Excel Macros: When to Use Relative Cell Referencing When Recording

This is Part 2 of my new series of Excel Tutorials: “Recording, Running, and Editing Excel Macros.” In this episode, I demonstrate how and when to use either Relative Cell Referencing or Absolute Cell Referencing.

Best Practice: Chose Relative Cell Referencing

Chose Type of Cell Referencing for Macro

Default Setting for Recording Macros – Absolute Cell Referencing

In my experience, the first major mistake Excel Users make when recording a Macro – they neglect to turn on Relative Cell Referencing. In the majority of Macros, you are better off using Relative Cell Referencing. There are a few – specialized – reasons to use Absolute Cell Referencing. However, they are in the distinct minority.

Select Starting Cell Before Recording a Macro

Once again, in my experience, I find that too many Excel users fail to select their “Starting Cell” before they click on the Record Macro Button. My Best Practice: “Minimize Cell Movements When Recording a Macro!”

Whenever Possible Use Ctrl + Enter When Recording a Macro

My Best Practice: “Minimize Cell Movements When Recording a Macro.” I recommend that your use Ctrl + Enter when entering or editing a value or formula in a cell. This procedure will keep the focus on the active cell. This will also minimize extraneous cell movements while recording your Macro. When you take steps to avoid extraneous cell movements, your Macro will be easier to edit or update.

Demonstration of Absolute vs. Relative Cell Referencing in a Macro

Watch my video tutorial to see the very different results that you get depending upon the type of cell referencing that you use when recording a Macro.

Secure Online Shopping at The Company Rocks

I invite you to visit my secure online shopping site – http://shop.thecompanyrocks.com  Take a few minutes to look at  – and , hopefully, purchase – one of the many video training resources that I offer. I guarantee that you will be 100% satisfied with my training materials. If not, I will refund your purchase with no questions asked!

Watch My Video in High Definition

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

Play My Video Now

How to Use a Data Validation Formula When Creating a Budget

Use Formulas in Data Validation

Use a Formula in Data Validation

Recently, one of my viewers wanted to know which formula he could use to prevent an end-user from imputing a value that would exceed his budget. I created this video tutorial to demonstrate my response.

Use a Formula in Data Validation

I have identified Data Validation as one of the “Nine Essential Skills in Excel.” Here is one example – Using a Formula in Data Validation to prevent an input entry from exceeding a set budget amount

A Formula that Evaluates to TRUE

The “key” to understanding how use Formulas in Data Validation – When the formula answer is TRUE, the entry is accepted; When the answer to the formula is FALSE, the Error Message that you create prevents an invalid entry.

Remember, that in Data Validation, only the STOP style will prevent an invalid entry.!

Video Training Resources

9 Essential Skills for Excel 2010

9 Essential Skills for Excel 2010 Video Tutorial

I invite you to visit my secure online shopping website – http://shop.thecompanyrocks.com – to preview the many video training resources that I offer you.

Watch This Tutorial in High Definition

Follow this link to watch my Excel 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 – danny@thecompanyrocks.com – or by adding a comment below.

Thank you!


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.

Secure Shopping at The Company Rocks

You can use a secure shopping cart to purchase my products at my online shopping website – http://shop.thecompanyrocks.com



How to Use Excel Formulas and Functions to Analyze Inventory for a Retail Store

Excel Formulas to Analyze Inventory

Excel Formulas to Analyze Inventory

My friend, Alan Friedman, is a CPA and Partner in Friedman Kannenberg and Company, PC. I have been using one of the Excel Worksheets that Alan developed to teach retail store owners and managers how to analyze their inventory. In this lesson, I demonstrate how to write and copy the Excel formulas needed to perform this analysis.

