Strange fonts printing to PDF file – Use Chrome browser

Question: I am having problems with a file I printed to PDF. When I open it in Adobe Reader the font changes and is not readable. This has always worked before until I got a new computer with Windows 7.

Answer:  I opened the file and the same thing happened for me, both in Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat. But I have Word 2013 and opened it and the fonts were readable. So in order to better troubleshoot the problem, I had to get more information about where the file was originally and how it was converted to PDF. Turns out it was from a database she accessed from the web and she printed it to a PDF. She explained she had problems in the past when using Firefox, but it would always work with Internet Explorer. So that was a clue that it might be a browser issue.

I have found Google Chrome a wonderful browser. It seems to correct odd problems like this, so she was quickly able to download and install Chrome, logged into her database and printed to a PDF …..successfully! Thank you again, Chrome!!

Slow Excel files

Question: Why is my Excel file so slow when opening?

Answer: I hear this problem occasionally and the typical problem is that there are many extra columns or rows included in the data range. Sometimes this is caused by typing something (even pressing the spacebar) in a cell far away from the data or from formatting cells outside the data range. The easiest way to tell is by pressing Ctrl End, which will take you to the last cell of the range. If this is the case, you can try several things

  1. Delete the extra rows and columns outside the range of data
  2. Clear any formatting outside the range of data
  3. Copy the range of data for each worksheet to a new file

Save the file with a different name (File > Save as) and close the file before reopening. You will see the size of the file has reduced considerably and will be much faster in opening.

Grouping by days of the week in a pivot table

Question: I am trying to create a report from Excel data that was exported from a web application that has date fields and values in which I can get an average of values for the various days of the week. How can I do that?

Answer:  If your data contains a date field, you can display the day of the week using one of the date formatting styles, but a pivot table does not allow you to group by days of the week. However, you can create a new column for your your data which creates a text field from the date field  -  i.e. =text(A2, “dddd”). Then copy that formula down the column (shortcut to copy is  double clicking on the dragging handle) and be sure to add a column heading. Then save your file before creating a pivot table. You can now add that field in the pivot table and you can change value field settings (in the values section) from sum to average.

Learn more about pivot tables and other time-saving Excel features by attending Kim’s Favorite Excel Tips session on 3/6/14 at 9 -10 a.m. in 2020 Bennett Hall. No registration is required.