Excel: Allow dividing formulas to fail gracefully

I’m sure I’m not alone in having had this happen: I was using Excel to make some quick calculations, and got #DIV/0!-errors for some rows because one of the fields I’d been dividing by was empty. Sometimes you don’t have all the information you need for every single row, but you still want to have… Continue reading Excel: Allow dividing formulas to fail gracefully

Paste text without formatting

I recently had a long term collaboration with a number of colleagues, where part of what we did was produce, edit, and agree upon finalized versions of text. We applied various formatting such as color, cursive, and bold to track the status of specific text blocks. At the end of it all, we needed to… Continue reading Paste text without formatting

Excel: Format cells based on content

As a union steward, one of the many things I do on a regular basis is evaluate key indicators of the company financials. I do this by plotting a few numbers from the accounting reports into Excel, and then run them through some standardised analysis to identify the performance of key indicators. These indicators are… Continue reading Excel: Format cells based on content

Excel: Automatically set width and height

If I’ve been there once, I’ve been there a thousand times; I’ve got a spreadsheet in excel with varying widths and heights that don’t fit the data. Now, sure, you could go in and correct it manually – but that’s not only boring, it’s a pain it the behind. Luckily, there are keyboard shortcuts to… Continue reading Excel: Automatically set width and height

Excel: Combine two columns

While analysing an Excel sheet the other day, I needed to combine two columns so that I could get names in the format firstname lastname (the list had been provided as lastname,firstname). As it happens, doing so is relatively easy. You do it on a cell by cell basis, by using basic excel commands.

Calculating percentage change in Excel

If you do a lot of work in Excel, odds are you’ve needed to calculate a percentage change. Luckily, Excel does this for you quite readily if you simply apply a basic formula of (New Value – Old Value)/Old Value. There is, however, a pitfall that you’ll not get the values you expect if the… Continue reading Calculating percentage change in Excel

Outlook: Mail merge

I have previously written about one of my many responsibilities; contacting users whose login credentials have shown up in breach lists. While the pertinent results of the breach files are delivered to me in a flat file, I use Excel’s Text to Columns feature to separate logins (usually email addresses) from the password. While this… Continue reading Outlook: Mail merge