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Excel Weekly News from Contextures July 9, 2013

Create a table with style + more Excel tips

In this week's Excel news, you'll see how to select a specific style when creating a table, show and hide details in a pivot table, and other tips. Thank you for reading the Excel news!

 -  Debra

Excel Crashing After Combo Box Click

While updating my data validation with combo box page last week, I zoomed the worksheet, and Excel crashed. Apparently, I had created the perfect storm of worksheet settings -- a combo box, with its source list on a different sheet, and zoom level other than 100%.

I finally found a way to prevent the crashes, and you can learn how to avoid this situation too.

Click here to see the details, and a video that shows how the combo box works when it's not crashing: Excel Crashing After Combo Box Click

Show and Hide Pivot Table Details

To focus on specific information in a pivot table, you can filter out some of the data. That affects the totals and subtotals, as well as the layout.

If you just want to hide some of the information, without changing the totals, you can collapse one or more of the items, or an entire field.

Click here to see the details, and to watch the video: Show and Hide Pivot Table Details

Create an Excel Table With a Specific Style

When you create a named Excel table with the Table command on the Ribbon's Insert tab, the table retains any formatting that it currently has, and the default Table Style is applied.

If you use the Format as Table command instead, you can insert a table with a specific style, and you can even remove the existing font, fill and border formatting automatically.

Click here to see the details and video, and to download the sample file: Create an Excel Table With a Specific Style

More Excel Tips

Here are a few more Excel articles that I read this week, that you might find useful:

  1. Last week, computer visionary and inventor of the mouse, Douglas Engelbart died, at age 88. You can see the original mouse demo on the Stanford University website. And did you know that Excel users were the inspiration for the mouse's scroll wheel?
  2. Over at the Daily Dose of Excel blog, there's an interesting discussion on best practices for Excel programming. Read Dick Kusleika's article, and add your opinion in the comments section.
  3. For a humorous peek at what other people are saying about Excel, read this week's collection of Excel tweets, on my Excel Theatre blog.
  4. The Data Model is a new feature in Excel 2013, and you can follow the tutorial on the Microsoft Excel team's blog, to see how it works.
  5. On his RAD Excel blog, Colin Legg shares his User Defined Formula (UDF) for counting distinct items. You can download the sample file, and follow along.

Video: Hide Questions in Excel

In this video you'll see how to show subsequent questions in a survey, depending on the answer in the first question. This technique uses conditional formatting to hide the cell contents. Sorry, the video is a little blurry -- I guess my recording equipment was on the fritz that day!

For details on how this is set up, please visit my Contextures blog: Create Secret Hidden Questions in Excel

Beautiful Lilies

The daylilies are blooming in our back yard, and they certainly add some beautiful colour to the garden. The best thing about them is that they thrive on neglect -- I just ignore them, and they come back, year after year.


Recommended Excel Tools

In addition to all the free Excel tips and tutorials, there are other Excel tools that you can invest in. To learn more about the products listed below, click on the links to take a look at their features, and decide if they're right for you.

Note: I am an affiliate for some of the products mentioned in this newsletter, and earn a commission on the sales.


Learn how to create Excel dashboards.


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