Excel Formulas for Analyzing Inventory

Many retailers use a Point-of-Sale (POS) System that can generate three numbers: Sales by Product Category, Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) by Product Category and Average Inventory by Product Category. Taking these three numbers – also known as “hard-coded” values – you can use Excel Formulas to give you:

  • Gross Profit Dollars (Sales minus COGS)
  • Gross Profit Percentage (Gross Profit Dollars divided by Sales)
  • Inventory Turns (COGS divided by Average Inventory)
  • Product Category Sales as a Percentage of Total Sales (Category Sales divided by Total Sales) – Use an Absolute Cell Reference
  • Inventory by Category as a Percentage of Total Inventory – (Inventory by Category divided by Total Inventory) – Use an Absolute Cell Reference
  • Gross Margin Return on Inventory (GMROI) – (Gross Profit Dollars divided by Average Inventory)

Tips for Entering and Copying Excel Formulas

As I demonstrate in this tutorial, you can write and copy an Excel Formula in one step when you first select the cells to receive the formula and use the Ctrl + Enter Keyboard Shortcut to complete the formula. Instead of clicking on the AutoSum Command or writing =SUM(), use the Alt + = (equal sign) to sum up the values in the adjacent range of cells.

Learn to Improve Your Excel Skills

If you want to learn how to create and use more Excel Formulas and Functions, I have created the Best-selling DVD-ROM, “The 50 Best Tips for Excel 2007.” You can learn more about this resource by visiting my secure online shopping website – http://shop.thecompanyrocks.com

Watch Tutorial in High Definition

I produce my Excel Tutorials in High Definition. Follow this link to view this lesson on my YouTube Channel – DannyRocksExcels

View Tutorial Now

The Basics for Creating and Copying Formulas and Functions in Excel

Relative and Absolute Cell References

Relative and Absolute Cell References

Formulas and Functions are the “core elements” of Excel. It is vital that you have a solid grounding in understanding how formulas and functions work; especially when you need to copy and paste them into other cells.

Relative and Absolute Cell References

When you use Relative Cell References – the default setting in Excel – the Row numbers and Column letters adjust automatically when you copy and paste a formula.

There are, however, situations where you need to “freeze in place” part of an Excel Formula. For example, you need to “freeze” or use an Absolute Cell Reference to the cell with “Total Sales,” when creating and copying a formula to determine Product Sales as a Percentage of Total Sales.

Copying Excel Formulas

In this tutorial, I demonstrate two methods for copying and pasting formulas and functions:

  • Standard Practice is to select the cell with the formula and use the Ctrl + C Keyboard Shortcut to place the formula cell on the Excel clipboard. Then, after selecting the destination cell(s), use the Ctrl + V Keyboard Shortcut to paste the formula in the new location(s)
  • AutoFill Tool.If you are copying the formula cell into adjacent cells, use the AutoFill tool to do this quickly and accurately!

Tips that You May Not Know

In my experience, many Excel veterans are not familiar with these tips and tricks which I demonstrate in this tutorial:

  • The Ctrl + ~ (tilde) Keyboard Shortcut to “toggle” the Show Formulas view for the active Excel Worksheet.
  • The Alt + Enter Keyboard Shortcut to automatically use the =SUM() Function – for adjacent cells.
  • The F4 Key to automatically add Absolute Cell Reference when creating or editing a formula. For example, converts A1 to $A$1.

Learn More Excel Tips and Tricks

50 Best Tips for Excel 2007

50 Best Tips DVD-ROM

If you enjoy the tips and techniques that I demonstrate in this lesson, then you will really benefit from purchasing my best-selling DVD-ROM, “The 50 Best Tips for Excel 2007.” You can learn more about the resources that I offer by visiting my secure online shopping website – http://shop.thecompanyrocks.com

Watch Tutorial in High Definition

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

Play Video Now

Functions to Analyze Loan Payments in Excel

Loan Payment Functions

Loan Payment Functions

When you use the PMT Function in Excel, the result is the amount of money that you will pay each period (usually monthly) until the loan is repaid. When you want to know how much of each payment is an interest charge, you use the IPMT Function. And,to find the amount that goes towards reducing the principal on your loan, you use the PPMT Function.

Cumulative Payments

Two other functions are helpful in analyzing your loan payments. When you want to see the Cumulative amount of Interest (CUMIPMT Function) that you paid between two periods – e.g. Starting with payment 1  and ending with payment 12. You use the CUMPRINC Function to total the amount of your loan payments that went towards reducing the principal on your loan between any two periods.

Absolute and Relative Cell References

As you will see in the video, I use a combination of Absolute Cell References (e.g. $A$4) and Relative Cell References (e.g. A4) in these formulas. An Absolute Cell Reference means that cell will “remain in place” when the formula is copied down or across to other cells. In this example, I have my Loan Information (Amount to borrow, Interest Rate, etc.) at the top of the spreadsheet. Almost all references to these cells in formulas is Absolute.

