Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 1. Introduction
Chapter 1. Introduction
Microsoft Excel is an application of enormous power and flexibility. But despite its powerful
feature set, there is a great deal that Excel either does not allow you to do or does not allow you to
do easily through its user interface. In these cases, we must turn to Excel programming.
Let me give you two examples that have come up in my consulting practice.
1.1 Selecting Special Cells
The Excel user interface does not have a built-in method for selecting worksheet cells based on
various criteria. For instance, there is no way to select all cells whose value is between 0 and 100
or all cells that contain a date later than January 1, 1998. There is also no way to select only those
cells in a given column that are different from their immediate predecessors. This can be very
useful when you have a sorted column and want to extract a set of unique values, as shown in
Figure 1-1 .
Figure 1-1. Selecting unique values
I have been asked many times by clients if Excel provides a way to make such selections. After a
few such questions, I decided to write an Excel utility for this purpose. The dialog for this utility is
shown in Figure 1-2 . With this utility, the user can select a match type (such as number, date, or
text) and a match criterion. If required, the user supplies one or two values for the match. This has
proven to be an extremely useful utility.
Figure 1-2. The Select Special utility
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