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Archive for the ‘MS Excel’ Category


Friday, July 7th, 2006


Have you ever found yourself trying to find the time difference between two dates?

That is, how many days, months or years have passed between the two?

What did you do?

For some things, it’s a matter of a calendar and a lot of counting.

Not very efficient, is it?

No, I didn’t think so either.

Want a quicker way to find the time difference between dates?

Yes? I… Continue reading

What’s the #### in My Worksheet?

Friday, June 30th, 2006

What’s the #### in My Worksheet?

Have you ever found yourself happily working in MS Excel only to be befuddled by the sudden appearance of #### in a cell where there should be a number?

Or maybe something along the lines of 2E+15 appeared?

Now, what is that?

Good question, and believe it or not, there’s a good answer. (You may not like the answer, but it’s a valid one… Continue reading

Drop Cap

Friday, June 30th, 2006

Drop Cap

What is a drop cap? Well, it is that ever so small, yet beautiful addition to a document. You may be amazed at how easy it is to put such a great touch on your documents.

To put a Drop Cap on your publication, you should first decide where the drop should happen.

Once the decision is made, the rest is quick and easy.

You begin by… Continue reading

Left, Right, Up or Down

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

Left, Right, Up or Down?

Default settings in MS Excel use the Enter key to move your cell selection one cell down.

Okay, so that covers the downward movement, but what if you want to move the selection up, right or left?

Well, one way is to move your fingers from their usual positions on the keyboard and then use the arrow keys.

Certainly not a bad plan and it… Continue reading

Relocate in Seconds

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

Relocate In Seconds

If you recall, during the creation of an MS Excel chart, we have to pick a location for the chart creation. In other words, where do you want Excel to put the graph?

You have two choices: you could embed it as an object in a worksheet or you could put it on its own chart sheet.

Ever find yourself wishing you’d made a different choice?

Maybe… Continue reading

Bits and Pieces

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

Bits and Pieces

Did you know that you can choose to format only part of what’s in an MS Excel cell?

Maybe you’ve got some text in a cell and need a couple of words bolded? Maybe a different font style or size is required for just a portion of the cell contents.

Either way, what do you do?

Can it even be done?

The answer you’re looking to hear… Continue reading

Zig or Zag?

Friday, June 16th, 2006

Zig or Zag?

So, you’ve got this huge worksheet in MS Excel that you’re trying to print and it seems that the pages are coming out completely scrambled.

Now, what’s wrong with this stubborn machine that’s causing this to happen?

Honestly, nothing.

It’s all in the Page Setup choices you make.

What was that I heard you say?

You didn’t make any choices in Page Setup that would cause this… Continue reading

Vanishing Gridlines

Friday, June 16th, 2006

Vanishing Gridlines

Here’s a good tip that comes from a reader’s question regarding those pesky vanishing gridlines.

We all know that in MS Excel you can go into the Page Setup window (File menu, Page Setup choice) on the Sheet tab and check the box to have Excel print the gridlines with your data.

But, what’s going on when those gridlines just aren’t showing up?

Another computer glitch?

Probably not.… Continue reading

Printing Formula Errors

Friday, June 16th, 2006

Printing Formula Errors

Did you know that you have options as to how Excel prints formula errors for you?

I mean, if you’ve got a worksheet you’re still editing, it’s possible that you’re still working out all the “bugs.” So, maybe you’ve got a few formulas displaying the “Oh-So-Wonderful” error messages.

You know you’ve got to fix them, but maybe you don’t want the error messages cluttering up the printout… Continue reading

Print the Headings Too

Friday, June 9th, 2006

Print the Headings Too

Do you print Excel worksheets for proofing reasons?

Do you find yourself frustrated that the row numbers and column letter headings aren’t on the paper? Would it make your job easier if they were?

If you’re looking for this type of assistance from Excel, there’s good news for you today! With one simple checkbox, you can get the printout exactly as you need it.

We’re looking… Continue reading

MS Excel Charts Done Your Way

Friday, June 9th, 2006

MS Excel Charts Done Your Way

Okay, so you’ve made an absolutely beautiful Excel chart, but after some consideration, you’re seeing a few things that you’d like to change.

Maybe you’d prefer a different font for the text.

Maybe you need a smaller font on some of the labeling so Excel will display all of the category names.

Maybe you have money amounts graphed and all of the “.00″ on… Continue reading

Fix It With a Click, Click

Friday, June 9th, 2006

Fix It With A Click, Click

Use MS Excel charts frequently? Ever find yourself in a situation where you’ve gone completely through the charting process, had a beautiful graph and realized that you spelled a word wrong?

What now?

Do you have to start all over?

Oh, I hope not! There must be a quick and easy solution somewhere.

Breathe easy, there is!

Mistakes in an Excel chart are often… Continue reading

Lost in Worksheets

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

Lost in Worksheets

Have you ever found yourself feeling lost while trying to move a worksheet inside a huge workbook?

I mean, you’ve got 20 or 30 worksheets and you’re trying to click on the sheet tab and drag it to its new home. So, now you’re just patiently waiting for the tabs to scroll by while you continue to hold that mouse button.

Oops, you just flew by the… Continue reading

Moving Right Next Door

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

Moving Right Next Door

As I’m sure we all know, you can rearrange worksheets in an MS Excel file with a simple click-hold-and-drag of the sheet tab.

