Using SUMPRODUCT Function to Count Records using Multiple Conditions

There are many ways to count records using multiple conditions in Excel. These can range from using the COUNTIFS function, PivotTables or by simply filtering the data. However neither of them are as flexible as the SUMPRODUCT function.

The SUMPRODUCT function is used to multiply the values of multiple arrays and then sum the totals. However it is capable of so much more amazing feats. It truly is one of those hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

Continue reading

MS Project: View Resource Workload using the Team Planner

The team planner view was introduced in MS Project 2010. The view makes it easier to see your resources workload over time and to make changes.

Resources are shown in rows across a timescale just like in the Gantt Chart. You can see which team member does what and when at a quick glance. The task names are displayed inside the task bars.

Problems such as overallocations can be quickly identified. These problems can then be rectified usually by just clicking and dragging the task to a different resource, or to a different start date.

The fact that the team planner looks like a Gantt Chart for resources, and it allows you to make changes in the same way that you may already do so in MS Outlook, helps make this view easy to relate to.

Continue reading

The New Eyedropper Tool in PowerPoint 2013

A brilliant new feature to PowerPoint 2013 is the eyedropper tool. The eyedropper tool allows you to match colours between objects on your slides. This could mean copying a colour from a picture and applying it to text on your slide.

This tool makes it easier to create fantastic looking cohesive presentations. Matching the colours of your fonts, images and other objects has never been so easy.

Using the Eyedropper Tool

The example below shows the title slide in Slide Master View (Find out more about working with slide masters). Using the eyedropper tool we will copy the colour used for the text in the NST logo, and apply it to the slide title text currently in black.

Continue reading

Macro in Excel – Loop Through all Files in a Folder using VBA

One of the main reasons to create a macro in Excel is to make a repetitive task easier and quicker. Such a task may be to loop through all files in a folder and perform an action on each one.

The code below will display the folder picker dialog box to allow the user to specify the folder (directory) that they want to use. It will then loop through all the files within that folder. It will open the workbook, perform an action and then close it saving the changes made.

Comments have been used to explain different areas of the code.

Continue reading

Compare Two Lists in Excel to Highlight Matched Items

In this post we will look at how you can compare two lists in Excel to highlight matched or unmatched items. We will first identify the items that appear in both lists, and then look at how to highlight the items that appear in the first list but are missing from the second list.

The Match function will be used to compare both lists and will return if a record is found or is missing. The Match function returns the relative position of an item in a list. If it cannot find the item it will return the #N/A error message (learn more about the Match function).


Continue reading

Learn How to Use Excel – 3 Special Excel Functions that will Amaze You


Excel contains 400+ functions and this list is constantly growing. There are functions to perform almost any task from financial, date and time, statistical etc.

This learn how to use Excel post looks at 3 little known special Excel functions that will take your skills to another level and make you the envy of your work colleagues.

Continue reading

Excel Gantt Chart Template for Tracking Project Tasks

A Gantt chart is used to plan and track the progress of a project. Although Excel does not contain a Gantt chart feature (maybe one day), its tabular structure and wealth of tools provide us with the means of creating one.

A Gantt chart can be created in many ways to match your requirements.

Using the Excel Gantt Chart Template

This Excel Gantt chart template uses fixed scheduling on its tasks and provides a timescale of 1 full year from the project start date. To use the template;

  1. Enter the project start date in cell E1.
  2. Enter the ID and name for the tasks of your project.
  3. Enter the task’s estimate start dates and durations.
  4. Enter the % completion to update the chart with the progress of the project.

Continue reading

Essential Conditional Formatting Tricks

Conditional Formatting is an amazing feature of Excel. It is sure to create a spark of interest and questions during training. People see the potential in their spreadsheets and how easy their team could visualise their data and create engaging reports.

This tutorial looks at the two most requested Conditional Formatting tricks asked by Excel users.

Continue reading

Create a Fire Evacuation Plan in Visio

It is essential to have a fire evacuation plan. As a trainer I am regularly visiting different offices and other locations. On arrival I need to make myself aware of the emergency evacuation procedures and pass this information onto my delegates.

These diagrams should be kept simple so that it provides clarity at a time when people are not thinking clearly. Too many that I see provide cute but unnecessary detail.

You can create a fire evacuation plan in Visio. Visio provides emergency response shapes that can be added to a floor plan. This diagram can then be printed and displayed in the required areas of a building.

Continue reading