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By Curt Frye | Monday, October 13, 2014

Enhance Excel Lookup Using INDEX and MATCH

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Business users of Microsoft Excel take advantage of many of the program’s built-in functions. One of the most popular tools is the VLOOKUP function, which lets you search an Excel worksheet as if it were a database table.

By Curt Frye | Thursday, June 26, 2014

Getting Started with Excel VBA

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Excel is a powerful and versatile tool you can use to analyze data—but not every capability you might want is built in.

Using the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) language, you can script custom processes in Excel. VBA is an object-oriented language, which means that elements of Excel—such as workbooks, worksheets, and the program itself—are represented as objects. An object has three main components:

  • properties, which describe the object
  • methods, which are things the object can do
  • events, which are occurrences the object can recognize and react to

By Curt Frye | Monday, August 20, 2012

Highlighting row differences in Excel

Recognizing when your numbers don’t add up is key to successful operations management, which is why organizations of all types and sizes use the Excel spreadsheet program to manage their operations and inventory. A real-world example of this might be conducting a monthly inventory analysis that compares the number of products in your system with the units counted in your warehouse.

In Excel 2007 and 2010, you can quickly check for differences between these two inventory numbers. First, you select the numbers in your worksheet.

Excel spreadsheet with two rows selected

Next, go to the Home tab on the ribbon, click the Find & Select button, and then click Go To Special.

Selecting row differences in the Go To Special dialog box in Excel

Your Excel data is laid out in two columns, so you want to look for differences between the two cells within each row (A2 compared to B2, A3 compared to B3, and so on). To do this, select the Row differences radio button in the Go To Special dialogue box and click OK.

When you click OK, Excel examines the selected cell range for differences between cells in the same row and highlights cells in the right-hand column that are different from their mates in the left-hand column.

Excel spreadsheet highlighting the rows where cells contain different values

In this case, cells B4 and B7 contain values that differ from their mates in cells A4 and A7.

If your data were arranged in rows, you could highlight cells with different values by selecting the data cells in the worksheet and clicking the Column differences radio button in the Go To Special dialog box.

The Go To Special dialog box is often overlooked by even advanced Excel users, but it’s worth exploring all its useful options.

Interested in more?

Suggested courses to watch next:

Curt Frye is the author of over a dozen lynda.com courses and more than 20 books on Microsoft Excel, including Microsoft Excel 2010 Step by Step for Microsoft Press. He is also a popular speaker, presenting his Improspectives® keynote addresses and workshops for corporate clients.

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