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I recently came across an interesting problem. A student in one of my classes asked me to help her set up some If functions which I did and which worked fine.

It was a function to say that if a cell was blank, then the answer was to show today minus the days in F2, otherwise it was to show the difference between the days in G2 and F2.

However, instead of seeing the result of =IF(ISBLANK(G2),TODAY()-F2,G2-F2) which should have been 5, instead she was seeing IF(ISBLANK(G2),TODAY()-F2,G2-F2) .

The first thing I checked was the Formulas – Show Formulas ribbon to see if that was on. Nope. I did a bit more checking and it turns out that the problem was that the cell was formatted in TEXT instead of General. Changed that and hey presto it was now showing 5.

A simple thing but worth adding to your own repertoire of solutions..it will make you look really good :-)

Excel Products for Sale

Here are products from some of my favourite Excel authors and bloggers. Please note these are affiliate links so I do earn a small commission from every sale.

MrExcel.com

Mr. Excel (aka Bill Jelen) is one of the Excel gurus. I love his stuff. He also has a slightly bonkers delivery (What! Excel! Fun!)  that I thoroughly enjoy. And of course anyone who calls his Excel publishing book company Holy Macro! gets my vote.

MyExcelOnline.com

Xtreme Pivot Tables course

This is a very comprehensive course on pivot tables. It includes videos and workbooks. There are over 200 hours of videos on it and it takes you from having no knowledge of pivot tables to being a power user. If you know everything in this course, you know an awful lot about pivot tables. John explains the concepts in bite size chunks so they are easy to follow and even provides a tutorial spreadsheet so you can track your progress. This would be money well spent. If you would like to become the go-to person in your organisation for pivot tables, this would be an excellent starting point.

He also has a useful Pivot Table webinar…

This is also a useful chart helper. 

Debra Dalgleish – Contextures.com

Master 30 Excel functions in 30 days –This is a rather brilliant e-book which covers 30 functions including Vlookup,Match, offset. It includes an Excel file, e-book and links to videos that shows you how to do it – all for the princely sum of $10. What I particularly like about it are her descriptions, explanations and what the limitation of each function is. Highly recommended. If you want to upgrade your Excel skills this is a very worthwhile investment.

Excel UserForms for Data Entry

The Excel UserForms for Data Entry ebook kit will take you through the steps to build a UserForm that stores data on a hidden worksheet. No programming skills are required — everything is explained in simple steps, with written instructions, screen shots, videos and workbooks.

PivotPowerPremiumRibbon

The PivotPower Premium add-in saves you time and effort, when working with Excel pivot tables. For example, you can quickly:
-save and apply default pivot table settings
-clear old items from an Excel pivot table
-change all the data fields from the Count function to the Sum function

Chandoo.org

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