Archives for September 2012

How to Clear Cell Formatting In Excel

Numbers Stored as Text

Numbers Stored as Text

In my previous tutorial, I demonstrated how to clear all text formatting from all slides in a PowerPoint Presentation. Several viewers contacted me about publishing a tutorial that demonstrates how to clear formatting from ranges of cells in Excel.

Use the Clear Formatting Command

From my experience, I had found that a great many Excel users expect that formatting as well as contents are cleared when you press the Delete Key. This is not the case. The Delete Key only clears the contents of the cells in the selected range.

Use the Clear Formatting Command in the Editing Group on the Home Tab of the Ribbon. If you are using Excel 2003 or earlier, you will find this on the Edit Menu.

Numbers Stored as Text

As a Best Practice, I strongly recommend that you verify that the numeric values that you will be using in formulas are truly numbers and not numbers stored as text. This, unfortunately is a common case whenever you are working with data that has been imported from a main frame computer or other external sources. In this lesson, I demonstrate how to use Paste Special Operators to quickly convert numbers stored as text to true numeric values.

9 Essential Skills for Excel 2010

9 Essential Skills for Excel 2010 Video Tutorial

Nine Essential Skills for Excel

I cover, in-depth,  Entering and formatting data as well as using Paste Special Options on my new video resource, “Nine Essential Skills for Excel.”

  • Four hours of video training
  • 25 individual video tutorials
  • Step-by-Step Instructional Guide
  • Excel Practice Files included

Download It or Order My DVD-ROM

Watch My Tutorial in High Definition

Follow this link to watch my Excel Tutorial in High Definition on my YouTube Channel – DannyRocksExcels

How to Quickly Clear All Text Formatting from PowerPoint Slides

Control Slide Formatting

Use SlideMaster to Control Formatting

One of my clients inherited a “Ransom Note” PowerPoint Presentation. I think that you can visualize what a “Ransom Note” slide looks like: Multiple Fonts at various sizes with multiple colors and effects thrown in for good measure! Ugly and, certainly, not professional.

Steps to Clear All Text Formatting

In my video tutorial, I demonstrate:

  • How to work in PowerPoint’s Outline View
  • How to use Keyboard Shortcuts to expand and collapse the text for each slide
  • How to clear all of the text formatting

Use the SlideMaster to Set Default Settings for Text

In my experience, most of the people who use PowerPoint are either unaware of the SlideMaster or they do not know how to use it. In my tutorial, I demonstrate how Microsoft Office Themes and the SlideMaster work together to set the default setting for formatting your presentation.

Minimize Local Formatting

My goal, in creating this tutorial, is to impress upon you the importance of limiting your use of “local formatting.” The reason that “ransom note” formatting survives is a direct result of applying local formatting rather than using the SlideMaster to help you to maintain a consistent look.

Additional Resources for Learning PowerPoint

I am the author of the best-selling DVD-ROM, “The 50 Best Tips for PowerPoint 2007.Click on this link to learn more about the 7 1/2 hours of focused video training that I offer on my DVD-ROM.

Watch My Tutorial in High Definition

Follow this link to view my tutorial in High Definition on my YouTube Channel – DannyRocksExcels



How to Use Lookup Functions in Excel – Take a Free Lesson from My Latest Video Training Resource

Video Lesson - Lookup Functions in Excel 2007

Video Lesson – Lookup Functions in Excel 2007

I have just published the Excel 2007 version of my latest video training resource, “Nine Essential Excel Skills.” And, I want to offer you the opportunity to watch a complete episode. This is one of the 25 video tutorials included on my video training resource. The complete package contains almost four-hours of focused Excel 2007 Training.

Lookup Functions in Excel 2007

Watch this complete 11 minutes and 30 second lesson, as I demonstrate how to use both the VLOOKUP() and HLOOKUP() Functions in Excel. I demonstrate how to return an “exact” match as well as how to return an “approximate” match. I use “plain language” to describe how to use Lookup Functions.

Learn More About My Video Training Resources

Here are the links to the specific product information pages for my latest video training resources:

Download My Step-by-Step Instructional Guide – for Free!

You can download a PDF of my Step-by-Step Instructional Guide for the “9 Essential Excel 2007 Skills” video training resource. I am offering this for free so that you can see the scope and detail of the training that I offer on my 4-hour video. Click on this link to begin the downloading process for my free Instructional Guide.

