If you have a system that uses initials to identify people then being able to extract initials from a first name and last name combination can be handy. A formula can automate the process and there is also a quick, manual way to do it.
In October 2019 I ran my Introduction to Power Query webinar for free (previously it was a paid session). I want to get this information out to as many people as possible. please share this resource with colleagues and your network.
The detailed pdf manual and example file can be downloaded by using the button below. Content listed below the video.
Power Query allows you to automatically perform data cleansing routines on your data sources – no manual intervention required. Simply refresh and your data is ready to use. You can use csv files; txt files; databases and existing Excel tables as your data sources. Learn the basics, plus an advanced technique to automate data cleansing routines on your data sources.
CPD note – if you are claiming CPD for watching this recording you need to keep your own records. People who attend the live sessions receive an annual listing of attendances.
This session covers
fixing dates so that Excel can recognise them
formatting columns as text – retaining leading zeroes in CSV files
deleting unwanted rows and columns from your data
removing leading and trailing spaces
populating blank values with zeroes
populating blanks with entries from above
correcting trailing minus signs
unpivot a report – how to convert a report layout into a data table layout
Let’s say you have an input range that covers the whole year. You only want users to make entries in the current month column. How can you limit the month entry? The answer is a custom Data Validation.
One of the cardinal rules of Excel is don’t key-in a value into a formula if that value could change. Tracking the value down could be problematic if you need to change the value. Tables can be the solution to avoiding keyed-in values.
Inserting a Comment (renamed to Notes in newer versions of Excel) in the first row and then using Freeze Panes to keep that first row visible can cause issues displaying the Comment (Note). Here’s how to fix it.
When a list is filtered you are only seeing the rows that match the filter. The other rows are still there, just hidden. If you want to make the same entry in a group of filtered cells you can’t use the fill handle to drag and copy as you will overwrite the hidden rows. There is an easy way to do it.
Excel’s Conditional Formatting feature has a built-in unique option. Its unique option only identifies entries that are not repeated. This is different to the Advanced Filter Unique option which lists each unique item from a range once. To filter by entries only appearing once you can use Conditional Formatting with filtering. No formulas required.
I ran a webinar in January 2019 where I presented and explained a budget challenge file I had submitted in November 2018. I mentioned during the session that I didn’t like the layout of the Data tab. Well someone asked how should it look? So here is how I would have arranged it.
Excel has a few counting functions. But when it comes to counting entries in a cell it can be difficult if you are using formulas that return a blank cell. This is where the SUMPRODUCT function can come to the rescue.
Counting is the poor cousin to summing in Excel. Not many people count things, but everyone adds up things. There is a special sort of count that can be useful. A distinct count counts unique entries and is hard to do with a formula. If you have Excel 2013 or a later version you can use a PivotTable to perform a distinct count.
Bold Your Headings
Apparently this is not widely known, but you should always bold the headings in your tables.
Then when you use Format as Table (Ctrl + t) on the Home ribbon tab the header row will be correctly identified.
This also applies to the Ctrl + Shift + L shortcut to insert the filter drop downs.
It also applies to the ranges used for charts.
In general ALWAYS BOLD your headings – it is something Excel looks for.