Contextures News 20200407

Excel Workbook Tips

April 7, 2020

Fix slow workbooks, don't get confused, 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.

Which Workbook?

Here's a quick tip that might help when you're working with multiple versions of an Excel workbook. For example:

  • You have the latest version of a file open, so you can make changes to it.
  • Then, you have to open one or more of the older versions of that file, to compare formulas, or data
  • It can get confusing, and hard to remember which workbook is the latest one.

To prevent accidental changes to the older versions:

  • Open the old files as Read Only - use the drop down list on the Open button
    • Tip: Change your old files to Read Only, in Windows Explorer, to protect them
  • In each old workbook, select all the sheet tabs, and change them to bright pink, or another "hard-to-miss" colour.
  • That makes it easy to find the latest version, and make your changes
  • Then, close and save the latest workbook, and close all the others without saving.

For more details, see my blog post, How to Spot the Old Excel File

Related Post: Tips for Organizing Your Excel Files

make a quick backup

Fix Slow Workbooks

If you're an Excel power user, with lots of calculation-intensive workbooks, the tools in Charles Williams' FastExcel add-in can help you speed things up. These tools help you manage your Excel files, and find and fix calculation problems, to make your workbooks smaller and faster.

There are more details, and a short FastExcel demo video on my Contextures site, so take a look, if your workbooks are pushing the limits of Excel.

Discount: Purchase FastExcel V4 Bundle by April 15, 2020, and use coupon code FXLV4INTRO to get a 40% discount.

FastExcel profiler

Food Inventory

If you're sheltered at home, and only allowed out to get essential items, like we are, it's helpful to keep track of what supplies you have on hand. I've updated my Excel weekly meal planner, by adding new columns to enter inventory information.

ingredient inventory details

Then, when I choose the meals for next week, I can base my choices on what's in the cupboard. And, when we do go shopping for essentials, the shopping list shows what we need in the recipes, and what we already have at home.

extra columns in pivot table

Excel Articles

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

Collaborate: If you're working from home, Ed Bott explains how to get the free version of Microsoft Teams, so you can have real-time collaboration on your Excel files, while working from home. (Level-All)

Dashboards: Robert Mundigl shows how to use table Slicers on an Excel dashboard, with a simple example file to download. You can download the fancy dashboard workbook too, to see how it works. (Level-Int/Adv)

Excel Humour: See what people said about Excel recently. Do you have any Excel confessions that you'd like to share?

Also see: My Excel Products || Previous Issues

Online Lessons

The local schools are closed until at least May 4th, so our grandkids are being home schooled for now. My granddaughter and I are doing a couple of FaceTime art sessions each week, and that's going well. Here's the toilet paper roll owl that she made in our first class, which was lots of fun, errr educational!

This week, I'll start helping my grandson with FaceTime math classes, and that will be fun too. Maybe we can work Excel into some of the lessons!

weekly photo

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I'll also post any article updates or corrections there.

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

Debra Dalgleish

Debra Dalgleish

P.S. You can choose the full Contextures news package (news and occasional special announcements), or basic news package (news only). Click either link to change your option.

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Weekly Meal Planne




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Last updated: April 7, 2020 11:47 AM