Excel Weekly News from Contextures July 23, 2013

Running total over years + more Excel tips

In this week's Excel news, you'll see how to remove picture backgrounds, show a running total over years, and other tips. Thank you for reading the Excel news!

 -  Debra ddalgleish@contextures.com

Remove Picture Background and Excel Book Giveaway

You probably don't add too many pictures in Excel, but sometimes a company logo, or other type of graphic is required on a worksheet. There are some powerful graphic tools in Excel -- much more than you would expect in a spreadsheet program!

If you have Excel 2010 or later, you can remove the background in a picture, which might make it easier to position, so it doesn't overlap the numbers and text.

And, there is a book giveaway too, for John Walkenbach's 101 Excel 2013 Tips, Tricks & Timesavers. Go to my blog, and add your favourite Excel tip in the comments, to enter the draw for this book. The deadline is tomorrow, Wednesday, July 24th, at 12 noon, Eastern time.

Click here to see the details, and to enter the giveaway: Remove Picture Background and Excel Book Giveaway

Running Total Stops at Year End

Instead of using formulas, you can quickly create a running total in a pivot table, to show how amount accumulate over time. However, if you group the dates in the pivot table, by years and months, the running total will stop at the end of each year, and start over in the next year.

To avoid this, you can use a new field in your source data, which combines the year and month, and use that field in the pivot table.

Click here to see the details, and to watch the video: Running Total Stops at Year End

Missing Drop Down Arrows in Excel 2013

Drop down lists, created with data validation, make data entry easier on a worksheet. However, data validation does have some quirks, and I found another one recently -- missing arrows in Excel 2013.

Click here to see the details on the missing arrows in Excel 2013: Missing Drop Down Arrows in Excel 2013

More Excel Tips

Here are a few more Excel articles that I read this week, that you might find useful:

  1. If you love formulas, Jeff Weir is hosting a Formula Challenge on Chandoo's blog. How would you solve this problem?
  2. On Microsoft's Excel blog, Zach Barresse explains how the new Timelines feature works in Excel 2013. It's a new filter for pivot tables, that makes it easy to focus on a specific date range.
  3. 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.
  4. On his Excel Guru blog, Ken Puls shares his Conditional Formatting Formula Inspector. You can download a copy, and install it as an add-in, then use it to look for specific text in conditional formatting rules.
  5. If you're building a dashboard in Excel, Chandoo has a few tips for displaying numbers that have context and meaning.

Video: Change a Comment Shape

Instead of showing a worksheet comment in a plain yellow rectangle, did you know that you can change a comment's shape and colour? Watch this short video to see the steps.

For more information on comments, please visit my Contextures website: Excel Comment Tips

Excel Dashboard Course Recommendation

For a limited time, Mynda Treacy from My Online training Hub is opening her Excel Dashboard course, and if you sign up by 8 pm Pacific time on July 31st, you can get the course for 20% off.

The course is video based, delivered online and is available 24/7. You'll receive comprehensive workbooks and sample dashboards to keep, and there's even an option to download the videos.

The previous classes were very successful, and you can read the glowing reviews from the students, who loved all the techniques that they learned in the course, and are using them to impress their colleagues.

Click here to find out find out details of the course, read the student comments, and watch the 'behind the scenes' video that shows you what you'll receive as a member.

Remember, if you sign up by July 31st, you can get the dashboard course for 20% off.

Excel Dashboard Course

Hot and Humid

It was so hot and humid last week, that I tried to avoid spending time outside. Thank goodness for air conditioning! At least this daisy was looking fresh and cool, because the rest of us weren't.


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