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In Excel 2010 Power Shortcuts, Excel expert Dennis Taylor shares tips and shortcuts to vastly increase efficiency and get the full power out of Excel 2010. There are tips for working with the Ribbon and Quick Access toolbar, navigating workbooks and selecting cells, rapid data entry and editing, working with formulas, formatting data, working with charts, sorting data, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
When you've got data with recurring entries, for example in column C here we see departments. This entire list of over 700 names sorted by department. How easy is it to create a unique list? In other words, a list of the departments in column C with no repeats. It can be easier than you think by using a PivotTable. Now, even if you have never used a PivotTable, and this is not a course on PivotTables, I think you want to know this trick. Let's just click anywhere in this data, and it's all contiguous, row after row, column after column, no empty rows in here.
We're going to go to the Insert tab, click PivotTable, and simply click OK. On new sheet to the left of the current one, we'll certainly have a new sheet, usually Sheet1, Sheet2, etcetera, the field in question here is Department. You see the PivotTable Field List on the right-hand side. Put a check mark in front of Department. There is our unique list, right there. Copy and paste it. Maybe that's all you're going to do with this PivotTable. Move it somewhere, whatever.
There it is, easy and fast, and it's alphabetized too for convenience. We can do that with other fields as well. How about a unique list of buildings here? How many different buildings do we have? Click Building, there it is. Main, North, South, Taft, Watson, West and so on. How many statuses do we have here? So, just check one of the boxes. We see this very quickly. This isn't the major purpose of a PivotTable of course, but it's handy and it's fast and it's easy. Why not? Just highlight it and copy it, wherever you want to put it, easy to do.
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