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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

PowerPoint – add additional text, formatting and your logo to audience handouts

PROBLEM: tackling the job of creating professional looking audience hand-outs for a presentation.

SOLUTION: learn how to print hand-outs straight from PowerPoint, or export your slides and notes to Word to include additional branding and info. Read more

Upgrading to Windows 10 – Review

My family shared their mixed opinions about Windows 10 over the break – oh yes, we really know how to let loose and relax on holiday!  My sister-in-law plans to avoid upgrading for as long as possible, she more than once stated she’d go back to the good ole days of Win XP, given half a chance.  My mother lamented the fact her laptop had automatically updated to Win 10, whereas Dad said he was really enjoying the latest version, and that he found it more stable and user-friendly than previous Windows versions.  Yup, the actual words “user-friendly” and “version” came out of my 71 year old father’s mouth.  These are truly digital times.
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Should I upgrade to Windows 10? How different is it?

Upgrading to Windows 10 doesn’t have to be scary.  In fact I have definitely found a lot of positives and only one mild negative after making the leap. 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?

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Excel – Group dates by month in a Pivot Table

Displaying date values in a Pivot Table can produce unexpected results.

For example, in the Pivot Table below I have added a Date field to the Column area of my Pivot Table.  Unfortunately every date in the underlying data table is different, therefore resulting in a column for every day and a very large Pivot Table. Read more