Nasty little F Lock key…

No really, that is it’s name!

I was trying to figure out why pressing F4 wasn’t toggling from relative to absolute referencing in my Excel formulas, and was starting to think I found a bug in Excel 2013.  But then other stuff started to get weird too…

  • F4, which I use to toggle absolute and relative formulas all the time seemed to do nothing.  But when I was just in a worksheet, and not the formula, it opened a new workbook.
  • F2, which I use to get into formula editing mode, started undoing my last action… which is really scary as I still don’t know if I un-did anything important. I only actually realized this after I typed a formula, clicked on it, pressed F2 and it went away!
  • Alt F11, to get in the visual basic editor did nothing at all.  What the…?

After finding out that it was doing the same thing in a new workbook in Excel 2010, I realized that this was bigger than just Excel.

Apparently I fat-fingered the F Lock key on my (Microsoft Natural) keyboard, which tells the keyboard to start using alternate commands.

Gave me a bit of a heart attack on a Friday afternoon!

PowerPivot Online Course

I don’t think it’s a secret to anyone who reads this blog that I’m a big fan of PowerPivot.  It’s got some huge capabilities, and I’m convinced that it will be a game changer in the BI landscape.

The challenge though, is that PowerPivot isn’t just a “pick it up, it’s easy” kind of thing.  Take it from an Excel pro, you’re going to need some help to get up to speed with it and really make it sing.  Well good news… Chandoo is releasing the first online PowerPivot course, and registration starts now!

Here’s the details of what Chandoo is going to cover:

What is in this course:
Power Pivot, an Excel add-in makes it easy to connect, analyze & visualize massive amounts of data. This course aims to teach you how to use Power Pivot to analyze data, create advanced reports & prepare dashboards all from the familiar Excel interface. This is ideal for data analysts, reporting & MIS professionals, business analysts, managers & dashboard makers.

Who should sign up for this course?
This course is ideal for data analysts, reporting & MIS professionals, business analysts, managers & dashboard makers.
Please note that you should be familiar with Excel & Pivot Tables and running at least Excel 2010 to enjoy this course.

Important Dates:
- Course registration opens on – 6 Feb 2013
- Registration closes on – 15 Feb 2013
- Classes begin on – 18 Feb 2013
- Classes end on – 31 May 2013
- Online access is valid until – 18 August 2013

The total cost is $247, and you also get a bonus copy of Rob’s DAX eBook (which you’re going to need).

Chandoo is no stranger to online training, having run his online Excel School for some time now.  But what makes this one even better is that, not only does it cover all the awesome content you need to get up to speed, it also includes a couple of guest lectures by some pretty cool people.  One is Rob Collie of and the other is… me!  Smile(I’m really looking forward to being a part of this!)

So what are you waiting for?  Click the image below to sign up!

My Workbook Got Stuck in a Cyclone!

I thought I actually posted about this some time back, but I don’t see it. It’s driven me nuts before, and is doing it again.

I have to print out our massive financial model for a meeting tomorrow. It’s almost 120 pages, and is laid out in a mix of colour and black and white, landscape and portrait settings.

The first time I ever saw this I was floored, as I thought Excel was turning each page just to drive me nuts. As it happens, it’s a little more predictable (although no less annoying.)

When I print my model, here’s the output of the pages:

Colour pages (landscape):


Colour pages (portrait):


Okay, so no biggie. I’d rather have the top of the colour landscape pages on the left so I didn’t need to turn them before putting in a left hand binding, but at least it’s consistent. At least, it is until I start mixing in some non-colour worksheets:

Black & white (landscape):

Rotated 180 degrees from the colour worksheet! What the heck is that about? (Yes, Top should be written the other way up, I just wanted this to be easy to read.)

Black & white (portrait):


Seriously? 180 degree rotation from colour again?

Run that out for a bit…

So now picture that you’ve got 120 pages, mixed colour and black and white, mixed landscape and portrait. I need to bind at the left, and want the top of the pages to be consistently like the colour landscape and portrait black and white, so the I can bind them on the left side. I’m going dizzy trying to sort this out!

There’s no setting to change this that I can find, so it’s a process of going through each pile of paper, one sheet at a time, to make sure none get missed. What a waste of time!

I’m not sure if this is a printer thing, or an Excel thing. It did it in Excel 2010, and is doing it in 2013.

I’m curious, if you have a colour printer, do you see similar effects?