# Excel University Blog

Read on for in-depth articles, tutorials, and videos. Search or browse for specific topics. Be sure to subscribe if you'd like to be notified when we write something new.

# Techniques

## Unique Data Validation Drop-Down From Duplicate Table Data

| September 10, 2014 |

In this post, we’ll explore a method for generating a drop-down that contains a unique list of choices derived from a table column with duplicate values. Objective Before we get started on the mechanics, let’s take a look at what we are trying to achieve. We have a data table that is exported from our…

## Transpose Values and Formulas in Excel

| September 4, 2014 |

In this post, we’ll explore three methods for transposing data in Excel. The first method can be used when you just want to quickly to transpose the values manually. The second method can be used when you want formulas to perform the transposition automatically based on the labels. The third method can be applied when…

## SUMIFS with OR

| August 14, 2014 |

Of all the functions introduced in Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013, my personal favorite is SUMIFS. The SUMIFS function performs multiple condition summing. The function is designed with AND logic, but, there are several techniques that allow us to use OR logic instead. This post explores a few of them. Note: if your version of…

## Format Locked or Unlocked Cells

| May 7, 2014 |

This post explores options for formatting cells that are locked, or unlocked, in an Excel worksheet. Scenario Let’s pretend we have a worksheet that helps a user compare three different loans. The user is required to enter information, such as interest rate and number of years, into designated input cells, but shouldn’t be allowed to…

## Recent CalCPA Article

| May 2, 2014 |

How do you ensure your workbook is accurate? One approach is to set up a structured error check sheet. My recent California CPA Magazine TBRG (May 2014) article discusses the ingredients needed to build a reliable error check sheet. Here are the relevant links: Article: Put Errors in Check Sample workbook: Download Excel File

## Recent JofA Article

| April 24, 2014 |

Hi guys! Just wanted to draw your attention to my April 2014 Journal of Accountancy article that discusses the power of mapping tables. If you’ve not experimented with this technique, it is worth checking out. In summary, a mapping table sits between the data and report sheets and enables you to translate labels and aggregate…

## Dynamic Date Report Header For The Period Ending

| March 27, 2014 |

As a general rule, it is a good idea to delegate as many tasks to Excel as possible. Report headers are no exception, especially for recurring-use workbooks. This post explores the functions needed to create a dynamic report header, such as “For the Period Ending December 31, 2015.” Overview Let’s assume we use the same…

## Remove Extra Spaces from Lookup Values with TRIM

| February 27, 2014 |

This post discusses one way to enable our lookup functions, such as VLOOKUP, to work even when the lookup values contain extra spaces. We’ll use the TRIM function to dynamically remove padding from the lookup values. Overview We’ll use a specific example to demonstrate this function. Let’s say we’ve exported a partial income statement from…

## Pull Budget Values into an Income Statement

| February 13, 2014 |

In this post, we explore a way to pull budget values into an income statement exported from QuickBooks, and demonstrate how to handle the fact that the extract uses new columns to indent. Overview When the budget and actual data reside in the same application, creating a variance report is easy. However, when the actual…

## Create Dependent Drop-down Lists with Conditional Data Validation

| February 7, 2014 |

This post explores macro-free methods for using Excel’s data validation feature to create an in-cell drop-down that displays choices depending on the value selected in a previous in-cell drop-down. Overview As with just about anything in Excel, there are several ways to achieve the goal. This post explores three such solutions, and if you have a…