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Archive for the ‘MS Excel’ Category

Printing Only What’s Needed

Friday, April 27th, 2007

Printing Only What’s Needed

Have you ever noticed that MS Excel automatically tries to print everything on your worksheet?

This works wonderfully for most things we do, but what about the times when you only need part of a worksheet printed? Or, what do you do when you have a large worksheet containing many calculations that feed to one particular section of the sheet and you only want to print… Continue reading

To Sum It Up

Friday, April 27th, 2007

To Sum It Up

Here’s the scenario: You’re working in MS Excel and you’ve got a string of numbers that you need to find the sum for.

What do you do? You could go to a blank cell and write a formula to find the sum. This is a good way if you need to keep the total for future reference. But, what if you just need to quickly see… Continue reading

Chart Adjustment = Data Adjustment

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Chart Adjustment = Data Adjustment

Did you know that with some MS Excel 2D charts, you can actually adjust the chart to look as you want it and Excel will then adjust the corresponding data to match?

This could be a good tool for the “what if” situations. You know, what data value do we need to make things “look right”?

If you’ve ever asked yourself this type of question… Continue reading

Control the Scroll

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Control the Scroll

Do you use your mouse and MS Excel’s scroll bars a lot?

If so, are you tired of dragging the scroll bar, just trying to get a small movement, only to find that you’ve zoomed right by your intended location?

If that applies to you, then boy, do I have some good news! There’s more to controlling the scroll bar than just what appears to be random… Continue reading

Excel’s Cut vs. Copy

Friday, April 6th, 2007

Excel’s Cut vs. Copy

So, we all know the difference between a cut/paste and a copy/paste, right?

I mean, it’s pretty obvious. One actually moves the cell contents and the other makes duplicates.

But, did you know that there’s a difference in the way each of them treats formulas with relative cell references?

(Note: Relative cell references are formula references to other cells based on their location as compared to… Continue reading

Break It Up

Friday, March 30th, 2007

Break It Up

Okay, so I’m sure most of you know the basics of inserting page breaks in MS Excel.

If you pick a cell in column A and use the Insert menu, Page Break choice, Excel will insert a horizontal page break above the selected cell.

Also, if we pick a cell in row one and try the Insert menu, Page Break choice, Excel will insert a vertical page… Continue reading

What’s Going On Here?

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

What’s Going On Here?

Ever enter data in MS Excel, only to find that it’s changing all the time from whole numbers to decimals?

For example, you enter a 5 and get 0.05. What’s up with that? If I wanted 0.05, that’s what I would have entered, making this a completely unsatisfactory situation!

Well, believe it or not, it’s a simple thing. It’s something that even I’ve accidentally caused during… Continue reading

More or Less: Quick, Quick, Quick

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

More or Less: Quick, Quick, Quick

Do you frequently work in MS Excel?

If so, do you find yourself annoyed when trying to add columns or rows that just take so much time?

I mean, highlight the column(s) or row(s), then go to the Insert menu and choose Rows or Columns, etc., etc.

Too much time and too much mouse work, right?

If you agree, here’s just the thing you’ve… Continue reading

The Old Switcharoo

Friday, March 16th, 2007

The Old “Switcharoo”

Okay, so, you’re in MS Excel and you’ve got a piece of data. You’re about to use the fill handle to get Excel to copy and paste the data down the column.

That’s a good idea and as we all know, just dragging the fill handle will copy the data item exactly into all the other cells. But, if we also hold down the Ctrl key while… Continue reading

Shrink to Fit

Friday, March 9th, 2007

Shrink to Fit

Ever have data in MS Excel that’s just a bit too long for the cell?

What happened?

Did the column widen to accommodate? Or, maybe you got the infamous ##### to let you know that the number didn’t fit. Oh, and let’s not forget everyone’s favorite: the old “convert the number to scientific notation.”

If the results of Excel’s attempt to accommodate the large data are not… Continue reading

Selecting Text Only

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Selecting Text Only

Ever wish for an easy way to select just the text in your MS Excel worksheet?

Let’s say, maybe you need to change the formatting of all of it, but only the text and none of the data.

Or, maybe you are looking to select only the data, so you can delete it all at once.

Whatever your need, you are obviously looking to make some quick… Continue reading

Tweak Those Excel Templates Too

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Tweak Those Excel Templates Too

So, I’m sure that after two days of Word template creations, there’s a few of you out there who are wondering what can be done in Excel.

In fact, I’d even bet that some of you have gone looking through your Template window looking for the Create New Template option. Too bad it didn’t work out, huh?

Well, maybe it’s not too bad. Just because… Continue reading

Analyze Filtered Data

Friday, February 9th, 2007

Analyze Filtered Data

So, you like to use MS Excel’s AutoFilter to take a look at your data?

Ever find yourself thinking that it would be nice to see the filtered data as a graphic?

Did you try it?

Yes, you can start the Chart Wizard and create a chart of the filtered data to truly “see” what the data has to show you.

But, did you know that the… Continue reading

Double the Work? No thanks!

Friday, December 29th, 2006

Double the Work? No thanks!

