# Questions tagged [microsoft-excel]

A spreadsheet application by Microsoft. Use this tag along with [vba] if your question involves programming Excel in VBA, and with [worksheet-function] if it involves an Excel formula or worksheet function.

19,105
questions

**280**

votes

**6**answers

807k views

### How do I get the distinct/unique values in a column in Excel?

If I have a column with values, and I want to find out what distinct values are in there (not how many - but the actual distinct values), how can I do that?
In SQL Server I would do something like
...

**193**

votes

**13**answers

508k views

### Easiest way to open CSV with commas in Excel

CSV files are automatically associated with Excel but when I open them, all the rows are basically in the first column, like this:
It's probably because when Excel thinks "comma-separated values", it ...

**142**

votes

**9**answers

626k views

### How can I “group by” and sum a column in excel?

I'm trying to figure out how to "group by" values in an Excel spreadsheet.
Given the following example (this is an inventory sheet I use at my restaurant:)
At the far right of the spreadsheet there ...

**140**

votes

**9**answers

296k views

### How to easily reorder rows in excel with drag and drop or move-up or move-down?

I have to do some manual reordering or rows in Excel and cut/paste is too hard to use. I'm looking for something that would enable me to use drag'n'drop or to add some buttons to move-up/down move-top/...

**128**

votes

**6**answers

110k views

### How can I stop Excel from eating my delicious CSV files and excreting useless data?

I have a database which tracks sales of widgets by serial number. Users enter purchaser data and quantity, and scan each widget into a custom client program. They then finalize the order. This all ...

**126**

votes

**13**answers

685k views

### Convert a column into a comma separated list

I have the task of creating a simple Excel sheet that takes an unspecified number of rows in Column A like this:
1234
123461
123151
11321
And make them into a comma-separated list in another cell ...

**124**

votes

**5**answers

73k views

### Is it possible to paste CSV formatted data into Excel 2007?

I want to copy and paste CSV formatted text into Excel 2007.
Is there a way of doing this without saving it to a temporary file first?
I'm sure in previous versions of Excel there was a way to ...

**121**

votes

**10**answers

290k views

### How do I join two worksheets in Excel as I would in SQL?

I have two worksheets in two different Excel files. They both contain a list of names, id numbers, and associated data. One is a master list that includes general demographic fields, and the other is ...

**116**

votes

**13**answers

298k views

### Why does Excel treat long numeric strings as scientific notation even after changing cell format to text

I'm trying to process some data in Excel. The data includes numeric account numbers and other long numeric strings (like cell phone MEIDs). I am not doing math operations on these strings, so I want ...

**106**

votes

**4**answers

255k views

### How to expand all columns in Excel spreadsheet?

I have a spreadsheet with many columns. The columns are all a small standard width. Double-clicking the partition line between columns will expand the column width to encompass the longest string in ...

**105**

votes

**14**answers

171k views

### Open Excel files in new window

When I have Excel running and I double click an Excel file in Windows explorer, I'd like it to launch in a new window by default so that I can move documents to separate monitors. Is there any way to ...

**101**

votes

**5**answers

745k views

### How to write multi lines in one Excel cell?

I want to write multi-lines in one MS Excel cell.
But whenever I press the Enter key, the cell editing ends and the cursor moves to next cell. How can I avoid this?

**97**

votes

**4**answers

42k views

### Excel: how to undo in current file only?

Microsoft Excel's undo / redo feature behaves unlike any other program I know. The undo stack seems to be global across all open files, so that undoing sometimes switches to another file and undoes ...

**96**

votes

**12**answers

18k views

### Why does =-x^2+x for x=3 in Excel result in 12 instead of -6?

Suppose my cell A1 in an Excel spreadsheet holds the number 3.
If I enter the formula
= - A1^2 + A1
in A2, then A2 shows the number 12, when it should show -6 (or -9+3)
Why is that? How can I ...

**96**

votes

**7**answers

648k views

### Cells not updating automatically

I have a formula in a cell which counts the values in 2 other cells. Normally, after entering in the values in these 2 other cells, the formula cell updates automatically when Enter is pressed or when ...

**93**

votes

**6**answers

161k views

### How to open semicolon delimited CSV-files in US-version of Excel

When I double-click on a .csv file, it is opened in Excel. The csv-files have columns delimited with semicolons (not commas, but also a valid format).
Using a German Windows/Excel setup, the opened ...

