Category: Microsoft Office

Excel – How do I change my Pivot Table back to the classic (version 2003 and earlier) display?

If you were familiar with Pivot tables in Excel versions prior to Excel 2007 you will be very used to working with the blue lines of the Pivot Table and the ability to drag and drop data right on to the Pivot Table.

In Excel 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 Pivot Tables are now quite different. The blue lines are gone, along with the wonderful drag-and-drop feature. Read more

How to calculate GST at 15% using Excel formulas

I have been asked twice in one week how to write Excel formulas to calculate GST at the rate of 15%.

You can find information on how to calculate the rate on the NZ Inland Revenue website. I’ve taken this a step further and put together a tutorial on how to put these calculations into Excel formulas. Read more

5 tips for searching for and finding emails in Outlook

Searching in Outlook has improved greatly over the years as newer versions of the ubiquitous email software have been released. But there’s more to searching than just typing something in the Search Box at the top of your messages list. Use these tips to dive deeper into your Inbox and email folders to quickly find those hard to locate messages. Read more

Excel – Using VLOOKUP to compare two lists

Years ago the Training and Development manager of a large organisation invited me to spend some time in their Accounts department in order to observe how the Accounts team dealt with their day-to-day tasks. My job was to report on any process that could be improved using Microsoft® Excel.

I’ll always remember asking one of the team (a “just-out-of-school” new recruit) what he was working on after I’d observed him sitting with a red biro and a ruler, diligently drawing red lines on 2 separate sheets of paper. It turned out he was trying to reconcile a customer’s account. Read more

Excel – Restricting editing in worksheets and workbooks

SharynAvatarBlog120x120There may be times when you have created a single worksheet, or an entire workbook containing data, where you do not want other users to be able to change.

By protecting a selection of cells, the entire worksheet or workbook you can feel confident you have minimised the risk of this happening. Read more

Excel – How can I do a VLOOKUP based on more than one value?

There are times when you want to return a match for a VLOOKUP based on two values, not one.  For example, we may have customers who have multiple branches.  Each branch is recorded under the same customer number.  So how do we look up info for a specific branch if all of the branches are using the same customer number?

Read more

Excel – Finding and removing duplicate data

One of the many things I absolutely love about my job is that I get to work with so many different people from all kinds of organisations.

However, it doesn’t matter what industry or region I’m working in the challenges of working with large lists of data are pretty much the same.

Something I see often is the need to be able to quickly locate and remove duplicate rows of data (excellent for VLookups).  Most people just sort the data and then manually skim through the excessive lines of information trying to weed out the annoying duplicates.  This works, but boy-oh-boy it can be a time waster. Wouldn’t it be easier to have Excel quickly display the duplicates for you?  Then all you need to do is deal with them. Read more

Excel – How do I merge cells within a range that is formatted as a Table?

PROBLEM: when I use “Format as Table” to format a range the “Merge and Center” button becomes inactive and I can no longer merge cells.  Why?
SOLUTION: the Table format will stop the merging of cells.  However there is a work-around.

The Format as Table command can be used to quickly apply a professional format to a selected range.  However, in applying the format you are also applying the functionality that Tables offer.  As a result you will no longer be able to merge cells. Read more