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Excel tips 2008

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ExcelTips
2008
Compiled from the pages of ExcelTips,
your free weekly productivity newsletter

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ExcelTips 2008
Published by:
Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.
PO Box 794
Orem, UT 84059
All contents copyright © 1999–2009 by ...

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Table of Contents
Introduction 1
WHAT’S IN THIS E-BOOK? 1
WHAT ABOUT VIRUSES? 1
NEED MORE TIPS? 2
A SPECIAL NOTE OF THANKS...

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Excel tips 2008

  1. 1. ExcelTips 2008 Compiled from the pages of ExcelTips, your free weekly productivity newsletter
  2. 2. ExcelTips 2008 Published by: Sharon Parq Associates, Inc. PO Box 794 Orem, UT 84059 All contents copyright © 1999–2009 by Sharon Parq Associates, Inc., All rights reserved. No part of this document or the related files may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher. Produced and published in the United States of America Revision history: 7 January 2009: First published Limit of Liability and Disclaimer of Warranty: The publisher has used its best efforts in preparing this book, and the information provided herein is provided “as is.” Sharon Parq Associates, Inc., makes no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and specifically disclaims any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose and shall in no event be liable for any loss of profit or any other commercial damage, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. Trademarks: This book identifies product names and services known to be trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of their respective holders. They are used throughout this book in an editorial fashion only. In addition, terms suspected of being trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks have been appropriately capitalized, although Sharon Parq Associates, Inc., cannot attest to the accuracy of this information. Use of a term in this book should not be regarded as affecting the validity of any trademark, registered trademark, or service mark. Sharon Parq Associates, Inc., is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book.
  3. 3. Table of Contents Introduction 1 WHAT’S IN THIS E-BOOK? 1 WHAT ABOUT VIRUSES? 1 NEED MORE TIPS? 2 A SPECIAL NOTE OF THANKS 2 SHARING THIS DOCUMENT 2 General Tips 4 I HATE THE EXCEL 2007 USER INTERFACE 4 CANCELING A COMMAND 5 ARRANGING WORKBOOK WINDOWS 5 STARTING IN SAFE MODE 6 EXCLUDING A SPECIFIC ADD-IN AT STARTUP 7 DISABLING EXCEL'S HELP SYSTEM 8 WHERE IS THAT NAME? 10 TURNING OFF NAMES 10 REFUSING ONLINE HELP 10 TURNING OFF DYNAMIC MENUS 12 ANIMATED MENUS 13 TURNING OFF ERROR CHECKING 13 A SHORTCUT FOR SWITCHING FOCUS 15 ACTIVATING THE FORMULA BAR WITH THE KEYBOARD 16 LIMITING WHAT IS SHOWN IN THE FORMULA BAR 18 ENLARGING THE FORMULA BAR 19 TURNING OFF SCREENTIPS 21 SIMULTANEOUS SCROLLING 