All articles in 'Excel Howtos' Category

How to use Date & Time values in Excel – a handy guide

Published on Jun 20, 2018 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel

How to use Excel Date values, formulas and tipsExcel date time features are very handy and knowing how to use Excel date values can help you save a ton of time in your day to day spreadsheet chores. Let us prepare for your date with the sheet using these 10 handy tips.

Before jumping on to the tips, it helps to know how excel represents the date and time.

Microsoft Excel stores dates as sequential numbers … January 1, 1900 is serial number 1, and 20 June, 2018 is serial number 43271 because it is 43,271 days after January 1, 1900. Excel stores times as decimal fractions because time is considered a portion of a day. [Excel Help Text on Date / Time]

So you see, Date and Time are in fact numbers in Excel. Just enter a date in your excel sheet and format it as number to see its equivalent numeric value. If a date is 20-June-2018 and excel represents it as 43271.

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Excel Tables Tutorial & 13 Tips for making you a Data Guru

Published on Jun 13, 2018 in Excel Howtos, Featured, Learn Excel
Excel Tables Tutorial & 13 Tips for making you a Data Guru

Excel table is a series of rows and columns with related data that is managed independently. Excel tables, (known as lists in excel 2003) is a very powerful and supercool feature that you must learn if your work involves handling tables of data.

What is an excel table?

Table is your way of telling excel, “look, all this data from A1 to E25 is related. The row 1 has table headers. Right now we just have 24 rows of data. But I can add more later!”

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One Control Three Cells

Published on Mar 5, 2018 in Excel Howtos, Huis, Posts by Hui
One Control Three Cells

Learn a technique to control multiple cells with 1 Control.

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5 conditional formatting top tips – Excel basics

Published on Dec 5, 2017 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel
5 conditional formatting top tips – Excel basics

Time for another round of unconditional love. Today, let’s learn about conditional formatting top tips. It is one of the most useful and powerful features in Excel. With just a few clicks of conditional formatting you can add powerful insights to your data. Ready to learn the top tips? Read on.

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How to Distribute Players Between Teams – Evenly

Published on Oct 12, 2017 in Excel Howtos, Huis, Posts by Hui, Solver
How to Distribute Players Between Teams – Evenly

Learn how to use Solver to allocate players evenly to Teams.
A Solver Tutorial.

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Conditional Formatting – Chart Data Labels

Published on Oct 9, 2017 in Charts and Graphs, Excel Howtos, hacks, Huis, Posts by Hui
Conditional Formatting – Chart Data Labels

Learn how to conditionally format Chart Data Labels without VBA

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Copy Paste Visible Cells only (Two more ways to do it)

Published on Aug 28, 2017 in Excel Howtos, Keyboard Shortcuts, Learn Excel
Copy Paste Visible Cells only (Two more ways to do it)

Last week, we talked about how to copy and paste visible cells alone (ie exclude any filtered rows or hidden columns etc.) In the comments section many of you suggested two more ways to deal with this annoying problem. Let’s take a look them.

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Use File > Info to quickly unprotect multiple worksheets [Quick tips]

Published on Aug 1, 2017 in Excel Howtos
Use File > Info to quickly unprotect multiple worksheets [Quick tips]

Ever had a workbook with multiple protected worksheets? May be you are enterprise architect at Death Star or chief strategist at Mordor and got all the plans in a tidy little but protected workbook. Of course, you hate having to unprotect many of the worksheets every time you have a new evil plan for world domination. Don’t you worry, you can use this handy little trick to unproect en masse.

  • Just open the workbook
  • Go to File > Info
  • Right on the top, you can see all protected worksheets and a link to unprotect them.
  • Click to unprotect the ones you want to.
  • Done.
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Rounding time to nearest minute or quarter hour etc. [formulas]

Published on Jun 26, 2017 in Excel Howtos
Rounding time to nearest minute or quarter hour etc. [formulas]

The other day, I was building a spreadsheet to calculate FTE (full time equivalent) for staff based on hours worked on various days in a fortnight. While building the spreadsheet, I came across an interesting problem. Rounding Time to nearest minute.  We can’t use ROUND() or MROUND() to round time as these formulas aren’t designed to work with time values. Although time values are technically decimal, rounding time to nearest minute (or quarter hour etc.) can be tricky when usual round formulas. Let me share a few formulas to round time to nearest point.

