A Sum formula that always adds new rows

Thursday, July 9th, 2015 by admin admin

What do you do if you have a list and you constantly have to add the new records to the grand total using the SUM formula? If your SUM formula is immediately below the record, you will have to keep changing your range as the SUM formula would not include the new row added before the grand total row.

One work around is to add in an empty row and include that in your SUM formula. Whenever there is a need to add new records, add it before this blank row so that the SUM formula will always include the new records in the SUM formula.

What if you are not allowed to keep a blank row for this purpose? Today, I am going to show you a new solution.

Assuming that the SUM formula is in A11 and is currently adding the numbers in the range A1:A10. Instead of creating a SUM formula that simply adds up the range A1:A10 [=SUM(A1:A10)], create the range in text format and use the ROW formula. The range including the inverted commas becomes “A1:A”&Row()-1. The ROW()-1 will always calculate one row before the SUM formula. Since this is a text and cannot be read as a range, you need to the INDIRECT formula to convert the text based range into a proper range. Adding the INDIRECT and SUM formula, you new SUM formula should be =SUM(INDIRECT(“A1:A”&ROW()-1)). This new SUM formula will save you the time to change the range constantly and you will not have to live with an empty row between your data and the grand total anymore.

Microsoft Excel can be installed as a standalone Android App

Friday, June 26th, 2015 by admin admin

Previously, you have to install Microsoft Office App (Excel, PowerPoint and Words) to use Excel. Now they come as separate Apps and you can pick the App you wish to install on your Andriod Phone. Watch the YouTube video for more details.


Do not mix numbers with formulas

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 by admin admin

In Excel, it is better to separate numbers and formulas into different cells. For example, if you wish to multiple by a row of numbers by a certain rate, it is better to create one row of numbers and another row for the rate. Then add in a 3rd row to multiple the first 2 rows together. In this way, you can always see your numbers and rate you entered and you can also change the rates easily. Do not try to save rows by putting the number and rate into one cell or row.

Microsoft launched a new keyboard for Android Tablets

Monday, March 2nd, 2015 by admin admin

Microsoft launched a new keyboard for Android tablet. The new keyboard basically contains a keypad on the right. It is going to be helpful for those who are have to enter lots of numbers quickly on their tablets. So far, there is no mention of an iPhone or iPad version.  Microsoft Excel Android Keyboard

Conditional Formatting Stop if True

Friday, October 10th, 2014 by admin admin

In conditional formatting, we can set more than one rule to format the cells. If the rules do not conflict with each other, then all is well. But what happens when more than one rule turn TRUE? According to Microsoft website, the earlier rule that turns takes precedence over the latter rules. So if the earlier rule format the cells Red and there comes a second rule that formats the cells Blue, the cell will remain as Red.

Then in this case, what is the purpose of the option Stop IF True?

That option works if you have a different format for the 2 rules. If the earlier rule format the cell Red and the latter rule format the Font colour to Blue, both rules will be applied. This is different from the earlier example when the rules are using the same formatting, change the cells colour. In this example, the 2 rules apply different kind of format (one is cell colour and the other is font colour) and therefore, both are applied. If you do not wish to apply the latter rule, change in font colour when the earlier rule turn TRUE, then check the option STOP IF TRUE on the earlier rule. This will make the conditional formatting stop checking the latter rule and therefore, format font colour will not be applied when the earlier rule (format cell colour) turns TRUE.

For a more detailed explanation, please refer to this write-up on Microsoft website http://office.microsoft.com/en-sg/excel-help/manage-conditional-formatting-rule-precedence-HA010342674.aspx


Splitting Fixed Assets into multiple rows

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by admin admin

A past participant was working on a Fixed Asset Register and one of the tasks she is required to do is to split up the Fixed Assets into multiple rows, based on the quantity. Given below is an example of what has to be done.

a) A00016 Well Management Pte Ltd 10297 AM00000000002685 4.00 APOT-0150


369.48 369.48 0.00
b) A00016 Well Management   Pte Ltd 10297 AM00000000002685 1.00 APOT-0150


92.37 92.37 0.00
c) A00016 Well Management   Pte Ltd 10297 AM00000000002685 1.00 APOT-0150


92.37 92.37 0.00
d) A00016 Well Management   Pte Ltd 10297 AM00000000002685 1.00 APOT-0150


92.37 92.37 0.00
e)A00016 Well Management   Pte Ltd 10297 AM00000000002685 1.00 APOT-0150


92.37 92.37 0.00

Meaning I need to split item (a) of qty 4 equally into (b) to (e) of qty 1 and cost p/qty in each line.

This would have been quite straight forward if the quantity for all the Fixed Assets are the same. The problem is, they are not. Therefore, we have to use VLOOKUP with approximate match to determine the number of rows required for each line of Fixed Assets and populate them into the relevant rows. The worksheet function COlUMN is used to help us identify the column index number for the VLOOKUP formula. And in this example, I also did a quick demonstration on filling up a range to a specific number almost instantly. Watch the video below to learn the application of each function.

If you have benefitted from the video, we would love to hear from you. Let us know which part of the solution is useful to you and how it has benefitted you.



New to Excel

Monday, September 1st, 2014 by admin admin

If you or your employees do not know how to use Excel, the first thing you should learn is to entering data into a cell. It may seem obvious to you but we do find a number of people learning the wrong way when it comes to entering data into a cell. The wrong way is to double click on the cell or clicking on the formula bar before entering the data. The right way is to just select the cell you wish to enter the data in and just type. When completed, confirm the entry by hitting the ENTER key. DO NOT click another cell to confirm the entry. You will find yourself not able to perform special entries when you confirm the entry using the wrong way.

Next you should learn is cell formatting i.e.

1) Number Formatting

2) Font Formatting

3) Border Formatting

4) Fill or Cell Colour Formatting



Quick Access Toolbar icon and Macros

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 by admin admin

In today’s course, one of the participants asked if he can attach macros to the ribbon so that he can access and run the macro in one click. The answer is yes but not in the ribbon. It is in the Quick Access toolbar. Microsoft does not allow the ribbon to be changed in Excel 2007. To learn how to add the macros into the Quick Access Toolbar, watch the video below:


2 “bad” habits to avoid in Excel

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014 by admin admin

During our Excel courses, we notice some participants have these 2 habits which cost them dearly (time savings) when they worked with Excel.

One of them is double clicking on the cell before they make entries. Because of this habit, they are not able to make full use of Goto Special, a time saving function.

The other habit is confirming cell entries or changes by clicking another cell instead of using the ENTER key. Because of that, they always find themselves getting an answer that they do not expect.



Calculate YTD Gain

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 by admin admin

Michelle has a template that lists the investments made by her clients. On a monthly basis, she has to check the prices of these investment and calculate the paper gain for up to 3 years. Currently, the gains are calculated manually and she would like to find out if the calculation can be  done automatically by Excel. Watch this video and find out how to arrange the data and apply the appropriate formulas to get the answers Michelle wanted.