Tame your computer - cool calculations


In her weekly series for Cambridge Network members, software training expert Karen Roem offers handy tips to help you 'Tame your computer'.

This week she offers advice on how to automatically convert number entries to a formula in Microsoft Excel* ...

This week's tip comes from the Finance Manager of Pembroke College (credit where credit is due) who showed me a way to automatically convert any entry that begins with a number to a formula, without preceding it with an equation symbol such as = or + . This obviously is particularly helpful if you mainly use Excel for calculations.

Here's how:

1. Select the Tools, Options command.

2. On the Transition tab, select the 'Transition formula entry' check box.

3. Press the OK button.

One bit of warning, though. Having switched on the 'Transition formula entry' option, any dates you enter (i.e. a number entry in itself) will be treated as a formula. For instance, today's date (11/6) will be turned into 1.833333333 (i.e. 11 divided by 6).

A workaround is to preface the date entry with the apostrophe character ('). But even better ... automate the above-mentioned steps and create a macro. This is especially helpful as the

'Transition formula entry' option only works for the workbook you switched it on for, so it's well worth the 'effort'. (It's easier done than said - honest!)

If you want to find out more about how to create a macro, see my Or if you want to take it one step further, why not customize your toolbar and

Finally, got a tip to share? Submit it by emailing karen@roem.co.uk - if your tip is selected, I'll publish it along with your credentials. The bragging rights will last a lifetime!

  • Karen Roem is running a special training session on 'Excel with Excel' in Cambridge on Thursday, 20 October - discounted for Cambridge Network members. More details from: http://www.roem.co.uk/handsoff_excel.html

    * Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2000. Most of what is covered however will also apply to earlier and later versions.

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    14 July 2005

    Karen Roem offers software training and support through her company Roem Ltd. Contact her by email Karen@roem.co.uk or visit her website at www.roem.co.uk.
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    Karen Roem
    Microsoft Office-ionado

    Roem Ltd – software training and support