Giving Thanks

In the United States (and several other parts of the world), this coming Thursday is a holiday. It is the fourth Thursday in November and is, thus, Thanksgiving. I was part of a discussion with a granddaughter about a week ago in explaining the roots of the holiday and why we celebrate it. So that she could understand, I pointed out that it is a time set aside to give thanks for the blessings we enjoy.

Truth be told, I offer up my thanks just about every day. I find myself living in a time of great opportunities, of great goodness, and what previous generations would have viewed as miracles. Even amidst the chaos and sorrow that afflicts us, I am able to see good, and I give thanks.

I hope that you, similarly, are able to sift the good from the bad and, in your own way, will pause on the appointed day (or any day) and give thanks for the blessings you enjoy.


ExcelTips (ribbon) for 21 November 2020

Macros extend Excel
Making a Macro Button Stay Put

Excel allows you to add buttons to your worksheet that can be used to trigger macros. If you don't want those buttons to move around, but want them to stay put on the sheet, here are some approaches you can use.

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(Thanks to Hans Hallebeek, Gary Styles, Steve Aprahamian, Jim Williams, Dave Newcomer, Rolf Moe, Tomas Wallgren, Koen Segers, Al Fernandes, Bob Myers, Dave Onorato, John Louws, Charlie O'Neill,

Cell formatting
Filling a Cell

One way you can format a cell is so that its contents are repeated over and over again for the entire width of the cell. It's simple to do using the formatting technique highlighted in this tip.

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Baffled by Array Formulas?

Have you heard about the special array formulas you can create in Excel? They make it a snap to perform calculations using large amounts of data and even generate results you can't get with regular formulas. Array formulas may be Excel's best-kept secret. Remove the confusion; discover how to use array formulas today.

Customizing Excel
Controlling the Behavior of the Mouse Wheel

The mouse wheel, by default, controls scrolling vertically through your worksheet. If you don't want the wheel to control scrolling, you can turn the capability off.

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Charts and charting
Outside End Data Label for a Column Chart

It can be frustrating when Excel doesn't display the formatting options that you know it should for your charts. This tip addresses one such frustration when trying to format how data labels look on a column chart.

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Pulling a Phone Number with a Known First and Last Name

When using an Excel worksheet to store data (such as names and phone numbers), you may need a way to easily look up a phone number associated with a name. If the name is stored in two columns, it can be confusing to get to the phone number associated with those names. Here are a variety of ways you can get what you need.

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Finding the First Non-Digit in a Text Value

If you have a string of text that is composed of digits and non-digits, you may want to know where the digits stop and the non-digits begin. There are a couple of ways you can determine this demarcation line, as described in this tip.

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Help Wanted

This section is for those having problems making Excel behave. If Excel is giving you fits, feel free to submit your own Help Wanted question.

If you have a solution for the problems below, click the link after the problem to send us your answer. (All responses become the sole property of Sharon Parq Associates, Inc., and can be used in any way deemed appropriate.) If your response is used in a future issue, you will be credited for your contribution to the answer.

Stopping a Worksheet from being Moved or Copied

A user can rather easily right-click on a worksheet tab and thereby move or copy a worksheet to another workbook. I am looking for a way to prevent this behavior; I need a way to stop a user from making a copy of a worksheet or moving it. How can this be done?
—Matthew Smith (provide an answer for this Help Wanted question)

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