Watch this Lesson in High Definition

Follow this link to watch my Excel Tutorial in High Definition on my YouTube Channel – DannyRocksExcels

Watch Tutorial Now


Instructional Guide “9 Essential Excel 2010 Skills” – Download for Free

Instructional Guide "9 Essential Excel 2010 Skills"

Instructional Guide “9 Essential Excel 2010 Skills”

I want you to discover the scope of the Excel Training that I offer on my new video tutorial, “9 Essential Excel 2010 Skills.” So, I am offering the PDF of the Step-by-Step Instructional Guide that accompanies the video tutorial.

Link to The Company Rocks Free Resources Page

Click on this link to begin the download process for the Instructional Guide.

Instructions for Downloading the Free Instructional Guide

  1. Add this product to your secure shopping cart at my website.
  2. During Checkout, you can choose to either Register or Shop as a Guest
  3. You will need to provide a valid email address in order to receive the actual link to download my Instructional Guide.
  4. Even though you will be downloading this product, I had to set it up as a physical product with “Free Shipping.”
  5. Shortly after you complete the checkout process you will receive an email that contains a hyperlink to the file that you will download.
  6. You will be downloading a “zipped” file. So, once the download is completed, be sure to “unzip” this file!
  7. I created my Instructional Guide using the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Read the Instructional Guide and then Purchase my Video!

I am convinced that once you see the scope of the training in Excel 2010 that I offer, you will want to purchase the video tutorial. I offer my video in tow versions:

List of the “9 Essential Excel 2010 Skills”

9 Essential Skills for Excel 2010

9 Essential Skills for Excel 2010 Video Tutorial

These are the 9 Essential Skills that I have identified for my video tutorial:

  1. Entering Data Efficiently in Excel 2010
  2. Selecting Cell Ranges Efficiently in Excel 2010
  3. Creating and Using Named Cell Ranges in Excel 2010
  4. Applying Styles and Formatting to Excel 2010 Worksheets
  5. Working with Structured Data Sets in Excel 2010
  6. Working with Excel 2010 Formulas and Functions
  7. Using Paste Special Options in Excel 2010
  8. Using Data Validation in Excel 2010
  9. Using Excel 2010 “What-if” Analysis Tools

Excel 2010 Practice Files Included

When you purchase my video tutorial, you receive the same Excel 2010 Worksheets that I used while filming each of the 25 video tutorials. Using the same files as you view my videos, you will be able to practice your new skills. And, of course, you also receive the same Instructional Guide that I am offering for free!

I welcome your feedback! Please send me your comments via email – – or by adding a comment below.

Thank you!


How to Use a Check Box to “Toggle” Conditional Formatting On or Off in Excel

Sort by Color in Excel

Sort by Color in Excel

In my previous Excel Tutorial – “Conditional Formatting to Dynamically Format Dates” – I demonstrated how to  apply Conditional  Formatting based upon the number of days have passed since last contact with a customer. Now I will extend what you just learned.

Three Techniques in this Video:

  1. How to extend  Conditional Formatting Rules to additional cell ranges.
  2. How to use the “Sort by Colors” feature introduced in Excel 2007.
  3. How to add a Check Box Form Control that will “toggle” the Conditional Formatting On or Off.

Paste Special “Live Preview”

I demonstrate a great new feature introduced in Excel 2010, “Live Preview” for Paste Special. You will use Paste Special – Formats to extend the rules for Conditional Formatting to a new range of Cells

Sort by Color

Beginning with Excel 2007, you can now sort fields based upon the color of a font or a cell background. I show how this works.

The Check Box Form Control

The “key concept” to understand when using Excel’s Form Controls is the “Cell Link.” With a Check Box Control, the value in the Cell Link is TRUE when the box is “checked” while the value is FALSE when it is Unchecked. We can use this information to create a “Conditional Format based upon a Formula.”

Conditional Formatting Rules

When you base Conditional Formatting upon a Formula, the result of that formula must return TRUE in order apply this formatting. Setting the background cell color to “White” effectively “hides” the previous background cell colors.

