Use this Super Add-In to Man-handle Excel
OVERVIEW: Learn how to use the ASAP Utilities add-in to dramatically boost the power and ease of using Excel.
What is ASAP Utilites?
I work in an Accounting/Finance area dealing with lots of reporting, so I have Microsoft Excel open all day long. One of the best things that I ever installed on my work machine is ASAP Utilities. This powerful Excel add-in allows you to do complex, advanced tasks quickly and efficiently. It also allows you to do some very handy things that Excel doesn’t even do out of the box.
How Much Does it Cost?
There are two versions: the FREE one which is really for personal use and the $50 version which is for professional use (at work). Aside from the personal/professional rules, they are almost identical.
How Does ASAP Work?
ASAP Utilities installs itself as an Add-In which creates an ASAP Utilities tab on Excel’s ribbon.
All of the operations that ASAP performs are grouped into categories represented by dropdown lists on its ribbon tab.
Some of the features that I used most are under the Sheets, Range, Numbers, Text, and Import categories.
Among the numerous features that I use, my favorites are:
Advanced Character Find and Replace – great for removing carriage returns in text.
Copy (formula generated) Data as Values – paste the actual numbers anywhere.
Find and Clear Duplicate Values – great for getting one of each value in a big table.
Color Every Nth Column/Row – get striped rows without making a table.
Delete Leading or Trailing Characters – Strip area codes or middle initials off a list in seconds.
There is even a Favorites option where you can save your most frequently used commands.
These are very useful, but two that I use A LOT are under the Import and Sheets categories. I regularly have to produce a report that pulls data out of 10 – 20 separate Excel files. The data is the same, just for different business groups. I need to get all of this data into one file, then onto one worksheet.
Here’s how I do it:
Us the Merge and/or Import Multiple Files command under the Import category to grab the data from all of my files and pull it into a new workbook. Each file creates a tab named after the original file name.
Opening 15 files, copying their data, and pasting it into a new workbook would take a LOOONG time and be very prone to screw-ups.
Now that I have all of the data in separate tabs in the same workbook, I need to get all of the data onto the same worksheet. I select all of the worksheets (tabs) and run the Put together rows/columns from separate sheets command under the Sheets category. This places a copy of all of the data on my 15 tabs into a brand new tab. Voila! Now I can sort, subtotal, and analyze everything at once. This takes me about three minutes depending on the number and size of the files. Try doing that as a copy and paste job in less than 20!
See it in Action
The following video shows how to combine data from 15 separate Excel files into one worksheet in a new file.
Some Other Weird but Cool Options
There are more commands/features than I care to count. Most people will probably stick to a few core features, but here are a few obscure ones that I like:
Bulk Create Folders – type a bunch of folder names in cells and it will create them on your hard drive.
Text Case – Convert hundreds of rows of text to UPPERCASE, lowercase, or Title Case.
List All Fonts in a New Workbook – List every font on your machine and display every character in that font. Pretty handy for typesetting.
Find and Remove All Links – Strips html links from data that you pasted from the internet.
What are you Waiting For, Go Get It
Head on over to http://asap-utilities to get yourself a FREE copy of ASAP Utilities. You will be the new Excel Guru in your office.
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