The example below is a typical example of CONCATENATE. In this example, it is being used to join the first name and last name and insert a space in between. The formula below is written in cell C2.

=CONCATENATE(A2,” “,B2)

This blog post uncovers **4 amazing tips to take your CONCATENATE functions to the next level**.

If you are joining large amounts of text then you may need to wrap it on multiple lines. This is a common technique with text in Excel because excessively wide column can make tables awkward.

To do this with the CONCATENATE function, you must first apply text wrapping to the cells. This alone though will not wrap the text of a formula.

To wrap the text of the CONCATENATE function we need to insert line breaks. And because this is a formula that will require a function.

The function for the job is CHAR. This function will return a character specified by a code from the computer. We need a line break so need to know the code for that. You can find these codes by searching online. For a line break we need code 10.

This CHAR function can be nested within CONCATENATE like below.

=CONCATENATE(A2,CHAR(10),B2,CHAR(10),C2,CHAR(10),D2)

The result of the above formula is shown below.

The Ampersand (&) can also be used to join text as a simple alternative to the CONCATENATE function. The example below joins the first name and last name again with a space in between.

=A2&” “&B2

The TEXT function can be used with CONCATENATE to brilliant effect.

The TEXT function will convert a number to text, but display it in a number format. Without the TEXT function we would not be able to join numbers into a text string in a legible format.

In the example below the TEXT function has been used to include the sum total of values in CONCATENATE, and display them in a currency format.

=CONCATENATE("Total sales for 2016 - ",TEXT(SUM(B4:B8),"£#,###.00"))

Adding descriptive labels to your Excel charts is useful. Adding creative and dynamic labels is awesome.

You can link your chart labels such as the chart title, data labels and axis titles to the cells of a worksheet. The great thing about this is that when the cell content changes, so does the chart label.

Now with CONCATENATE we can build great content for labels. Take for example, the sales total using the TEXT function we created previously. This would be a great label.

To link a chart label to the cell; simply click on the label, then click the Formula Bar and type = followed by clicking on the cell.

The reference created by Excel will be absolute and include the sheet name. It will look something like *=’This Year Sales’!$C$10*.

You will then have an awesome chart title like below which updates as the formulas on the sheet change.

**One that drifts under the radar a little is the WEEKDAY function**. This function will return a number that identifies the day of the week of a date.

This can be very useful. This blog post will look at two examples of what the WEEKDAY function can do for you.

Firstly, let’s look at how this function is written. The syntax of the function is;

=WEEKDAY(serial number, [return type])

The *serial number* is simply the date that you want to find out the weekday for.

The *return type* is a number from 1 to 7 that identifies the day of the week of the date. It provides a list so that you can choose how you would like the number returned e.g. Sunday = 1 to Saturday = 7, or Monday = 1 to Sunday = 7.

One situation where you may want to use the WEEKDAY function is to calculate a different rate of pay for weekend work.

In the list below the WEEKDAY function has been used with the IF function in column C to calculate a different rate of pay when working on a Saturday.

This was achieved my using the formula below in cell C2. This formula checks if the day of the week is equal to 7 (which indicates a Saturday). If this is true then the hours worked is multiplied by the Saturday rate, and if not then the hours worked is multiplied by the standard workday hourly rate.

=IF(WEEKDAY(A2,1)=7,B2*$F$3,B2*$F$2)

In this list the 04/02/2017 and the 11/02/2017 were a Saturday. You can see that Excel applied the increased rate of pay.

This example can be seen in action on my Excel timesheet for different rates for shift work post.

Let’s look at another example. Maybe we wish to highlight the dates in a list that fall on a Saturday or a Sunday.

- Select the range of dates you want to format.
- Click the
**Home**tab,**Conditional Formatting**button and then**New Rule**. - Select
**Use a formula to determine which cells to format**. - Enter a formula like the one below in the box provided.

=OR(WEEKDAY(A2,1)=1,WEEKDAY(A2,1)=7)

In this formula the OR function is used to test more than one condition. Although a range of dates was highlighted, we only reference cell A2 in the formula because it is the first cell of that range.

I used this function for this exact reason in my Excel Gantt Chart template.

Take this example where column A contains a start date and time, and column B an end date and time. We wish to **calculate the elapsed time in days, hours and minutes** e.g. 11 days 4 hours 9 minutes.

There are multiple ways of calculating date and time difference in Excel. In this scenario we will need to get a little clever.