Ever find yourself either retyping or copying and pasting information from an Excel worksheet into a text box or an AutoShape?

Maybe you need that data stated in a bold way, so it’s been put into a text box or an AutoShape to grab everyone’s attention.

Good idea.

Of course, I’ve got to ask. What happens when the data changes?

Do you then go back… Continue reading

Name It Without Typing

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Name It Without Typing

Trying to name existing ranges of data in MS Excel?

Does the data already have a name at the top of the column (or left of the row) that you’d like to have Excel transfer as the range name?

Nobody would want to retype all those names into the name box, so let’s just take a quick second to see how to get Excel to do… Continue reading

Removing a Chart’s “Oops”

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Removing a Chart’s “Oops”

Work with charts in MS Excel? Ever find yourself looking at a useless legend? You know, one that was created by default, but since you only have one data series, it’s completely unnecessary.

How do you get rid of it?

You could right click on the chart, go back to the Chart Options step and uncheck the legend option.

Or, you could simply select the

Just the Value

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Just the Value

Okay, so here’s the situation. You’ve got a formula in an MS Excel worksheet that produces a value you need to transfer somewhere else.

What do you do?

Memorize the value and then retype it in the new location?

Nah! A bad memory can really mess you up.

You could print the page and then use it to retype the value, but that doesn’t exactly sound like… Continue reading

They’re All Open

Friday, December 8th, 2006

They’re All Open

Start MS Excel.

File menu, Open choice.

Pick the same file(s) you pick everyday.

Click OK.

Start your day.

Does this routine sound familiar?

Do you have a particular file (or files) that you absolutely always open each and every time you start up Excel?

What if we could get Excel to automatically open our files without prompting?

Sound like a trick that could help save you… Continue reading

Copying Worksheet Formats

Friday, December 8th, 2006

Copying Worksheet Formats

Have you ever tried to copy the contents of one MS Excel worksheet to another only to find that when you’re done pasting, you’ve lost all your column and row formatting (such as column width and row heights?) How much time do you lose reformatting all those worksheets?

You just know there has to be an easier way and of course, there is! :-)

To copy an… Continue reading

More or Less?

Friday, December 1st, 2006

More or Less?

What do you do if you need another worksheet in your workbook?

Quick and easy solution: Go to the Insert menu, Worksheet choice.

Done! The worksheet is inserted to the left of whatever sheet you were currently working on.

Trying to insert several worksheets at once?

Hold the Shift key down and select the tabs of several worksheets (the number you’re trying to insert). Then go to… Continue reading

When to Use What

Friday, December 1st, 2006

When to Use What

Do you find that referring to cell ranges in Excel formulas is a difficult task? Confused by the use of the colons, commas and spaces?

These characters are definitely a part of formula writing and if they aren’t used correctly, you’ll probably run into some problems.

So, here’s the information that can make formula writing with ranges a much more manageable task.

  • A colon (

Editing an Excel Hyperlink

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

Editing an Excel Hyperlink

Do you have hyperlinks in your MS Excel worksheets?

Ever try to click on it for editing purposes? What happens?

Yep, that’s right. The link is activated and you’re accidentally on your way to a Web site or find that a new e-mail has opened. Either way, it’s not what you wanted.

So, how exactly do we edit the hyperlinks without activating them?

I suppose we… Continue reading

More Than Names

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

More Than Names

Do you use MS Excel’s name box to name your ranges?

I’m sure that you frequent users of Excel have found it a helpful tool, but did you know that you could do more with it than just name ranges?

While it’s convenient to use the name box as a “go to” for jumping to different data ranges, did you know that it can also be… Continue reading

Excel Worksheets on Demand

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

Excel Worksheets on Demand

Ever notice that an Excel workbook opens with many worksheets? (I believe my program was initially set somewhere around 10 sheets).

Have you ever wished that a new workbook would open with more worksheets? Less?

Yep, you’ve got it. There’s a way to change the default number of worksheets. It’s another one of those, “That was so easy, why didn’t I know about that before”? items.… Continue reading

Work What?

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

Work What?

I received this question from a reader the other day, so I thought I would explain it to you all now.

Q: I hear the terms “workbook” and “worksheet” used frequently when people discuss MS Excel. What exactly is a workbook? A worksheet? Is there a difference?

A: Well, to begin with, there is definitely a difference.

  • A workbook is the MS Excel file in which you

Spell Check in Excel

Friday, November 17th, 2006

Yeah, I know. Excel is for numeric data only, but let’s face it, we tend to use a lot of words in our Excel worksheets. Given all those words, it’s only reasonable to find that typos and misspelled words are occurring in Excel too.

So, it makes sense to me to understand (not just assume) what cells the spell check feature is actually checking. Did you know that what spell… Continue reading

Them’s the Breaks

Friday, November 17th, 2006

Them’s the Breaks

When working with MS Excel worksheets, do you find yourself constantly flipping into Print Preview to see exactly where Excel will put the page breaks?

Or maybe you don’t wait for Excel to place them and you insert the breaks manually.

I don’t know about you, but I usually wait to see where Excel wants to put them and then make adjustments only when necessary.

But, there… Continue reading

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