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30 Excel Functions in 30 Days




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Excel Weekly News from Contextures Aug 13, 2013

Change the default chart type + more Excel tips

In this week's Excel news, you'll see how to change the default chart type, and other tips. Thank you for reading the Excel news!

 -  Debra

Excel Tips Workbook Giveaway

The four winner of last week's giveaway, for Mike Girvin's new book, Ctrl+Shift+Enter: Mastering Array Formulas, are Barry Charnock, John Fairlie, Erica and Vaibhav Garg. Congratulations!

This week, you can enter the giveaway for a chance to win a Spreadsheet Tips Workbook from Vertex42. The publisher, Jon Wittwer, has donated 2 copies of the workbook as prizes.

Go to my blog post, read the rules, and add your comment, to enter the draw for this workbook. The deadline is Wednesday, August 14th, at 12 noon, Eastern time.

Click here to see the details, and to enter the giveaway: Spreadsheet Tips Workbook Giveaway

Prevent Changes to Pivot Table Setup

With a bit of programming, you can restrict what happens to a pivot table, after you've set it up. A few simple commands can block anyone from opening the pivot table options window, or using the Ribbon commands.

Click here to see the details: Prevent Changes to Pivot Table Setup

Change the Default Chart Type in Excel

When you first install Excel, the default chart type is a clustered column. If you select data and press the F11 key, a chart sheet will be inserted, with the default chart type.

You can change the default to a different chart type, if you prefer, in a few easy steps.

Click here to see the details, and to see a video with the steps: Change the Default Chart Type in Excel

More Excel Tips

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

  1. If you use Excel tables, read Jon Acompura's article that explains how to create an absolute reference to a table's column. This is a great technique, and something that I hadn't figured out before.
  2. On the Daily Dose of Excel blog, David Hagar creates a very long formula that calculates the number of unique items in a delimited string. Have a strong cup of coffee close by while you read this one!
  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. Is your attention span shorter than a goldfish's? This infographic shows why visualizations can help get your message across, so be sure to put a few charts in your Excel dashboards. But not pie charts!

Upcoming Excel Courses

Chandoo’s online PowerPivot course, starts on August 19th, and you can register now. In addition to the basic course, there is a new advanced level course, taught by Rob Collie, who used to work on Microsoft’s PowerPivot team. This is a great opportunity to learn from the best!

Video: Select a Random Name

I've been running weekly giveaways on my blog this summer, and I use Excel to select the random winners. I use the comment numbers from all the giveaway entries, and the RAND function creates a column of numbers that I can sort by. Watch this short video to see a simple version of a random sort.

For more tips on Excel functions, please visit my Contextures website: Functions and Formulas FAQ

Early Signs of Autumn

Summer is more than half over, but it's too early to be seeing fallen leaves. However, I couldn't resist taking a picture of this lovely leaf on the forest floor last week. It caught my eye when a ray of sunshine highlighted it.


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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