As you may well know, date and time values are stored as numbers in Excel. For example, the 05/01/2017 10:10 is stored as 42740.42.

Therefore, if I write the formula as =B2-A2, then the result is returned as 2.993056.

To return a result that makes sense to us, we will tackle the date and time parts of the cell separately.

To work with just the date part of the cell, we will use the INT function. This function rounds a value down to the nearest integer.

So if we write the function as below. This will return only the integer part of the date difference, and this is the number of days.

=INT(B2-A2)

We now need to work on the number of hours and minutes, which is the decimal part.

To return only the decimal part of the B2-A2 formula, we will use the MOD function. This function returns the remainder after a number is divided by a divisor.

We will use it to divide the B2-A2 formula by 1 so that it returns to remainder as the decimal part.

We will then use the HOUR and MINUTE functions to return the hours and minutes from this decimal value.

So the formula below returns the number of hours elapsed.

=HOUR(MOD(B2-A2,1))

And this returns the number of minutes elapsed.

=MINUTE(MOD(B2-A2,1))

Finally, we need to put this altogether as one Excel formula. We can use the ampersand (&) to concatenate the different parts of the formula.

You can construct the result to look however you want. For example the formula below would return the result as 2 days 23 hours and 50 minutes.

=INT(B2-A2)&" Days "&HOUR(MOD(B2-A2,1))&" Hours "&MINUTE(MOD(B2-A2,1))& " Minutes "

And this formula would display the result as 2 days 23:50.

=INT(B2-A2)&" Days "&HOUR(MOD(B2-A2,1))&":"&MINUTE(MOD(B2-A2,1))

The formula used in this tutorial will work for any text character, and can also be used to count the occurrences of specific words in a cell.

In this example, we used the formula to count the occurrences of the asterisk in the cells of column A.

The formula below was used to return the number of times the asterisk appears. It uses the LEN and SUBSTITUTE functions to accomplish its mission.

=LEN(A2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A2,"*",""))

The LEN function is used to count the total number of characters in a cell.

The second half of the formula uses the LEN function again but with the SUBSTITUTE function. SUBSTITUTE replaces all occurrences of the asterisk with nothing, essentially removing them.

So what we are left with is a formula that subtracts the number of characters in the cell excluding the asterisks from the total number of characters including asterisks.

The result is how many asterisks there are in the cell.

It is a clever approach that can be applied for any word, phrase or text character.

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.

The formula below is the finished article. If you are not used to writing formulas like this it may seem overwhelming, but we are going to look at it one piece at a time.

To use this formula, simply copy and paste and change the cell references to where your addresses are entered. If you want to know more about how this works, read on.

*=RIGHT(SUBSTITUTE(A5,” “,”*”,LEN(A5)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A5,” “,””))-1),LEN(A5)-FIND(“*”,SUBSTITUTE(A5,” “,”*”,LEN(A5)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A5,” “,””))-1)))*

The RIGHT function has been used to extract the postcode. This function extracts text from the end of a cell. We can be sure that the postcode is at the end, so this function works for us here.

The Right function requires two pieces of information from us. What text to extract the postcode from, and how many characters in the postcode.

*=RIGHT(the text to extract from,how many characters)*

What we do not know is how many characters are in the postcode of each address. We need Excel to calculate this.

To do so, we will find and mark the start of the postcode in the address. This unique mark can then be used to calculate how many characters in the postcode.

The postcode always starts after the penultimate space of the address. It does not matter how many spaces are in the address, we can be sure that the postcode begins after the second from last space.

The formula below calculates what number space the penultimate space is. So it basically returns the position of the space.

LEN(A2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A2," ",""))-1)

The LEN function returns the number of characters in a cell. The SUBSTITUTE function finds and replaces each space with nothing, essentially removing them.

Altogether, by subtracting the number of characters in a cell without spaces from how many characters including spaces, gives us how many spaces there are.

The -1 is then used to return the occurrence of the second from last space.

This part of the formula actually occurs twice n the full formula as shown below.

*=RIGHT(SUBSTITUTE(A2,” “,”*”, LEN(A2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A2,” “,””))-1),LEN(A2)-FIND(“*”,SUBSTITUTE(A2,” “,”*”,LEN(A2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A2,” “,””))-1)))*

Now that we have found the postcode we want to insert a unique marker so that Excel knows where it is.

In the formula below the SUBSTITUTE function has been added to the previous formula to add an ***** at the start of the postcode (the second from last space).

