Automatically Create a Table of Contents in Excel

If a workbook contains many sheets you can create a table of contents to make navigating to the sheets easier. This is a fantastic idea when producing a final version of a report in Excel for a customer.

Excel does not yet contain a feature that produces a table of contents, but you can create a macro to get the job done.

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Sum a Column Ignoring Formula Errors

Having formula errors on a spreadsheet can be bad news. They look ugly, they frighten the less Excel experienced among us and they stop our other formulas from working.

If you have formula errors on a spreadsheet it is normally best to stop it at its source. To either correct the error, or to hide it using formulas such as ISERROR and IFERROR.

However, if your spreadsheet is large, having these IFERROR functions in every cell to protect against error values will add more calculation time to your spreadsheet.

There is a function in Excel called AGGREGATE which allows us to perform various functions on a range whilst ignoring formula errors.

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Create a Drop Down List Field in Microsoft Project

Microsoft Project contains many fields for storing information about the tasks and resources of your project. So much so that it can be hard to imagine what else you would want to know.

However there is usually a desire to create your own custom fields to display other information in your different views and reports. You can create your own fields to store text, dates, cost and other types of data.

To assist data entry, a field can be created with a drop down list. You can look up the value that you need in a list making data entry easier and more accurate.

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Type Special German Characters in Word/Excel

I have started to learn German as it has always been a goal of mine to learn the language. So I started to list some vocab in Excel to test myself.

I am using an English keyboard and the German language contains 4 special characters that do not appear on an English keyboard. You have the 3 umlaut accented characters ä, ö, ü and the ß (esszet).

There are two main ways to enter these letters into Word or Excel. One way is to insert the symbol, and the other is to use the number code associated with each character.

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Prevent Formulas Showing in the Formula Bar

Your spreadsheet formulas are always shown in the Formula Bar of Excel. This makes it easy to view and edit the formulas of a spreadsheet.

But what if we have created an Excel file and we do not want others to be able to view the formulas. Prevent formulas showing in the Formula Bar by setting them to hide and applying worksheet protection.

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Sum the Total Duration for Tasks in MS Project

Microsoft Project uses the duration field to calculate the difference between the start and finish dates of a task. But what if you want to view the sum of all durations for a set of tasks?

Microsoft Project does not have a field to calculate the total durations for a set of tasks. However this can be easily accomplished by creating a custom field.

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Using the Hyperlink Function in Excel

Hyperlinks can be used to link to other sheets, webpages or other files such as PDF’s from your Excel spreadsheet. If you are creating hyperlinks for many records though this will take a long time to set them up.

Excel provides a HYPERLINK function for creating hyperlinks in our spreadsheets. The real power behind this function is that it can be used to create dynamic hyperlinks.

We can create conditional hyperlinks by nesting them within an IF function, or create hyperlinks that can find the address to link to themselves by embedding Lookup or Text functions within them. This helps us to create automated and error resistant spreadsheets.

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Using Change Highlighting in Project 2010

When a change is made to a tasks schedule in Microsoft Project 2010, such as to it’s duration or start date, all the cells in the table that are affected by that change are highlighted with a blue background.

This highlighting of the changed cells brings your attention to what task dates and durations were affected by that scheduling change.

This is a really useful tool, but what if it’s not working? Or maybe you would prefer a different colour to the standard pale blue background?

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Insert a Non-Breaking space into a Word Document

When entering text into a document, MS Word wraps your text onto different lines for you. This is expected and very useful but can cause problems when you do not want a word to be broken over different lines in a document.

Examples of this may be when entering text such as 20 kg, or a customer reference code like AD TYH 3506.

To prevent a word from being broken across different lines you need to insert a non-breaking space instead of a traditional space.

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Using the Custom Dictionary in Word

When you spell check your Word documents, there are bound to be some words that you have used which Word incorrectly identifies as a spelling mistake.

Instead of just telling Word to ignore these words, you can go one step further and add them to your custom dictionary.

The custom dictionary is a built in dictionary for you to store words that you use often, and are being incorrectly identified as spelling mistakes. Common examples include the names of people, companies and locations.

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