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Archive for the ‘MS Excel’ Category

Hide Excel errors for print

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Sometimes when working with Excel we end up with those dreaded errors – you know – the formulas that just aren’t working out.

They’re a pain, especially when we can’t seem to figure out what we did wrong, but they’re a part of our reality when it comes to Excel. And, while we have to deal with them in our worksheets, we can choose to… Continue reading

Easy Object move in Excel

Monday, February 15th, 2010

If you tend to use objects such as text boxes, shapes or pictures in you workbooks then you may have, from time to time, found yourself frustrated with the process of placing it in a location that you find appealing.

In fact, if you’re at all like me then you want everything to be “just so,” which means that placing an item could take quite a while… Continue reading

Fill Right, Fill Down in Excel

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

Here’s quick tip for my frustrated Excel users who find themselves constantly dragging the fill handle around for information duplication only to discover that they dropped it either too soon or too late.

I don’t know about you – but I hate that!

You either repeat your work by using the fill handle to fill in the space you didn’t fill when you dropped… Continue reading

Exponents in Excel

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

Have you ever needed to use exponents in an MS Excel formula, but you didn’t know how?

I mean, maybe you need to square the value of a cell or something similar.

Either way, wouldn’t it be nice to know how to enter the power properly? You know, so you can avoid the whole multiplying the same number over and over in your formula… Continue reading

Fractions in MS Excel

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

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 the… Continue reading

Change Graph Bar Shape in Excel

Thursday, December 24th, 2009

So, if you remember this tip then you’re up to speed on one way to liven things up when you’re working with charts in MS Excel… multi-colored bars are easy and definitely more interesting than the default.

If you’re like most people I’ve seen using Excel then you created the chart as quickly as possible meaning that you have rectangular bars… or, maybe if you… Continue reading

Remove Non-Printable Characters in Excel

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Ever try to paste information into Excel from some other application?

Did you get something that looks a bit strange? Maybe like this…

Looking to get rid of the garbage that came along with the information? (I just bet you are since the other options involve a lot of work along the lines of manually editing or entering all the… Continue reading

Excel Range Highlighting Shortcut

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Have you ever found yourself playing the highlighting game in MS Excel? You know, you’re trying to highlight a certain area with your mouse, but instead, you find the file flying by, creating incredibly huge highlighted areas.

Now, many of you may know a lot of keyboard tricks for highlighting using the Shift key combined with the arrows, Page Up, Page Down, Home and End… Continue reading

Really Delete in Excel

Monday, December 14th, 2009

When you work with MS Excel do you use the Ctrl + End feature – you know, the one that takes you to the very last column and row of your data?

Have you ever tried to use this one and found yourself way beyond the data?

I have and when I got there I found myself thinking that I hadn’t had data in… Continue reading

Paste With Worksheet Formatting in MS Excel

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Do you frequently copy / paste information from documents, emails or the Internet into MS Excel?

If you don’t have your paste options set to match the destination formatting (and quite frankly don’t want it set that way) then you may be getting tired of all the formatting changes you have to complete to make the pasted information match the formatting of the existing data in the… Continue reading

Print Preview While Editing in MS Excel

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Sounds unbelievable – how in the world will we preview the printed version of a worksheet while we edit?

We’re all very used to creating our worksheets then going to print preview. The process always seems to hold surprises. It doesn’t split from one page to the next in any way we had anticipated… the header is so large that it overlaps the worksheet content… the list… Continue reading

Highlight Everything Above in MS Excel

Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

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… Continue reading

Combine Cell Data in Excel

Friday, November 13th, 2009

When we choose to store text data in MS Excel it’s very common that we will create a column for each piece… such as First Name, Last Name, Middle Initial… you get the idea.

Unfortunately, there’s also times when we look back upon our choice to keep the information separate and regret it. In this form the data just isn’t as useful as we thought it would… Continue reading

Autofit Columns and Rows in MS Excel

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Have you ever been working in MS Excel and found yourself spending all kinds of extra time trying to manually adjust column width or row heights? Or are you one of the many people who simply skip a column whenever text gets too long? (By the way, that last one can really turn into a nighmare while editing!)

Well, here’s one of the many solutions to these… Continue reading

Color Excel Worksheet Tabs

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Okay, so maybe not exactly to “your life,” but would you settle for a little color added to your Excel worksheet tabs?



Now of course, I’ve got to mention one small catch. This one wasn’t in Excel 97 or 2000. It seems to be an additional feature in the newer versions… and yes, that does include Excel 2007.

So, here’s the deal. You can now turn this:… Continue reading

Excel Scroll Bar Trick

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

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 movement.

Here’s the… Continue reading

Change Bar Color in MS Excel

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

When you create charts in MS Excel that have only one series of data, especially bar type charts, do you find yourself bored with it?

I mean… they always seem to be created in the same color.


If you’re looking to liven things up then why not do something about the color… or lack of it!

Now some of you may know that you can click on individual… Continue reading

Cut and Copy Formulas in Ms Excel

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

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… Continue reading

Easy Add Columns and Rows

Monday, October 5th, 2009

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… Continue reading

Select Multiple Columns in Excel

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

Here’s a quick little tip that may come is very useful for those of you who aren’t necessarily experts with MS Excel and yet spend much of your day trying desperately to efficiently use it.

Let’s talk about row heights and column widths.

I’m sure that most of you have found that you can resize a column with a click and drag of the… Continue reading

Quicker Data Entry in Excel

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

I don’t know about you but I often find that when entering data into an Excel worksheet I’m frequently entering data at a rapid rate only to stop at the end of the column or row to move to the next.

For example, let’s say that I have information about customers such as name, address and phone number set up in columns A, B and C. I… Continue reading

Excel Months Days Rules

Monday, September 28th, 2009

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

Expanding Cell Selections the Easy Way

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

When I select a range of cells in MS Excel, whether I use the mouse or keyboard, it’s not uncommon for me to discover that I’ve not quite got it all.

Many times that’s not a big deal since I know enough to hold down the Shift key and keep expanding in the direction I was already going.

But what if you’ve realized that… Continue reading

Draw Boarders in Excel

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Use a lot of borders in MS Excel?

Tired of the old routine of selecting cells, choosing border from the borders button… or, worse yet, going into the Format Cells dialog box to set borders in there… then repeating the same process for each and every place we need them?

I personally, use MS Word 2007 a lot and I really like that I… Continue reading

Autofill in MS Excel

Tuesday, September 1st, 2009

If you’re like me then part of your usual work in MS Excel is to use fill series quite frequently.

Fill series?

Yeah – you know when you enter the first piece of data then use the fill handle to drag across several cells and then let Excel complete the data pattern.

Of course, once you finish you often find yourself… Continue reading

Shrink Excel Cells to Fit

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

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… Continue reading

Excel Formula Explanations

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Ever find yourself working on an Excel formula and wondering how in the world the person you’re handing this off to will ever understand some of the more complex calculations?

Short of writing lengthy documentation or spending a whole lot of time walking them through things piece by piece there probably isn’t much you can do… or is there?

What if we could put… Continue reading

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