Off the Road for a Bit

If you've read this space the past few weeks, you know I've been doing a good deal of traveling lately. Well, I finally made it back home yesterday, and it is good to be off the road for a while. I was in Arizona, visiting my parents, and working on a project I hope to let you know about right after the first of the month.

The weather was great, and traveling conditions were wonderful. I even got to have my oldest grandson along for the ride, and he is a wonderful traveling companion. (I consider myself very fortunate.)

I hope your weekend is going well and that you enjoy the tips in this week's newsletter.


ExcelTips (ribbon) for 12 October 2019

Solving a Quadratic Equation

One of the staples of high school algebra classes is the quadratic equation. If you need to solve such equations in Excel, you'll appreciate the information in this tip.

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(Thanks to Steve Aprahamian, Ron Solecki, Ryszard Raciborski, Bob Beechey, Leslie Glasser, Wayne Edmondson, Nick Kramer, and Philip Webb for contributing to this tip.)

Changing Line Color in a Drawing Object

Don't like the color of the lines that Excel chose for your drawing object? It's easy to choose your own colors, as pointed out in this tip.

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Formatting Made Powerful

Discover one of the foundational building blocks of Excel. Custom formats are the basis for all cell-level formatting in Excel, and you can master their use. Display your data exactly and precisely as you want.

Custom formats
Understanding Date and Time Formatting Codes

Want to apply a custom format to your dates and times? To do it effectively you need to understand the custom formatting codes that apply to this type of data.

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Worksheet functions
Counting Displayed Cells

When you filter data, Excel displays only a portion of what is really in a worksheet. If you want to count the number of cells that are displayed after filtering, then you'll want to explore the techniques in this tip.

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Extracting File Names from a Path

If you have a full path designation for the location of a file on your hard drive, you may want a way for Excel to pull just the file's name from that path. There are a number of ways you can accomplish this task, using both formulas and macros.

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(Thanks to Willy Vanhaelen for contributing to this tip.)

Creating a Dated Backup File

As you are developing your workbooks, you might want a way to automatically create backup files that include a date and time for that backup. This can be done with a macro or with third-party add-ins, 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.

Updating a PivotChart Automatically

I have monthly data in a worksheet. I use a PivotTable to aggregate this information into a quarterly information; this works great. I then created a PivotChart based on the information in the PivotTable. Problem is, if the PivotTable updates, the PivotChart does not automatically update. Is there a way to update the PivotChart whenever the PivotTable is updated?
—David Allen (provide an answer for this Help Wanted question)

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