SUBSTITUTE(A2," ","*",LEN(A2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A2," ",""))-1)

This also occurs twice in the formula.

*=RIGHT( SUBSTITUTE(A2,” “,”*”,LEN(A2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A2,” “,””))-1),LEN(A2)-FIND(“*”,SUBSTITUTE(A2,” “,”*”,LEN(A2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A2,” “,””))-1)))*

In the second part of the RIGHT function the formula below has been used to find the position of the * (our unique marker), and subtract that number from the total number of characters in the cell (LEN function). This returns how many characters are in the postcode.

LEN(A2)-FIND("*",SUBSTITUTE(A2," ","*",LEN(A2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(A2," ",""))-1))

I do hope this makes sense. It is a complicated formula if you are a beginner.

If you are interested in seriously improving your Excel formula skills. Check out our online course – Excel Formulas Made Easy – Learn over 100 Formulas.

This tutorial will show you how to display any symbol though, so you could insert a smiley face, hour glass, aeroplane and much more.

The first thing we need to do is find out the letter or number for the symbol we want to insert. Every symbol from the *Wingdings* libraries has an associated letter or number when displayed in a normal written font such as Calibri or Arial.

To find this out; start by inserting the symbol in a cell on your worksheet. Then select that cell and change the font to Calibri, Arial or some other written font.

The letter or number will now be displayed instead. For example, the smiley face symbol is J, and the hourglass is 6. Importantly for this tutorial, we know the thumbs up symbol is C, and thumbs down is D.

The following formula was written in cell D2 of the worksheet shown above.

=IF(C2>=B2,"C","D")

It tests if the value in C2 (this months sales) is greater than or equal to the value in B2 (last months sales). If it is then display C (remember this is the thumbs up symbol), and if not display D (thumbs down symbol).

Now that we have the IF function showing the correct value, all the cells containing the formula need to be formatted in a font such as Calibri to show the symbol.

In the example shown above, the thumbs up symbol is formatted in green, and the thumbs down symbol in red. This is done using Conditional Formatting.

- Select the range of cells containing the symbols.
- Click the
**Home**tab and then**Conditional Formatting**. - Select
**Highlight Cells Rules**and then**Equal To**. - Enter C in the first box and then select a green font colour from the
**Custom Format**options in the second box. Click**Ok**.

- Repeat these steps to display in a red font if the value is equal to D.

Displaying a different symbol based on the values of your worksheet, and applying automatic custom colours can add a creative wow factor to your spreadsheets.

Depending on the kind of data you work with, there are loads of symbols on offer and they may just have your spreadsheets jumping out of the screen.

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.

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

{=INDEX(A2:A16,MATCH(MIN(COUNTIF(A2:A16,A2:A16)),COUNTIF(A2:A16,A2:A16),0))}

This formula is an array formula so you need to press **Ctrl + Shift + Enter**, and not **Enter**. This will put the curly braces around the formula. You do not type these.

Within this formula the COUNTIF functions are used to return how many times each name occurs in the list. The COUNTIF functions return the result below;

{2;5;5;4;4;5;4;4;5;2;4;5;4;4;4}

This means that the name in the first cell of that range (A2) occurs twice, 2nd cell (A3) occurs five times, 3rd cell (A4) occurs five times and so on.

The MIN function returns the smallest number from that array, which is 2 in this example.

The MATCH function is then used to search for the position of the first instance of 2 (the least mentioned names position). The result of this is 1, because the first instance of 2 is in the first cell of range A2:A16.

The INDEX function then returns the value which is in that cell (A2). Which in this example is *Ross*. Watch the video below for a visual explanation of this formula.

The INDEX and MATCH functions are awesome when used together for a flexible lookup formula. Find out more at this INDEX and MATCH tutorial.

Seriously improve your Excel Formula skills with our online course. Over 100 formulas covered. Sign Up Now.

]]>There is no real standalone function in Excel to do this, but it can be done. This could be a useful formula to find how many payments, or how many meetings until an end date.

The formula below calculates the number of Fridays between the date in cell A2 and the date in cell B2. The formula is explained below.

=B2-A2-NETWORKDAYS.INTL(A2,B2,16)+1

In this formula the start date is subtracted from the end date to begin with. This will leave us with how many days in total between the two dates.

In the second half of the formula, the NETWORKDAYS.INTL function is used to calculate the difference between the two dates excluding Fridays. This is then subtracted from the current total to leave us with how many Fridays there are.

