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Roy

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  1. 2 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    I'd vote against if that were possible, for a lot of the reasons in the Kenneth Barber comment, but mostly because MS seems to regard this as an all or nothing kind of thing. If they created a new function with four parameters that averaged 12 characters per name, that would be the ONLY way to use it and I'd have to remember them and type them.

    No thanks guys.

    I wouldn't usually do this but it would seem like it is currently possible/available for any function if you want to write the least bit of code. Set up a suitable UDF (the traditional "myXLOOKUP" for instance) that would look in the passed parameters for the names of choice, followed by an "=" and strip the following material as a parameter to pass into the "real" XLOOKUP in the UDF. Set up the parameter string from those names and pass it to the XLOOKUP in the UDF. If the UDF does not find the names in the paramter string, then it could assume named arguments are NOT being used and pass the parameter string as given. Pretty sure I'm not missing something here: macros can use worksheet functions, parameter strings can be easily parsed and evaluated this way, and a rebuilt string to pass on to the used worksheet function can be made and used so I figure it could work, not take really much extra code at all, and perform just fine. And one could make the same checks in his own UDF so even if this is not "formally" a feature, its functionality could be simulated, as above.

    I hate workarounds, so hate offering them. But I REALLY don't want the overhead and aggravation of MS being consistent (and they are STUNNINGLY consistent with a variety of things and this feels like it would be one of them) and making it an all or nothing feature. Like Mr. Barber says, the built-in functions rarely have more than 3-4 arguments so it's not really "x,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,d"...

    If ONLY available in UDF's, I'd say more power to you.

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  2. 1 vote
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    Roy commented  · 

    This is already available: just create a "Named Range" but give it the formula in question instead of a range. Then the Named Range name can be used anywhere, any formula.

    As I understand LET(), it is meant to be used IN a cell, one cell, for the work that goes on after it is defined. Then not available anywhere else, and by the same token, not polluting other work that might use the same names/references. So =LET(horse=...) in cell A23 doesn't force one to never use "horse" again, anywhere else.

    So in a way, LET() would be a Named Range with the scope limited to a single cell. In that paradigm, to get wider scope, one would just use the tool that provides that to define the name but give it wider scope (worksheet or workbook).

    I would say, as I do above, that's not even a workaround, but rather it is already existing, fully, as needed in your Suggestion.

  3. 6 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    In partial response to Mr. Barber, NO.

    INDEX() gives me a single value, not an entire collection of data, addressable as individual elements the way they are now when literally spilled into a set of cells.

    And CSE doesn't give me this funcitonality either as it "consumes" those cells and other aspects (like the ability to insert or delete rows for reasons in the rest of the spreadsheet. (People deride Merged cells as evil, but give up almost all the same bad features when using CSE formulas without the least little thought. Huh...)

    In fact, see a Suggestion I made earlier today.

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    Roy commented  · 

    Seriously.

    Display the contents for the cell in use, put a little green triangle in the corner, and let people move on.

    1) That'd match other errors.
    2) You know, I just created the formula and (probably) ought to know something went wrong and it is not all displaying.
    3) When you do things like I specify a range in a function that won't take one and this time it translates that to just the single upper left cell of the range, you don't let me know that happened. Gotta realize it myself. Why bother me here?

    4) I might have done it on purpose. I only want to display the single cell of the SPILL data. So I put something right under it, or to the right of it. But I still want that cell to show so it is clear something is there. And I want the results actually processed and available to formuas — WHETHER I CAN SEE THEM OR NOT! — and by removing the block if I choose.

    What I don't need is an error and "ALL STOP! BACK FULL!"

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  4. 2 votes
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  5. 123 votes
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  6. 3 votes
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  7. 4 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    It always has to interpret anything entered to decide what path to follow down in treating it.

    So it looks at the 3/10/17 string and your Windows settings, realizes the material COULD fit the date scheme in the Windows settings, and sends it off to be handled as a date. The handler looks to the cell's formatting choices vis-a-vis dates, and formats appropriately, hence the changed appearance you see.

    Enter 21/9/17 and if your Windows settings are set for American, it will not look like a date string to Excel and it will send it off to not be handled as a date. So even though it would be the eventual display afte ryou negotiate the pitfall-filled course here, it is NOT seen to be so at the moment that matters.

