Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
2. Introducing Flash Fill and Quick Analysis
2. Introducing Flash Fill and Quick Analysis
If you are overwhelmed by the many features in Excel, the new Quick Analysis
provides an easy on-ramp to trying out formulas, charts, subtotals, and
pivot tables. Many times, a person will ask how to do something in Excel.
When he hears the answer is a pivot table, he shakes his head and says he
was looking for something simpler. The Quick Analysis solves many problems
without making you go through the steps to create a chart or a pivot table.
The Flash Fill feature saves you time when you are trying to reshape im-
perfect data. Many times, you get data from somewhere that isn t in the right
format the text is all caps, phone numbers appear without dashes, or a
bunch of fields are jammed into a single column. By providing one or two ex-
amples of what you are trying to do, Flash Fill uses heuristics to make a
correction of the data in an adjoining column.
Both of these features are new in Excel 2013.
Cleaning Data with Flash Fill
Say that you have data with first names in column A and last names in column
B. The names are in uppercase. You would like to reshape the data so you have
the full names in proper case.
If you have been using Excel for many years, you might instinctively think
of the formula =PROPER(A2&" "&B2). Enter that formula in C2, copy down,
copy, and paste values to solve the problem. Unfortunately, far too many
people think that formula is too intimidating, and start simply typing the new
data, as shown in Figure 2.1 .
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