Tag Archives: Troubleshooting

Which Office version do I have?

Most people do not need to know the exact version (nor do they care). But in case you are troubleshooting a problem with Office, you will need to know the version.

Finding the exact version is a funny story. Why? Because the version is shown somewhere in some menu. Over time, that menu itself has been changed and moved around. Therefore, the answer to the question “Which version do I have?” is “You have to go to place x, depending upon the version you have”. Angry smile

That does not make any sense. Therefore, it is a visual answer. You have to literally look at the way Office looks (Word, Excel , etc. ) and then figure out where the version is mentioned.

Microsoft has written a detailed article with screen shots to answer this question. Here is the link  Which Office version do I have?. This shows various screen shots. You open a file in Word and compare the screenshots to find the version.
Funny but true.

Excel Fix: 3D Maps not working, Home tab blank

I had both these problems. I am using Office Insider – Fast track for Office Pro Plus. I tried all kinds of things but nothing worked. Full repair, complete uninstall and reinstall, reapply Windows patches, reinstalled .net framework, escalated to MS. No use.

The solution was very simple. I went to Excel – Customize Quick Access Toolbar. At the bottom right corner I chose – Reset – Reset All Customizations. That’s it. Both problems solved.


I myself do not know why it worked. But it did. If you have the same issues, try this one.

SFB audio joke – “Can you hear me?”

SFB audio problems are common. In any meeting, irrespective of the technology or tool, we always spend time asking people “Can you hear me?”.  Most of us do not realize how hilarious and funny this question is!
Those who cannot hear you can’t hear your question as well! Devil

Here is how you can handle the SFB audio problem in a smart and speedy manner.

SFB audio joke poster

Continue reading SFB audio joke – “Can you hear me?”

Something going wrong? Try SAFE mode

This works for all Office products. When things go wrong or the application starts very slowly, or gets hung while starting or misbehaves in any way, it is worth trying starting it in SAFE mode.  How do you do that? Simple.

Press CTRL key while clicking on the Office Application Icon. It will ask you if you want Safe mode. Choose Yes.

Safe Mode in Office

Another method is to use a command-line switch – more useful to techies. Press Windows Key and R. The run dialog opens. Write the application name followed by /safe and press Enter. For example:

winword /safe

Here are the exact application names for all products:
winword, excel, powerpnt, outlook, mspub, msaccess, onenote


It opens the application with no customization. All your custom settings are replaced with default settings. No add-ins are loaded. This usually makes the application start very quickly. And now you can troubleshoot which item or setting is causing the problem.

Starting in safe mode is NOT a permanent solution. It is usually the first step in troubleshooting causes of application instability or crashes.


Excel – Impact Analysis – Trace Dependents

The Need: Trace Dependents

Excel workbooks are complex. Multiple persons share and handle the same file. We keep mailing them to each other. Often the person who created the file has left the organization long back. There is never any documentation available about exactly how a file works.

Due to all this, it is almost impossible to remember which value is used in which formula. When you are about to change a value or add more data to existing block, it is absolutely necessary to ensure that all the related formulas are updated. If you forget to update the formula, the results shown there will be outdated and WRONG. This can hamper decisions and can have severe side effects.

What we need is a way to find out which formulas to update when any data changes or grows. Excel has provided this facility since 25 years. Unfortunately, very few people are even aware of it – leave alone using it!

Continue reading Excel – Impact Analysis – Trace Dependents

What did I learn today: Live Writer “Bug”

Here is something I learnt the hard way today … If you use Live Writer to blog to WordPress, you will benefit from what I learnt.

I use Live Writer for blogging to WordPress. I love it – brilliant tool. I have posted 120+ blogs so far. This one had many images. When I posted the draft I got this error.

live writer bug by Dr. Nitin Paranjape

Continue reading What did I learn today: Live Writer “Bug”

How to edit a formula in Excel

Yes I know you have been using formulas in Excel for decades. But just trust me… there is more. Here are some small but nice things you should know when it comes to editing a formula in Excel

Keep looking at the status bar

It shows you the current mode. First time you add a formula, it is in ENTER mode… next time you try to change it, the mode changes to EDIT.


So what difference? In ENTER mode, moving the arrow keys selects cells outside the current cell. This way you can select the range for formula parameters.

In Edit mode, moving the arrow keys (right and left), moves the cursor WITHIN the formula cell – which helps you in editing the formula itself.

In some cases, you may want to change the mode. To do that press SNAGHTML175594c1

This is also very useful when you edit formulas in odd places – like Conditional Formatting formulas, Data validation formulas and so on… In these places, the default mode is Enter. You want to change something in the formula so you press arrow keys but it selects cells and disturbs the existing formula – which is very frustrating. In such cases, just press SNAGHTML175594c1[5]before editing and make sure that you are in EDIT mode before editing.

Syntax tooltip – why bold formatting?

All of us know that the formula syntax is shown whenever you are editing a function. But wait. Have you noticed some additional things there? Some of the parameters are in BOLD font. Do you know why?


Because your cursor is currently in that position. This is very useful in editing complex, nested formulas. It is sort of “situational awareness” while editing formulas.

Syntax tooltip – why Hyperlinks?

I am sure you have noticed it…


What is the use? Well, it helps you select the entire parameter by clicking the link Thumbs up


This can be very useful in selecting a particular parameter in complex, nested formulas…

how to edit a formula in Excel

Imagine doing this manually Ghost

Whatever is selected can be calculated with SNAGHTML17672b22

If you select part of the formula and press SNAGHTML17672b22[5], it calculates it and shows the results.


This is very useful for troubleshooting and quickly knowing the results of part of the formula.

REMEMBER NOT TO PRESS ENTER HERE. Else your formula will be overwritten with the result!

There is much more. But enough for one article already …