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Around the world in Excel days

Ok so that title was a little contrived – and only because my wife bought the classic Jules Verne book yesterday along with Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer, Louisa Alcott’s Little Woman and Jack London’s Call of the Wild.

This article has a bunch of cool Microsoft Excel related content from all around the world.

10 worst Microsoft Excel practices. Michiel has created this list, but I certainly wouldn’t rank them the same way.

My Top three would be:

• Merged Cells
• Combining reports and data tables on the same worksheet – Michiel’s number 9. The other two don’t even make his list.

Allen Wyatt has a great article providing some VBA code to detect errors in conditional formatting formulas. This is a very practical solution to a very real problem.

Doug Klippert has posted some code from Peter Beach an Excel MVP that will create a list in Excel of all the folders on a drive and their sizes.

Andrew Engwirda has added some cool chart tools to his free Excel Tools. (News flash – he might come back to work for me! – Stay tuned)

Dick’s Daily Dose of Excel has two interesting posts (well lots actually but two I picked out) – the first written is on displaying image galleries in the ribbon written by Ron de Bruin, and the second titled Elle’s birthday.

Joseph has a very good explanation written for the new Excel 2007 tables of how not to break your summing formulas. The same concepts apply in Excel 2003 for the auto sum function using the Sigma button the toolbar.

Oh and that’s a photo of Kitty pretending to be interested in spreadsheeting techniques. Kitty is a business analyst working for Jethro.

Sundry Excel Tips

I read bunches of excel tips and hints from other websites and every now and again I post links and details of the best ones. Here's a few good ones I have picked up recently.

Counting number of unique entries in a specified range From ExcelTip
Counting number of unique entries in a specified range is simple by using the SUMPRODUCT and COUNT functions.
The range can be all in one column or row, or may span multiple (adjoining) columns/rows.
The formula would be written as: =SUMPRODUCT((1/COUNTIF(A1:C5,A1:C5&""))) where A1:C5 is replaced with the range you want to apply the count to.

Intraday Charts and Pattern Fills in Excel 2007

David Gainer writes an Excel blog for Microsoft. He often has guest posts written by insiders from Microsoft exposing cool excel secrets.

Two in particular I have noticed recently are these.

Scott Ruble, a lead program manager on the Excel team who focuses on the area of data visualization discusses how to create an intraday time series chart.

Periodically, users need to create a chart where the data occurs within a single day such as by the minute or hour. This is actually fairly easy to do but unfortunately isn’t very obvious. A typical scenario is you own a restaurant that takes phone orders and you want to reduce the wait time for customers placing an order. This is influenced by a number of factors but a big one is the number of people calling at the same time. As such, you would want to staff your phone lines with more people during the busy times. The key here is to determine when the busy times are and by how much.