Excel Roundup 20140915

Are you brave enough to enter the ModelOff competition, that tests your financial modeling skills in Excel?

To help you decide if you’d like to enter, there are workbooks with questions from previous years, available for download. For example, can you find and fix the errors in a workbook?

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Clear Dependent Drop Down Cells

clear dependent cells blog.contextures.com

You can use data validation to create a drop down list on an Excel worksheet. For example, show a list of countries, if you click a cell in column B.

After you’ve set up that first list, you can make another list, in column C, to show the cities for the selected country.

We’ll see how to set this up, and prevent problems, by clearing out the city cell, when necessary

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Excel Roundup 20140908

event planning with Excel blog.contextures.com

If you have Excel, do you even need any other programs? In this week’s video, David Buchanan, from the Chef’s Resources website, shows how to use an Excel workbook to plan every step in an event, from the idea phase, to prep and ordering, to recipes. I like his description of this process as "mental mise en place" worksheets, to help you organize tasks.

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Excel VBA Problem With Step Into F8

After you record or write a macro in Excel, you can run the macro, or go slowly through it, line by line, to see if it is working correctly. I use the F8 key, in the Visual Basic Editor, if I’m troubleshooting a macro, to see where something is going wrong. You can use also use the Step Into command, in the VBE’s Debug menu.

However, for the past few months, something was going wrong with the “Step Into” command in Excel 2010, whether I used the menu, or the F8 key.

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Excel Roundup 20140825

excel roundup 20140825 http://blog.contextures.com/

There is a free app available for Excel (2013 or Online version), that lets you create 8 different chart types, including some that aren’t standard Excel charts, such as box plots. The app is called XLMiner Data Visualization, and it’s created by Frontline Systems, which also makes the Solver add-in.

If you log in to your Microsoft account, you can download and install the app from the Microsoft Store. Then select data, and the chart appears in the app’s window. In the screen shot below, you can see the box plot chart that I created, in just a few seconds.

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Create Random Text in Excel

create random text in Excel http://blog.contextures.com

Last week, I was creating an Excel file with sample data, to use for a few experiments. But don’t worry, they weren’t mad-scientist-type experiments – I was doing Power Pivot experiments, and needed some data to play with.

I needed 2 types of data:

Numbers: sample test scores in one column Text: random Region names and Gender in other columns.

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Excel Roundup 20140811

101 excel formulas

Does Ed Bott include your favorites in his list of 6 Excel power tips?

He included one of my favourites – Paste As Values. However, I usually Paste Values by dragging with the right-mouse button pressed, instead of using a keyboard shortcut. You can see that technique in the very short video below. Do you use the mouse or keyboard for Paste As Values?

Or watch on YouTube: Change Excel Formulas to Values With Mouse

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Top 5 Items in Advanced Filter List

advanced filter top 5

When you try to use the Top 10 filter, on a list that already has some filters applied, the results probably won’t be what you want. The Top 10 feature ignores the filters on other columns, and just returns values that are in the overall Top 10.

Recently, I showed a workaround for that problem in this blog post: Top Ten Values in Filtered Rows. In that example, I added a new column, and used the SUBTOTAL function to show the value, then filtered that new column. Hidden rows would have a value of zero, thanks to the SUBTOTAL function,

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Excel Roundup 20140728

Power Query for Power BI and Excel

The Office 365 Garage Series has a video on what’s new in the Office Apps, and they demonstrate some cool new features. The Excel App is mentioned at the 7:12 mark, when they look at the new APIs for formatting.

However, at the 3:12 mark, they downplay the old development methods, including VBA and COM, and rave about the new methods -- HTML and JavaScript, that are used for the online versions of Office.

Apparently it’s almost impossible to find people who are still working in the older development platforms. What do you think of the chart they use to

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Set Row Height With REPT Function

set minimum row height

Thanks to AlexJ for suggesting a great use for the REPT function – setting a minimum row height. He uses this technique to add a bit of spacing in his tables, so they’re easier to read.

You can watch the steps in this video (or watch it on YouTube), and the step-by-step instructions are below the video.

Add Space in an Excel List

For example, here is my To Do list, with a few items to work on, around the house. Most of the Task Descriptions are short, and fit in a single line.

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