23 REMOVING PERSONAL INFORMATION 24 CLEARING LARGE CLIPBOARD ENTRIES 25 CHANGING ERROR CHECKING RULES 26 FORCING MANUAL CALCULATION FOR A WORKBOOK 27 MAKING AUTOCOMPLETE WORK FOR AN ENTIRE COLUMN 28 EXCEL PROFICIENCY TESTING 29 SELECTED CELLS NOT SHADED 29 PROBLEM WITH MISSING CONTEXT MENU OPTION 30 CHANGING THE SHORTCUT MENU 31 ALWAYS OPEN AT 100% ZOOM 32 COUNTERING COMPRESSED COLUMNS 33 CHANGING HORIZONTAL ORIENTATION 34 TAB KEY WON'T MOVE FROM CELL TO CELL IN LOCKED WORKSHEET 35 TURNING HEADERS ON AND OFF 36 ExcelTips 2008 Page iii
  4. 4. MAKING COLUMN HEADERS VERTICALLY WIDER 37 FORCING STUBBORN RECALCULATION 39 VIEWING SAME CELLS ON DIFFERENT WORKSHEETS 39 BACKING UP CUSTOM DICTIONARIES 41 DISABLING A FUNCTION KEY 43 SIMPLIFYING THE FONT LIST 43 SHORTCUT FOR VIEWING FORMULAS 44 Editing Tips 45 CREATING NEW WINDOWS 45 CANCELING AN EDIT 45 QUICKLY SELECTING CELLS 46 SELECTING NONCONTIGUOUS RANGES WITH THE KEYBOARD 46 DISPLAYING A HIDDEN FIRST ROW 47 COPYING BETWEEN INSTANCES OF EXCEL 48 PASTING WITHOUT UPDATING REFERENCES 50 CONVERTING FROM RELATIVE TO ABSOLUTE 51 INSERTING AND COPYING ROWS 52 MOVING AND SELECTING ROWS 52 ENTERING NUMBERS IN EXCEL 54 ENTERING INFO INTO MULTIPLE CELLS 55 LIMITING ENTRIES TO NUMERIC VALUES 55 LIMITING INPUT TO A FORMAT 57 DEALING WITH LONG FORMULAS 59 TRANSPOSING YOUR DATA 60 DRAGGING TO CLEAR CELLS 61 DELETING BLANK COLUMNS 61 CONDITIONALLY DELETING ROWS 63 ADDING POP-UP DOCUMENTATION TO A CELL 64 CORRECTING A CAPITAL MISTAKE 66 MODIFYING PROPER CAPITALIZATION 67 SELECTING FORMULAS 69 DELETING EVERYTHING EXCEPT FORMULAS 70 GETTING RID OF EVERYTHING EXCEPT NUMBERS 72 RANGES ON MULTIPLE WORKSHEETS 74 EDITING THE SAME CELL IN MULTIPLE SHEETS 75 UNDERSTANDING AUTOCOMPLETE 75 QUICKLY FILLING A COLUMN 77 FAST AUTOFILL 77 AUTOFILL WON'T WORK AS EXPECTED 78 TURNING OFF AUTOFILL FOR A WORKBOOK 79 FINDING UNUSED NAMES 79 ADJUSTING FORMULAS WHEN PASTING 81 UNWANTED DATA CHANGES 82 ExcelTips 2008 Page iv
  5. 5. TURNING OFF AUTOMATIC CAPITALIZATION 83 ENSURING UNIQUE VALUES IN A COLUMN 84 PUTTING ADDRESSES ON STATE-SPECIFIC WORKSHEETS 85 DELETING OLD DATA FROM A WORKSHEET 88 WORKING IN FEET AND INCHES 89 SHORTENING ZIP CODES 90 FORMATTING CANADIAN POSTAL CODES 92 DIVIDING VALUES 92 AUTOMATICALLY PROTECTING AFTER INPUT 94 SCROLL WHEEL DOESN'T WORK WHEN EDITING IN EXCEL 2007 94 TYPING CHECK MARKS INTO EXCEL 96 RETAINING FORMATTING AFTER A PASTE MULTIPLY 97 INSERTING A RADICAL SYMBOL 99 EASILY CHANGING LINKS 99 UPDATING LINKS IN COPIED FILES 100 COPYING A HYPERLINK TO LOTS OF WORKSHEETS 102 REMOVING SPACES 103 CONTINGENT VALIDATION LISTS 103 REFERENCING THE LAST CELL IN A COLUMN 105 COUNTING WORDS 106 GETTING HELP WHEN ENTERING FUNCTIONS 107 AUTOMATICALLY BREAKING TEXT 108 CHECKING FOR AN ENTRY IN A CELL 108 CONCATENATING RANGES OF CELLS 109 CONVERTING TEXT TO VALUES 111 USING SLASHED ZEROES 113 COMBINING MULTIPLE ROWS IN A COLUMN 113 ERRORS WHEN COPYING REFERENCES TO EXTERNAL CELLS 114 DELETING ALL NAMES BUT A FEW 115 TURNING OFF INSERT OPTIONS 116 TURNING