Function Arguments Dialog Box

I almost always use the Function Arguments Dialog Box when I am creating my formulas. I use the Keyboard Shortcut, Ctrl + A at this point in the formula – “=PMT(” to activate the dialog box. The advantages of using the Function Arguments Dialog Box are:

  • Explanation of both the function and each “argument” in the function
  • Ensures arguments are answered in the proper sequence
  • Ensures that all “required” arguments (Argument Labels are in Bold)
  • Evaluates the result of each “intermediate” calculation – to the right of each argument

This is the first of several Excel Video Lessons that I am creating to demonstrate how to perform Financial Calculations. Let me know what you think or send me your questions to answer. You can add a comment below this post.

Watch This Video in High Definition on YouTube

Follow this link you view this Excel Video on my YouTube Channel – DannyRocksExcels

Download Excel Workbook

Follow this link to download the Excel Workbook I used in this lesson.

Subscribe to My Video Podcast

I invite you to receive an automatic notice – via email – whenever I publish a new Excel Video Lesson. Follow this link to find out the details. The subscription is free; you do not need to provide and personal information beyond your email address; and you can cancel at any time – no questions asked!

How to Use Conditional Formatting to Compare Two Excel Lists

Clients and viewers frequently ask me to help them to compare two differeny lists in Excel. They want to find – or highlight – the values that are different in each list. For example, which customers appear in the 1st list but NOT in the 2nd list. So, I created this video lesson to demonstrate how to do this with Conditional Formatting.

In an earlier Excel Video Lesson, I demonstrated how to compare two Excel lists using either the MATCH() Function or the VLOOKUP() Function.

Conditional Formatting Rule

Conditional Formatting Rule

Use Conditional Formatting

I demonstrate how to use Conditional Formatting to Highlight the Cell Values that are different when you compare two Excel Lists. I will use a “New Rule with a Formula” that must return the answer TRUE, to trigger the special formatting.

In Conditional Formatting, you first establish a “condition” that can be answered as either TRUE or FALSE. Then, for those cells where the answer to the condition is TRUE. the special “cell formatting” that you chose will apply.

In this lesson we will be using this Formula: =COUNTIF(List 2, 1st cell in List 1) = 0.

Steps to follow:

  1. Select the cells that you want the Conditional Formatting to apply to- in our example List 1.
  2. On the Home Tab of the Ribbon, click the Conditional Formatting arrow and select New Rule.
  3. Select New Rule – “Use a Formula to determine which cells to format.”
  4. Enter the formula – e.g. =COUNTIF(Range, Criteria) = 0 where the “Range” is the list of values in List 2 (Absolute Reference) and the “Criteria” is the 1st cell reference in List 1 (Relative Reference).
  5. Choose the Format for the cells when the condition is met – the result is TRUE. In this example, I choose to “FILL” the cells with a Blue background color.

Want to watch this video in High Definition, Full-Screen Mode? Click here to go to my YouTube Channel, DannyRocksExcels

Learn to “Master Excel in Minutes – Not Months!”

Use a Combo Box to Dynamically Change Your Excel Chart Data

You can “drive” your Excel Charts – dynamically change the data behind the chart. Focus your audience’s attention on the information that you are discussing. Let your audience see a chart that illustrates the scenario that they select.

To do this – add a Combo Box that lists the choices for each chart display that you offer!

(Click here to view my free Excel Training lesson on Combo Box Controls for more information.)

Key Steps to Take:

  • Use the INDEX() Function to look-up the values for your chart data.
  • For the 2nd argument in the INDEX() Function select the cell that is the “cell link” for your Combo Box. Use the F4 Keyboard Shortcut to make this part of the formula “Absolute.”
  • Insert the Chart Type that best represents your data. Position your chart adjacent to the Combo Box.

Click here to watch this video on my YouTube Channel – DannyRocksExcels –  in High Definition and Full Screen Mode.

I have several lessons that cover Charting in Excel 2007 on my DVD, “The 50 Best Tips for Excel 2007.” Buy it now!

Learn to “Master Excel in Minutes – Not Months!”