Adding Form Controls on a Worksheet

Excel drop down lists

Do you spend your days, and maybe your nights, talking about Excel with your friends? It’s amazing how quickly the time passes, while you chat about all the awesome features and tricks that you know.

This week, I was happy to spend some time on Skype, talking about Excel with my friend Chandoo. While he sweltered in India’s heat, I shivered in our Canadian snow, so it averaged out the perfect temperature for a friendly, and informative, discussion. And you'll be able to hear what we said -- Chandoo will post a recording in the next episode of his Excel

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Make a Better Pizza Pie Chart

pizza pie chart

While flipping through a magazine on the weekend, I saw this pizza pie chart. Yes, the pizza looks delicious, but the toppings are split down the middle. That makes the vote appear to be 50-50, not 58-42. Fun idea, but bad chart!

The picture was making me hungry. I didn’t want to ruin my dinner, by going out for a pizza snack, so I decided to make a better pizza pie chart in Excel.

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Excel Roundup 20140414

check totals in calculator

Mike Alexander is having a contest on his Bacon Bits blog – create an Excel meme, and you have a chance to win a couple of Mike’s books. The deadline is April 16th, and the rules are on Mike’s blog.

If you aren’t sure what a meme is, Wikipedia describes it as an idea or picture that is shared on the internet. Mike posted a couple of examples on his blog, and here is my contribution. I’m sure you’ve met someone like this guy!

I made this in Excel, using the Insert Online Pictures command, and the text in WordArt.

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Center Headings Without Merging Cells

centre without merging

You know that merged cells are evil, and should be avoided at any cost. Those merged cells can make it almost impossible to do simple tasks on a worksheet, such as sorting or filtering. Merged cells can even make it difficult to select a range of cells – and that’s annoying, as you probably know!

But sometimes it’s tempting to merge cells, and I often see them used to centre headings across several columns. Sure, it might look pretty when you’re done, but those merged cells can come back to haunt you.

Instead, let’s create the multi-column headings without merging

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Change Characters to Superscript

superscript in cell

Do you ever use the Subscript or Superscript fonts formats in Excel? Maybe you’re reporting on chemical usage, and you need to enter CO2 as one of the row headings.

In Word, you can add those commands to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT). Then, select a character, and click the Superscript command.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy in Excel – those commands aren’t available when you customize the QAT.

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Excel Roundup 20140407

Excel dashboards for dummies

Last Friday, Microsoft’s Excel team hosted an AMA on Reddit, where anyone could submit a question about Excel. You can read all the questions and replies at this link.

It looks like the event went very well, so they might host another one sometime in the future. What would you ask the Excel team, if you had the chance? Think of your questions now, so you’ll be ready for the next opportunity.

Here’s one of the questions, and an answer by program manager, Ben Rampson:

Q:  Do you guys ever see a use for Excel that you didnt even think

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