**91**

votes

**8**answers

314k views

### How to get Excel to interpret the comma as a default delimiter in CSV files?

I have a number of .csv files. Some of them are comma delimited, some are tab delimited (maybe they should be called .tsv ...)
The csv extension gets associated with Excel when Excel is installed. ...

**88**

votes

**9**answers

729k views

### In Excel, how do I check if a cell is in a list of values (a range of cells)

I've got a range (A3:A10) that contains names, and I'd like to check if the contents of another cell (D1) matches one of the names in my list.
I've named the range A3:A10 'some_names', and I'd like ...

**88**

votes

**8**answers

375k views

### Find Items in one column that are not in another column

I have two columns in Excel, and I want to find (preferably highlight) the items that are in column B but not in column A.
What's the quickest way to do this?

**87**

votes

**16**answers

371k views

### How do you force excel to quote all columns of a CSV file?

Excel only places quotes around certain fields, how do I force excel to save a CSV file with quotes around every column?

**86**

votes

**16**answers

686k views

### How to make Excel's “Auto Fit Row Height” feature actually auto fit the row height?

For every generation of Excel I can remember (including 2010, which I'm using now), Excel's "Auto Size Row" features sometimes fails to actually auto size a row when the cell contains wrapped text. ...

**83**

votes

**8**answers

101k views

### How do you view the bottom of really tall cells in Excel?

When there are very tall cells in Microsoft Excel, trying to scroll via mouse or even via scrollbar (clicking on "<-" "->" pointers) just jumps below to the next cell, hiding the bottom content of ...

**79**

votes

**5**answers

360k views

### How to set character encoding when opening Excel

Is it possible to set the default encoding for Excel (any version, e.g. 2010) when opening files like csv files (like you can in Open Office Calc)?
I When I try to open a csv file encoded in Japanese ...

**77**

votes

**7**answers

453k views

### How do you auto resize cells in Excel? [duplicate]

I have copied some data into Excel 2010. I have found that some of the cells need to be widened to allow the data to fit. How do I automatically adjust the height of the cells to fit the content?

**75**

votes

**4**answers

322k views

### Turn off scientific notation in Excel

I would like to prevent Excel behavior that any large number I enter is stored as a number, then abbreviated to scientific notation.
Is it possible to tell Excel 2007 to stop doing this?

**75**

votes

**14**answers

169k views

### Format a number with optional decimal places in Excel

I have numbers in cells in Excel. I want the numbers formatted so that if they have decimal places they show to a maximum of two, and if they have no decimal places it doesn't show any.
For example.
...

**72**

votes

**2**answers

126k views

### How to search for ? (question mark) in Excel

When I try to find the question mark character (?) in an Excel sheet, Excel cannot locate the cells containing them. How can I search for ? in Excel?

**71**

votes

**15**answers

131k views

### How to copy multi-line text from Excel without quotes?

When you create a multi-line string in an excel cell (by using Alt-Enter), if you copy that cell to a text editor, excel will automatically add double quotes (") around the full string, ie:
Cell1 | ...

**70**

votes

**8**answers

354k views

### How to remove the print preview lines in Excel 2010?

Somehow or other I have managed to switch on the print margin lines in Excel 2010. I cannot seem to turn them off. I went to Page Layout->Page Setup->Print Area->Clear Print Area but the lines remain ...

**67**

votes

**7**answers

210k views

### Excel - Prevent cell text from overflowing into next (empty) cell

When you have text in an Excel cell that is too long to be shown in the visible area of that cell, and the next cell on the right is empty, Excel lets the text be displayed in that next cell (and the ...

**66**

votes

**3**answers

285k views

### What is the maximum allowed rows in a Microsoft Excel .xls or .xlsx

Is there a limit? I couldn't find one posted.

**66**

votes

**10**answers

159k views

### How can I set Excel to always import all columns of CSV files as Text?

Though I try to avoid it, I occasionally have to open a CSV file in Excel. When I do, it formats columns containing numbers, which makes them useless for my purposes. As far as I can tell, the only ...

**65**

votes

**11**answers

111k views

### How to “unpivot” or “reverse pivot” in Excel?

I have data that looks like this:
Id | Loc1 | Loc2 | Loc3 | Loc4
---+------+------+------+-----
1 | NY | CA | TX | IL
2 | WA | OR | NH | RI
And I want to convert it to this:
Id | ...

