Software

Office challenge: Why won't Excel add the numbers from Access that I just inserted into my sheet?

Read the solution to last week's Outlook challenge and test your Excel skills with this week's new Excel challenge.

Another frustrated client call: Last week, an Excel user was trying to wrap things up before leaving on a much deserved vacation (Key West... I'm so jealous!). She hurriedly copied some data from an Access table into an Excel sheet so she could manipulate things manually—quickly she thought. Unfortunately, the Excel functions totally ignored the numbers, returning erroneous results of course. The fix was easy, easy, easy… and I think she'd have figured it out for herself if she hadn't been so fixated on starting her vacation early!

Now, a number of factors could be at play, but where would you start your troubleshooting? I'm looking for the simplest explanation, but if you've run into something similar and the solution was a bit obscure, I'd like to hear about that too.

Last week we asked:

Why can't I see appointments in Month view? Specifically, the question was about Outlook 2007. As the question implies, Month view doesn't display appointments, which seems a bit odd.

Outlook 2007 has a new view option that gives you a measure of transparency into your day. You can display just a bit, or a lot—it's up to you. For instance, the above calendar shows only a few day events because the detail level is set to low. Select the appropriate detail level for your needs:

  • Low (the default) shows only all day events (hiding all appointments).
  • Medium shows all day events and displays a line for appointments. The length of the appointment determines the line's thickness.
  • High shows all day events and all appointments, which can get a bit messy if you're really popular...I mean busy.

To change the detail level, simply click the appropriate setting just to the right of the view tabs (at the top of the screen). In Outlook 2010, select detail settings from the Month button.

Month view is a tight fit, so a low or medium detail setting provides a high-level view of your days, without all the specific details. With a quick glance, you can determine how busy (or not) you are. If you need more detail, click High.

Thanks Lfloyd for playing along and for supplying the correct answer!

About Susan Harkins

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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