All articles with 'quick tip' Tag

Ensure cleaner input dates with conditional formatting [quick tip]

Published on May 12, 2015 in Excel Howtos
Ensure cleaner input dates with conditional formatting [quick tip]

Here is a familiar problem: You create a workbook to track some data. You ask your staff to fill up the data. Almost all the input data is fine, except the date column. Every one types dates in their own format. Here is a fun, simple & powerful way to warn your users when they […]

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Use arrow keys to select small, unreachable chart series [quick tip]

Published on Apr 30, 2015 in Charts and Graphs
Use arrow keys to select small, unreachable chart series [quick tip]

Here is a fairly annoying problem.

Imagine a chart showing both sales & customer data. Sales numbers are large and customer numbers are small. So when you make a chart with both of these, selecting the smaller series (customers) becomes very difficult.

In such cases, you can use arrow keys – as shown above.

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Find and Highlight all blank cells in your data [Excel tips]

Published on Apr 20, 2015 in Excel Howtos
Find and Highlight all blank cells in your data [Excel tips]

True story:

On Friday (17th April – 2015), I flew from Vizag (my town) to Hyderabad so that I can catch a flight to San Francisco to attend a conference. As I had 10 hours of overlay between the flights in Hyderabad, I checked in to a lounge area so that I can watch some sports, eat food while pretending to do work on my laptop. There was a gentleman sitting in adjacent space doing some work in Excel. As I began to compose few emails, the gentleman in next sitting space asked me what I do for living. Our conversation went like this.

Me: I run a software company
He: Oh, so you must be good with computers
Me: smiles and cringes at the stereotyping
He: What is the formula to select all the blank cells in my Excel data and highlight them in Yellow color

Mind you, he had no idea that I work in Excel. We were 2 random guys in airport lounge watching sports and eating miserable food.

Me: Well, what are you trying to do?
He: You see, I am auditing this data. I need to locate all the blank rows and set them in different color so that my staff can fill up missing information. Right now, I am selecting one row at a time and filling the colors. Is there a one step solution to this problem?

Needless to say, I showed him how to do it faster, which led to an interesting 3 hours at the lounge.

End of true story.

So today, let’s understand how to find & highlight all the blank cells in the data.

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Use apply names to create readable formulas [quick tip]

Published on Apr 1, 2015 in Excel Howtos
Use apply names to create readable formulas [quick tip]

We all know that using named ranges is a good practice. So you went ahead and created names for every value in your complex workbook. But now, what about those formulas which still refer to cells by their addresses? Here is a quick tip to make your formulas readable by replacing cell addresses with the names in one go.

Use Apply Names feature.

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Formatting shortcuts for keyboard junkies

Published on Mar 17, 2015 in Charts and Graphs, Keyboard Shortcuts, Learn Excel
Formatting shortcuts for keyboard junkies

A lot of analysts swear strong allegiance to keyboard shortcuts. But when it comes to formatting a spreadsheet, these shortcuts go for a toss as formatting is a mouse-heavy activity.

But we can use a few simple & effective shortcuts to zip through various day to day formatting tasks. Let me share my favorite formatting shortcuts.

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Unleash the pattern power with Excel Fill [quick tip]

Published on Jan 20, 2015 in Excel Howtos
Unleash the pattern power with Excel Fill [quick tip]

When you are a “work from home” dad, you can see a lot of patterns. Here is one.

My kids come home from school by noon (they are too young for full day school). Right after lunch they watch their favorite cartoon program, Team Umizoomi, in which few fictional characters go about solving problems in the Umi city using maths. Milli, one of the characters is an expert with patterns. She solves problems by identifying patterns and unleashing pattern power. 

Team Umizoomi & Excel Fill – How do they link up?

Here is how they link up.

Imagine you have a workbook where you need to follow a pattern, like above.

You too can unleash the pattern power. What more… you needn’t break in to a song sequence every-time you unleash the power.

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Write faster formulas with Auto-correct

Published on Jan 6, 2015 in Excel Howtos
Write faster formulas with Auto-correct

Want to write formulas faster? Here is a quick tip.

Use Auto-correct!

That is right. Excel’s auto-correct feature can be setup to help you write formulas faster. See above demo. Read on for details.

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Open & Save files faster in Excel 2013 [quick tip]

Published on Nov 18, 2014 in Learn Excel
Open & Save files faster in Excel 2013 [quick tip]

Excel 2013, the newest version of Excel as of writing this has many great features like data modeling, improved pivot tables, power view, flash fill etc. But one thing that I find very annoying is the Open & Save experience. Any time we open a file or save a workbook (which happens alot everyday), we must navigate the painful backstage screen to select our favorite folders. You see, Excel 2013 supports cloud saving. So that means, by default it will show your Office 365 or OneDrive or SkyDrive or whatever fancy new name Microsoft has for these things. But I am not so much in to clouding. Heck, I see a passing cloud in the sky and I almost run inside my house. So what to do?

