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The Excel Addict - Help with Excel 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003
December 3, 2015

Greetings from The Excel Addict
Hi fellow Excel Addict,

Francis Hayes ( of the taglines I use on my website is, "Double, triple, even quadruple your productivity in Microsoft Excel." I really believe that by learning new tips and shortcuts for your most common, time-consuming tasks in Excel, you can easily double, triple or even quadruple your productivity. Do this week after week and year after year and your productivity will soar.

I hope that my weekly tips have helped you double, triple or quadruple your productivity in the time you have been with me.

Now, please share my newsletter with other Excel users you know. Tell them how it has helped you and how they too can experience these amazing productivity gains.

A Newfoundland weather note
As I suspected, Tuesday's snow is gone and now it's pouring rain. But no worries snow lovers...a big winter storm is on the way. Our local weather office is predicting 20-30 cm (8-12 in) of snow
tonight and Friday for my region.

However, if you live somewhere with weather as variable as it is in Newfoundland, you know that a forecast 2 days out is not a guarantee.

I'll see you again in a few days...if I'm not still buried in snow.

Take care and keep on Excelling,
Francis Hayes (The Excel Addict)

Francis Hayes (

If you missed my last newsletter, you can click here to view it online.

The Excel Addict Quote of the Week
"Success is not obtained overnight.
It comes in installments;
you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow,
until the whole package is given out.
The day you procrastinate,
you lose that day's success.”
-- Israelmore Ayivor --

If you have a favourite quote, send it to me and I may post it in my newsletter.

Today's Microsoft Excel Tip

How to Create Popup 'Tooltips' Using Data Validation

Maybe you already use Cell Comments in your workbooks. They are a great way to provide additional information in your worksheets that you don't want printed with your data. Just hover the mouse over the cell and the comment pops up.

Popup Cell Comments in Microsoft Excel 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 365But don't you hate it when a worksheet has a lot of comments and they start popping up and getting in your way everywhere you move your mouse? ...and those annoying red triangles!?

And if you use the keyboard to move to a cell containing a comment, the comment doesn't pop up.

That's where this neat trick using Data Validation may be a better option. You can use this trick to provide information or instructions
to a user about a specific cell or range of cells in a tooltip-like popup. This information will appear whether selecting the cell using a mouse or a keyboard.

Data Validation Input Message Popup in Microsoft Excel 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 365

Here's how...
1) Select the range where you want the information to popup when a cell is selected;

2) From the Data tab, click the Data Validation command and choose Data Validation...;

3) Click the Input Message tab;

4) Make sure that the 'Show input message when cell is selected' option is checked;

5) Enter a Title for the message which will appear in bold at the top of the message. You can leave this blank if you want;

5) In the 'Input message' field, type the message you want users to see when they select the cell (maximum 255 characters);

7) Click OK.

Now select a cell in the range and you will see a small message box pop up. When you click away from the range, the message will disappear.

I bet that already you're thinking of new uses for this tip.

But don't get too excited. There are some limitations to what you can do with this message box. You cannot move or resize the message box. You cannot change it's formatting. And the message length is limited to 255 characters. Also, since you cannot move the message box, it could end up blocking information in other cells that you want to see.

Despite these limitations, I think, in certain situations, this may be better alternative to cell comments or text boxes.

What do you think?

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