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Archive for the ‘MS Excel’ Category

More Than A Simple Paste Button

Monday, January 9th, 2006

More Than A Simple Paste Button

Working with a newer version of Excel? Let’s say Excel XP or newer?

Have you ever noticed that your Paste button has a little extra?

Take a good look… do you see the down arrow to the right of the Paste button?

Yep – that’s right, the down arrow means that Excel has a supercharged Paste button that can do more than you’d… Continue reading

Set It In Pixels?

Monday, January 9th, 2006

A reader wrote in with an interesting Excel question. They were wondering if there was a way to set the column widths and row heights using pixels rather than the default numeric values. Hmm. Good question!

I did some looking around and found a solution – probably not the one the reader was hoping for but it’s worth mentioning.

While I couldn’t find a place to type in an actual… Continue reading

Headings Using The Keyboard

Monday, January 9th, 2006

Do you use Word’s built-in styles for quick and easy text formatting? You know, using the drop down list to the left of the font name?

Works great—not too difficult.

But… for everyone who likes the headings but hates using the mouse here are a few keyboard shortcuts to help you apply the most common styles.

  • CTRL+SHIFT+N will apply the Normal style.
  • ALT+CTRL+1 will apply the Heading

Case Sensitive Sorts

Friday, January 6th, 2006

Case Sensitive Sorts

Do you sort a lot of data in MS Excel? Ever find that you have case sensitive data (part numbers, account numbers, etc.) that just don’t seem to sort properly? Does Excel ignore upper and lower case and sort purely on letter content? Is this a problem for you?

If it is, then it seems to me that you do a lot of manual manipulation of your… Continue reading

From Another Workbook

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

From Another Workbook

Last week we discussed how to write Excel formulas that reference cells located on a different worksheet within your workbook. Well, the logical occurred – a reader wrote in inquiring about formulas that reference cells from a completely different workbook.

Good question – one that I immediately set out trying to answer and here’s what I found…

The easiest way to tackle this one is to let… Continue reading

Leave My Addresses Alone!

Tuesday, December 20th, 2005

Leave My Addresses Alone!

Tired of the way your program (Excel, Word or PowerPoint) keeps changing all your web or email addresses into hyperlinks automatically?

Looking for a way to get these programs to stop it and behave themselves?

If you’ve been answering with yes responses then here’s just the thing for you.

What you have happening is the AutoCorrect feature of the program(s) is taking over each time it… Continue reading

From One Sheet To The Next

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

From One Sheet To The Next

Work with MS Excel a lot? Do you use multiple sheets inside the same workbook?

Have you ever found yourself trying to reference a value from a worksheet other than the one you’re currently working with?

I’d bet that you noticed a problem when you tried the same old formula… if you need the value from cell B2 from sheet 1 in a formula… Continue reading

Excel’s Name box

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

Did you know…

… that Excel’s Name box isn’t always the Name box? (The box to the left of the Formula bar.)

Sounds crazy—I know—but it’s true.

Pay attention when you type in an equal sign (=) to start a formula.

Did you notice what happened?

A Function box replaces the Name box.

The Function box first displays the last used function.

If that’s not what you’re looking for… Continue reading

Help With Excel Formula Syntax

Thursday, December 15th, 2005

Help With Excel Formula Syntax

So, you’re trying to use a formula in MS Excel but it’s been a while and you can’t quite remember the formatting to use when entering the cell references of the data. Hmm… what to do, what to do?

Well, if you’ve got a newer version of Excel (let’s say XP or newer) then the gentle reminder you need is closer than you think.

To… Continue reading

The Never-Disappearing Borders

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

The Never-Disappearing Borders

Ever run across a cell border in MS Excel that just wouldn’t disappear? I mean you’ve turned that border off over and over again and yet that crazy line is still there!

What now?

Is Excel broken?

Much to everyone’s relief, Excel is not broken you just happen to have more borders then you realize.

If you set cell borders to overlap then removing one… Continue reading

The AutoSum With More

Tuesday, December 6th, 2005

The AutoSum With More

I’m sure we’re all aware of Excel’s handy little AutoSum button and the way it will quickly insert the formula to sum any range of data we happen to have lying around. But… wouldn’t it be nice if we could get it to do a little more than sums without a lot of extra work?

Good idea! Fortunately for all of us, AutoSum can be used… Continue reading

AutoSum in Excel with just 2 keys

Tuesday, November 15th, 2005

Sum It Up In Excel With Just 2 Keys?

Many of us are familiar with the AutoSum button in MS Excel.

It’s a handy little guy who will, with a single click, insert the formula for the sum of a column of data located just above whatever cell you currently have selected.

