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Archive for July, 2009

Conditional Formatting in Excel 2007 – Formatting an Entire Row Based Upon Multiple Conditions

Conditional formatting can be a great tool to enhance the data in your spreadsheet.  There are several options for formatting a cell given the value of that particular cell.  But what if you want to format multiple cells in a row based upon the value of one of more other cells?  Well, that’s not so straightforward!

Let’s suppose that we have an Excel spreadsheet containing student data, but we want to be able to look down the list and quickly view all freshmen who are female chemistry majors:

Formatted spreadsheet

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Charting Noncontiguous Dates in Excel

Have you ever needed to chart noncontiguous dates in Excel?  Often, Excel will attempt to fill in the missing pieces of the series.

This example shows the total number of items sold on a weekly basis:

Number Sold

If we select the data and create a column chart, it looks like this:

Num Sold Chart

Excel has attempted to fill in some of the missing dates; However, because of the size of the chart, Excel is just showing the even numbered dates.

Read the rest of “Charting Noncontiguous Dates in Excel” »

Using Pattern Fills in Excel 2007 Charts

When preparing articles for publication, you may encounter a journal requirement specifying that chart data markers be filled with different patterns such as dots, slanted lines, etc. These types of fills make data that is being displayed in black and white easier to discern than those formatted in various colors. Unfortunately, while Excel 2007 includes a plethora of attractive choices for formatting chart data markers, pattern fills are not among them. Here are links to two articles that show how to apply pattern fills to your chart elements.

The first article from Microsoft Excel Team Blog guides you to the Visual Basic Immediate Window to apply the patterns. Then the author also describes the process for accessing and installing an Add-in to modify the gallery to include pattern fills. The blog is at:

Here is a link to another article by Andy Pope that addresses the way to fix the problem with an add-in.

If you scroll way to the bottom of the article, you will see two links. One takes you to the free download for the add-in; the other has instructions for installing the add-in.

Combination Charts and Secondary Axes in Excel

Combination charts can be used to highlight different types of information in a single chart.  Using a combination of a column chart and a line chart can give a more specific visual representation of the data and help to make data easier to understand. Combination charts are particularly helpful when the values of the data vary greatly or when you are working with mixed types of data.

Read the rest of “Combination Charts and Secondary Axes in Excel” »

Microsoft Office 2010

Interested in seeing some of the new features in Microsoft Office 2010? Check out this article on the Lifehacker blog containing some introductory videos from the Microsoft Office team:

Microsoft Office 2010 in Videos

You can also check out this user’s videos on YouTube for more:

Office Videos

The release of Office 2010 isn’t for a while yet, but Microsoft is being quite social with the changes being made.

Stay tuned to this blog and our website for information about training opportunities when Office 2010 gets released to the general public.


Using the Pen Tool in InDesign

The Pen tool is one of the most challenging and powerful tools in graphic design.  One of the major advantages of learning the Pen tool is that it is the same tool across many applications.  However, it is used differently between programs.  Pen projects in Illustrator would have different results from Pen projects in InDesign, for example.

In this video tutorial by Ashley Endemann, we are going to explore some of the uses of the Pen tool in InDesign. We will look at creating a clipping path for a graphic, custom frames for text, as well as modifying a font for decorative or design purposes.

If you don’t know how to use the Pen tool, don’t worry.  You can take our Pen tool class: Adobe CS4: Pen Tool Basics for Advanced Graphic Design, and get up to speed.

Using the Pen Tool in InDesign

Special Thanks to Ashley Endemann for the video.

Replacing Pages in a PDF with Acrobat Pro

In a standard workflow, PDF creation generally comes at the end of the process.  But what happens if you have a last minute change after the PDF has already been created and edited with special features like links, multimedia, and form fields?  Re-creating the PDF from scratch means doing all that work again, and the Touchup Text tool can only replace and remove small mistakes, not big ones.

Luckily, in Acrobat, we have the Replace Pages feature.  This allows us to select a page, or range of pages to replace with a page or set of pages from another document.  This is incredibly useful, because it allows us to make larger changes without remaking the entire PDF.

The best part about replacing pages though, is that it retains all of your special features, like Links.  You might have to move them around in the new document, but pressing and dragging is much better than completely replacing.

Let’s see how to do this now.

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A Quick Guide to Twittering

New to Twitter? Did you just log in for the first time, and you feel your Twitter profile looks like a lonely wasteland? And seeing that, are you wondering what all the excitement is about? Here are a few tips to get up and running with Twitter, and to find just the right people and information. Your Twitter space will be home to you in no time.

Sending Tweets

  • – After you sign up for Twitter, just enter a message (maximum 140 characters) in the entry field at the top of your Home page. All who follow you will see your tweets. If no one is following you yet, send a little introduction message anyway just for practice. It will be there for people later.

Receiving Tweets

  • – Your Twitter space will be populated by the tweets of all the people you follow, so go out and find some Twitterers. See Finding Friends and Following Tweeple, below.

Finding Friends and Following Tweeple

  • – Having an avatar is helpful when people start following you; everyone wants to know with whom they’re speaking. Therefore, as soon as you can, add a picture of yourself or supply an image by which people can identify you. A bio is helpful, too. (See Making It Your Home, below.)
  • – To find friends or interesting individuals who twitter, click Find People at the top of your profile. Type in their names, or just try searching “New York Times,” “Library of Congresss,” “noaa,” “oceanexplorer,” or other entities of interest. This is a good way to find news sites and other topics as well. To receive all their tweets, click the Follow button.
  • – People you follow will receive a notice that you are following them, and in turn they will probably follow you.
  • – To find more people or sites to follow, see who THEY are following and follow the ones that interest you!
  • – To find celebrities, people, or categories of interest, go to
  • – If you know someone’s username, you can travel directly to their Twitter space by going to[username].
  • – If you don’t want certain people following you, it’s easy to Block them.

There’s more!

Read the rest of “A Quick Guide to Twittering” »

The Green Bar of Go: Using External Links

Publish Message Sent Successfully

In this installment of The Green Bar of Go, I’ll be discussing a feature of Cascade Server we don’t cover in our workshops, the External Link.

An External Link is an indexed asset that points to a web page outside of Cascade Server. Any link that is not a page within your site should be turned into an external link. This not only allows you to place them into a dynamically generated navigation, but also makes it easier to manage the URLs if they should change.

Take a look after the jump to see how these are used.
Read the rest of “The Green Bar of Go: Using External Links” »

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