But, did you know that you can also move worksheets from one workbook to another using the same method?


Well, good news, you can, and it’s really as easy as it sounds.

First, open both workbooks. (The one with the worksheet… Continue reading

Excel Dates Done Your Way

Friday, June 2nd, 2006

Excel Dates Done Your Way

Okay, so you’re frustrated with the standard Excel date formats and you’re looking for a way to meet your needs.

Well, don’t be frustrated any longer!

Today, I’ve got just the information you need to make Excel do things your way.

First, you need to select the cells that should be in the date format.

Now, go to the Format menu, Cells choice. (Both Ctrl

Dating in Excel

Friday, May 26th, 2006

Dating in Excel

I’m sure by now you’ve realized that when you type a date into MS Excel, the program seems to magically know what it is and treats it as such.

Cool, less work for us, right?

But, have you ever wished the date was in a different format?

I mean, maybe you want just the month and day (5/26) for example. Or, maybe you’re looking to have something… Continue reading

Clearly, We’ve Got Some Options

Friday, May 26th, 2006

Clearly, We’ve Got Some Options

So, you’re working in MS Excel with some data and you’ve got some changes to make.

If you needed to delete some data, you would simply highlight the cells and hit the Delete key.

But, let’s suppose you don’t want the data deleted, but instead you want the formatting removed. What do you do then?

You could spend time reformatting the cells or undoing whatever… Continue reading

MS Excel Custom Views

Friday, May 19th, 2006

MS Excel Custom Views

Do you work in huge MS Excel files and constantly find yourself scrolling this way and that, trying to get to the right place?

And then again to another location?

And so on.

If you have enough of these locations you need to go to, it quickly becomes impossible to remember cell locations. That means the “Go To” feature is out!

In addition to all that… Continue reading

Super Repeating Data Shortcut

Friday, May 12th, 2006

Super Repeating Data Shortcut

When working in MS Excel, do you ever find yourself repeatedly entering the same formula or data?

What do you do?

Do you type it again and again and again into each cell?

Maybe you save some time by entering it once then copying and pasting it everywhere else?

That’s not a bad way to do it, but what if you had a faster way?

Let’s… Continue reading

Snap to It

Friday, May 12th, 2006

Snap to It!

So, if you took a look at yesterday’s tip, you probably noticed the “Snap to” section at the top of the Grids and Guides window. (Ctrl + G or View menu, Grid and Guides choice).

Some of you may have been wondering what that was all about and I’d have to say that it’s a very good question. In response, I thought today might be a… Continue reading

The Leading Zero

Friday, May 5th, 2006

The Leading Zero

Are you constantly frustrated with MS Excel, because it keeps removing that leading zero from your inventory number? (Or any leading zero on any piece of data?)

Yeah, me too.

The problem is that Excel automatically sees the data as a number and leading zeros have no value in numbers, so it gets rid of them.

It’s convenient when you’re actually dealing with numbers, but a pain… Continue reading

And the Subtotal Is…

Friday, April 28th, 2006

And the Subtotal Is…

Have you ever found yourself working on an Excel worksheet desperately trying to group similar data, insert a row or write a formula for the group?

How was it?

What was that you said?

Did I hear you mutter under your breath something about it being a complete pain?

Yep, that’s what I figured I’d hear. (I thought the same thing too).

So, the question becomes… Continue reading

Excel Sorting Fun

Friday, April 28th, 2006

Excel Sorting Fun

Often in MS Excel, we have a database of information that needs to be ordered in a certain way. (Whether it is alphabetical, by date or whatever; we just need to get it in order).

Since today’s tip requires you to know how to sort, I thought it might be a good idea to cover the basics first.

The first step to sorting data is to tell… Continue reading

Mouse Free Borders

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Mouse Free Borders

Do you use the Format Cells window to create custom cell borders in MS Excel?

Do you prefer the keyboard to the mouse?

Maybe, in an effort to combine these two things, you’d be interested in a list of keyboard shortcuts to apply and remove individual cell borders?

If it sounds like a good idea to you, then read on.

Obviously, our tip starts after you’ve highlighted

Randomness in MS Excel

Friday, April 14th, 2006

Randomness in MS Excel

Ever need random numbers in Excel for data analysis?

Or, maybe you just need random numbers to fill cells while you work out formatting issues. You certainly don’t want to sit and make up data for this purpose. That takes way too much time.

You just know there is and I can definitely say that you’re correct. There is a much better way to fill those… Continue reading

MS Excel AutoFilter Part 2 – Top 10 and Custom Filters

As promised on Tuesday, we will finish our discussion of Excel’s AutoFilter function. Specifically, we need to cover two items in the AutoFilter pull down lists: “Top 10″ and “Custom.”

So, let’s get right to it.

To begin, I think we should discuss Top 10.

This is pretty much what the name implies. It’s a listing of the top… Continue reading

I Thought Filters Were For Things Like Fish Tanks and Coffee Makers…

Have you ever found yourself lost while working with a huge list or set of data in MS Excel?

Did you find that you were continually scrolling through data looking for a particular value?

I bet more than once you caught yourself wishing for a way to just see what you want and get rid of the rest.… Continue reading

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