Tame your computer - name nudges


31-08-2020
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In her regular series for Cambridge Network members - now in its 15th year - software training expert Karen Roem offers handy tips to help you 'Tame your computer'.  This week she describes how to split first name and last name into separate cells or combine first and last name in one cell (Microsoft Excel).

Have you ever needed to split a cell containing the full name of a person into a separate first name and last name cell? Perhaps you downloaded information from other software and you ended up with data in one cell that you would prefer to have in two cells?

If you are still using Excel 2010 you can use the Text to Columns option on the Data tab, as described in tip 225. But if you’ve upgraded to Excel 2013 or later you can use the Flash Fill functionality from the Auto Fill Options button that pops up when you’ve used the Auto Fill feature. (More about Auto Fill at the bottom of this tip under Related tips.)

But there is an even quicker way. OK, not a very intuitive one, but it’s so good I will remember!

Here’s how:

  1. Open FlashFill.xlsx to understand this example.
  2. Click in cell B2.
  3. Type Anne.
  4. Press ENTER.
  5. Press CTRL + E.

You can also use it the other way around, i.e. turn two separate columns containing first name and last name into a full name. Much simpler than the CONCATENATE Function or the formula such as =A2&" "&B2.

With thanks to George for this week’s tip inspiration!

Related tips
Split first name and last name into separate cells
Move or copy cells using drag and drop
Stop AutoFill
Quickly increase a list of numbers by one
Quickly repeating a formula down a column
Quickly enter a series of weekdays

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The best way to understand Flash Fill and other tips is to see it in action. So why not sign up for one of our upcoming 60-minute webinars? (£20+VAT.)

As George wrote following his 60-minute Excel webinar … The course was really useful and worked well over video call. I would definitely recommend it to anyone wishing to brush up on their Excel knowledge.

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31 August 2020

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

 

 

Hello, I'm Karen and I help people get the most out of their computer software. Perhaps you're a scientist who needs to analyse your research data in Excel? Or a PA who wants to discover hidden features to tackle time-consuming and frustrating day-to-day tasks? Or a small business owner who wants to perfect a PowerPoint presentation?

Whatever your needs, I offer a training solution - from 60-minute webinars that easily fit into a busy schedule, to half-day and full-day hands-on training courses. Sessions can be held at your workplace or at my office in Cambridge. My hands-on courses can also be delivered online as a series of shorter virtual sessions, if necessary over a couple of days or weeks.

Roem Ltd – software training and support