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Excel Weekly News from Contextures Apr 23, 2012

Find missing drop down arrows, use the IFERROR function, watch the musical resignation, and other tips, in this week's Excel news from Contextures.
 -  Debra

Data Validation Problems

Excel's data validation is a great feature -- when everything goes well! Sometimes, though, you'll run into problems, like missing arrows for your drop down lists.

On the Contextures website, the Data Validation Tips and Quirks page has a list of common reasons for those missing arrows, and ways that you can fix the problem.

Watch the video: Excel Data Validation Arrows Are Missing

Change Data Source for All Pivot Tables

If you need to change the data source for one pivot table, you can use the Ribbon commands to make the change.

If there are several pivot tables in a workbook, and all of them need to be changed, you can use a macro to change the data source.

How to Show Excel Preview Picture When Opening Files

When you save an Excel file, you can change its property settings to include a preview picture. Then, you can see that picture when looking at folder contents, instead of the message, "Preview not available".

This makes it easier to find the file you want to open, when you have several files with similar names. 


Read Dick Kusleika's article on the problems that you can run into when using the IFERROR function, and you'll find more good information in the comments section.

Compare Excel Files Side-by-Side

Chandoo posted a quick tip for comparing two Excel files, side-by-side on the computer screen. This is one of the newer features in Excel, and you might not have discovered it yet.

Resignation Letter To Microsoft (Bye, Bye Excel and I)

One of the Excel program managers is moving on to a new job, and she posted a musical resignation letter on YouTube

If you're not sure what an Excel Program Manager does, there is an explanation on the Society for Technical Communication website: What Makes a Microsoft Program Manager?

Excel Humour

Once again, I read the Excel tweets, so you don't have to! Here are a few favourites from this week. You can read the rest of the tweet collection here.
  • That or a pivot table. I hear some combination of fire and pivot tables solves most Excel problems.
  • I have made an incredible spreadsheet. It has drop downs, filters, & coloured cells! I wonder if Facebook want to buy it for $10 million?
  • Discovered the keyboard shortcut for switching sheets in an Excel workbook. My excitement about this seems a sad commentary on my life.

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