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


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.

excel files now open in Kingsoft

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 by admin admin

After installing Kingsoft, I found that my Excel files now open in Kingsoft. If that happens to you too, you can follow the instruction on this page to restore back the setting.


Short cut key for paste value

Friday, July 4th, 2014 by admin admin

In today’s excel course Hidden Secrets In Data Analysis with Excel, one of the participants asked if there is a shortcut key for Paste Special specifically Paste Value. Unfortunately, there isn’t. Since she has to use Paste Value frequently and there is no shortcut keys, I recommended adding an icon into the Quick Access Toolbar so that she can do Paste Value with one click without having to go to the HOME tab. Here is the recording I have done when I was sharing with the group how to do.