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Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Free Video: Record a Macro in Excel

I very briefly posted this video over a week ago, not realising that the competition that Emily of AskM had entered it in, restricted its use elsewhere on the web until the competition was finished.

The good news is that the competition has finished, and the better news is that the video reached the top 5.

It will teach you how to automate a task (or series of tasks) in Microsoft Excel 2007. If you like this video, you can also learn how to create a pivot table.

http://www.screencast.com/t/0X3sOpMV

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Friday, 5 June 2009

Get Not Just Numbers headlines on your website

We have many readers who have their own accountancy or consultancy practices and/or financial blogs/websites.

If this is you, I have now made it easier to include Not Just Numbers headlines on your site. Simply click on the Get Widget link below to get some code for you (or your web developer) to paste into your html. This will place the widget on your site/blog.





If you enjoyed this post, go to the top left corner of the blog, where you can subscribe for regular updates, our monthly ezine and your free report.

Why is Gordon Brown's cabinet like Blake's 7?

The best description I have so far heard of what is happening to Gordon Brown's cabinet came from comedian Mitch Benn via Twitter, where he likened it to the last five minutes of the '80s Sci-fi series, Blake's 7.

I must admit I needed a refresher on that one but after watching it again, I can see exactly what he means. I thought it might be a nice Friday afternoon distraction for you, so I have embedded the the video below.

I think you'll see what I mean - enjoy:






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Thursday, 4 June 2009

Excel Tip: Dropdown boxes in Microsoft Excel

This is a one you either know how to do or you don't. Either way, you will know how to do it after reading this post.

You will almost certainly have used dropdown boxes, if not in Excel, on the web. They are a great way of speeding up input of data and eliminating user errors. In Excel, they are really easy to do.

First of all select the cell, or range of cells, where you want the drop-down list to appear, then, from the Data menu, select 'Validation'. This opens the following window:


In most cases you will choose 'List' from the 'Allow' box. This will introduce a new box entitled 'Source'. In this box simply enter your list, separated by commas. You can then click OK and you are done.

For a longer list, or one you may want to edit regularly, you can name a range somewhere else in the workbook that contains the list items and enter =Range Name in the 'Source' box, obviously replacing Range Name with the actual name of your range. When defining this range, allow space below to add new items if this is a possibility.

A new box will also have appeared below 'Ignore blank' entitled 'In-cell dropdown', leave this ticked.

If you wish you can add an input message to guide the user on the second tab and/or a tailored error message (on the third tab) for when someone types something that is not on the list. These are refinements and certainly not necessary for most internal uses at least.

And there you have it - dropdown lists.

If you enjoyed this post, go to the top left corner of the blog, where you can subscribe for regular updates, our monthly ezine and your free report.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Accounting in the cloud

I was sitting in the office the other day and noticed that my colleague, Gillian, and myself were sitting working entirely on the internet. She was updating our accounting transactions on the rather brilliant Kashflow, and I was processing payroll on the unbelievably free Payroo.

Cloud Computing is the term being used for these types of applications, accessed entirely on web servers through a browser, and it is an exciting area that poses real threats to established software vendors.

Solutions tend to be cheaper (often free), easier to learn, better supported, easier to share (internally and externally) and with minimal setup and hardware costs - typically nil!

With complete office suites such as GoogleDocs gaining acceptance too. Next time you are looking for software for anything, check whether you can do it 'in the cloud' before you shell out the cash.

If you enjoyed this post, go to the top left corner of the blog, where you can subscribe for regular updates, our monthly ezine and your free report.