All articles with 'quick tip' Tag
Imagine you are the first officer at ship terminal αε974F1 on remote planet Alderaan. Your job involves looking at terminal log to see anomalies in time space continuum. So one day after getting to work late, thanks to crazy traffic on the floating super way in your settlement, you are looking at latest terminal log for αε974F1 on Excel (of course Excel, what else are you going to use? Notepad?!?) and want to check all the records logged at 7 AM on any day. You don’t have all the time in universe to filter records one at a time. You don’t want to write a formula or something else as it is too early in the morning and the nearest Starbucks is 7 light years away. So what would you do?
Use filters of course.Continue »
Of course, not everyone can whip up a sumproduct formula like that. On a scale of One to Hui of Excel awesomeness, you would need to be at least an H to write sumproduct or countifs formulas shown in that post. So does it mean, you can’t conditional rank if you don’t know your X from L?
Don’t worry. We got you covered. You can still get your conditional ranks, without inception level array formulas. Simple, use pivot tables instead.Continue »
Time for some good, old fashioned VLOOKUP love. Let’s say you are writing VLOOKUP()s to get data from an unusually fat table, ie one with heaps of columns. You want to get to lookup ID in first column and get thingamajig in what is that column number. Well, better get counting from 1 and after 19 seconds and lots of squinting you arrive at column number 53 – which has thingamajig.
If this sounds like your VLOOKUP routine, check out these three amazingly simple tips to save some time and effort with your lookups.Continue »
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.Continue »
Here is something annoying with Excel.
Open any Excel file with few columns of data. Hide some of those columns (select the columns and press CTRL+0). Now, copy a few rows of data. Paste it else where. Excel will paste the values in hidden columns too. We thought Excel would omit the values in hidden columns.
What the filter Excel?!? I thought we were friends, but you annoy me with some of these quirks.Continue »
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.
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.Continue »
Jo, my lovely wife quit her job as my partner in crime at Chandoo.org recently and took up a lucrative position at NZ govt. agency. The other day I asked her “how was your day?” when she got home. She smiled and said, “I learned my first Excel shortcut!”.
Guess what it is?
That is right. The mighty F4 key. You can use it to repeat any action.
Jo was using it to insert rows in her workbook. After inserting first row (using CTRL+ of course), she would press F4 to add more rows as needed.Continue »
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 TablesContinue »
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.Continue »
The other day, I found myself making copies of a templated report worksheet. After trying the usual route of “right click on source sheet, select move or copy, check create a copy and press OK” a few times, I thought “well that is asinine.” So I figured, may be CTRL+Drag will create a copy. And what do you know, it does.
So that is our quick tip for the day. Whenever you need to make a copy of something, simply hold CTRL key and drag the thing.
It works for charts, drawing shapes, worksheets and even ranges.Continue »
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.
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.Continue »
Pivot tables are lovely. But sometimes they are hard to work with. Let’s say you are analyzing some HR data and want to see number of weeks worked in each hour classification.
And you want this.
Except, there is a teeny tiny problem.
The sort order on the classification is all messed up.
Here is a quick fix to get custom sort order on your pivot table row labels.Continue »
Here is a quick Pivot table tip. Let’s say your work at ACME inc. requires some fancy pants analysis of product sales. Imagine looking at below data & trying to find out the earliest & latest date for each product sale.
Of course, we can concoct a version of MINIFS & MAXIFS to answer the question. But why bother, when you can answer the question with just a few clicks.Continue »
So here is a news from strange but true department. Microsoft Excel blamed for gene study errors [bbc.com].
Microsoft’s Excel has been blamed for errors in academic papers on genomics.
Researchers trying to raise awareness of the issue claim that the spreadsheet software automatically converts the names of certain genes into dates.
Gene symbols like SEPT2 (Septin 2) were found to be altered to “September 2”.
This is what happens when you spend countless hours learning genome sequencing and very little about the software tools where your data goes. May be we need clippy back to warn people about such sticky situations.Continue »