Spreadsheet Pranks

Level: Intermediate

Available Durations:

  • 50 minutes


In this somewhat whimsical presentation, Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA, will share with you several Excel features that can be used for good or bad. The more we understand what’s possible in Excel, the easier it becomes to learn even more about spreadsheets. Techniques you’ll learn range from setting a default font for spreadsheets in two different ways, randomizing the months of the year, temporarily making workbooks invisible, and hiding portions of the Excel menu or even the entire menu. The goal of this presentation is to spark thoughts along the lines of, “Well, if Excel can do that, how do I do this?” You’ll also gain a better sense of how to recover from situations when Excel exhibits odd behavior when certain settings get changed inadvertently.

David demonstrates every technique at least twice: first, on a PowerPoint slide with numbered steps, and second, in the subscription-based Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) version of Excel. David draws your attention to any differences in the older versions of Excel (2019, 2016, 2013, and earlier) during the presentation as well as in his detailed handouts. David also provides an Excel workbook that includes most of the examples he uses during the webcast.

Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based product that provides new-feature updates as often as monthly. Conversely, the perpetual licensed versions of Excel have feature sets that don’t change. Perpetual licensed versions have year numbers, such as Excel 2019, Excel 2016, and so on.

Topics/Areas Typically Covered:

  • Adding as many as 255 blank worksheets to new workbooks.
  • Disabling the ability to edit worksheet cells by double-clicking, which also unlocks two hidden features.
  • Understanding the nuances of Excel’s Allow Editing Directly in Cells option, such as being able to edit cell comments with a double-click.
  • Setting the default font for all future new workbooks.
  • Reversing the column order for selected worksheets.
  • Enabling the R1C1 reference style in Excel so that column letters are replaced with column numbers in the worksheet frame.
  • Adjusting the order that the cursor moves when a user presses Enter.
  • Saving time by seeing how to enter data sideways.
  • Triggering the arrow keys to scroll the worksheet instead of navigating to an adjacent cell.
  • Hiding selected menu tabs in Excel’s ribbon interface.
  • Making Excel’s menu vanish when a workbook is activated and return when the user switches to another workbook.
  • Altering the default sort order within pivot tables to a hierarchy of your choice with Custom Lists.
  • Setting workbooks to remain invisible while open in Excel.
  • Preventing users from overwriting key workbooks by way of the Read Only setting.

Learning Objectives/Why You Should Attend:

  • Identify how to specify the number of worksheets that appear when a new workbook is created.
  • State the location of the Custom Lists feature within Excel’s menu interface.
  • Describe how to enable or disable the R1C1 reference style in Excel..

Target Industries:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business
  • Excel Users
  • Consulting
  • IT
  • Auditing
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Government
  • Tax

Target Job Title:

  • Accountants
  • CPAs
  • CFOs
  • Controllers
  • Income Tax Preparers
  • Enrolled Agents
  • Financial Consultants
  • IT Professionals
  • Auditors
  • Human Resource Personnel
  • Bookkeepers
  • Excel Users
  • Marketers
  • Government Personnel

About the Instructor:

David H. Ringstrom, CPA is the owner of Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based spreadsheet consulting firm that he started in 1991. Throughout his career David has spoken at conferences on Microsoft Excel, and written dozens of freelance articles about spreadsheets. He offers Excel and Access training and consulting services nationwide.
Pricing and Format Options:

Pricing and Format Options:

Click here to learn about the presentation format and view pricing information.

Click here to view other topics.