Friday, February 2, 2018

Using INDIRECT in Excel

The INDIRECT function in Excel allows you to reference cells by typing the cell position (for instance: "B2"). To clarify this, look at the first example, you can see in the function bar that it's a direct reference.

In the following example, the indirect function is used with the parameter "D3" as text and brings the same result.

Now, as the parameter of the indirect function is text, you can concatenate and build the cell reference by using other cells.  

It's clear that using a direct reference (example 1) is better than using the indirect function, however, there are cases where is required to build functions dynamically depending on other values and the indirect function is a great tool to consider for these situations.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Why is the Delete Worksheet Option Disabled in Excel?

In Excel you have to option to delete worksheets as soon as you realize that you don't need it anymore, this can be easily done by right-clicking on the tab you want to delete and select this action. However, sometimes you will see that this option is not enabled.

This option is disabled when the workbook is shared, so more people can collaborate to the file at the same time, this situation is shown in the title of the file, this will include '(Shared)'.

To disable the shared property of the workbook go to 'Review' ribbon and select 'Share Workbook' option.

Then, you will see the list of users that have the workbook open, once you uncheck the 'Allow changes by more than one user at the same time...' box and accept, the workbook will lose its shared property.

After this, you try again and notice that the 'Delete' option is enabled again and ready to use.

Consider that the 'Shared Worksheet' option is not anymore recommended in newer versions of Excel, use co-authoring instead.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Preventing Excel File to Open or Edit with Password

When you have an Excel file and don’t want everyone to open or edit it but only specific people then you could protect the file with a password. To do this, you have to use the ‘Save As...’ option and select ‘Browser’:


In the typical window to save the file, go to ‘Tools’ option and then select ‘General Options...’:

With that selection, you will be able to set a password that will be asked when opening or editing the file, without the right password the file will not open or edit:

This is the popup that will appear to anyone after setting the protection:

Also, you can use this option to set a recommendation when opening the file to use it as read-only, to do this just check the box ‘Recommend as read-only’ located under the password box, then when opening the file will always show this:

This read-only function can be used without setting a password.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fixing Excel When Scrolling Sheet Instead of Moving Cell Selector

When you have in Excel your cells like this:

And use the arrows on the keyboard to move to the right, for example, you will move the cell selector to the right cell:

However, I have seen that in some cases the result is not that, instead, when pressing the previous key the entire spreadsheet is scrolled to the right, with the cell selector staying in the same place:


This happens when the ‘Scroll Lock’ in pressed in the keyboard, then to fix it just press it again, but nowadays many keyboards have no this key, therefore, to fix this situation you should use the keyboard on screen, to open this keyboard in Windows go to ‘Start’ and search for ‘On-Screen Keyboard’, once you select it you will see this:

You see that the ‘Scroll Lock’ key is highlighted, click on it to disable this function and close the keyboard, now you recovered the usual behavior of the arrows keys in Excel.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Showing Pivot Table as Simple Table in Excel

When you are working with pivot tables in Excel you see that they have a grouping scheme where one data of higher hierarchy is shown as a group header instead of being repeated for each row:


However, if you want to see it as a simple table (tabular table with data repetition for each row) you can do it keeping the pivot table properties by clicking on the table to enable the ‘Analyze’ and ‘Design’ tabs in the ribbon:

Then, go to ‘Design’ tab and under ‘Report Layout’ select ‘Show in Tabular Form’ option:

After that, your pivot table will be in a classical view (simple, tabular table):

Now, you will be able to manage this table as a tabular one, for example you can copy it to another sheet if you want to have the information but without grouping.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Avoiding to Mark as Read in Outlook by Accident

When using Outlook, it offers a 'Reading Pane' function that allows you to read the selected email in the same window (not required to double click on it to open it). After this, the email is marked as read and you won't need to read it again, which is perfect.

However, if you select accidentally an email this will be marked as read when you didn't want to read it, to avoid this you can avoid the 'Reading Pane' or you can change how this 'Mark as read' function works. To do the last one, go to 'File' and select 'Options'.

In 'Options', go to 'Mail' and then locate 'Outlook panes' section, click on 'Reading Pane...' and there you can disable the behavior explained before, it will require to open the mail with double click to mark it as read.

Once you have this modified, you won't have more mails read by accident.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Recovering Theme in Windows 8

Long time ago a friend called me because suddenly her Windows 8 screen just got black.

It happens when you change the theme of Windows, this can be done by going to 'Start' screen and type 'personalization' and select this feature.

Then you choose a different theme if you don't like the black one.

For example, you can select the default theme, this one will give the usual Windows look and feel.

You have to be aware of the shortcut that Windows has to change the contrast of the theme, if you press Shift + Alt + Print Screen buttons the theme is going to change to a black one. If don't want to follow the steps before just press the same buttons to undo the change.