Inserting a Blank Row Between Entries

Manual technique

Over the years I have had many requests to help people insert blank rows between entries is a list. Apparently it is for an input routine that requires blanks. My normal solution is a macro because it automates the process, but there is a manual technique that is quick and easy.

Show all comments

Cell comments are useful for instructions and documentation.

If you want to make all the comments on a sheet visible, use Alt v c pressed in sequence, not held down.

Once visible this shortcut also hides all the comments in one go.

This is an old Excel 2003 shortcut that still works.

Name Box and Macros

I have found out yet another feature of the Name Box.

The Name Box is on the left of the Formula Bar and above the column letters – see image below.

During a recent macro webinar I tried to create a new range name called Test using the Name Box.

But I also has already created a macro called Test as part of the training.

As soon as I pressed Enter after typing Test into the Name Box to create the Test range name, I was magically transported to the VBA window to the Test macro – Wow!

This means you can’t create a range name in the Name Box that is the same as a macro name.

You have to use the Define name icon on the Formulas tab to do that.

 

Easy Financial Year Formula

To get the Australian financial year from a date you usually use an IF function based on the month number.

I recently learned a new hack from Matt Allington of Exceleratorbi.

You can add 184 to the date and then use the YEAR function. See table and formulas below.

The formula in cell B2 is

=YEAR(A2)

The formula in cell C2 is

=YEAR(A2+184)

Both formulas have been copied down.

A simple solution to a frustrating issue. Thanks Matt.

Excel Formula to Extract the Domain

Using the SUBSTITUTE function

I recently read a blog post about using Excel for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). It mentioned a function to extract a domain from a URL. The function was from Google docs, not Excel. So I wrote an Excel formula to extract the domain from their list of URLs.

Selecting a column

To quickly select a column of data in a formatted table you have a couple of options.

Keyboard

Select a cell in the column and press Ctrl + Space Bar.

This will select the column of data. If you want the heading too, press it again.

You can also select multiple columns before using the shortcut.

Mouse

This technique can take practice if your headings are in row 1.

If the heading starts in row 2 or below it is easier. See image below.

If you point to just above the heading row you will see a downward facing, black arrow. Click this once to select just the data. Click it again to include the heading.

When the heading row is in row 1 you need to do the same but make sure the column letter doesn’t highlight.

The image below is the correct arrow – this will select the column in the table only.

In the image below the arrow shown (because the column letter is highlighted) will select the whole column, not just the data in the table.

VBA If statement tip

When creating long VBA code it is common that the start of an If statement and the matching End If statement may not be visible on the same screen.

When scrolling around trying to understand your code it can be useful to include the If statement itself as a comment following on the same line as the End If command – see examples below.

If x=0 Then
 
  'lots of code
 
  If y =1 Then
 
    'lots of code
 
  End If   'If y =1 then
 
End If   'If x=0 Then

The apostrophe is used to specify the start of a comment – you can have a comment following a line of code.

This structure can assist when trying to identify which End If statement relates to which If statement.

Entering Date and Time in Excel

There are shortcuts to enter

  • the current Date Ctr + ;
  • the current Time Ctrl + Shift + :

There isn’t one to enter both.

You can use them in sequence to achieve a date and a time entry.

In sequence press

Ctrl + ;

Space bar

Ctrl + Shift + :

The space separates the date and time and Excel will recognise the entry as a date and time.

Filtering blanks made easy

In Excel the “Blanks” option is usually at the bottom of the list. This slows down selecting it.

If you have a lot of entries you need to scroll all the way down to bottom of the list to choose it – see image below.

But the word “Blanks” is searchable, so if you type b in the Search box – your work is done – no scrolling required – see image below.

If your column contains text you might need to type in bla.

Copying a Date Down a Long List in Excel

Two techniques make it quick and easy

There are a number of mouse and keyboard shortcuts for copying. But there is one type of copy that can be frustrating. Copying dates can be challenging because, in general, Excel wants to increment them, not copy them. There is a simple technique to instruct Excel to copy a date.