    So basically, to ENTER dates in that manner, you must change your Windows settings appropriately first. Then something like 21/9/17 will be recognized as a potential date, defined whether you like it or not as one, and passed to the display engine for display formatting.

    (This also, in a slightly different way, happens with imports and pasting of ad hoc imports. Much to the torture of most of us.)

    VBA can do the switching to and fro for you, if you don't want your Windows settings to be like such when not using a file in these circumstances.

  8. 3 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    There is one already, if you create a Custom Format: "mmm" though perhaps you mean a built in format.

  9. 8 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Oh, my " * " in "t*rds" is there instead of a "u" — it occurs to me someone could think I planned an "a" there but that'd be offensive quite unintentionally to a group of folks who don't deserve it.

    Unlike "t*rds" (as in "sh*ts") who do. Like the 7Zip or whatever that is person. I'll never use a zip program that has a 7 in it, EVER, to avoid making that t*rd's day better.

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    Roy commented  · 

    Indeed.

    Flag something and it doesn't go away in any meaningful time period.

    Don't want "Flag and it's gone, to be looked at in four years, even though it's legitimate", of course, but the dreck shouldn't stay so long that there's no point to flagging it either.

    Oh, and all those double entries of a Suggestion (just saw four in a row today), should be able to see the second one go away in a meaningful time period if flagged. (I'm sure those are an aspect of the software here 'cause if it were t*rds doing it to get emphasis, there's be some that'd do it 20 times, not 2, but that never happens, always 2.)

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  10. 160 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Ahh, so it is. No more abiguity. (Anyone visiting, click his link, then edit the " )to " off the end and all is clear.)

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    Roy commented  · 

    Last comment seems inappropriate. Internet seems to think he means Bashir Assad who is a murderous pig b*st*rd.

    Don't think we need either that, or anything ambiguous enough to be that, here.

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  11. 5 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Oh... that all sounds like a lot and complicated, but it's REALLY easy, take you literally 30 seconds if you can easily move to the end of what you want to keep.

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    Roy commented  · 

    You CAN do it by going to the bottom of where you wish the spreadsheet to end, selecting the cell in the NEXT row that is in column A, then pressing Ctrl-Shift-End to highlight (select) the cells from there down to whatever Excel regards as the current end, then pressing Delete. The go to the similar cell in row 1 that is just after the column you wish to end with and doing the same thing. Immediately Save the file, close it, and re-open.

    It will now have nothing below or to the right of the cell you desired as its lower right corner. This is what one usually wants with this idea. If you want more, you can do two similar selection and deletions of material to the left of what you want (maybe you want what is now in column C to be column A in the trimmed down spreadsheet) or undesired rows above the material. Just press Ctrl-Shift-Home instead when selecting what to delete.

    One can bump the selections up to entire rows or columns when selecting if wished which makes the deletion more straightforward.

    However, one thougth to remember: when highlighting what could turn out to be 10,000 rows and 200 columns, what if there is something there? Usually, there's nothing as a common reason for the problem to occur is deletion of no longer needed rows as one works with data, so what's highlighted is usually empty, but... what if?

    You can fiogure the regions you want to check by making a range using the cell you selected to start highlighting in as the start of the range to check, pressing Ctrl-End to find what Excel thinks is the end and noting that cell address, making it the end of the range you're looking to check. I'll call it "range" but you'd have like A2343:BS15174. Use the following formula and that range to see if there are any cells with material in them:

    =ROWS(range)*COLUMNS(range)-COUNTBLANK(range)

    If you don't get 0, you'll have to decide how you wish to proceed.

    Do that for the two ranges that I first mentioned, the bottommost cells and the righmost cells. Then at least you'll have an easy mind. Or just delete them and take your chances!

    In any case, you have to Save, Close, Open the spreadsheet. Save, then go back to work and it might not work completely like you'd like.

    To some extent, Excel DOES actually clean some of this up on its own nowadays, unlike 2008, say.

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  12. 1 vote
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  13. 1 vote
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    Roy commented  · 

    You are seeing a common problem with data sourced from somewhere outside your control, or from a poorly behave program.

