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Microsoft Excel Tips: Absolute Referencing

Absolute Referencing is a forgotten tool in your Toolbox called Excel. Daily you will probably find yourself using the fill handle on excel to automatically fill tables. This is called Relative Referencing and this will change the formula/function in a cell depending on which way you drag the cell.

 

So the example below we have a Product List at a made up computer company.Absolute Referencing 1

 

 

As you can see in the Total Quantity Price column I used the fill handle to drag my formula down the formula to the other rows to fill in the column. Because I dragged the fill handle down the numbers row numbers increased 1 at a time.
Absolute Referencing 2

 

 

Absolute Referencing allows us to lock a formula in a cell. Let’s see this in another example.

 

I’ve extended my table and added a Price After Tax column. This column uses the 20% (or 0.2) number in cell H1 to add the Tax onto the Price. Using the $ before both the H and the 1 you are able to “lock” this cell down. So when you use the fill handle the cell wont change.

 

Instead of typing the ‘$’ in the formula you could press the F4 key on your keyboard to automatically add the ‘$’ to that cell reference.

Microsoft Project Tips: How to Create a Milestone

Sometimes you may want to mark major event in a project, for example indicate the beginning and end of the project or display the end of a major phase. You can use milestones to do that. To create a milestone follow the steps:

 

  1. In Gantt Chart View, in the Task Name column, type the name of a milestone
  2. In the Duration column type 0 and press ENTER

 

In the Gantt Chart the task will be displayed as a black diamond symbol ♦.

 

Want more tips? Click on Microsoft Project Tips and Tricks

Microsoft Project Tips: How to Unhide Columns in a Gantt Chart

Unlike Microsoft Excel, Project doesn’t have an unhide feature. When you hide a column in Microsoft Office Project, the column is only removed from view, not deleted from your plan. Also, hiding a column doesn’t remove any information from your plan.

 

To bring the column back again, you need to insert the column like you would with any new column. Any custom formatting that you applied to a previously hidden column will need to be re-applied to the inserted column.

 

  1. In a sheet view, select the column to the right of where you want to show the column.
  2. On the Insert menu, click Column.
  3. Select the Field name you would like to display.