Contextures News 20180925

Excel Faster VLOOKUP

September 25, 2018

VLOOKUP speed tip, new ways to automate Excel, and more, in this week's Excel news. Visit my Excel website for more tips, tutorials and videos, and check the index for past issues of this newsletter.

Note: For some products mentioned below, I earn a commission on sales. That helps support the free tutorials on my site.

New Ways to Automate Excel

Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) has been around for a long time, and before that, there were Excel 4 macros. Now there are new ways to automate Excel, and maybe you've tried some of them.

If you live near London, you have a rare opportunity to learn about these new tools, from Microsoft developers, and Excel experts. There will be a one-day Develop Excel conference on October 18th, at Microsoft's new London Reactor site. This is a not-for-profit event, and you can register free, or with a contribution to help cover the event costs.

If you're not sure whether to register, I wrote about it on my blog last week, with a few reasons to attend, including the big numbers for developer opportunity. There are a couple of videos too, with demos of the new tools -- that might help you decide.

developer opportunity

Weird Color Button

I'm working on a free Excel tool, and it should be ready for you by next week. It has a custom Ribbon tab, and while looking for button images to use, I found this one -- Cycle Font Color.

It's not on the Ribbon, but you can add it to your Quick Access Toolbar. Each time you click, it increases the Color Index number for the font colour in the active cell, until it gets to 56. Then, it starts at 1 again. It's entertaining, but can you think of any real-life uses for this weird color button?

Cycle Font Color

Also, did you know that Excel recognizes the first 8 colours by name too? You can use those names in custom number formatting, such as [green][<50];[red][>=50]

custom number format with color

Excel Articles

Here are a few Excel articles that you might find useful or interesting.

Microsoft Ignite - If you couldn't make it to this week's Microsoft Ignite conference in Orlando, don't worry! You can watch all the sessions online (live stream or on-demand), from the comfort of home. Here is the list of Excel sessions, and they all look interesting. (Level - Int/Adv)

VLOOKUP - Charles Williams, an expert on Excel speed, shows how to do faster lookups using 2 VLOOKUPs. It seems strange, but I recommended that solution to someone last week, and their recalcs ran much faster after trying it. (Level - Intermediate)

Also see: My Excel Products || Excel Events || Previous Issues || Weekly Humour

Soup Chart

While I was making soup in the slow cooker, the ingredients turned into a pie chart -- or is that a soup chart? (I added the lines with the iPhone photo editor.)

This was the first time that we've tried French (Puy) lentils, and the soup was delicious. These fancy lentils are from Le Puy in France, and have their own website (English flag at the top right). Maybe I'll use them in one of these BBC lentil recipes next.

weekly photo

That's it for this week! If you have any comments or questions, send me an email.

NOTE: For the online version, paste this URL into your web browser:
I'll also post any article updates or corrections there.

Debra Dalgleish

Debra Dalgleish

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Last updated: March 10, 2022 9:55 AM