Contextures News

Excel Right-Click Menus

May 31, 2016

Customize your right-click menus, and more, in this week's Excel news. If there are topics that you'd like to see covered in future newsletters, please let me know.

 -  Debra -  ddalgleish @
     Visit my Excel website for many more tutorials and videos.

Change Your Right-Click Menus

Are you a right-clicker? I use a few keyboard shortcuts, but most of the time my hand is on the mouse, and I right-click to see the popup menus. For example, right-click a column heading to insert a new column.

But, as handy as those menus are, some of your favourite commands might not be on them. I'd like to right-click to hide the grid lines, or to set the freeze panes.

Fortunately, there's a free Excel add-in that you can use, to customize those right-click menus. It's called MenuRighter, and you can download it from the YourSumBuddy website. I've been using this add-in for a few years, and Doug Glancy just released a new version. It's much easier to use now, so if you have an old version, get the update!

To help you get started, I recorded a video that you can watch on YouTube. It shows how to make a couple of simple changes to a right-click menu, and how to go back to the default menu, if you change your mind. If you try the MenuRighter add-in, please let me know what you think of it.

Formula Feedback

Thanks for your great ideas for improving the formulas that I wrote about last week. Today I'll share some of the suggestions for the formula to Count Specific Codes in a List.

  • Dan C. suggested a table with unique codes for each item, to prevent "codes within codes". That would make it much easier to count things!
  • Ron P. used named ranges, for a much shorter formula: SUM(COUNTIF(Range,Z2),COUNTIF(Range,Z2&Sep&"*"),COUNTIF(Range,"*"&Sep&Z2&Sep&"*"),COUNTIF(Range,"*"&Sep&Z2))
  • And Leonid Koyfman sent this beauty -- it's an array formula, so press Ctrl + Shift + Enter.
    Can you figure out how/why it works? We'll look at the details next week.

Excel Versions

Recently, I got a new laptop, and am slowly setting it up, and customizing the installation of Excel. You can read about it on my Debra D blog -- I wanted to write things down, in case I ever have to go through this again!

There is a 3-question survey at the end of my blog post, so please answer it, if you have a minute. I'd like to know what version/edition of Excel you're using. Thanks!

On my current laptop, I have standalone versions of Office 2003, Office 2010, and Office 2013. By that I mean they're "one-time purchase" versions, not the Office 365 subscription versions. On the new laptop, I've installed Office 365, so I have Excel 2016 now, and will get updates, if new features are added. I'm having fun with the 6 new functions, and will write about those in upcoming newsletters.

Excel Articles

Here are a couple of Excel articles I read recently, that you might find useful.

Bump Charts -- Ben Collins shows how to create a dynamic Bump Chart in Excel, using football/soccer data. If you don't know what a Bump Chart is, read this explanation (like I did!) (Level - Intermediate/Advanced)

Excel Courses -- There are some great (and free!) Excel-related online courses coming up on the edX site. For example, Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel started yesterday, and it is let by Dany Hoter, from Microsoft's Excel team. Take a look at the other courses too! (Level - Intermediate/Advanced)

More Excel Articles -- Visit my Excel website for many more tutorials and videos. And for a bit of fun, read my weekly collection of entertaining Excel tweets.

Garden Helper

Our granddaughter came to visit on the weekend, so it was nice to have a garden helper! She planted some of the marigolds, and carefully moved a few earthworms to new homes. Then it was time for fun -- bike rides, playing at the park, games, and arts and crafts. Now I'm back in the office, getting some rest!

NOTE: If you have any problems with the links in the email, you can see this newsletter on my website -- copy this link and paste it into your browser:

Recommended Excel Products

  • Easy Data Entry: Add a popup list, to your worbook, so you can quickly enter items in a cell. The Data Validation Multi Select Premium (DVMSP) kit helps you set things up. Then, a list appears when you click a cell, so only valid items can be entered. Reduce data entry errors and typos. You can customize the list, to allow single or multiple selection, in specific columns.
  • Excel Chart Tools: If you build complex charts, save time with Jon Peltier's Excel Charting add-in. Don't waste hours trying to format the chart yourself!


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Last updated: June 14, 2017 11:49 PM