Comma Format

The comma format for numbers is pretty popular.

There are a couple of keyboard shortcuts to apply it.

Hold the Ctrl and Shift keys down and press 1 on the keyboard.

The next one uses the Alt key. Use the left Alt key. Keys pressed in sequence (don’t hold them down).

Alt H K

Remember Hong Kong.

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One Minute to Excel #22 – Normalise a budget

Power Query can be quick

The standard budget layout isn’t great for pivot tables. You can easily and quickly convert it in to data using Power Query

See now in this short video.

Monitor Cells with Excel’s Watch Window

Don't wait, watch

When you are developing a file for a report, budget or forecast you may need to keep track of certain cells. They could be validations or profits or some other important value. The Watch Window can help you monitor multiple cells in one place.

In the Formulas tab in the Formula Auditing section is the Watch Window icon.

Clicking the icon opens the Watch Window. It will be blank.

You can click the Add Watch button to add a cell to monitor. You can chose cells from any sheet.

Click Add to watch the cell. You can widen the Watch Window and change column widths as well.

You can click the column headings to sort by the column.

You can also select a range to watch. but it will list the range as a series of cells – see images below.

When you save and close the file the watch entries are saved. When you open the file the Watch Window won’t be open, you will have to re-open it.

The shortcut Alt M W (pressed in sequence, not held down) will open the Watch Window. The same shortcut also closes the Watch Window.

 

One Minute to Excel #21 – Hiding Zeroes

Two ways

If you want to display a blank cell instead of a zero there are two ways to do it.

See both in this short video.

Power Query Zoom

I used this today in a live webinar.

I zoomed into the Power Query window in Excel to make it easier to see.

Ctrl + Shift + + (plus)

One Minute to Excel #18 – Convert real numbers to text numbers

Two techniques

When you are working with text numbers in tables sometimes you need to convert real numbers into text numbers to do look ups.

There are at least two ways to do this.

Let’s see how to convert real numbers into test numbers, real fast.

Keyboard Shortcut to Record a Macro

You need the Developer ribbon tab visible to record a macro, or do you?

This old-fashioned keyboard shortcut will open the record macro dialog. Pressed in sequence, not held down.

Alt T M R

You can also use the little icon next to the Ready at the bottom left corner of the screen.

Once you start recording the small square icon to stop recording appears in the same spot.

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Excelling at Excel – Twenty Years Ago Today

My first article

My first article was published on 10 August 2001 in the Accountants Weekly magazine.

I have scanned the original article and it is shown below.

20 years later I thought I would update the 10 points from the article.

  1. The right mouse button is still a time saver and now has even more options. You can now Filter and Sort using the right click. Try right clicking the navigation icons on the left of the sheet tabs for a complete list of sheets. I drag with the right mouse button to copy formats only, or values only.
  2. Yes, I still use the Ctrl key to copy quickly. Try dragging a sheet tab with the mouse whilst holding the Ctrl key down – it copies the sheet – woohoo!
  3. Selecting multiple ranges with the Ctrl key and mouse is even better now. In the more recent Excel versions you can de-select ranges. In the old days you had to start from scratch if you wanted to change a selection.
  4. Toolbars are gone but the Quick Access Toolbar is customisable – see this post on that.
  5. Toolbars are out, but you can create your own ribbon tabs using Customize The Ribbon – right click the ribbon.
  6. Conditional Formatting (Home ribbon) now has lots more options and many built-in ones.
  7. Shift key – still lots of options with Shift.
  8. Double clicking – yes lots of time savers. Try double clicking the Format Painter (left side of Home ribbon) to apply formats multiple times. Press Esc to stop.
  9. Comments – now Comments have been re-badged as Notes and Comments are a new threaded commentary system.
  10. Paste Special – Ctrl + Alt + V opens Paste Special after copying.

When published all those years ago these tips applied to both Excel 97 and Excel 2000. We have come a long way since those days.

Name box shortcut

Just found out you can double click the re-size control on the Name Box. This quickly shrinks the Name Box width.

I have no idea how long that feature has been there, but I have just found it. Woohoo!

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One Minute to Excel #13 – Create and Use a Check Box

Tick it to the next level

A check box is an easy interface to create and use.

See how to add one to a sheet and use it in a calculation.

One Minute to Excel #12 – Hide Cell Entries

It is a special format

You can’t hide a cell, but you can stop the cell value from displaying on the sheet.

It involves a custom number format.

Open the Power Query Editor

If you have cell selected in the output table from a Power Query, you can press, in sequence (not held down) the following keys Alt P U E to open the Power Query Editor window.

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One Minute to Excel #11 – Add % to a Pivot Table

It is not intuitive

Often people perform calculations off to the right of Pivot Tables to calculate percentages.

In this short video I show you those calculations can be done inside the Pivot Table itself.

The solution is not intuitive, but it is easy.

This example builds upon the previous One Minute to Excel post.

Data Validation Shortcut

I typically use the shortcut Alt A V V pressed in sequence (not held down) to open the Data Validation dialog.

I like it because you can do it one-handed. The A and V are close together.

There is another shortcut that works the same. Again, pressed in sequence and not held down. Alt D L

Use the one that is easiest for you.

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Pivot Table Shortcuts

Here’s a couple of useful keyboard shortcuts for Pivot Tables.

Display/Hide the Pivot Table Field List – this list lets you create or change the Pivot Table.

Alt J T L  – pressed in sequence, not held down.

 

To add Subtotals above the entries in an existing Pivot Table.

Alt J Y T T – again pressed in sequence, not held down.

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