Airline Frustrations

After I wrote my notes in last week's newsletter and put the issue "to bed" early on Friday, I had a rather frustrating experience. You'll remember that I mentioned I was in Ohio for the funeral of a dear family friend last Saturday. Well, the experience began the day before, right after having scheduled the newsletter.

We arrived at the airport in Arizona for the flight to Ohio with plenty of time to spare. We checked our bags, went through security, and hunkered down in the gate waiting area. And we waited and waited. No plane; it was announced as coming in late. After 3 arrival delays, the plane finally arrived 2 hours late. (By this time we had been at the airport 4 hours.)

Then they discovered a maintenance issue with the plane. After another 45 minutes, that got fixed, so they started boarding us. In fact, they got us all aboard. Then we waited and waited some more. Finally, the pilot got on the intercom and informed us that the thing they thought was fixed was, in reality, not fixed. (Seems it was a fuel leak in the right wing area--definitely not something to fly around with.)

After a bit more waiting, they deplaned us all and announced they had to wait for a different plane to come in from Las Vegas. It could be 4 (or more) hours. Plus, they had to find a different flight crew because the previous crew ran up against their FAA limits due to the numerous delays.

Originally, had everything been on time, we would have arrived in Ohio at 11:45 pm for a 9:00 am next-day funeral. With the delays, the best we could hope for was to arrive at 6:30 am for that same funeral. If there were no more delays. If they could find the flight crew. And if we were able to get our luggage, travel from the airport to the church, and find a place to change into suitable clothing.

To shorten an already too-long story, we called it quits after having been in the airport for 7 hours. We didn't make it to Ohio for our dear friend's funeral. We, instead, needed to find some other way to share our good-byes and to send our condolences to the family.

Other than that, it was an uneventful week. I hope that yours was better than mine, and that you enjoy the tips in this week's newsletter.


ExcelTips (ribbon) for 31 July 2021

Macros extend Excel
Updating a Web Query Based on a Schedule

Want to make sure that a web query is only executed during certain hours? It may be as easy as scheduling when to turn the query on and off, as explained in this tip.

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(Thanks to Guy Goodwin and Wayne Edmondson for contributing to this tip.)

Deriving High and Low Non-Zero Values

When analyzing your numeric data, you may need to figure out the largest and smallest numbers in a set of values. If you don't want the smallest value to be a zero, then your analysis task becomes just a bit harder.

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(Thanks to Steve Jez and Peter Atherton for contributing to this tip.)

Making Sense of Times and Dates

One of Excel's great strengths is its ability to work with huge amounts of raw data. Two of the most common types of data stored in Excel are times and dates. Working with these special data types is not as easy as it may first seem. Check out ExcelTips: Times and Dates and learn the secrets of working with your times and dates.

Powerful spreadsheets
Disabling a Function Key

Function keys are used to perform common tasks in Excel. If you want to disable one of the function keys, it's rather easy to do. Here's how to do it.

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Conditional formatting
Protecting Your Conditional Formatting Rules

If you have conditional formatting applied in a worksheet, the formulas in those formats may not be as secure as you would like. This tip explains the problem and shows you what you can do to guard the formulas.

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Powerful spreadsheets
Adding Ampersands in Headers and Footers

Add an ampersand to the text in a header or footer and you may be surprised that the ampersand disappears on your printout. There's a reason for that (and a way around it) as discussed in this tip.

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Macros extend Excel
Default Worksheet when Opening

When opening a workbook, you may want to make sure that a particular worksheet is always displayed first. The only way to ensure this is through the use of a macro as described here.

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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.

Viewing the Contents of a Very Wide Cell on Demand

I have a worksheet that has a row for each movie in my collection—over a thousand of them. One of the columns in the worksheet contains the synopsis of each movie. The column is narrow enough that only the first three (or so) words show. Making it wider makes the data less usable, and making it wide enough for the entire synopsis is untenable. Is there a way I can leave the column narrow and when I click on a synopsis it appears, in full length, in a box of some sort?
—Stephen Holtzclaw (provide an answer for this Help Wanted question)

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