    Your "471420" is actually preceded by the Unicode character 8237 which is not, of course, a number value. (It's a zero-width character. It takes no display space. You CAN, however, always press F2 to edit the cell, hit HOME to start at the beginning, and use the right arrow key to move... right. Watch closely and when you encounter these the arrow key makes the cursor beastie flash as if it did your key press, but then seem to remain in the same place. In fact, it just encountered one of these.)

    Since it is a string containing at least one character not usually associated with a numerial value (things like commas, periods, the "E" or "e" used in scientific notation, that kind of thing), the cell is treated as text. Nothing that is done which lets the zero width character remain will change that. So SUM() treats it as 0. VLOOKUP() would fail to find it if searching for just the numerical version since, well, it doesn't match, eh? It will sort oddly as well.

    But this is not a bug. It is bad data provided by something. If it came from web-scraping, I guess that's your fault. Anything else is bad programming by the program that provided it. Or you might have some passive-aggressive scum working for or with you that is screwing you. Of course, he's just trying to up your game, right? He doesn't need beaten badly or fired, right?

    No bug though.

  14. 9 votes
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  15. 2 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    No, it is not.

    Multiplan/Excel was competing with Lotus 1-2-3, and 1-2-3 had a programming mistake (not actually their fault, they sort of were doing the same thing Excel chose to do) in this matter so Excel (Lord, I wonder if they remember those non-Mighty days?) found it expedient to program their date system to simulate the mistake existing in 1-2-3.

    Mac users have a different date system altogether simply to avoid this whole issue. Not address it head on and damn the consequences, we're Macs!... No, they just avoided it altogether by starting dates that can exist, so to speak, in 1904, avoiding the leap year mistake being made vis-a-vis 1900.

    So no one really had any courage and we live with the results today. And clearly, will for thousands of years to come.

  16. 3 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Experimentation shows it must be a somewhat different thing than you are deducing.

    When I do exactly as you say, I indeed cannot even click on the single letter "friendly" name. But that's because there is this arrow beastie for my cursor that is entirely reminiscent of the cursor change that is so annoyingly hard to get when trying to slect a table row in Word. (You have like a 2 pixel wide spot to see it. Maybe that's hyperbole, but not by much.)

    So I get that for 1-2 characters of friendly name, but at about 3, and almost always by 4 characters (not with 4 "l" (lower case "L") characters), I can click on a bit of it and get the hyperlink action.

    More tellingly, if I use a single "l" character but format the cell to indent by three (three "whatever" Excel indents by), the friendly name is moved far enough right in the cell that I CAN select the friendly name and go to the desired place.

    Another telling point is that if I do this with no Table, just a cell picked out of the blue, there is no strange cursor and no difficulty at all.

    So it is clearly an issue with Table programming in particular, not the hyperlink function. Needs fixing. Given that cursor and that (theoretically) how one gets it in Word when trying to select full rows or columns in a... wait for it... Table, it suggests Excel programmers did not make a solid effort with Tables, rather opting for doing some minimum to adapt Table funcitonality that Word already had programmed.

    Admirable, the connection so as to make the two heavyweights more interactive, one supposes, but not so much admirable the laziness or incompetence.

    Meanwhile, whatever the cause, it does need fixing!

  17. 3 votes
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    1 comment  ·  Excel for Windows (Desktop Application) » Other  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
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  18. 106 votes
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  19. 1 vote
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  20. 3 votes
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    Roy commented  · 

    Used to be able to do that, treat the top row of a block as labels and the left column as well. then just:

    =cow pig

    (if those were a column and row "label") to get the intersection's value. You can still do it but have to define Named Ranges. Ad hoc choices, or choices arising from selecting or "building" the column or row header/label to use are not on the table anymore.

    Of course, Named Ranges let you use blocks rather than single cell intersections, but we used to have both!

    Without this, implicit intersection is a pale shadow of the past. Sadly, when they first announced the "spill" functions, they also said implicit intersection was going away. Not just be unnecessary but going away. They have not kept at pointing that out so maybe it won't, but if it does or is, you can count on never seeing this, in a function or just as general functionality. Sadly.

    Got my vote though!

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