What I Learned From Two Readers


In the September column (page 80), I reported on an Excel shortcut for putting the equal (=) sign in a formula. Ron Freeman, CPA (inactive), accounting manager for CityForest Corp. of Ladysmith, Wis., suggested another way: Put the equal sign in the toolbar for easy access.

To do that, click on Tools , Customize , the Commands tab and then on Insert . Far down on the drop-down list are all the basic arithmetic functions (see screenshot). Drag the ones you want to the toolbar.

Someone else recently asked me why this screen sometimes pops up when he closes some, but not all, Excel files—even when he doesn’t make a change in the spreadsheet:

Quite frankly, I didn’t know. But reader Alan Hyde, a CPA at the Park West Gallery in Southfield, Mich., went searching on Microsoft’s Knowledge site and discovered that when you close any worksheet with a volatile function—such as SUMIF, NOW, TODAY or OFFSET—the ominous screen will be triggered whether or not you changed anything. So rest assured that the screen’s appearance is not a sign of trouble.



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