Data Validation Search – Free Add-in

Jon Acampora

A common Excel request is to be able to type characters and see the in-cell data validation drop down list reduce, based on what you have typed.

This free add-in from Jon Acampora (Excel MVP) does just that. He has recently added a few new features.

If you have long drop down lists this add-in is a great addition to Excel.

This link has a video of how it works and the new features like Auto Open when a data validation list cell is selected.

The Happiest Refugee

Highly recommend.

This book has it all, humour, drama, intrigue, family secrets and running jokes throughout.

Plus its all true. Anh is a nice guy and a great comedian and he writes well. I didn’t realise he had done so some many things, and done them successfully.

It shows the impact of a new country on refugees. A great read!

I heard it might be made into a movie – look forward to it.

The R Language

David Iseminger - Microsoft

If you are into statistics then you probably already know about the R language – but if you don’t it may be worth looking at.

It is open source code that is built to handle statistics and big data. It has some limitations when used with Power BI but it can be used on its own.

This article looks at using visuals created with R in Power BI.

DAX Studio

DAX is the function and query language of PowerPivot and PowerBI. It has been around for a while, but it didn’t really have many editing tools until DAX Studio came around.

DAX Studio has been created by the guys – the legends in PowerBI.

I saw a demo today at the Perth Modern Excel User Group at Microsoft Perth – its great.

Whilst it is a powerful editor, it is not just a code editor.

There are lots of options to allow you to optimise your DAX code. Lots of output options as well.

You can test and see how long it takes to run your DAX commands.

If you regularly use DAX in Power BI or PowerPivot then DAX Studio is a must have.




A must read.

It will get you thinking about how we have progressed and whether it has been progress or regress.

Have the lives of sapiens improved over the thousands of years?

What about the planet and the other animals on the planet, (the ones we haven’t killed off any way) are they better off?

Hacking Power BI

Chris Webb

Chris Webb’s BI website is a great resource on Power BI, DAX and Power Query and Power Pivot

This post shows how to hack DAX to display characters. Opens up some new possibilities.


Making Subtotals Bold

When you use the SUBTOTAL feature in the Data ribbon tab it automatically inserts subtotals in your list – see blog post on it here.

One problem with this is that is only makes the cell with the word Total bold – it doesn’t make the whole row bold.

If you want the whole row to be bold it isn’t hard to fix.

  1. Select the whole range involved.
  2. Use the grouping button 2 top left corner. See image below.
  3. Then hold the Alt key down and press the ; (semicolon key) – this selects just the visible cells.
  4. Then press Ctrl + b to bold it.
  5. Click another cell to reset the range and you are done.

Finding Those Pesky Links

Bill Manville

Thanks to Bill Manville for sharing the add-in.

This is a free add-in that’s been around for a long time and it finds most of those frustrating links that may have been created by

  • deleted files or folders
  • moved files or folders
  • renamed files or folders
  • sheets copied between files
  • charts copied between files

The add-in has been updated over the years so it now handles Power Query.

Printing Separate Print Areas

If you need to print a number of separate print areas from the one worksheet in one step there is an option that allows you to create a print area that includes additional ranges.

Create your first print area as per normal.

Select another print range and click the Page Layout ribbon and use the Print Area drop down and choose Add to Print Area. Keep adding ranges as you require.

You can also use the Ctrl key and mouse to select multiple separate ranges and then use Set Print Area.

The above technique allows you to add to that Print Area if you miss a range.


The only problem with this option is that each separate range is printed on a separate page(s).