Simple. We can turn off these features.

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Drag to multi-select slicer items [quick tip]

Published on Sep 29, 2014 in Excel Howtos
Drag to multi-select slicer items [quick tip]

Hola folks…

My trip to Houston & Dallas was very successful, fun & awesome. I got back home on Friday and instantly I am in another fun, awesome & happy place with my kids, Jo (my wife), rest of the family & friends.

Today, I want to share a very simple yet super awesome trick with you. I learned this from Augie, one of the Houston Masterclass participants.

You can drag slicer items to multi-select them.

Selecting multiple items in a slicer quickly

We know that slicers are powerful, friendly and fun way to filter the pivot tables, pivot charts, power pivot tables and regular tables (only in 2013). They are visual filters that can be used to instantly filter the data (or report). But when it comes to selecting multiple items, slicers can be hard. We must hold CTRL key and tap multiple slicer items one at a time to select them. At least that is how I used to do it.

Do you know we can drag to multi-select?

See this demo:

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Thank you, Houston meetup & Bonus tip

Published on Sep 12, 2014 in Excel Howtos, personal
Thank you, Houston meetup & Bonus tip

My mom will be very unhappy with this post. She always told me to focus on one thing at a time. But in this post we are talking about 3 things, not one. Sorry mom.

1. Thank you

I want to thank you for visiting chandoo.org & supporting us.

As I am about to leave to USA for attending Excelapalooza conference, I couldn’t help but be amazed at how much you have given me & my family. Almost 4.5 years ago, when I left my plush corporate job to work full time on Chandoo.org, I had no clue how the future will unfold. Today my heart is full of happiness, my family is secure, my site has grown by heaps and our community (especially you) is awesome.

Without your enthusiasm to learn and keen desire to become awesome, I would not have a job (of running this website). You inspire me to learn new things everyday so that I can share them with you.

Thank you for all the visits, clicks, comments, emails, tweets, likes, signups, purchases & love.

Thank you.

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Quickly convert numbers stored as text [tip]

Published on Sep 2, 2014 in Excel Howtos
Quickly convert numbers stored as text [tip]

Here is a quick tip to start the week.

Often, we end up with a situation where a bunch of numbers are stored as text.

In such cases, Excel displays a warning indicator at the top-left corner of the cell. If you click on warning symbol next to the cell, Excel shows a menu offering choices to treat the error.

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Convert fractional Excel time to hours & minutes [Quick tip]

Published on Aug 19, 2014 in Excel Howtos
Convert fractional Excel time to hours & minutes [Quick tip]

Time for another quick Excel tip.

Lets say the park near your house rents tennis courts by hour. And they charge $10 per hour. At the end of an intense tennis playing week, Linda, the tennis court manager called you up and said you need to pay $78 as rent for that week.

How many hours did you play?

Of course 78/10 = 7.8 hours.

But we all know that 7.8 hours makes no sense.

We also know that 7.8 hours is really 7 hours 48 minutes.

So how to convert 7.8 hrs to 7:48 ?

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A quick Excel tip for you while on a long bike trip…,

Published on Jul 1, 2014 in Charts and Graphs

Hi friends,

I have a surprise for you. Between the late night world-cup matches & my reinvigorated thirst for biking, I have difficulty finding time to write a long & detailed article for you. So I thought why not say hello to you and share an Excel tip while I am on a biking trip.

Go ahead and check it out. Its just 4 minutes.

Watch it below or on our YouTube channel.

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You can move formula help box with your mouse!!! [quick tip]

Published on Mar 12, 2014 in Learn Excel
You can move formula help box with your mouse!!! [quick tip]

One of the most useful features of Excel is formula help box. You know the little yellow box that appears as soon as you start typing a formula in a cell. I use this all the time to understand what the syntax of a particular function is, what parameters to pass etc.

Although I love it, sometimes it does get in the way when writing formulas. Because the help box sits on top of my data, often I find it hard to know which cell to link to.

Solution?!?

Simple. Use your mouse to move away the help box wherever you want.

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How to select a random sample from all your data [trick]

Published on Jan 31, 2014 in Excel Howtos
How to select a random sample from all your data [trick]

The other day, I got a text message (SMS) from one of our readers. It read,

So today, let us learn a very easy trick to select random sample from your data.

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