Tips for Excel


Sometimes a refresher on tips and tricks is a very good thing.  We get stuck in our rut of how we use apps and how we process data.  Here are some of my favorite Excel tips.

  • Add a Total Row without writing a formula. Just click anywhere inside an Excel table. Then press Ctrl+Shift+T and Excel will add the Total Row to the bottom.
  • Select any cell in your data range and press Alt+F1. Voila! You now have a chart!
  • The Status Bar shows averages, counts, and sums — without typing out complicated formulas! Just select some cells in your table, and then gaze your eyes on the lower right-hand corner of the Excel window. There you’ll see instant stats about your selection. See below.


  • Select any range in a table or PivotTable, and go to Insert > Slicer. Select the column you want to filter by. When you’re done, you’ve got handy buttons that let you filter.

Try these tips to make Excel more fun.

iPhone Review Sites

image iPhone XR from

I am at the point where I either need a new iPhone or a new iPad, or perhaps both.  I was getting frustrated with looking at write-ups on the iPhone by different retailers so I did a Google search.  I found several good sites (for me) that listed information that I was looking for.

Here are some sites to get information on iPhones:

If you are hunting for a phone, I wish you good hunting.

Microsoft Power BI YouTube Channel


If you need to brush up on your Power BI skills, check out the Microsoft Power BI YouTube channel.  See the link below.  There are some new videos out there that have been uploading in the last two months.


Videos available

Use Fuzzy Lookup for Excel Instead of VLOOKUP


Fuzzy Lookup is Microsoft’s add in for Excel Tables that give brilliant results!

Using Excel’s VLOOKUP tool can be frustrating for finance folks and business analysts because it requires an exact match to get the link between two sets of information.  For example, if you look up J Hirst and the other information shows Hirst, J, you will not get a match.

Enter Fuzzy Lookup.  Microsoft designed Fuzzy Lookup to work only within Excel Tables so all data must be converted to tables to start the process.  My thought is that data is easier to work with in tables, anyway.  Fuzzy Lookup will match J Hirst with Hirst, J, and you can ask Excel to check again for all matches.  The match rate is quite high.  Here is what Microsoft says about Fuzzy Lookup…

The Fuzzy Lookup Add-In for Excel was developed by Microsoft Research and performs fuzzy matching of textual data in Microsoft Excel. It can be used to identify fuzzy duplicate rows within a single table or to fuzzy join similar rows between two different tables. The matching is robust to a wide variety of errors including spelling mistakes, abbreviations, synonyms and added/missing data. For instance, it might detect that the rows “Mr. Andrew Hill”, “Hill, Andrew R.” and “Andy Hill” all refer to the same underlying entity, returning a similarity score along with each match. While the default configuration works well for a wide variety of textual data, such as product names or customer addresses, the matching may also be customized for specific domains or languages.

Before you can use Fuzzy Lookup, you must download it from Microsoft and install it on your computer.  The link is

Fuzzy Lookup is a super tool that will make your analyzing of data so much easier.

Looking for Books For Christmas Gifts?


I am always looking for good recommendations about books for people in business.  I found this article and thought it was worth sharing in case some of you are looking for good books for Christmas presents. 

The article below first appeared in  You can see all the details when you open the article.

Happy present shopping!

17 Books From Bill Gates’s Reading List

The Microsoft co-founder reads a book a week. Here is a selection of his favorites.

Using Hyper-V with Windows 10

Setting up a virtual machine allows you to create a miniature server inside Windows 10 so you can test out different software or do some coding that will not change anything on your current computer.  Sometimes, Hyper-V can be tricky to set up.

The following article is so good that I have reproduced it in its entirety in case the links change.  Thanks to Microsoft and its team for providing such excellent information.


