheet?

Maybe you’ve got a worksheet where the data to be entered must be between two values (between 1 and 100, for example) and you’d like a way to make sure that what’s entered falls outside the range.

It’s called Validation, which the online help defines as a feature… Continue reading

Selecting Cells with Just “The Right Stuff”

Have you ever looked at an MS Excel worksheet and wondered how long it was going to take you to select only those cells that contain text or formulas or numbers or those cells that have errors?

Plus, while you’re wondering that, you’re just dreading the old Ctrl key + click, click and click some more on all cells that meet the criteria.… Continue reading

Find and Replace Multiple Worksheets at the Same Time

Okay, so you’ve used the Find/Replace function in MS Excel with a lot of success before, right?

But, let’s just say you now have a multiple worksheet file and you have to search for replacements on several (or all) of the worksheets. What do you do?

You could run the Find/Replace on the first worksheet, switch to the next sheet and… Continue reading

Can You Please Repeat That?

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Can You Please Repeat That?

Here’s a great keyboard shortcut for repetitive tasks!

I tested it and found that it works great in MS Word and Excel. I also tried it in PowerPoint with very limited success and had no luck in MS Outlook or Outlook Express.

At any rate, in Word and Excel, this one can be a huge time saver.

The trick is all in one key: the… Continue reading

Oops, That’s Not What I Meant To Do!

Friday, August 10th, 2007

Oops, That’s Not What I Meant To Do!

Have you ever been working in MS Excel and found that you’ve changed the contents of the wrong cell?

If you’ve accidentally done this (and I know you have, because we all do), you probably noticed that the previous contents of the cell are gone once you begin to type.

This leads us to the next logical question: What do you do… Continue reading

Making Square Grids

Friday, August 10th, 2007

Making Square Grids

Have you ever tried to make grid paper from MS Excel?

If so, do you get frustrated with the grid when you find that you had rectangles instead of squares?

Are you looking for a way to make the row height and column width the same so that you can get the perfect grid paper?

No problem!

The first thing you need to do is highlight all

Open Sesame!

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007

Open Sesame!

Do you have a workbook (or workbooks) you, without a doubt, open every time you start up MS Excel?

Ever wish it would magically open on its own when Excel starts?

If that sounds like a good idea to you, I’ve got great news for you! That’s exactly what we’re going to go over today.

The first thing you need to do is create a folder that contains

Using the Keyboard for Some Highlighting Fun

Here’s another quick key combination you can use in MS Excel!

This one allows you to highlight an entire row or column with just two keys and no mouse. Here’s how:

  • Ctrl + Spacebar will highlight the column of the cell currently selected.

  • Shift + Spacebar will highlight the row of the cell currently selected.

You can then… Continue reading

How Many More Workdays?

Friday, July 13th, 2007

How Many More Workdays?

Ever need to calculate the number of workdays left until a deadline?

What did you do? Did you pull out your ever present calendar and begin counting?

Oops, lost count! Start over.

Or not.

What about letting MS Excel do the counting for you?

If you have a start date, end date and a list of any weekday holidays that shouldn’t be counted (the function automatically… Continue reading

Current Date and Time

Friday, June 29th, 2007

Current Date and Time

Not too long ago, I got an e-mail from a reader who needed to know the keyboard shortcuts for the current date and time in MS Word.

Since these are always handy tidbits to know, I thought it would make a quick and useful wrap-up to the week!

In MS Word:

  • Alt + Shift + D will insert the current date into your document.
  • Alt

Hyperlinks With Style

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Hyperlinks With Style

Ever wish you could change the look of the hyperlinks (and just the hyperlinks) in one of your MS Excel workbooks?

And I’m sure that visions of highlighting cells and making changes one at a time are haunting you right now, aren’t they?

Well, don’t worry. I have a better plan than that!

The first thing you need to do is select a cell with a hyperlink

Excel Works With More Than You Think

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Excel Works With More Than You Think

Have you ever found yourself working in MS Excel and needed to enter fractions? What did you do?

(Besides have flashbacks to middle school where you labored endlessly over those dreaded things!)

I know I’ve made them into formulas before. Basically, I divide the numerator by the denominator, add on the whole number and then convert the whole thing to a decimal in… Continue reading

Mouseless Cell Formatting

Friday, June 8th, 2007

Mouseless Cell Formatting

So, you’re working in MS Excel and you’ve got some cells to format. What do you do?

Oh, wait. I know!

You highlight the cell(s) to be formatted and then use the Format menu, Cells choice (or Ctrl + 1) to open the Format Cells window. This is followed by some “quality mouse time” spent scrolling through the choices until you find the right format.

What was… Continue reading

Step By Step

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Step By Step

Ever find yourself asking, “Now, how did Excel calculate that”?

Well, as most of you probably know, MS Excel uses the standard order of operations (yep, just like you learned in school) to evaluate formulas.

But, even with that knowledge, it’s possible that you’re not realizing exactly the order of how things will be done.

If you catch yourself debating a set of parentheses or wondering about… Continue reading

Highlight From Here On Up

Friday, May 25th, 2007

Highlight From Here On Up

Or down. Or left. Or right.

Yep, that’s what you can do with a few quick keystrokes in MS Excel. That is, if you know the “magic” combination.

Okay, so it’s not exactly magic, but it still could be a pretty useful skill and worth a look.

If you’ve ever had a cell selected in MS Excel and wanted to quickly highlight everything above, below… Continue reading

Forgetful Frustration

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

Forgetful Frustration

Do you frequently find yourself staring at the printout of an MS Excel worksheet and wondering just what you called that file?

Or better yet, even if you think you know what it’s called, where exactly did you save it?

Here’s a quick suggestion that may cut down on the “lost file frustration” you may be feeling. Let’s try putting the file name, either with or without the… Continue reading

Delete vs. Clear

Friday, May 4th, 2007

Delete vs. Clear

Do you use a lot of formatting (font, bold, etc.) in MS Excel?

Have you ever noticed that all the formatting seems to stay around whenever you hit the Delete button to remove a cell’s content?

Maybe that’s a good thing, but then again, maybe it’s not. It’s possible that you then spend even more time trying to undo all the formatting the Delete button left behind.… Continue reading

Hey, Watch It!

Friday, May 4th, 2007

Hey, Watch It!

Do you work with large MS Excel worksheets?

If so, do you ever find that you’re doing a lot of scrolling around, trying to keep an eye on a formula that’s way off in the far reaches of the worksheet? I mean, you change a value and then immediately start scrolling to see how it affected the formula. What a waste of time!

How would you like… Continue reading

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