Let’s say you have a time value (either user input or calculated) in cell A1.

Use below formulas to round time in A1.

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Selective Sub-totals in Pivot Tables [Quick Tip]

Published on May 2, 2017 in Excel Howtos, Pivot Tables & Charts
Selective Sub-totals in Pivot Tables [Quick Tip]

Recently I was creating a pivot report with multiple items in row labels area. I had to show sub-totals, but only for one of the fields. Something like above.

How to show selective sub-totals in Pivot Tables

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Avoid Hiring Boo-boos with Excel – COUNTIFS for the win [video]

Published on Apr 26, 2017 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel
Avoid Hiring Boo-boos with Excel – COUNTIFS for the win [video]

Imagine you are head of human resources at Casual Contracting Co. Every month you hire a lot of temporary staff who spend 1-4 months with CCC before leaving. Sometimes you hire the same people again. Of late, you have noticed a strange process gap. You are paying same person two (or more) salaries.

This is because you are hiring a person for new temp role even before their current one ended. See above picture.

So how to avoid making such hiring boo-boos.

Simple, using Excel of course.

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Relative References in Excel Tables

Published on Apr 21, 2017 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel
Relative References in Excel Tables

Excel Tables have been around for a decade now (they are introduced in Excel 2007), and yet, very few people use them. They are versatile, easy and elegant. At Chandoo.org, we celebrate Tables all the time. If you have never used them, start with below tuts.

While tables are super helpful, they do come with some limitations. Today let’s examine one such unique problem and learn about an elegant solution.

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Hide columns one one tab same way as they were in another place [quick tip]

Published on Apr 5, 2017 in Excel Howtos
Hide columns one one tab same way as they were in another place [quick tip]

One of the regular reporting tasks I do involves a manual step I hated. It goes like this:

  • Dump several columns of data in the template file.
  • Hide a particular set of columns (these are not together, so must be done one at a time or with CTRL+selection)
  • Save and publish the file.

After doing this manually for last few fortnights, today I wanted to automate the column hide process. I was about to write a VBA macro to clone the hide settings from one workbook to another. But then I thought, may be paste special can be of use.

And what do you know. It does exactly that.

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Get rid of that ugly formatting with two simple tricks

Published on Jan 18, 2017 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel
Get rid of that ugly formatting with two simple tricks

We are on a tiki tour around NZ. So far we have been to Taupo & Rotorua. And we are doing what you do when you are on a holiday – being lazy, going on walks, swimming in lakes, eating copious amounts of food and getting lost. Of course, all this means, I have very little time to access to internet & my blog. So the updates will be slow for next two weeks. Here is a quick tip (well, two of them) to keep you busy and awesome.

How to remove ugly formatting from your workbooks?

Do you have a colleague or boss (shudder) that loves to apply their special touches to every workbook their mouse lands on? Do you constantly wince and whine when you have to work on that spreadsheet.

Here are two handy ways to restore your data to its original glory.

Clear formats:

Simple, select the data you want formatting gone from, go to Home > Clear > Formats.

And Excel will weave an expelliformat spell at your data and make it clean.

Here is a quick demo.

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Untrimmable Spaces – Excel Formula

Published on Jan 12, 2017 in Excel Howtos, Learn Excel
Untrimmable Spaces – Excel Formula

Let’s talk about the untrimmable spaces.

We all know that TRIM() removes extra spaces from the beginning, ending and middle of a text.

So for example, if A1 has ” something and    one   more    ”

TRIM(A1)

will give “something and one more”

We can use CLEAN() function to remove non-printable characters (like the ASCII codes 0 to 31).  Of course, SPACE is technically a printable character, so CLEAN() won’t remove spaces.

The untrimmable spaces…?

The other day Sreekanth emailed me a sample of data and asked, “how do I remove the spaces in this list and convert them to numbers?”

Naturally I tried to TRIM().

But the data won’t budge. See above.

Hmm, let’s investigate why.

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