Step-By-Step: Enabling Hyper-V for use on Windows 10

– written by Anthony Bartolo on the Microsoft Website on October 8, 2018 (

Virtualization provides a plethora of solutions from making the most of an organization’s hardware investment to running specific applications in other OS offerings. Windows 8 was the first Windows client operating system to include hardware virtualization support natively. Using the same technology found in Windows Server 2012 R2, the embedded Hyper-V client allowed IT professionals to move VMs from server to client without the requirement to re-learn the use of Hyper-V features and tools. Further enhancements were introduced in Windows 8.1 such as Enhanced Session Mode, enabling high fidelity graphics for connections to VM’s using the RDP protocol, and USB redirection which is enabled from the host to VM’s. Windows 10 brings further enhancements to the native hypervisor offering. These include:
  • Hot add and remove for memory and network adapters – works with generation 2 virtual machines running both Windows and Linux
  • Windows PowerShell Direct – the ability to run commands inside a virtual machine from the host operating system
  • Linux secure boot – Ubuntu 14.04 and later, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 OS offerings running on generation 2 virtual machines are now able to boot with the secure boot option enabled
  • Hyper-V Manager Down-level management – Hyper-V manager can manage computers running Hyper-V on Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1

Step 1: Prerequisites The following prerequisites are required to successfully run Client Hyper-V on Windows 10:

Step 2: Setting Up Hyper-V

  1. Ensure that hardware virtualization support is turned on in the BIOS settings
  2. Save the BIOS settings and boot up the machine normally
  3. Click the search icon (magnified glass) on the taskbar
  4. Type turn windows features on or off and select that item Windows10_HyperV_001
  5. Select and enable Hyper-V
    Windows10_HyperV_1.pngWindows Features: Turn Windows features on or off
  6. If Hyper-V was not previously enabled, reboot the machine to apply the change. NOTE: As a best practice, configure networking for the Hyper-V environment to support external network connections. Also ensure that a virtual switch has been created and is functional.
  7. Click the search icon (magnified glass) on the taskbar, type Hyper-V Manager and select the item NOTE: Right click Hyper-V Manager to pin it to the task bar
  8. Open the Virtual Switch Manager, found on the Actions panel in the Hyper-V Manager, by typing Hyper-V at the Start Screen Windows10_HyperV_003
  9. Select Virtual Switch Manager in the Actions pane
  10. Ensure that External is highlighted, and then click on the Create Virtual Switch button
  11. If more than one NIC in is present, ensure that the proper NIC is selected for use on the VM external network connections

Virtual Switch Manage

IoT Lab in Calgary Nov 20, 2018

As things move and change in the Azure world, you may want to check out this all day lab about IoT.

IoT Hands On Labs

November 20, 2018/ 8:30am – 5:00pm MT

Register at 

Microsoft Canada – Calgary office
110 – 9th Avenue SW, 7th Floor (Suite 710)
Calgary, Alberta

Join Microsoft IoT experts in a FULL ONE day hands-on lab to program a Raspberry Pi to send environmental data to the Azure IoT Suite. Learn to configure Azure to visualize the sensor data in Power BI and to route the sensor data to long term storage. Discuss using Microsoft IoT technologies to achieve your business goals.

What You’ll Learn:

• Microsoft Azure IoT Suite including IoT Hub
• Data Analytics and Azure Stream Analytics
• Serverless Architecture and Azure Functions
• Data Visualization and PowerBI

You will need to acquire hardware prior to the event.

For details on the required hardware and the lab, please see this link: IoT Hub Pi Hackathon.

Please be prepared by completing the “Pre-workshop Setup” section in the document.

If you have any difficulties with your setup, please email


08:30 AM

08:45 AM
Setup (WIFI, IoT Hub)

09:00 AM
IoT Hub Overview

10:00 AM

11:00 AM
Hands On: Configure Raspberry Pi to send temperature to the Azure IoT Hub

11:30 AM
Hands On: Send data from the IoT Hub to the Raspberry Pi

12:00 AM

01:00 PM
Azure Stream Analytics Overview

01:30 PM
Hands On: Configure Azure Stream Analytics to send data to cold storage and Power BI

02:30 PM
Azure Functions Overview

03:00 PM

03:15 PM
Hands On: Configure Azure Functions to send data back to the device

04:00 PM
Discuss IoT Business Cases

05:00 PM
End of Lab

Using Strikethrough in Microsoft Word


I am proud to say that we are becoming more collaborative at work, especially around creating sound, process documents for different tasks that we do.  If you are like our users, you probably are using the Review feature in Word. However, we found that REVIEW, and Accept and Accept with Changes, and Track Changes,  was becoming clumsy with some of the changes that we wanted to make.  My team asked me if there wasn’t a better way to work on the documents. 

