Excel Roundup 20150105

Happy New Year! I hope you had a relaxing end to 2014, and great start to 2015.

If you're working in Excel at the beginning or end of a year, dates can be a problem. Usually, you can enter the day and month, then press Enter, and Excel will add the year.

Most of the time that works well, but if you're doing December month end reports in January, Excel will add 2015 – the current year. Remember to manually enter the year to the date, if it's not the current year – 12/31/14. And that means typing 3 extra characters! Who has time for that?

On my wish list for Excel, I'd like to have an automatic year detector, similar to the century settings that we already have. You'll find that option in the Windows Regional Settings:


The new setting could let you pick months in which the previous or next year should be applied. For example,

  • If it's December, and you enter a January date, use the next year.
  • If it's January, and you enter a December date, use the previous year

Date entry should be back to normal by the end of this month, and in the meantime, I'll try to remember to include the year, when necessary.

Contextures Posts

Here’s what I posted recently:

  • For a humorous peek at what other people are saying about spreadsheets, read the latest collection of Excel tweets, on my Excel Theatre blog.

Other Excel Articles

Here are a few of the Excel articles that I read recently, that you might find useful.

  • Winston Snyder shows how to use names in a workbook, and asks if you ever abuse the INDIRECT function..

Excel Announcements

Here are some upcoming events, courses, recently published books, and other new items, related to Excel.


Data Analysis: Take It to the MAX()

Registration is open for Felienne Hermans' MOOC Course: "Using video lectures and hands-on exercises, we will teach you cutting-edge techniques and best practices that will boost your data analysis and visualization skills."

You can audit this 8-week course for free, and classes start Apr. 6, 2015.


Share Your Events and Articles

If you read or wrote any other interesting Excel articles recently, or have upcoming Excel events, please let me know. Thanks!

Weekly Excel Roundup http://blog.contextures.com/


Links to Recent Excel Books on Amazon.com


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2 Responses

  1. The first of those 5 tips is interesting, and I think wrong. You can use F6 to switch panes, but the status bar and the ribbon are also panes. With no splits you have to hit F6 three times to round trip through the panes. So when then say between 1 and 5 times, I think it should be 3 and 7 times, unless I’m missing something. And it’s really difficult to tell when the status bar is the active pane. But if you want a mouse-free way to record a macro, F6 + Enter will do it.

    • @Dick You’re right, and when the Status Bar is active, it faintly highlights the Record Macro button, so pressing Enter would activate that. But, if you used one of the other Status Bar buttons recently (e.g. Zoom Out), that button is highlighted.

      Also, the Scroll bar Splitter has been removed in Excel 2013, so you have to use the Split command on the View tab now.

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