The Acumen IT Support blog provides you with helpful articles about Microsoft Excel.

Several web sites provide good overviews.

Official Microsoft Excel Overview

Microsoft Excel Wikipedia

Excel Footer Images Overlap Text

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Our computer support team was asked to help a customer with an Excel footer problem.

It is not uncommon to use an image file for a header or footer in Excel. Sometimes these are fairly large images that you want to spill out of the header or footer region and into the text. In both cases the images seems to appear behind the text but when the image is in a footer and you go to print the image is actually covering the text on the spreadsheet. This is not a problem with the header. There is no real solution, so I found partial workaround.

Excel Footer Solution:

The header section is allowed to have three images, left section, center section, and right section. So, instead of putting the image you want in the footer simply place it into an available section of the header. Then you have to Format the image with a negative crop. After you insert the image normally click the Format Picture button in the Header/Footer Elements group of the Header & Footer Tools Design contextual tab.

From this dialog box click the second tab, Picture, and crop down to make a negative crop. This will essentially add space to the top, bottom, left, or right of the image and you can push it into the right spot through trial and error.

It’s a really stupid way to achieve the desired ends and it won’t work with different margins and paper sizes but as far as I can tell it’s the only way to make it work properly. Hopefully Microsoft will eventually make images in the footer work the same way they do in the header and appear behind text.

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Excel 2010 Slicers for Tables (not Pivot Tables)

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Excel 2010 Slicers

I’ve been doing a lot of work with Excel 2010 and the Table feature lately. One of the things that I would love to incorporate into Tables is the handy Slicers available in Pivot Tables. I hoped to be able to use the Slicer technology in a table rather than having to create a Pivot Table. Sadly, this is not possible. But, don’t let that deter you. It’s really quite simple to turn your Table into a Pivot Table that shows the data in a similar fashion. Then use the Slicer normally. See below for an example and instructions.

A table has the advantage of showing each line-item as a row whereas a Pivot Table does not allow for this sort of data display. Each field you add to a Pivot Table creates an item with subtotal items below it. The trick is to leave off the field or fields you want to “slice”. For example. We do SEO work here at Acumen and one thing I try to keep track of what keyphrases are useful for each of our pages. This table includes three columns, the Page, the Keyphrase, and the Site.

So, I create a Pivot Table with the Page as the first item with each Keyphrase listed underneath. Then I add the Slicer for the Site. Thus I can click on whichever site desired and see the pages and keyphrases associated with it. I might even think about just having the Keyphrases as the list and using both Page and Site as Slicers.

It’s a bit of a cumbersome workaround until Microsoft decides to make Slicers available for tables but will have to do.

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