OFF PASTE OPTIONS 117 SYMBOLS CONVERT TO NUMBERS IN EXCEL 119 USING SUBTOTALS AND TOTALS 120 COPYING SUBTOTALS 121 WILDCARDS IN 'REPLACE WITH' TEXT 123 Formatting Tips 126 NUMBER FORMATTING SHORTCUTS 126 UNABLE TO FORMAT CELLS 126 CHANGING FONT SIZE USING A SHORTCUT KEY 127 NOTATION FOR THOUSANDS AND MILLIONS 128 ALTERING THE DISPLAYED FORMAT OF NUMBERS TO THE NEAREST 100 129 USING AN EXACT NUMBER OF DIGITS 129 FORMATTING CURRENCY 130 ExcelTips 2008 Page v
  6. 6. FILLING A CELL 131 FILL COLOR DOESN'T DISPLAY 133 REFERENCING EXTERNAL CELL COLORS 134 SETTING VERTICAL ALIGNMENT 135 USING STRIKETHROUGH FORMATTING 136 DRAWING BORDERS 137 ADDING DIAGONAL BORDERS 138 PARTIALLY BLOCKING SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS 140 ADDING DROP SHADOWS TO CELLS 141 UNHIDING A SINGLE COLUMN 142 CONVERTING FROM NUMBERS TO TEXT 143 CONVERTING FORCED TEXT TO NUMBERS 145 HIGHLIGHTING CELLS CONTAINING SPECIFIC TEXT 147 SETTING CELL WIDTH AND HEIGHT USING THE KEYBOARD 150 USING FRACTIONAL NUMBER FORMATS 152 SELECTING A PAPER SIZE 153 HIDING ROWS BASED ON TWO VALUES 154 ADJUSTING CELL MARGINS FOR MORE WHITE SPACE 156 USING AUTOFORMAT 157 MAKING ALL OCCURRENCES BOLD 159 Conditional Formatting Tips 163 COPYING CONDITIONAL FORMATTING 163 PROTECTING CONDITIONAL FORMATTING 164 SORTING OR FILTERING BY CONDITIONAL FORMAT RESULTS 165 APPLYING CONDITIONAL FORMATTING TO MULTIPLE WORKSHEETS 165 CHANGING FONT FACE AND SIZE CONDITIONALLY 166 SHADING BASED ON ODDS AND EVENS 168 Header and Footer Tips 171 DYNAMIC HEADERS AND FOOTERS 171 USING A DIFFERENT FOOTER ON SECONDARY PAGES 172 PUTTING A DIFFERENT DATE IN A HEADER 173 PRINTING A MULTI-LINE FOOTER 174 USING COLOR IN HEADERS AND FOOTERS 174 ADDING AMPERSANDS IN HEADERS AND FOOTERS 175 LEADING ZEROS IN PAGE NUMBERS 175 HEADER AND FOOTER BACKGROUND COLOR 176 Online Tips 179 TURNING OFF HYPERLINK ACTIVATION 179 TYING A HYPERLINK TO A SPECIFIC CELL 181 DROP-DOWN LIST OF HYPERLINKS 182 ExcelTips 2008 Page vi
  7. 7. CHANGING PORTIONS OF MANY HYPERLINKS 183 REMOVING HYPERLINKS WITHOUT A MACRO 184 REMOVING HYPERLINKS WITHOUT A MACRO 185 GETTING RID OF MANY HYPERLINKS 186 GETTING RID OF ALL HYPERLINKS 186 AUTOMATIC TEXT IN AN E-MAIL 187 LINKING TO A SPECIFIC PAGE IN A PDF FILE 188 SETTING WEB FONTS 189 SPECIFYING YOUR TARGET MONITOR 192 Worksheet Tips 195 VIEWING TWO WORKSHEETS AT ONCE 195 REFERENCING WORKSHEET TABS 196 QUICKLY COPYING WORKSHEETS 197 DISABLING MOVING BETWEEN WORKSHEETS 197 PREVENTING SOMEONE FROM RECREATING A PROTECTED WORKSHEET 198 CHANGING THE COLOR OF WORKSHEET GRIDLINES 200 LOCKING WORKSHEET NAMES 201 SWITCHING HEADERS IN A FROZEN ROW 202 PROTECTING WORKSHEETS FROM DELETION 205 PROTECTING A WORKSHEET'S FORMAT 205 IDENTIFYING THE LAST CELL CHANGED IN A WORKSHEET 207 Worksheet Function Tips 209 RETURNING A WORKSHEET NAME 209 GETTING THE NAME OF THE PARENT WORKBOOK 209 LARGE NUMBERS IN THE MOD FUNCTION 210 RETURNING A WEIGHT AND A DATE 212 COUNTING DISPLAYED CELLS 213 FINDING THE LOWEST NUMBERS 214 ROUNDING TO POWERS OF 10 215 CHECKING FOR TEXT 216 ROUNDING NUMBERS 216 USING THE MROUND WORKSHEET FUNCTION 217 SUMIF DOESN'T RECALC AUTOMATICALLY 217 CELL AND NAME REFERENCES IN COUNTIF 220 USING THE INT WORKSHEET FUNCTION 221 USING THE TRUNC WORKSHEET FUNCTION 221 RETURNING BLANKS WITH VLOOKUP 222 RETURNING BLANKS OR ASTERISKS FROM A LOOKUP 223 Formula Tips 225 EVALUATING FORMULAS 225 ExcelTips 2008 Page vii
