Tag Archives: Formulas

Green Marks Part 5/5 (Background Error Checking in Excel)

Fourth article in Error Handling (Background Error Checking or Green mark) series. Read these articles first to maintain continuity.
Auditors, Risk Managers, Everyone: Did you know? These green marks are WARNINGS!!
Green Marks Part 2: Formulas showing wrong results!
Green Marks Part 3: More error handling and Green Marks Part 4: Inconsistent Formulas

In this article, we cover the remaining three types of errors: Unprotected Formula, Formula refers to empty cells and Data Validation Error.

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Continue reading Green Marks Part 5/5 (Background Error Checking in Excel)

Green Marks Part 4: Inconsistent Formulas

Fourth article in Error Handling (Background Error Checking or Green mark) series. Read these articles first to maintain continuity.
Auditors, Risk Managers, Everyone: Did you know? These green marks are WARNINGS!!
Green Marks Part 2: Formulas showing wrong results!
Green Marks Part 3: More error handling

In this article, we will cover two more potential errors related to Inconsistent Formulas.

How to handle inconsistent formulas in Excel - Dr. Nitin Paranjape

Continue reading Green Marks Part 4: Inconsistent Formulas

Green Marks Part 3: More error handling

This is a continuation of the series on error handling – green marks. We will see how to handle Excel formula errors and two Text related (non-formula) errors in this article.

Please read these two articles before reading this article to maintain continuity.
Auditors, Risk Managers, Everyone: Did you know? These green marks are WARNINGS!!Green Marks Part 2: Formulas showing wrong results!

Green marks in Excel - more error handling by Dr. Nitin Paranjape

Continue reading Green Marks Part 3: More error handling

Copy formulas automatically and accurately (even with blanks)

Imagine that you have 50,000 rows of data. You want to add a new calculated column. Adding the formula is easy. But copying it to 50,000 rows is nothing but frustration.

Three methods are typically used: All of them are inefficient!

Copy and Paste, Drag and Double Click. Drag is lengthy – so is Copy Paste. Double Click is DANGEROUS because it stops if the column on the left has a blank cell. And usually we have lots of blank cells – at least we have to assume so!

Of course, there is a solution – a magical solution!

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Continue reading Copy formulas automatically and accurately (even with blanks)

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.

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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?

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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…

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

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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.

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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 …

9 benefits of using Excel Tables

If I have to teach ONE thing to the world, it would be Excel Tables.

Excel tables

I recently created this video for a Microsoft Webcast.
Excel Tables were introduced in Office 2007.
This video explains the importance of using Excel Tables.

Prevent Wrong Decisions using Excel Tables

Outdated formulas in Excel are a big operational risk

Tables eliminate that risk proactively.

Additional Benefits of Excel Tables

This in itself can become a series. But here is a short description of the benefits

Auto-update of formulas and references

All dependent formulas are auto-updated across sheets. If you have a linked file, the file must be open for the auto-update to work.

Automatic formatting of tabular data

If you have manual formatting applied, the Table formatting cannot override it. To override, right click on the desired format and choose Apply and Clear Formatting option.

Automatic copying of calculated column formulas

Any formula added in new columns in the table is auto-copied across the table. The formula is copied all the way to the end of the table even if the left column has empty cells.

This saves you the trouble of using time consuming DRAG or error prone DOUBLE CLICK for copying formulas.

If you don’t like this behavior then use the SmartTag to UNDO the auto-copy action.

Automatic copying of calculations when more data is added

This is very useful. If more data is added, calculated columns are auto-filled.

To take advantage of this feature, make sure that you add calculated columns at the end of the raw data. This way, when you get more raw data, you can simply paste it at the bottom of the Table.

Automatic display of headings

Headings are shown in place of regular column headings. It also offers Auto-Filter dropdown (2010 onwards). This eliminates the need for Split and Freeze Pane.

Automatic copying of formatting, conditional formatting and validations

All attributes of cells are auto-copied when you add more rows in a Table.

Ability to use Table and Column names in formulas

Ability to integrate with SharePoint and Visio

You can upload an Excel table to a SharePoint site. It automatically creates a list, creates relevant columns, uploads the data to SharePoint and finally creates a one way (SharePoint to Excel) link with the data.

In Visio you can create a visualization based upon a Visio based Pivot Table functionality.