Monthly Archives: August 2013

IF statements – multiple levels

IF statements really bring power to your spreadsheets. And multiple IFs, even more so. Before 2007, the limit was 7 nested IFs in one statement. My advice was to avoid anything more than 3, because it would make your head … Continue reading

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Clarity trumps prettiness

You’re looking to produce an impressive report or set of charts from Excel, but don’t forget that a good-looking chart or report is meaningless if you haven’t used the right data or calculations. Before that final step, where looks are … Continue reading

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Conditional Formatting: highlight items automatically

Conditional Formatting changes the font, border or colour of a cell depending on the criteria you have chosen. For example you might set a cell to go red if it went over 32 or green if a certain date is … Continue reading

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Automatic Date and Time in Excel

If you want to put today’s date into your spreadsheet, then use =today(). But remember this is dynamic, which means it will change. Thus it’s not much use for dating a document, because tomorrow’s another day! To get the current … Continue reading

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Make phone numbers easier to read AND more useful to Excel

Put gaps or hyphens into telephone numbers, otherwise Excel thinks they are ordinary numbers, and removes the first zero. Gaps also make it easier for people to read the number. (Gaps between words were introduced by Irish scribes in the … Continue reading

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The Σ (Sum) button in Excel

When using Sum (Σ) in Excel, it tries to guess what you want to add. This is shown by the ‘marching ants’ around the cells. If the guess is correct, then press to accept; if not drag to create your … Continue reading

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Don’t be sloppy when entering information

Well-structured information is the key to making the most of Excel. Each different data type should appear in its own column. Generally, it’s best to think of each row as a record (client names, sales records, inventory items, etc), with … Continue reading

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