I had a question during one of my Date and Times Webinars in February. It was about months and fortnights. I couldn’t answer it during the webinar, but I did follow up with an email with the solution. The answer follows.
Most people are unaware that the SUMIFS function has a serious limitation when it comes to codes with leading zeroes. This post shows you how to perform calculations involving codes with leading zeroes. This issue also affects SUMIF, COUNTIF and COUNTIFS.
Let’s say you have a table of codes and every month there are a few you want to check out. You could use a VLOOKUP to extract all the details for each code, but let’s say you want to view the codes in the table.
It is common to work with lists in Excel. Lists of departments, names and other categories you frequently use. This blog post covers a few techniques that work really well together to create robust reporting systems.
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.
Sometimes data that comes into Excel with code numbers formatted as text. This can stop VLOOKUP functions from working and return the dreaded #N/A error. With a couple of tweaks you can lookup both real numbers and text numbers in the one formula.
The TRANSPOSE function is one of only a few functions that must be entered as an the array using keyboard entry Ctrl + Shift + Enter (CSE). It allows you to switch a range from going across the sheet, to go down the sheet and vice versa.
Always Refer to Cell A1
If you need to ALWAYS refer to cell A1, regardless of whether row or columns are inserted or deleted, then use the following formula.
This will always display the entry in cell A1 on the current sheet.
Another formula that always refers to cell A1 on the current sheet is