Comparing Measures

Katherine S. Rowell, M.S., M.H.A.

If you are ever tempted to start a column (bar) chart at a point other than zero, please read this post.

It also has suggestions for alternative chart types to handle comparisons.

Filtering Tip

Make your headings bold.

This tip applies to tables and to the structures you use for charts.

Excel looks for the bold format when it reviews tables and layouts to figure out if your table has a headings row.

You can use Ctrl + Shift + L to add or remove the filter icons to a data table. There is also an icon on Data ribbon tab.

This will work more reliably if the headings are bold.

I use the following keyboard combination on the top left corner of the table.

Ctrl + Shift + right arrow (this selects all the headings)

Ctrl + b (this applies bold to the headings)

Ctrl + Shift + L (to turn on filters)

This combination can be done very quickly.

You can just use Ctrl + Shift + L within the table, but sometimes this applies the filter to the wrong row.

Replace Merged Cells with Center Across Selection

Let the macro do the work

Unfortunately lots of people use the Merge & Center format in their spreadsheets. When working with other people’s files that contain Merged cells I will often remove the Merged cells format and apply Center Across Selection which is the preferred format to use. The macro below will convert Merged cells to Center Across Selection.