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March 2007 Efficiency Newsletter

Technology does not create productive people. We do.

I haven’t written in a little while because we’ve been so busy working with you all! Recently, SET had the pleasure of speaking about Office 2007 to the Washington Trainers Forum, and we’ve also been having fun on all sorts of Microsoft Office design-related projects. PowerPoint templates, proposal generators, and gorgeous Excel models have been keeping us occupied, as well as two government projects and two new folks on the SET team. So thanks, everyone, for the continued support and encouragement!

Tip of the Month

Remove Duplicate Rows in Excel 2007

In just about every Excel training course I’ve delivered, someone has asked how to remove duplicate rows. I would always reply that you had to employ macros and a little tech savvy (though a quick Google search helps). But now, if you have a spreadsheet that contains duplicates—perhaps because the data was merged from multiple sources, or perhaps because there are slight variations in zip codes or use of middle names—Excel 2007 can help. It’s easy, too.

  1. Make sure that there are no blank rows in your data series
  2. Place your cursor in the data series
  3. From the ribbon’s Data menu, choose Remove Duplicates

  1. Select the fields that, when all of them match, will prove a duplicate. For instance, I didn’t select Zip below because in some cases there will be a five digit zip code and others 5+4. However, if the rest of the fields match then the row is definitely a duplicate (for this spreadsheet example, at least).

  1. Click OK twice and then make sure you didn’t lose any data. Excel will tell you how many duplicates it found:

Tool of the Month

Google Toolbar's Favorites

For those of you who use multiple browsers or computers, or who plan to upgrade to Vista, this will be a great timesaver. I’ve always been a fan of the Google toolbar, and have written about some of its features in previous issues of this newsletter. Its new stored bookmarking feature is one of its best recent improvements.

Whenever I switch computers I find that I have to update my favorites between them. These days I also find that I have to switch between Firefox and Internet Explorer more often than I’d like—doubling the effort of keeping favorites in sync.

The Google toolbar’s new Favorites feature lets you store your favorites in your Google account. All you have to do is install the toolbar on any browsers you use, log in (just once), and they’ll be in sync all the time. Better yet, it has some nice categorizing and search features built in. Here it is in action:

You might be wondering why I’m recommending this after featuring del.icio.us bookmarking not too long ago. It’s because I actually use them in different ways. I use del.icio.us for infrequent references and for links I want to share. However, it’s not quickly available within your browser—you have to navigate to your bookmarks page and work from there. Google toolbar’s favorites, on the other hand, are better suited to the few sites you use all the time (checking the weather, logging into your bank account, getting the news, etc.).

Download it at toolbar.google.com.

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