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Weekly Computer Tip # 39
9 November 2003

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Countdown to Christmas (Microsoft Excel)

You've probably used Excel's TODAY worksheet function to automatically enter the current date. However,

Did you know ...

You can use the TODAY worksheet function to create a countdown to the given date of your upcoming events such as a holiday, anniversary, birthday, wedding, retirement, completion of house ... or Christmas.

Here's how:

  1. Enter the date of the event (say, 25/12/03) in, say, cell A1
  2. Select cell B1 and type =TODAY()
  3. Select the cell in which the countdown result is to appear (say, C1) and type =A1-B1
  4. Right-click over cell C1, select Format Cells and choose General (from the Number tab)
  5. Save the file as normal so you can check every day how many days are left between now and Santa's arrival (See http://www.roem.co.uk/countdown.xls for an example.)

And yes, it is only 46 days left until Christmas. So you'd better get started with those cards! If you need help merging your data from Word table, an Excel spreadsheet or Access database to create mailing labels or print envelopes you can save countless hours of frustration and book a one-to-one session to get to grips with this powerful Microsoft Office tool. In just a few hours we'll have these cards ready to be sent. (Alternatively, give me your data and I will do the work for you.)

By the way, those of you who have fallen in love with the DATEDIF worksheet function following Tip # 22 to calculate a person's age: =DATEDIF("09/11/2003","25/12/2003","YD") works as well, although this won't automatically update the total as the days go by.

Until next week.

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November 2003