The UNIQUE function has a bit of an issue with blank cells, formulas that return blank cells and zeroes.
If you need a logical test to determine if a list is unique you can use the MODE function with the ISNA function.
If you have a list of numbers that are a text numbers or a combination of text numbers with real numbers there is a technique I covered in this blog post to add them up. But if the range also contains text then the technique won’t work. There is the work around. The solutions below work in the subscription version of Excel. Check the comments section below for a solution for all versions.
One reason I like the N function is because it is Excel’s shortest function name. But it has quite a few useful features as well.
A while back I posted a formula to find the row number of the last used cell in a column. I revisit the solution to provide the last used column number in a row.
I wrote a blog post a while back about outliers and Excel and I thought I would revisit it thanks to dynamic arrays.
If you need to convert between different measurement systems Excel has just the function for you, called CONVERT.
Let’s say you are transitioning to retirement (lucky you) and you only work four days a week. You have Wednesdays off to play golf. You may still do projects and you need to figure out completion dates based on a start date and working days. Excel can help you.
I was recently helping someone with a budget which they had built vertically, with the months going down the sheet. They then asked to display it horizontally, with the months going across the page. In the latest version of Excel this is straightforward.
Years back when I wrote my Excel book, I had to create an index for the book. I shared the file I used including the macro in this post. Recently I thought dynamic arrays could do much of the work for this.
I wrote an article years ago explaining how to use a related table to handle financial years in Excel Pivot Tables. You can read the article here. If you only want the months in financial year order you can just add an extra column to your table.
I had a recent query regarding checking time in a column that had both date and time. There is an easy way to extract time from a date-time combination.
In my previous blog post I showed a technique to reduce clutter. The technique used a manual formatting method. Here is the automated version.
You can see my previous post here.
Below is the original table.
We can use a Conditional Format to only display the first entry of each date in the Date column.
Select the range A2:A11.
Click the Conditional Formatting drop down and select New Rule (third from the bottom).
Select the last option in the top section “Use a formula to …”.
In the formula box enter the following formula.
Click the Format button and use the Font tab and change the font colour to White and click OK and then OK again.
The result is shown below.
The formula for a conditional format must return TRUE to trigger the format. The type of formula that you use is called a logical test, which returns either TRUE or FALSE.
The use of the $ signs is very important in this formula. The COUNTIF function counts the number of entries in a range. If the COUNTIF result is above 1 it is a duplicate. In cell A2 the formula will ALWAYS return 1 as it is counting itself.
When creating a formula-based condition across a range you need to build the formula to refer to the top left cell of the range. In this case we need the range to expand as the range extends down the sheet. Hence, we didn’t use any $ signs on the last two A2 references used.
In cell A3 the formula will be.
This is because the A2 references in the original formula had no $ signs, so they will change with the cell to A3. In our case this COUNTIF will return 2 because the date in cell A3 is a duplicate of the date in A2. This will trigger the format.
This formula expands as the range extends. It uses the cell reference of the cell it is in to determine if the entry is the first entry or a duplicate. This formula will not change the format of the first entry, but it will change the formats of any duplicates.
Dynamic arrays allow you to use a function normally built to handle a cell, with a range of cells. The TRIM function can remove extra space characters in cells. So with dynamic arrays it can handle ranges.
I recently downloaded an example file for an Excel challenge. The challenge had a lot of things to do but they were all based on a Timestamp column that had text instead of times.
On LinkedIn recently someone posted an Excel formula solution lamenting that it was long and complex. That of course was a challenge to me to simplify it.
Here’s a technique to calculate the time differences when you aren’t sure which time is first or last. Note with standard Excel settings you cannot report negative time.
20 years ago my last article for the Accountants Weekly magazine was published. They spelled my name wrong after getting it right for all the other articles, maybe that’s why I stopped.
My second article in Accountants Weekly was published 20 years ago today and it was Top 10 Functions for Accountants.
If you need to add time to an existing time then you need to learn about the TIME function.
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.
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.
Excel has two functions to answer these questions.
It is now easier to create a distinct count formula in the subscription version of Excel. You can also use a criteria. A distinct count only counts each value once. Duplicate entries are ignored.
The Australian Financial Year has its challenges. Working out the Quarter number based on a date has a few solutions. Here’s another one.
In a financial model you often have different types of allocations that start at different times. Creating a short formula to handle this flexibility can be a challenge. Here is one solution.
It is common to display a blank cell using the IF function and “”. A problem can arise when you want to use that IF formula in a calculation. Here is an easy way to cope.
In Excel your goal should be to have a single formula in a table column that can be copied down the whole column.
The new XLOOKUP function has the ability to spill when you select multiple columns to extract. Even when you do, it doesn’t always spill across.
When you protect a sheet in Excel many icons are turned off (greyed out), including the ever popular AutoSum icon. That’s when it pays to know keyboard shortcuts.