Have you ever felt Excel needed a Fit-Document-to-Window-Width feature like the millions of PDF Readers out there? Wouldn’t it be great if you could automatically fit your document to your current window size? The irony is, Excel already has all it needs to deliver that feature to you. Since spreadsheets come in various shapes and sizes, you might want to fit the width, or height, or the entire sheet to your screen. In this post, we will take a look at a routine that I wrote that you can use to fit any sheet to your window. And for you lazy bunch, I have an add-in that will let you call these macros from the Excel Ribbon.
I recently worked on a project where my client had a Master template-sheet that needed to be duplicated and populated repeatedly. I needed to duplicate a sheet, and retain a reference to it, so I can rename it, reposition it, and pass it to another sub that populates it with data. I assumed there must be a very straight forward way to that, but was utterly disappointed when I found out there wasn’t.
How many times have you encountered the “Numbers Stored as text” error in your data sets? It interferes with your LOOKUP and MATCH functions, and arithmetic calculations. Excel has a Convert to Number functionality to help with this situation, but it could be a lot better. You have to deal with your columns one at a time, sometimes one cell at a time. Also, I noticed that if the dataset is huge, excel takes a lot of time to push through; occasionally, it is so slow that you can see the cells getting updated one by one.
I recently published a post about automatically formatting a table in Excel using VBA. That got me thinking, how awesome it would be, if we could format all the tables in a sheet, with a single click. For that idea to work, we need to get all the used areas in a worksheet; and then use the Areas Collection to loop through the tables. We can access the Areas Collection through the Areas property of the Range object.
Excel Tables make analyzing data, a breeze. It surprises me that it is not used as often as it should. It automatically “includes” new data you add to your spreadsheets, it automatically drags down formulas for you, it automatically formats the tables for you. In addition to that, you can use structured references that make your formulas tractable without having to name each range. You can also link an Excel Table to your PowerPivot Model. For a comprehensive, yet concise list of stuff excel tables can do, I recommend reading through this page.
In one of my posts, I wrote about the UsedRange property of the Worksheet object. I use it in almost all of my spreadsheet applications. Excel keeps track of the last cell you used during your current session, and uses it to determine the used range of a sheet. The last cell is the one you get to, when you press Ctrl+End.
Hiding a bunch of rows and columns in a sheet before showing it to your boss is inevitable. I insert blank rows and columns around a table, so I can use the CurrentRegion property of the Range Object in my code. I add labels to all my named ranges in the sheet. I split out complex formulas into a couple of columns. Ultimately I end up with a lot of rows and columns to hide. I desperately needed a framework to hide and un-hide rows and columns in all my sheets. I experimented with a lot of methods before settling down with one and I would definitely like to know if you have a better way to do it.
Error handling is an important aspect of programming in VBA, especially if you are writing macros for other users. Unfortunately, many users ignore it completely. Visual Basics is an amazing programming language, but it lags far behind in the error handling department. All we have is the “On Error”, “Goto” and the “Resume” statements. These statements allow only a few error handling structures, and each of the structures has its own set of expert proponents. In this post, I am going to share with you, a little block of code that I use to handle errors in all my spreadsheet applications; and hopefully offer a fresh perspective.
Excel is versatile by itself and VBA makes it even better by allowing us to do our own thing. Most of us use VBA to automate tasks of varying complexity – some macros are executed in a flash, but others take hours to run. While there are users who are happy with just a Msgbox “This thing is DONE!”, there are others who’d like to let the user know more about what is happening.
This post is a little fun, not much of a Struggle I guess. In excel, we use permutations more often than we realize. Say you have twenty performance metrics and you’d like to monitor them for each month, imagine how much copy pasting and concatenating would need being done to get your column header names in place?