If you have data that has blanks in it you may be able to combine columns using Paste Special – Skip Blanks.
Power Query Zoom
I used this today in a live webinar.
I zoomed into the Power Query window in Excel to make it easier to see.
Ctrl + Shift + + (plus)
20 years ago I had an article published on Excel shortcuts keys – let’s revisit it.
When you are working with text numbers in tables sometimes you need to convert real numbers into text numbers to do look ups.
There are at least two ways to do this.
Let’s see how to convert real numbers into test numbers, real fast.
In Australia our financial year starts in July. Excel is set up to work with calendar years and we need to do some date gymnastics to have our reports start in July. Here is a hack for Custom Lists that can make some things better in Excel.
On the weekend Sunday the 5th of September 2021 is a big day for Excel.
In Excel the date system starts on 1/1/1900 – that was day 1, and each day since has its own sequential number.
On Saturday September 5, 2021 (Father’s day in Australia) that number is – wait for it – see the image below.
May the fours be with you!
If you remove the formatting from a cell with a date you will see the underlying number.
When you import numbers from other systems they sometimes come in as text and are left aligned.
There are a couple of ways to fix them and they can both be done in less than a minute.
There are times when pasting to the bottom of an existing large, formatted table can take a few minutes to update. There is a quicker way.
When the formatted table is selected there is a Table Design (or Design) tab visible.
On the far left-hand side the Resize Table icon allows you to easily extend the range of the formatted.
You can amend the range and add sufficient rows to handle the new data in the dialog that opens.
When you paste into an existing formatted table (rather on the end of the table) you will find it will update a lot quicker.
My second article in Accountants Weekly was published 20 years ago today and it was Top 10 Functions for Accountants.
Intermediate series feedback
I received this email to day with feedback about last week’s Intermediate Excel series.
Keyboard Shortcut to Record a Macro
You need the Developer ribbon tab visible to record a macro, or do you?
This old-fashioned keyboard shortcut will open the record macro dialog. Pressed in sequence, not held down.
Alt T M R
You can also use the little icon next to the Ready at the bottom left corner of the screen.
Once you start recording the small square icon to stop recording appears in the same spot.
I covered a solution to sorting and ignoring the sign a couple of years back, but it is time to revisit this thanks to dynamic arrays.
The IBM PC was launched 12 August 1981 – 40 years ago – wow!
When I was looking at my first Excel articles I found this article from 20 years ago.
Its amazing that PC’s are roughly the same price these days.
I remember using an IBM PC at college in the early 80’s for word processing. Instead of using a typewriter for your assignments you could use the PC and printer.
You had to book times to use it because there were only two PC’s available and they were used 24 hours a day. There were dual floppy drives – one was for the operating system and one was for data storage – your files. You carried around a floppy drive with all your assignments on it.
My first article was published on 10 August 2001 in the Accountants Weekly magazine.
I have scanned the original article and it is shown below.
20 years later I thought I would update the 10 points from the article.
- The right mouse button is still a time saver and now has even more options. You can now Filter and Sort using the right click. Try right clicking the navigation icons on the left of the sheet tabs for a complete list of sheets. I drag with the right mouse button to copy formats only, or values only.
- Yes, I still use the Ctrl key to copy quickly. Try dragging a sheet tab with the mouse whilst holding the Ctrl key down – it copies the sheet – woohoo!
- Selecting multiple ranges with the Ctrl key and mouse is even better now. In the more recent Excel versions you can de-select ranges. In the old days you had to start from scratch if you wanted to change a selection.
- Toolbars are gone but the Quick Access Toolbar is customisable – see this post on that.
- Toolbars are out, but you can create your own ribbon tabs using Customize The Ribbon – right click the ribbon.
- Conditional Formatting (Home ribbon) now has lots more options and many built-in ones.
- Shift key – still lots of options with Shift.
- Double clicking – yes lots of time savers. Try double clicking the Format Painter (left side of Home ribbon) to apply formats multiple times. Press Esc to stop.
- Comments – now Comments have been re-badged as Notes and Comments are a new threaded commentary system.
- Paste Special – Ctrl + Alt + V opens Paste Special after copying.
When published all those years ago these tips applied to both Excel 97 and Excel 2000. We have come a long way since those days.
Let’s say you have a validation check in your file and you want to display a message based on the validation status. Here is one way to do that.
If you need to add time to an existing time then you need to learn about the TIME function.
I received this email from someone who isn’t in my typical webinar audience of accountants and finance staff.
They had attended the first of the Beginners live sessions.
People always ask, how to do you lock Excel? In fact you have to unlock Excel and then protect the sheet. The default setting for all cells is locked, so you need to unlock input cells.
Not all recorded macros are re-usable. This print selection one is.
When you set your print area or use the Page Break Preview View, Excel will show you the page breaks on the grid. If this annoys or distracts you, here is how to remove them.
It’s a one-line macro that turns off the page breaks in the current sheet.
Sub TurnOffPageBreaks() ActiveSheet.DisplayPageBreaks = False End Sub
If you are new to macros then this blog post can take you through how to use them.
The above code can be copied and pasted into the code window.
If you want to turn page breaks off for all the sheets in the file use the code below.
Sub TurnOffAllPageBreaks() Dim ws For Each ws In Worksheets ws.DisplayPageBreaks = False Next ws End Sub
I hope these code snippets are useful.
I don’t like merged cells. Here is one more reason.
The Merge cells format has lots of issues. It can crash macros and stop you copying and pasting.
In less than a minute you can use a macro to solve the problem.
VBA Window Tip
Did you know the right-hand side drop-down, above the code window, lists all the Subs and Functions in a module? Now you do.
There are a few lock downs in place around Australia at the moment, so let’s look at putting Excel into lock down.
Speed up a macro
Just saw an Excel newsletter post from Kevin Jones from https://www.dataautopros.com/about-us/
He found that turning off the VBA interactive setting can speed up some macros. I tested it on a one minute macro and it cut it down to 40 seconds.
Worth a try if you have a longer running macro. You can add it to your opening and closing routines.
Code to turn it off
Application.Interactive = False
And then turn it back on at the end of your code.
Application.Interactive = True
Thanks Kevin for sharing.
Replacing colours manually can be a tedious task.
Did you know you can use Excel’s built-in Find & Replace to do the job for you?
If you have a list of first names and last names and you want to make sure the list has no duplicates you can use a formula to confirm the names are unique.
Joining names; extracting codes or converting dates is usually done with formulas, but there is now a formula-free solution called Flash Fill.
Be excellent to one another.
Bill and Ted
When creating an input range you may need to validate input cells. That may mean ensuring all input cells have an entry. Here’s how.