The 16 in the function specifies to exclude the Fridays. When typing the function a list appears asking which days to exclude.

The +1 is added to the end because the NETWORKDAYS.INTL function calculates whole workdays. For example, you may consider the difference in days between today and tomorrow to be 1 day. NETWORKDAYS.INTL would return that answer as 2 as it uses each day as a whole day. So the +1 is added to counteract that.

I wanted to explain the other technique first as it probably makes more logical sense. However this tip was brought to me by one of my YouTube subscribers and seems to work.

I don’t really know how it works to be honest, but it does.

The NETWORKDAYS.INTL function is used, but in the third argument a string of 1’s and 0’s are used to specify what weekday you want to count. The example below counts the number of Fridays.

The string starts from a Monday. So this can be easily customised to your own requirements.

=NETWORKDAYS.INTL(A2,B2,"1111011")

- Five Awesome Date Functions in Excel
- Timesheet with Different Rates for Shift Work
- How Many Months Between Two Dates

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For the formula we will be using the CELL, MID and FIND functions. Let’s begin by looking at the CELL function.

The CELL function is a fantastic, and relatively unknown, function in Excel. Its purpose is to return information about a cell such as its column, cell colour, whether it is in a protected state or the filename.We need to use the function to return the filename of a cell. Because our goal is to return the sheet name, it does not matter what cell we use. Any cell on the sheet will work. In the example below, cell B1 has been used.

=CELL("filename",B1)

The function above will return the full filename of the cell such as;

*C:\Users\Trainee1\Desktop\[return-sheet-name.xlsx]London*

Now that we have the filename, we need to extract just the sheet name. The MID and FIND functions will be used for this.

The FIND function is used to return the position of the closing “]” + 1. The “]” indicates the end of the workbook reference, so the following characters are those for the sheet name.

The MID function then extracts up to the next 32 characters. This is an excessive number but because sheet names cannot have more than 31 characters it ensures the full name is returned whatever it may be.

Here is the full Excel formula to display the sheet name in a cell;

=MID(CELL("filename",B1),FIND("]",CELL("filename",B1))+1,32)

The group league tables are ranked as the results are entered. As soon as a groups fixtures have been completed, the knockout schedule is created. The quarters, semi-final and final fixtures are then calculated as these results are entered.

The spreadsheet is unlocked so you are free to check out the formulas and how it all works. Download the Euro 2016 planner spreadsheet.

There are many formulas and techniques used to create this Euro 2016 planner. They include;

**The SUMPRODUCT function** – This has been used heavily to perform the calculations at the group stages. I thought it was the best function to handle the calculation of a team’s games played, number of wins, goals scored etc. Learn more about the SUMPRODUCT function.

**Ranking and then calculating unique ranking** – The rankings for the group stages are done on the *Calculations* sheet (you will need to unhide it). On here I needed to calculate a teams ranking based on points, then goal difference and then goals scored. If a ranking was still tied, a unique ranking was formulated.

**Nested IF’s** – These have been used in the knockout stages to organise the fixtures as the results are entered.

**The VLOOKUP function** – It was guaranteed to be used somewhere. It has been used on the *League Tables* sheet (another hidden sheet) to formulate the group tables from the workings on the *Calculations* sheet. It is also used to help calculate the third place teams permutations (explained later in this post). Learn more about VLOOKUP.

**The Excel Camera tool** – A brilliant little tool. Used to create a dynamic picture of the group tables from the *League Tables* sheet onto the *Group Stages* sheet. Find out more about the Excel Camera tool.

These skills and techniques are all shown in detail in my online course for creating your own sports league tables and tournaments in Excel. Join hundreds of others in learning these skills. I will be on hand to help with any queries.

The UEFA European Championships 2016 has a new format for some of the fixtures in the last 16 (the first knockout round). The top 2 teams in each of the 6 groups are automatically through. They are then followed by the 4 best third place finishers.

A ranking is given to each of the teams who finish third in their group. The four best teams’ progress. Who they play in the next round is determined by the table below.

For example, the table above shows that if the 4 best third place teams are from groups A, B, C and D, then the winner of group A would play the third best team in group C. But if the 4 best third place teams are from groups A, B, D and E, then the winner of group A would play the third best team in group D.

This made things a little complicated to calculate which team progresses and who they will play in the last 16. On the *League Tables* sheet you can see a league table for the third place teams. The four best groups are calculated and the table below is formulated.

On the *Knockout Stages* sheet a VLOOKUP function is then used to return the correct team from this table.