  8. 8. EXACT FORMULA COPIES 226 IGNORING CASE IN A COMPARISON 227 SUMMING BASED ON FORMATTING IN ADJACENT CELLS 227 FINDING THE NTH OCCURRENCE OF A CHARACTER 230 DETERMINING BUSINESS QUARTERS FROM DATES 231 SUMMING ONLY POSITIVE VALUES 232 ERRORS WHEN SUBTRACTING 233 FINDING THE FIRST NON-DIGIT IN A TEXT VALUE 235 REFERENCING THE LAST SIX ITEMS IN A FORMULA 237 COUNTING CELLS ACCORDING TO CASE 237 STOPPING A FORMULA FROM UPDATING REFERENCES 240 CALCULATING THE MEDIAN AGE OF A GROUP OF PEOPLE 241 GENERATING DOUBLE-DIGIT RANDOM NUMBERS 241 EXCLUDING VALUES FROM AVERAGING 242 RETURNING LEAST-SIGNIFICANT DIGITS 244 ROUNDING TO THE NEAREST EVEN INTEGER 244 PULLING FORMULAS FROM A WORKSHEET 245 FIGURING OUT THE LOW-SCORE WINNER 250 DETERMINING WINNERS, BY CATEGORY 251 REPLACING DASHES WITH PERIODS 252 INCREMENTING NUMERIC PORTIONS OF SERIAL NUMBERS 253 COUNTING NON-BLANK CELLS 254 COUNTING UNIQUE VALUES 254 COUNTING CONSECUTIVE NEGATIVE NUMBERS 255 COUNTING WINS AND LOSSES 257 COUNTING ONLY MONEY WINNERS 258 LAST NON-ZERO VALUE IN A ROW 259 GETTING THE NAME OF THE WORKSHEET INTO A CELL 260 DETERMINING IF A VALUE IS OUT OF LIMITS 262 SEARCHING FOR A VALUE USING A FUNCTION 263 CALCULATING FUTURE WORKDAYS 265 REVERSING NAMES IN PLACE 266 CELL ADDRESS OF A MAXIMUM VALUE 267 FINDING COLUMNS OF A CERTAIN WIDTH 268 DETERMINING COMBINATIONS TO MAKE A TOTAL 269 CONDENSING SEQUENTIAL VALUES TO A SINGLE ROW 272 SUMMING DIGITS IN A VALUE 273 GENERATING RANDOM STRINGS OF CHARACTERS 275 DEALING WITH CIRCULAR REFERENCES 277 PivotTable Tips 278 TEXT TRUNCATED IN PIVOTTABLE 278 SUPPRESSING ZERO VALUES IN PIVOTTABLES 278 BOGGING DOWN WITH CALCULATED ITEMS 279 ExcelTips 2008 Page viii
  9. 9. Sorting and Filtering Tips 280 SORTING A RANGE OF CELLS 280 SORTING DECIMAL VALUES 281 SORTING BY FILL COLOR 282 FIXING ODD SORTING BEHAVIOR 284 DETERMINING SORTING CRITERIA 285 FILTERING TO A DATE RANGE IN THE PAST 287 FILTERING FOR COMMENTS 288 COUNTING FILTERED ROWS 289 PERFORMING CALCULATIONS WHILE FILTERING 290 Comment Tips 291 EDITING COMMENTS 291 ADDING A COMMENT TO MULTIPLE CELLS 291 PASTING A COMMENT INTO YOUR WORKSHEET 292 COPYING COMMENTS TO CELLS 293 PLACING FORMULA ANSWERS IN A COMMENT 294 LINKING COMMENTS TO MULTIPLE CELLS 296 FINDING AND REPLACING TEXT IN COMMENTS 297 Date and Time Tips 299 HOW EXCEL STORES DATES AND TIMES 299 CONVERTING TIME NOTATION TO DECIMAL NOTATION 299 CHANGING EXCEL’S STARTING DATE 300 INSERTING THE CURRENT TIME WITH SECONDS 302 ENTERING LARGE TIME VALUES 303 USING EARLY DATES 304 ROUNDING TIME 305 DATES WITH PERIODS 305 USING EXCEL FOR TIMING 307 WORKING WITH ELAPSED TIME 308 DISPLAYING NEGATIVE TIMES