Handling DR and CR at the end of numbers in Excel

Sorting out debits and credits

Some systems add DR and CR to the end of numbers when they export into Excel. This renders the values useless for normal calculations. You can use data cleansing techniques to remove the characters using formulas or Power Query. There is one function however that can perform calculations on these types of entries.

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.

Learning Excel’s Function Arguments

When you start to use a function it can take some time to learn the arguments required and understand what Excel expects for each argument. Eg should it be a cell or a range or either?

When you have the start of a function in the formula bar, you can either press Ctrl + a or click the fx symbol on the left of the formula bar – see image below.


In the image above, the argument in square brackets [range_lookup] is optional. Square brackets around an argument mean it is optional.

This will display a dialog with a listing of the arguments required by a function. The bold names are required, the non-bold names are optional.


This listing provides a lot more detail on what Excel is expecting for each function argument. This helps you learn more about how to create and use the function.

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