Shop for The 50 Best Tips for Excel 2007

Shop for The 50 Best Tips for Excel 2007

Resources Offered for Sale

I encourage you to visit my secure online shopping website – – to preview the many training resources that I offer you. Check out my latest Excel Training Videos:

Watch this Video in High Definition

Click on this link to watch this video in High Definition on my YouTube Channel – DannyRocksExcels


How to Dynamically Color-Code Dates with Conditional Formatting in Excel

Conditional Formatting for Dates

Conditional Formatting for Dates

One of my viewers wants to learn how to “dynamically” color-code cells that contain dates. She is monitoring the frequency of contact with her clients and she wants Excel to automatically apply:

  • One background color to cells where it has been less than 60 days since last contact
  • A different color when the time frame is between 60 and 90 days
  • A third color when it has been over 90 days since the last contact with a client

Here, I demonstrate how she can do this using Conditional Formatting Rules. However, this will only work if you are using Excel 2007 or Excel 2010.

Understanding Dynamic Date Functions

In order to make this visualization “dynamic,” I make references to cells that contain the =TODAY() Function. This is a “volatile” function that updates automatically based upon the date in your computer system’s clock. I use this to classify the last date of contact with her clients.

Improvements in Conditional Formatting

Beginning with Excel 2007, you can now apply multiple rules that use formulas. Remember that when you use a formula, it must evaluate as “TRUE” in order to apply the formatting that you specify.

Formulas Used to Apply Conditional Formatting

Conditional Formatting Rules

Rules for Conditional Formatting

To make it easier for you to practice this skill, I have posted this table that details the formulas that I used for each of the three rules in my video tutorial.Note that with the middle condition, I use the =AND() Function. All logical tests must answer TRUE for the AND() Function to return TRUE.

It will take a little bit of practice for you to become comfortable with these formulas. As a Best Practice, I recommend that you create a table of formulas so that you can see how a “tweak” in your formula can turn a FALSE answer into a TRUE answer.

Related Video

Follow this link to Part Two in this Series. I demonstrate how to “toggle” Conditional Formatting On or Off by using a Check Box Control in Excel.

Watch this Video in High Definition

Follow this link to watch my Excel Tutorial in High Definition on my YouTube Channel – DannyRocksExcels

Get the Best Tips and Training for Excel

Click on this link to learn more about my best-selling DVD-ROM, “The 50 Best Tips for Excel 2007.” This link will take you to my secure online shopping website –

Subscribe to my Video Podcast on iTunes

Here is the link to go to my free Video Podcast, “Danny Rocks Tips and Timesavers” on iTunes.



Review for my Latest Publication – “9 Essential Skills for Excel 2010”

Main Menu Essential Skills for Excel

Main Menu for “9 Essential Excel Skills”

I just received a fabulous review, from one of my viewers, for my video tutorial, “9 Essential Skills for Excel 2010.”

Read this Review

Product Reviews

It’s really a master piece!!

Posted by Tamoghna on 8th Sep 2012

“I was a beta tester of “9 Essential Excel Skills- Excel 2010” by Danny Rocks. In one word this is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to master those essential skills which are required to use excel professionally. There are total 9 chapters which consist of a series of dense but brief video lessons.

The lessons have been planned in a careful way so that the viewers are introduced from simple to more complex topics.

Surely you are going to be amazed by the incredible picture and sound quality of the videos. I had a feeling as if I was watching an excel movie while putting my head phone. Danny has several qualities as an instructor. His pace of delivery and voice modulation is just fantastic and if you are not an absolute excel-newbie watching a video just one time is enough. Before starting each lesson he gives a brief introduction so that you can connect what you learned in the previous lesson. He also repeats and stresses some part which you will find really helpful.

Another great take away from this video tutorial is a bunch of great keyboard shortcuts and best excel practices which you can expect only from an excel veteran. Among so many other things I was left with surprise why I didn’t use “page layout view” and “vertical alignment formatting” before! Even if you are an advanced excel user surely you are going to learn a lot of useful tricks including some commonly encountered gotchas and how to avoid them.

I won’t be taken aback If this product goes every corner of the excel user community and becomes best seller in this field.”

Learn More About My Video Tutorial

I have produced the “9 Essential Skills for Excel 2010” in two formats:

Both versions include 4 hours of video instruction. 25 individual video tutorials. The Excel Practice files that I used while filming the video tutorials. A PDF of the Step-by-step Instructional Guide that I created for these video lessons.

Version for Excel 2007 Now Available!

DVD-ROM, "9 Essential Excel 2007 Skills"

DVD-ROM, “9 Essential Excel 2007 Skills”

I have just published “9 Essential Excel 2007 Skills” for DVD-ROM. Click to to get more information about my latest publication.

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You can use a secure shopping cart to purchase my products at my online shopping website –