I recently saw a post on LinkedIn about making a drop-down list for a hyperlink interface. It was using a range name and the ADDRESS function. I thought I could streamline it with just the CELL function.

# Counting the Number of Cells in an Excel Range

Excel has functions to count the number of rows and columns in a range. It doesn’t have a function to count the number of cells in a range. We can still perform the calculation with the COUNTA function.

# Excel’s Magic Percentage Symbol

I recently saw a post of LinkedIn (from Patryk Samborski) that used the percentage symbol with the SEQUENCE function to produce a list of decimals and I thought I would have a play with that idea.

### Double Click the Excel Icon

You can close Excel down (with multiple files open) by double clicking the Excel icon – top left of screen.

This works for the other Office apps too.

If you haven’t saved a file Excel will ask if you want to.

To close a single file down use the X on the top right of screen.

| | Posted in Tips

# Using Emojis in Excel Formulas

You can use conditional formatting to insert symbols in cells. You can also use formulas with emojis. using range names makes it even easier.

To insert an emoji icon in a cell you can use press the Windows key and the full stop.

This opens the Emojis dialog box.

In this example we are going to insert three separate symbols in formulas.

I have named each cell that has an emoji. A1 = Tick, A2 = Cross and A3 = Dash.

You can use these names in formulas throughout the file.

The formula in cell F2 (Sales) is.

=IF(D2>E2,Tick,IF(D2<E2,Cross,Dash))

The formula in cell F3 (Costs) is.

=IF(D3<E3,Tick,IF(D3>E3,Cross,Dash))

The advantages with using formulas instead of conditional formatting is that you can format the cells. Plus using formulas in cells is easier than using formulas in conditional formats.

Naming your emojis makes then easier to use. You can use these emoji icons names in your formulas throughout the file.

# Excel and Range References

The typical range reference looks something like A1:A10. You always refer to the top left cell followed by the colon followed by the bottom right cell of the range. Did you know Excel can handle you entering the last cell followed by the first and it corrects it for you?

### Clear all formats

To clear all the formats for a cell or a range select the cell/range and press in sequence Alt H E F don’t hold the keys down.

All the formats will be removed.

If you need to see the underlying number for a date this is an easy way to find it.

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| | Posted in Tips

# Working with Shapes and Other Graphic Objects in Excel

Shapes can be frustrating to work with in Excel until you find out there are two types of selections with shapes.

# Excel, Laptops and Function Keys

Laptop keyboards tend to re-purpose function keys to handle other features. Often the default for the function keys is the laptop features. You then must press the Fn key to access the software function key options. Look out for a FnLock option.

# Excel Sheet Names and Emojis

Did you know you can use Emojis on the sheet tabs? The font on sheet tabs is small, so some emojis may not be that effective, but simple emojis can be.

# Useful Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Data Entry

When making entries in Excel there are a few keyboard shortcuts worth knowing. These can save you time and effort.

# Yet Another Post on Hiding Sheets in Excel

If you want to hide sheets and then stop people unhiding them, here is yet another technique.

# Sparkline Horizontal Axis Technique

Excel Sparkline charts don’t have a horizontal axis. Here is a technique that creates one in the cell above or below the Sparkline. This works best for the Column Sparkline.

# SUMIFS Wildcard Limitation

SUMIFS can use wildcard characters, but the wildcards only work on text-based codes.

# Clearing All Formats in Excel

Sometimes with Excel formatting you just want to clear everything and start again from scratch. You can clear just the formats, and there is an icon you can add to the Quick Access Toolbar to make clearing all the formats earlier.

# Changing row and column grouping in Excel

Excel allows you to easily hide and unhide rows and columns using a feature called grouping. There are two keyboard shortcuts that allow you to apply and remove grouping. These shortcuts can also be used to amend existing groupings.

# Paste Special Values Shortcut

Excel has a new keyboard shortcut for Paste Special Values.

Ctrl + Shift + V

# Formats Affect Excel’s Fill Handle

Applying a date format before you drag with the Fill Handle may save you some time. See why.

### Drop Down Selection update

Woohoo!

It has taken a decade or so but Excel finally has an in-cell drop down that you can type a letter and reduce the entries listed – see screen shot below.

| | Posted in Tips

### Excel Has Ordinals

Woohoo, I don’t know when this happened, but you can now get Excel to extend your ordinals when you drag with the Fill Handle and use things like 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th etc.

Type 1st January in a cell and drag the cell down.

It seems to work with ordinals at the start rather than at the end of a text string. So January 1st doesn’t work. 1st by itself does work.

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| | Posted in Tips

### Restarting Excel and Windows

Even now sometimes a full restart is a possible solution.

I recently had a macro returning a weird error message about an action taking too long. Restarting Excel did not fix it.

So, I restarted Windows and the macro worked as expected.

These days with so many apps running in the background, sometimes the only solution is a restart of Excel and Windows.

Turning it off and turning it on can still solve issues.

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| | Posted in Tips

# Extract Text Before a Number in Excel

Excel’s new TEXTBEFORE function simplifies extracting text from the left. In this example I share how to extract all the text before a number in a code.

# Forcing a Spill with the Magic Plus Sign

I posted recently about a technique to force a function to spill if it didn’t spill automatically. I have since learned of a much easier way.

# Excel VBA to Get to the Top Left of the Screen

Sometimes when you are using Excel VBA you need the screen to always display at the top, left of the sheet. Here is how you do it.

# Rounding to the Nearest 9 Cents in Excel

A client recently requested a formula to round to the nearest 9 cents. This avoids getting to a price point. This is a common requirement in retail businesses. The solution was simpler than I thought it would be.

### VBA Window Split

I just found out you can split the VBA code window. See images below.

Use the small icon above the right side scroll bar.

This can be useful if you have a long block of code and need to look at separate parts together.

Thanks to Bob Umlas the Excel MVP for sharing.

You can double click the split bar to remove it.

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| | Posted in Tips

If you have the subscription version of Excel then you have access to the Navigation Pane. This allows you to navigate between sheets and see the structure of the sheets in your file.

# One Minute to Excel #30 – Extract Data Based on Sheet Name

### Shortcut to speed up name creation

Here’s a technique I use a lot to speed up report development.

Sheet names have to be unique, so they can’t be duplicated. This makes them great for department names or states.

This short video combines a few techniques to extract from a data set based on the sheet name.

All in less than a minute.

# Excel Constant not a Constant

In Excel you can use the Go To Special dialog to find constants. These are cells that won’t change. Constants are things like labels, entered text, numbers, or dates. But there are cells that won’t change that Go To Special won’t identify as a constant.