I have to admit that I couldn’t think of one in that moment.  I did research with Google, and I found a tool that I have not used for years – Strikethrough – which is a long time Word feature.  I found a great article on the blog, ” How-To Geek” called “How to Draw a Line Through Words in Microsoft Word” by Marshall Gunnell written on  August 9th, 2018.  You can read the article here:  The important part of the article, for me, is noted below.  However, he has other good stuff about creating shortcuts and other thoughts. 

How to Apply Strikethrough Formatting to Text

Applying strikethrough formatting is pretty easy. Start by selecting the text you want to strike through. You can do this by clicking and dragging over the text (or just double-clicking a word), but when you do this, Word likes to select the space after the text, as well. If you don’t want that to happen, click to place your insertion point at the beginning of the text, and then Shift-click at the end of the text for a more precise selection.

If you want to get fancy and select multiple words spread out through the document at the same time, you can do that, too. Select the first bit of text the regular way, and then hold down the Ctrl key while selecting additional text in different places. We suggest only doing this a paragraph at a time because it’s frustrating when you accidentally let go of the Ctrl key and have to start over.


When you’ve got your text selected, look on the “Home” tab of Word’s Ribbon. In the “Font” group, click the “Strikethrough” button (it’s the three letters with a line drawn through them).


Now, any text you had selected should be struck through.


You can also apply strikethrough formatting using the Font window. Select your text, and then press Ctrl+D to open that window up. Here, you can select not only the regular “Strikethrough” option but a “Double Strikethrough” option if you want to go that way, instead. Make your selection, and then click the “OK” button.


That’s it!  A great little feature to use to keep track of where you started and where you are going with changing wording, thought processes, or tone.

New Microsoft Office 365 Deal–6 Seats for $100


I am a fan of Office 365, and I thought this information about Office 365 on HOW TO GEEK, at was very useful.

Here is a summary of the information.

Microsoft’s Office 365 service has been a great deal for a long time, and it’s getting better. Starting October 2, 2018, Office 365 Home will let six users install an unlimited number of Office applications. Each person gets 1 TB of OneDrive storage, too.

Each user will also be able to install Office applications on an unlimited amount of devices. Users can only be signed into five Office applications at the same time, however. This is an improvement from now, where those five users can only install Office on up to 10 devices in total.

These changes take effect starting October 2, 2018. Microsoft isn’t raising the price of any Office 365 plans, either.

Microsoft has made a few account changes that are taking effect immediately. After signing up for Office 365, all user accounts in your Microsoft Family will be automatically given access. You can manage your subscription directly from the Microsoft account website, too.

Office 365 includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. Publisher and Access are also included but are only available on Windows. These are the same full desktop Office applications you’d get if you purchased the standard boxed copies of Office, but they also have the advantage of getting more frequent feature updates. And yes, you can use them offline—your PC or Mac just has to appear online once every 30 days to keep them activated.

How To Set A Browser as a Default in 3 Different Browsers

Over the last several weeks, I have been working with computer users at work as we start to change over to a new network system and upgrade some of our software.

I was surprised that many of them did not know how to choose a browser and set it as a default.  The three browsers of choice are Chrome, Edge, and Firefox.

I know that most browsers prompt you to set them as your default browser (unless the setting is turned off). Here’s the Firefox callout.


If your browser doesn’t notify you, you can open up settings or preferences in the browser to find the option to set it as your default.

In Firefox, click the menu button at the upper right of the browser window (the three horizontal lines), and then choose the “Options” command. You’ll see the default browser setting right at the top of the page, as below.


For the Chrome browser, hit the menu button in the top right (the three vertical dots), and then choose the “Settings” command. Scroll down a bit, and you’ll see the “Default Browser” section.


Edge is a Microsoft product. So you need to hit the menu button at the top right (the three horizontal dots), and then choose the “Settings” command. Right at the top, click the “Change My Default” button.

And, there you have it!  Three browsers that are each able to be set up as the default browser.  Remember that Default means that it is the first browser of choice.  You can still choose a different browser on your computer to look up information, if you think one browser is faster than another.

Browse away!