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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.
The data in this worksheet appears to have been set up for printing purposes. Rather than repeating the department name over and over and over again in column A, we only see it referenced once at the beginning of the department. So by implication, these people here are in the ADC department, these people in the Admin Training department and so on. And it's potentially a huge list. And it is easier on the eyes when we are working with this data on the printed page. Now as it turns out we are going to be adding more data eventually here.
And the problem is if we sort the data. Suppose we put in a new column that's salary or building or something like that and we sort the data. We will not be able to sort the data by department again because these are blank. What we'd like to do now is to fill this in. Now this could be somewhat tedious and it could be thousands of rows. It's going to take a while. So pulling together a variety of tips at once, let's talk about a couple of ideas. If we could some how select just the cells in here that don't have data, and that sounds like it's probably kind of tedious.
Is there a way to do that and where would we look for that kind of feature? Well it is here, and I think you'd have a tough time finding it. Let's select column A. And in English let's say we would like to highlight all the cells in column A that are blank. Now we don't want to do this below the data. This goes down you know a few hundred rows and ends eventually after row 800 or somewhere like that. We only care about this and here we've selected column A, but how do we select the blanks? On the Home tab, the extreme right button, Find & Select. Sounds like a good choice, but now what? I think there are quite jumps out at us. Go to Special.
Let's choose Blanks. Click OK. Only the blank cells are highlighted. Now I am dragging the scroll bar on the right-hand side to show you that below the data here, it's not highlighting the cells. In other words it's not going down to row one million and forty eight thousand. It's just highlighting these. So what do we want each of these blank cells to contain? We want each of these cells to be equal to the cell above it. So how about typing = and then press up arrow.
Now for the moment we are seeing a formula in cell A3. It's about to put in the data from A2. And you may remember one of the top 10 shortcuts is if you've got multiple cells highlighted and you write a formula and you press Ctrl+Enter what happens? The same relative formula goes in all these cells. So I am going to press Ctrl+Enter, and we see what's happening here. Now we are all set. Or are we? Because what we have I column A for the moment are some cells with pure text in them and others with formulas.
What we really want to do here is to take these formulas and convert them into values. And simply click column A here and with the right mouse button we'll temporarily drag this into column B and then right back on top of column A, using one of our top 10 tips of copying here as Values Only, so there we are. This truly is ADC. No more formulas anymore. And now we can proceed, put in our other columns as needed, and we can sort the data by Employee Name and then later sort it by Department, whereas we could not have done that previously.
So it's a combination of tips that brings these together. Going the opposite direction can be a little tricky. And it's a good idea not to get rid of this data. But what if you did want to print this information and not have these appearing all the time? The secondary entries, just the first ones. Let me make a suggestion then we'll show you how to get there. What if we could some how make the font be white? Hmm. Sounds like a cheap trick doesn't it? I am clicking column A, and I am going to use on the Home tab Conditional Formatting.
And none of the rules here is quite appropriate for what we want to do. We want to create a new rule. And that new rule will use a formula. Now in English here's what we are about to say. First of all, the active cell right now on the worksheet is A1. We can see this in the upper left-hand corner. So I am going to write a quick formula here =a1=. Now this is an unlikely entry. a1048576. What is that all about? If cell A1 is equal to the one above i. Well there is no cell above it. What did I type in here? The cell at the very bottom of the worksheet, so whenever a cell in column A is equal to the cell above it we want its fonts to be white.
Now as you look at cells A2, A3, A4 that starts to make a little sense maybe. If cell A3 is the same as cell A2 we are going to make its font be white, but this formula is certainly as not intuitive, and it seems a little strange, but it will work. So whenever this occurs and again we have to kind of translate this and say what this means. This means when any cell in column A is equal to the cell above it we want to use a special format there. And that format is to use a font whose color is white.
Click OK, click OK, click outside of it, and we don't see this. And of course when we print this we will not see that. Now if you click column A you do see that faintly in the background. So maybe it is a cheap trick, but it gets the job done. Now if we don't need this any more, we'll just click column A, jump back here, click this button and eventually there we go, automatic. We are all set. But our Conditional Formatting is still there isn't it? So we would have to actually take off the rule.
Conditional Formatting and clear the rules from the selected cells. There we go. So we've seen here two different examples, one where we needed to fill in the actual entries when they were missing. And second approach didn't really take them out but gave us the visual impression they were gone, and we did that for printing purposes.
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