Automatically Refresh PivotTable – Excel VBA

Excel PivotTables do not refresh automatically when the data source is updated.

Now, you can refresh all of the PivotTables in your workbook with just 2 or 3 clicks. But this is not something you need to do when you work with formulas, charts or Conditional Formatting. So you might forget, or just find it irritating to do it regularly.

This tutorial walks you through the VBA code to refresh the PivotTable automatically.

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The GETPIVOTDATA Function in Excel

The GETPIVOTDATA function is used to query and extract data from a PivotTable. It is essential a PivotTable lookup formula.

This function can be extremely useful. When your PivotTable updates and may grow or reduce in size, or the field items may change order, GETPIVOTDATA will continue to extract the correct data.

In this blog post we will show why the GETPIVOTDATA function is useful with an example, but then show an example when we do not want it and how to turn the feature off. Continue reading

4 Alternatives to Nested IF Formulas

Nested IF formulas are extremely useful for complex decision making on a spreadsheet, but they can also be long, messy and convoluted.

This blog post explores 4 alternatives which are easier, faster and cleaner than the classic nested IF.

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Highlight the Cells that Contain a Specific Word (and it Matches Case)

In this blog post we look at how to highlight the cells that contain a specific word. We will also ensure that the word in the cell matches the case of the word being looked for.

For this example we have a list of the Ballon d’or winners of all time. Column B contains 3 letters in uppercase (after the name) which identify the country that the player represented at the time of winning the award.

In cell E1 I have entered the 3 digits for a country. I would like to automatically change the colour of all the cells that contain the country written in E1.

Highlight cells containing specific text

There is a good chance that the 3 digits identifying a country could also occur in a players name. For example, the letters for France – FRA do occur in the name Franz Beckenbauer.

To prevent this happening we will match the case of the word we are searching for, as it is always written in upper case. Continue reading

5 Groovy SUMPRODUCT Examples – Advanced Excel Formula Tutorials

In this blog post we look at 5 groovy examples of the SUMPRODUCT function. This is one of the great functions of Excel. A function that can turn you from being an Intermediate/Advanced Excel user to an Excel guru instantly.

The SUMPRODUCT function is powerful, versatile and expansive. It is the go to function when looking for an alternative to array formulas.

If you are a newbie – check out our SUMPRODUCT function guide to get an understanding of how it works.

Ok, are you ready to rock on with these 5 awesome SUMPRODUCT examples?

Let’s do this.

If you prefer to watch videos, check out this video covering the tutorials from this blog post.

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5 Excel INDIRECT Function Examples

In this blog post we look at 5 examples of the INDIRECT function of Excel. This is a very misunderstood function, which can be incredibly useful and powerful.

Prefer to watch the video? The video tutorial below will demonstrate all 5 INDIRECT function examples.

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Create a Searchable Drop Down List Just Like Google Search – Excel Trick

This blog post will take you through the steps to create a searchable drop down list in Excel – just like Google search. This is a great Excel trick for working with large drop down lists.

In this tutorial we will use a list of 87 names that as we type into the drop down list, it searches the names, and the list shortens to show only those names containing that string of characters.

searchable drop down list in Excel

There are a few formulas to write to get this done. Everything is shown and provided in this tutorial. If you prefer a video. Check out the video tutorial below.

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Use Own Icon for Macro Button on Ribbon

In this blog post we look at how you can use your own icon or image for the button of your macro on the Ribbon. This could be an image that you have created, or one that you downloaded from a website.

By using our own icons we can create customised workbooks and not be constrained by the standard Microsoft icon set provided.

In this example I have a macro that exports all the worksheets of a workbook to PDF, and I want to assign it to the icon shown below. This icon was downloaded from, a fantastic resource for icons that you can use for your macros.
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Excel Formula to Extract Postcode from an Address

I was asked recently in class how to extract a postcode from an address in the UK. The person asking needed a formula because the spreadsheet updates often and they wanted an automated solution.

The problem with extracting UK postcodes is that they are highly irregular. They will be at the end of the full address and can come in a different number of characters e.g. E1 6AX, RM3 8HN and LE41 8JX.

They are not as structured as a US zip code may be and harder to extract. Because of this the formula is intense, but I am going to break it down and explain it in detail.

Extract postcode from UK address with Excel formula

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Excel Formula to Find the Least Frequent Value

This tutorial explains an Excel formula to find the least frequent value in a list. This formula will work whether the value is a number, or text. In this example we want to return the name that occurs the least.

The spreadsheet below shows a list of names with the answer in cell D2. Ross is the name that occurs the least in that list.

Excel formula for least frequent value

This formula returns the least frequent value from the list in A2:A16. The formula is explained below so keep reading.


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