Excel 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007 Tips

The Excel Addict - Help with Excel 2007

Publication Date: June 2, 2010

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Greetings from The Excel Addict

Hi fellow Excel Addict

Francis Hayes (The Excel Addict)Your time is valuable and I really do appreciate and commend you for taking the time each week to join me for these time-saving tips. My goal is to help you build your knowledge in Excel and ultimately lead you to a much more enjoyable experience working with Excel.

As you know, Excel is an awesome program. When you first started using Excel, you may have been intimidated by the vast array of options available. You may have been frustrated because you wanted to do something but struggled with how to get it done. As you became more comfortable with Excel you were excited by some of the cool new things YOU could now do. You began spending more time looking for new things to discover and better ways to do everything. Now you're starting to believe that there is no end to the possibilities you have with Excel.

How do I know this about YOU?

Because I believe this is the path that most Excel users take (well, at least the 'addicts'). And I know you are somewhere on this path -- that's why you are reading my newsletter. Some people spend more time at certain steps than others and I hope I can help you get quickly past those intimidation and struggle areas.

Now I would like to hear from you. Where you are on this journey? What has your experience been with Excel? Is Excel an important part of your job? Who (or what) has helped you to get to the level you are today? Have you had any formal Excel training? Do you still struggle with some areas of Excel? Have you upgraded to Excel 2007 or are you still hesitating? If you could advise me how I could create the ultimate Excel help website, what would you say?

As I've said, my goal is your success with Excel. The more I know about your expectations, the better I can strive to meet those expectations.

Please take a few minutes this week and email me your Excel story (past experience) and your Excel dream (future expectations)? If you don't have time right now, print the first page of this email as a reminder to write to me later.

To your SUCCESS !
Francis Hayes (The Excel Addict)

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    This week's tips..

    1) Plan Your Garden With Excel's Drawing Tools (XL2000-XL2007)
    2) Count Cells That Include Specific Text (XL2000-XL2007)
    3) Access Right-Click Menus Without A Mouse

    If you're having trouble displaying graphics in this email, I have posted an online HTML version of this week's newsletter here.

    Last week's tips were...

    1) Prevent Active Cell From Moving After Input  (XL2000-XL2007)
    2) Create An Email Message From Excel With One Click (XL2003/XL2007)
    3) Scrolling Back Through History

    You can still find last week's newsletter here.

    You can access even more tips on my website by going to my members' page.  


    "The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering the attitudes of their minds." — Albert Schweitzer

    CAUTION: Make sure you save a copy of your spreadsheet before trying these tips,
    just in
    case you make an error or the procedure doesn't produce the results you want.

    Microsoft Excel Tip #1

    Plan Your Garden With Excel's Drawing Tools (XL2000-XL2007)

    Plan your garden with Excel's drawing toolsI've always said you can do just about anything with Excel. I often use Excel's drawing tools to sketch various layouts for my home renovation projects. 

    Just recently I came across a gardening website with a very creative use for Excel.

    If you're into gardening you will be happy to know that Excel can help with that as well. Even if you don't have a green thumb, this may open your eyes to interesting new uses for Excel. Check out the tutorial here.

    Microsoft Excel Tip #2

    Count Cells That Include Specific Text (XL2000-XL2007)

    The COUNTIF function will count the number of cells in a range that match criteria you specify.


    range - is the range from which you want to count cells.

    criteria - can be text, a number, an expression, or a cell reference to be used to define which cells will be counted.

    For example, the formula =COUNTIF(B:B, "dog") will count the number of cells in column B with the word dog.

    However, if you ever need to count the number of cells in a range of cells that include a specific word or string of characters (not necessarily the entire cell), the trick is to surround your criteria with asterisks (*). 

    The asterisk is a wildcard that represents any single character or string of characters.

    Whereas, =COUNTIF(B:B,"dog") will count the number of cells in column B that have the word 'dog', by adding asterisks to the beginning and end of your criteria, for example, =COUNTIF(B:B,"*dog*") will count all cells that 'include' the word 'dog' anywhere within the cell, such as 'dog jackets' or 'reversible dog coats'.

    You can make this function even more flexible by using a cell reference for your criteria. In that case, you can't simply type asterisks before and after your criteria cell reference. To add asterisks before and after the cell reference, you will need to type the asterisk surrounded by double quotes and use ampersands (&) to concatenate them with the cell reference. For example, if cell D1 contains the word 'dog', you can rewrite your formula to be =COUNTIF(B:B,"*" & D1 & "*") which is equivalent to

    Now you can simply change the value in cell D1 to count cells based on new criteria or, better yet, use multiple cells for your criteria and copy your COUNTIF formula to reference these cells. If cell D1 contains 'dog' and cell D2 contains 'cat' you can enter
    =COUNTIF(B:B,"*" & D1 & "*") in cell E1 and copy it down to cell E2 to give you counts for both your criterion

    Count the number of occurrences of a word or text string in a range with the COUNTIF function

    101 Excel Tips revealed in this book
    Microsoft Excel 2000 - 2003

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    Non-Excel Tip

    Access Right-Click Menus Without A Mouse

    As you probably know, I am always preaching the benefits of knowing both a mouse method and a keyboard method for doing your most frequent tasks. So you may be asking, "How can I access the commands on those right-click menus when I am in 'keyboard mode'?"

    The answer is right under your nose.

    How to access the right-click menu without your mouse.Look at your keyboard. See that rarely-used, no-one-knows-what- it's-for key next to the Ctrl key (on most PC keyboards)? It looks like a dropdown menu with an arrow pointer. That is the 'Application key'.

    Pressing this key will display the selected item's shortcut menu the same as you get when you right-click with your mouse.

    Once the shortcut menu is displayed, use the arrow keys to move through the options and the right arrow key to select sub-menus. Press the Enter key to execute the command.

    My goal: To reach One Million Excel Users

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