Those of you who prefer to use the keyboard for everything may be wondering if there’s an… Continue reading

An Update On Updating

In the last issue of the MS Office Tips newsletter (Thursday, October 27, 2005), we discussed formulas and using them in MS Word. At the time, my common sense meter must have been a quart or two low, because I simply wasn’t coming up with any of the good ways to get your formulas to recalculate and reflect any changes you’ve made to values.… Continue reading

Data insertion and cell shifting in MS Excel

Thursday, November 10th, 2005

Insert Many Where There Was None

Do you do a lot of copy-paste or cut-paste moves in MS Excel? Tired of shifting cells around to make space for the stuff you need inserted into the middle of your current data set?

How would you like a way to get Excel to do the data shift for you? Excel can shift data at the same time it does the paste. Here’s… Continue reading

Copy Column Widths in MS Excel

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005

Copy Only Column Width?

How much time have you wasted changing and re-changing column widths trying to match one column with another in MS Excel? You could use the Format menu, Column sub-menu, Width choice and enter the width you need. Of course, then you’d have to know exactly what width you need and keep it all straight… not worth the time.

Do you have to go back to highlighting… Continue reading

Here’s another quick key combination to use in MS Excel.

This one allows you to highlight an entire row or column with just two keys and no mouse!

  • 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 combine this information with the Shift + Arrow keys to… Continue reading

How Many More Work Days?

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

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

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

Now Where Did That Zero Go?

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Now Where Did That Zero Go?

Here’s a good tip sent in by a reader regarding numbers with leading zeros.

If you’ve ever entered a number with a zero in the first place(s) you probably became very frustrated when you realized that Excel takes those zeros off the number.

For example, if you type in 01234 then, left to its own devices, Excel will put 1234 into the cell.

That’s… Continue reading

Playing The Name Game

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Playing The Name Game

I’m glad to see that you’ve decided to come along for this little adventure.

I think the best place to start will be with a better understanding of what it means to name ranges of cells in Excel.

Basically, naming a range (or a single cell for that matter) is to give Excel a meaningful word (or words) that you will refer to the selected set… Continue reading

Use A Title In Formulas in MS Excel

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Use A Title In Formulas

Did you know that when you have a title at the top of a column of data that you can use that title in formulas—instead of the cell reference.

For example:

Let’s suppose that you have two columns labeled “Original Price” and “Discount”. Now let’s say you want to create a third column that calculates the sale price of the… Continue reading

Be The Master Of Your Excel Lists

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Be The Master Of Your Excel Lists

Now that you know what an Excel list is, let’s take a look at how to create a list that’s all your own—in other words, a custom list.

You have several options for the creation of a list. One has you type the list into the Custom Lists tab in the Options window and the other allows you to highlight the cells that… Continue reading

Lists In MS Excel

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Lists In MS Excel

Excel has lists?

Yes, it does. (And fortunately they’re not “to do” lists!)

Have you ever noticed that when you type “Monday” in a cell and then use the fill handle (the little box in the lower right corner of the cell highlight) to drag down you get the rest of the days of the week?

Usually the fill handle will copy data if there’s only… Continue reading

Turn Many Into One

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Turn Many Into One

“E pluribus unum” was the original motto of the United States—since it is National Flag Week, I thought I might mention that in light of today’s tip.

Here’s the scenario: you’re working on a table of data in MS Excel and you’re trying to put a title over the entire table.

What do you do?

I’ve watched a lot of people cope with this situation, and… Continue reading

What Was That Function Again?

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

What Was That Function Again?

Ever find yourself working in MS Excel and realize that the function you’re looking for is right on the tip of your tongue – or fingers in this case?

So… here you go again, you’ve got to open the Paste Function window. You’re probably taking your hands off the keyboard and back to the dreaded mouse to get to the Insert menu, Function choice. Or… Continue reading

Date & Time On Demand

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Do you find yourself constantly entering the current date and / or time in MS Excel?

Wish you had a quick key combination to get the job done for you?


Good-because that’s what you’re going to get.

Next time you’re

Quick Slide Margins – Part 2 – MS Excel

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Quick Slide Margins – Part 2 – MS Excel

As a follow-up to the last issue, I thought it might be relevant to discuss quick margin adjustments in MS Excel.

As with Word, you can set margins in the Page Setup (under the File menu) on the Margins tab.

Works well—but, as you may already know, in Excel you have to go to the Print Preview to take a look… Continue reading

Playing The “Shifty Cell” Game

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2004

Playing The “Shifty Cell” Game

Have you ever found yourself happily working in a large MS Excel worksheet only to discover that you need some cells in the middle of the thing?

You’d add rows or columns, but that will mess with everything else in the worksheet. (You know—data way off yonder in the far reaches of the worksheet will suddenly be displaced causing mass chaos in the middle of… Continue reading

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