Tag Archive: FAQs Help and Tutorials


Microsoft Excel

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We all love the ability to organize data, in spreadsheets.  I love Excel 2008 and its other versions, though I always am aware of ways that things can be improved.  I’m sure the tip in this article for Excel 2008 for the Mac will apply to other versions as well.

Okay—so if you’re using the spiffy new Excel 2008 for Mac—you may have had the chance to learn some new things over and against the older versions.

One thing that you may have learned to do (in older Excel versions) is keep data relevant by maintaining the visibility of row-header (left column) and column-header (top-row) title information by using the Excel option freeze panes from the window menu. (This is from a list of Excel tutorials—which did seem to pose some problems for a few people accessing it.)

You might have a problem using this option, if you’re working in Mac’s Excel 2008.  The reason would be that you’re in the Page View mode, rather than the Normal View mode—which can be selected from the “View Menu.”

I like the “Page Layout” view because it gives you the feeling of holding ordinary paper, and gives you the view of what your printed Excel sheets will look like, but because freezing panes does not affect printing, it cannot thus affect how “Page Layout” view will look.  “Normal View” is where you want to be.

This answer was found on the following help forum thread: “Excel Freeze Panes ghosted – Why?” which taught me an invaluable lesson about forum diving:

Forum Help Tip #1: Scrolling to the bottom of a help forum may save you some time, though I may have learned more by reading the whole thing.  (The above forum thread has the answer at the bottom—as the last post.)

So, true to form, as mentioned above:

If you find yourself asking “How do I freeze panes in Excel 2008 for the Mac?” and can’t freeze panes because the option is gray / greyed-out, ghosted, or whatever you call it, here’s your answer:

Use “Normal” view, not “Page Layout” and Freeze Panes will work fine.  (Use the “View” menu.)

P.S.  Having to research this tip helped me remember why I was blogging, and lifted me out of a doldrums of existential questioning about the life of this blog itself, at least for the moment.  This experience with not being able to freeze panes in Microsoft Excel 2008 for the Mac left me with this thought: in other words: one practical reason I started this blog was to remember/record ways of helping keep track of vital things I’d learned in an easy-to-find place, while sharing them with other people.

P.P.S. I’ve discovered (having lost this article once) that WordPress doesn’t seem to autosave all the data in a blog post (not my main text, anyhow—though my zemanta assisted keywords and meta-stuff remained).  Maybe composing in Google docs or the like would be a better idea?

As promised in my last blog entry, here’s another set of thoughts about blogging. First of all, I noticed that I’ve been reading my stats wrong, and that there’s a build-on effect happening, rather than just a day-to-day single-post popularity contests. Here’s what I mean about all this blogging stuff:

(1) Traffic Stacks: There is a beautiful exponential effect in your blog post traffic.  I had actually been reading my day-to-day traffic updates as if I was only looking at the popularity of each post I had been putting out each day.  However, one of my biggest spikes was on a day when I didn’t post anything!  Eventually I realized the obvious—my blog post traffic is taking off because more and more, there are a greater and greater number of posts/articles on my site to be read!

(2) Not all traffic is human:  Though I can’t speak to whether there is a WordPress anti-spam filter within their own system that filters these out—I do know that there

Scraper site snippet for one of my blog posts

Here is a scapper-site snippet

are various “spiders” (automate programs that surf the web for various reasons) that do visit sites… At least, I’m assuming that these are spiders…but apparently some of my content got scooped up by a “scraper site” which really seemed to be an aggregator of various blog content, my article being one of them.  It was at this point that I let out a small cheer (first scraping!) and then took a screenshot.

(3) Some topics are hot all the time.  You are probably guessing that Google is a pretty hot thing to be searching for—so, here’s my tip for your blog success—find some niche topic to blog on, and you’ll get some interesting ongoing traffic, provided your niche is one with definite popularity—it can be a wide niche to start, and then you may want to narrow in.  I could be wrong.  What do you think?

Write back in the comments field to let me know more about what your opinion is.

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