**62**

votes

**2**answers

347k views

### Comparing two strings in Excel?

I need to compare two strings
in excel and determine if they
are equal, the strings are in adjacent
cells. For example, given:
apple apple
water water
pear carrot
apple water
dog dog
...

**61**

votes

**2**answers

6k views

### Excel - can I set a cell to equal a certain value, no matter what is typed in it?

This is to play a joke on someone...not sure if it's possible to do what I want. We are circulating an Excel file among friends to select players for a golf tournament. I would like to set a cell (...

**59**

votes

**3**answers

9k views

### Why does the same data take more space in a text file than in an Excel file?

I have around 100000 rows of data. If I store this data in a text file format, it takes more space than if I store it in an Excel file format. Why is that?

**58**

votes

**4**answers

342k views

### How to split a string based on “:” in MS-Excel?

My excel column is filled with words like this:
1.) ABC:DCF
2.) DCF:FED
I want to split each word based on " : " and put the result in adjacent columns such that "ABC:DCF" in cell "A:1" becomes "ABC"...

**58**

votes

**10**answers

158k views

### Formula for updated currency exchange rates in Excel or other spreadsheets?

What kind of spreadsheets support a formula like the following:
=exchangeCurrency("USD"; "EUR"; 3000)
The result should be 3000 USD exchanged into Euros. Possibly a date could be provided for a ...

**57**

votes

**2**answers

234k views

### Go to specific row number in excel

Is there a way in Excel to go to a specific row number? For example I need to find an alternate way to not have to scroll but rather can immediately go to row # 3000

**57**

votes

**5**answers

169k views

### Formatting a comma-delimited CSV to force Excel to interpret value as a string

I've been searching around for a while trying to figure out how to output a CSV file in such a way to force Excel to interpret the values as a string and not try to convert them to numbers or dates.
...

**57**

votes

**17**answers

377k views

### Excel Auto-Fill a Series Without Mouse (Keyboard Only)

So when I want to extend a series or something along those lines, I can highlight a group of cells, then click on the bottom right corner of the highlighting box and drag down. Excel will then ...

**57**

votes

**4**answers

142k views

### Is it possible to sum an entire column without setting explicit cell boundaries in Excel?

I'd like to sum all the values in a column starting from a certain minimum value, but I don't want to give an upper bound because any value in the table will be appropriate for summing (minus the ...

**53**

votes

**3**answers

19k views

### Excel Conditional Formatting Escaping a Question Mark

I would like to use a conditional formatting rule in an excel file that would color any box with a question mark in it red. It seems that Excel is using a question mark as a wild card and will turn ...

**53**

votes

**2**answers

413k views

### What is the Excel hotkey to re-calculate all formula in sheet?

I have a sheet that contains many formulas. But they do not recalculate automatically when I change input.
I'm looking for a hotkey, that can re-calculate the sheet. According to this page, F9 ...

**52**

votes

**2**answers

7k views

### Excel number type changes 1.25 to 43125

When I open a plain new Excel sheet (2016), change the type of the cell to Number and enter the number 1.25, it will change the entered number to the value 43125,00. I get similar results when I ...

**52**

votes

**21**answers

298k views

### How to make cells perfect squares in Excel?

In Microsoft Excel,
I want to make the height of first three rows and first four columns (12 cells in the top left corner) such that these cells are squares. How can this be done?
Surprisingly, ...

**52**

votes

**7**answers

161k views

### How to delete rows not in filter

I have a very large table in Excel (1000's of rows) and I filter it to only show 10 rows.
I wonder if there is a way to delete the rows not shown (i.e. don't meet filter conditions)? This would ...

**51**

votes

**13**answers

128k views

### Shortcut in Word or Excel for Special Paste?

If I want to paste without any formatting, I have to go to the "Paste" button on the ribbon and click "Paste Special" and then "unformatted text".
Is there a shortcut like Ctrl+V that'll ...

**50**

votes

**1**answer

6k views

### What exactly is Excel's Auto Fill algorithm?

What is the algorithm used by Auto Fill in Excel?
For example, when I enter the numbers 3,4,5,7,8 into a column and then use Auto Fill, I get the following result:
3
4
5
7
8
9.3
10.6
11.9
13....

**46**

votes

**5**answers

10k views

### Is there a concise Excel formula to calculate (A1*A6)+(B1*B6)+(C1*C6)…?

I want to know how to give a concise formula for the following long formula in Excel sheet:
= (A1*A6)+(B1*B6)+(C1*C6)...
Do I use a sum function or is there another function for this? I think using ...