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Excel Weekly News from Contextures May 20, 2014

Compare Years in Pivot Chart + more Excel tips

In this week's Excel news, you'll see how to compare years in a pivot chart, and other tips. Thank you for reading the Excel news!

 -  Debra

Show Drop Down Items in List Box

Instead of selecting items from a drop down list on the worksheet, use a pop-up list box, to make selection easier. You can change the font size, and make the list longer and wider.

Click here to see the details, and download the sample file: Show Drop Down Items in List Box

Compare Years in Pivot Chart

If you’re summarizing by date in a pivot table, you’ll usually need to group the date field, to get a chart that’s easy to read. In this example, the source data contains records from the service department at a manufacturing company. We’ll build a chart that compares last year’s work order counts to this year’s.

Click here to read the details, and watch the video: Compare Years in Pivot Chart

Drop Down Cell Changes Pivot Table

There is a new sample file on my website, and it lets you select from a cell's drop down list. After you select an item, all the pivot tables on that sheet are changed, to filter by the selected item. The file is in xls format, so you can even use it in older versions of Excel..

Click here to see the details: Change Pivot Table Filters With Drop Down Cell

More Excel Tips

Here are a few of the Excel articles that I read recently, that you might find useful:

  • The Frankens Team show how to create a new kind of chart in Excel – a stacked column flow chart. If you’re not a fan of the movie Young Frankenstein, you can just skip past the quote at the beginning.
  • Chandoo created a timer, to keep track of the time it takes him to solve a Rubik’s Cube puzzle. You could use it for work-related tasks too.
  • Finally, 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.

Video: Select Sections of a Pivot Table

If you're working with a pivot table, you might want to change the formatting for the labels or values in one section. Use the Selection Arrow to select specific sections of a Pivot Table, so you can modify them. See how to turn on the Enable Selection feature, if necessary.

Spring Bouquet

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the Excel Summit in Amsterdam last week, but I did get a lovely bouquet of tulips. It's not quite the same as being there, but it did bring a little touch of the Netherlands into my kitchen.


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.


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