Word of Caution - Hiding MS Excel Columns / Rows
A reader sent me a
caution for last Tuesday's tip on using hidden columns and rows that I
felt warranted a few moments.
Be careful of hidden
columns and rows when sorting data. Excel can create quite a mess of your
Solution: Unhide all
columns and rows BEFORE sorting! Better safe than sorry.
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Hiding of Rows and Columns
Another reader came
through with a timesaving tip regarding the hiding of rows and columns.
When we discussed
hiding in last Tuesday's newsletter, I sent you through the Format
menu and then to the row or column submenu.
(See archives at http://www.worldstart.com/archives/index.htm
to see the original tip.)
Of course there was
a quicker way. Reading the e-mail was one of those "Why didn't I
think of that?" moments.
the row(s) or column(s) to be hidden simply right-click and choose
Hide from the pop-up menu.
Poof! Data gone (or
at least out of sight).
This also works with
the Unhide option.
Thanks for the reminder,
Patrick! It seems I'm getting more forgetful every day
Tip of the Day
Capers 2 - MS Excel
Last Thursday we went
over the handy little comment gadgets in MS Word. Today we move on to
To quote myself: "Basically
they're an electronic sticky note. They can be displayed on the screen
and/or printed with the document. 'Comments' will let you attach the question
to the troublesome spot."
How cool is it to
be quoted? Who needs fame?
OK, so back down to
Earth and back to the business of comments in Excel.
Right off the bat
you need to decide where a comment is needed. In other words, to which
cell should the comment be attached?
Once the decision
is made you have a couple of methods to choose from for inserting the
comment. One way is to use the Insert menu, Comment choice.
The other method is to right-click on the cell and select Insert
Comment from the pop-up menu.
A text box will pop
up with the author's name on the top line. The author's name is determined
by the User's name entered in the Options.
(To change the author's
name go to the Tools menu, Options choice, General
tab. You should see the User's name box at the bottom. Change the text
in the box to reflect your preference for author's name. This new name
will apply to all new comments put into the worksheet but not previously
You are then free
to type your comment into the text box. When you have completed the comment,
simply click outside the text box to exit the comment.
Now that the comment
has been created, you should see a red triangle in the upper right corner
of the cell to which the comment is attached.
To view the comment,
run your mouse pointer over the cell. A text box containing the comment
information should pop up.
Now I bet you need
to edit the comment, don't you? (The inevitable oops - I hate it, but
can't seem to get away from it.)
There are several
ways to edit comments. One way is to select the cell, go to the Insert
menu and choose Edit Comment from the menu. The comment text box
will open allowing editing.
Another method is
to right-click over the cell and select Edit
Comment from the pop-up menu.
Either way, you are
put back into the text box where you can edit to your heart's content.
Need to delete the
No problem - right-click
over the cell and choose Delete Comment from the pop-up menu.
By now you may have
noticed the Show Comment option in the right-click menu. (Just
below the Edit and Delete choices.) Selecting this choice will display
the comment text box on the worksheet all the time, not just when you
run the pointer over the cell.
If the comment box
is displayed, you can click in the box for instant editing. You can also
use your mouse pointer on the edge of the text box to click and drag the
comment to any location on the worksheet. (This is good to keep the box
from covering data.)
Once the comment box
is shown this way, the choice on the right-click menu changes to Hide
Comment. This will reverse the Show Comment operation.
Now, let's talk about
that little red triangle. My first question when I saw it was, "Does
it show on a printout?"
The answer I found
was, "No!" In fact, I printed with the comment box showing on
the monitor and that didn't appear on the printout either.
But never fear, they
can be printed either in the worksheet itself or at the end if you need
them on your hardcopy. Want to know how?
To tell Excel how
you would like your comments printed with your file, if at all, go to
the File menu, Page Setup.
On the Sheet
tab, in the middle, you should find the Comment options in the
form of a pull-down list.
will tell Excel to print no comments or indicators.
"At end of
sheet" will print the worksheet and then print the comments on
a separate sheet. (Each comment is headed with the cell location for the
comment. For example Cell: B6 would precede a comment for cell B6.)
on sheet" will have Excel print the worksheet exactly as you
see it on the monitor. Comment boxes will appear exactly where you have
them placed with their connecting arrows to the proper cells.
OK, hang in there,
I've got one more area to point out.
If you go to the Tools
menu, Options choice, View tab, you'll find a section in
the center with a few choices for how Excel should show comments.
will display nothing on the monitor - no red triangle, no comment will
pop up when the mouse pointer is run over the cell, and you won't see
the comments if you set the worksheet to print comments "as displayed
on sheet". However, they will show up in a list if you choose to
print comments "at end of sheet".
only" will insert the red triangle marker when you first create
the comment but you will need to run the mouse pointer over the cell to
display the information.
indicator" will have comments marked with the red triangle and
display the comment box on the screen immediately. This can save you the
trouble of using right-click to Show Comment later on.
"But April, what's
the difference between all of this and a right-click?"
Well, you'll find
that choices made from this window affect ALL comments on the worksheet
whereas comments from the right-click menu affect the currently selected
Whew! That's it (I
hope). Now, you're a comment pro!