fixed : hashtags making text unreadable in Excel

Question :

Somebody sent me an Excel spreadsheet in which some of the data is unreadable since it has been replaced by text consisting of hashtag signs only…

I’ve seen this happening before, and the remedy used to be just to broaden the column, since all number that are too large to fit their cell width are automatically made unreadable…

However, in this case, if I broaden the column width, some of the hashtag text will turned into readable numbers, but other hashtag text will remain, no matter how wide I make the column…

What is wrong ?

And how can I fix this ?

 

Answer :

This seems to be a problem with Excel for Windows files that are opened in Excel for Mac (possibly more specifically with data copied or converted from another application into Excel on a Windows-PC). So PC-users will not be warned on forehand that their Excel output is not suited for use on Macs…

Fixing it turns out to be rather simple (but annoying) :

• open the file in Excel for Mac

• select the cells that are effected (or preferably even the entire column), then go to “Format” in the top menu bar

• from the dropdown-menu that appears, select “Cells…” and a window entitled “Format Cells” will open

• make sure the “Number”-tab is selected and make sure that you select “Number” or “General” from the list (make sure that it is something else than what was previously selected ; anything seems to be okay, as long as it is not “Accounting”)

• no return to your spreadsheet to check if the hashtag texts have disappeared (if not : try again)

That’s it !

Enjoy !

😉

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fixed : copied Excel data only shows zeros instead of original values

Question :

I have this data-range in MS Excel that I want to copy from one page to another, but when I do, in the area that I want to copy to, all cells are filled with zeros…

…the original data has disappeared…

How can I fix this ?

Answer :

Just use the “Paste Special”-option from the Edit-menu, like this :

– in MS Excel, go to the data that you want to copy

– select the range of data you want to copy

– press CMD + C (or choose “Copy” from the Edit-menu)

– then go to the area you want to copy the data to, and select the upper-left cell of the area you want the copied data to appear in

–  then press SHIFT + CMD + V (or choose “Paste Special” from the Edit-menu)

– in the pop-up window that appears, select “Values” (the option third from the top) instead of “All” (which was the first option from the top), and click “OK”

– now the original data will appear

…that’s it !

Enjoy ! 😉

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fixed : copy a row into a column (or a column into a row) in MS Excel

Question :

I have this column full of data in MS Office’s Excel, and now I need the exact same data range in another spreadsheet, but this time as a row…

Do I really need to re-type all data ?

Isn’t there an easier solution ?

Answer :

Yes, there is a far simpler way to copy data from a row into a column (and vice versa) in Excel.

You can just copy & paste, or “Paste Special” to be exact… it goes like this :

– in Excel, select the range of cells you want to use (or copy)

– then press the CMD + C key-combo (or select “Copy” from the Edit-menu)

– then go to the page (a.k.a. “sheet”) you want the copy the data to, and select the upper-left cell of the area you want the copied data to appear in

– then press the SHIFT + CMD + V key-combo (or select “Paste Special” from the Edit-menu)

– …and in pop-up window that opens, put a check-mark in front of “Transpose” and click “OK”

– now the data from your original row (or column) will ‘magically’ appear as a column (or row)…

…that’s it !

enjoy ! 😉

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fixed : use unsupported scanner in OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion

UPDATE : a list of supported scanners for OSX 10.9 Mavericks can be found here

UPDATE : Mattias Ellert has now updated the TWAIN SANE drivers, so there is a new version for OSX 10.9 Mavericks (and OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion), more on this can be found here

———————————

Question :

I have a Canon CanoScan LiDE 20 that used to work perfectly in MacOSX 10.6 Snow Leopard. But now I’ve bought a new Mac which runs OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion, I can’t seem to install it, since Canon doesn’t update the drivers anymore.

What can I do ?

Answer :

In OSX 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion any TWAIN-supporting scanner can be used without any additional software :

– connect your scanner directly to your Mac using a USB-cable

– open the System Preferences

– then click on “Print & Scan”

– then, just below in the list of printers on the left, click on the “+”-sign

– that will bring up the “Add”-window, which enables you to add a new printer or scanner

– if your scanner is TWAIN-supporting, it will show up there, and you just need to select it and click on the “Add”-button

– then it will be listed in the previous (“Print & Scan”) System Preferences window, and if you select it (and you put a piece of paper or a photo in the scanner), a Scanning Preview window will show up, allowing you to scan your document to file or eMail or something else…

but…

…some for some printers, like the Canon CanoScan LiDE 20 and LiDE 30, the TWAIN-drivers are not included in OSX. In that case, you will need to install some generic (FREE) TWAIN-drivers :

for OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion, download and install these files (in this same order) and restart your Mac after doing so, then your scanner will also show up in the “Print & Scan” System Preferences :

libusb.pkg.tar.gz

sane-backends.pkg.tar.gz

SANE-Preference-Pane.pkg.tar.gz

TWAIN-SANE-Interface.pkg.tar.gz

for MacOSX 10.7 Lion, download and install these files (in this same order) and restart your Mac after doing so, then your scanner will also show up in the “Print & Scan” System Preferences :

libusb.pkg.tar.gz

sane-backends.pkg.tar.gz

SANE-Preference-Pane.pkg.tar.gz

TWAIN-SANE-Interface.pkg.tar.gz

– if these files do not turn into regular .pkg-files when you click on them, you need unTAR-software like this :

The Unarchiver

– if you get an error-message telling you you can’t install this software (these drivers) since the are not from Apple-appoved developers, you need to :

– open the System Preferences

– then click on “Security & Privacy”

– then make sure the “General”-tab is selected

– click the padlock in the lower left corner and provide an Administrator name & password to unlock the padlock

– then at “Allow applications downloaded from:” select “Anywhere”

– and exit the System Preferences to make this setting stick

Note #1 :

TWAIN-supporting drivers (like SANE and the ones that come with OSX) will enable you to directly scan from within various applications like Photoshop, MS Word, GraphicConverter, OmniPage and OSX’s built-in Image Capture.

Note #2 :

when using the SANE drivers, you will probably not be able to use the ‘one click’-buttons that are on the scanner itself…

Note #3 :

if your scanner lets you scan the first time, but after shut-down and restart scanning seems impossible because OSX can’t find the scanner, just plug-out the scanner’s USB-cable and plug it back in and everything should work again…

Note #4 :

if the “Scan”-button remains grayed-out, make sure that you have selected an area to scan… (put differently : if “Selection:” is set to “Off”, you will need to select an area to scan before the “Scan”-button will be ready to use…)

Note #5 :

if you get a distorted scan when scanning in landscape view (or any other rotated view), just scan normally in portrait view and rotate the scanned image afterwards (in Preview app or another image editing program, like Photoshop or Graphic Converter)

Note #6 :

if you are not able to scan as a JPEG (.jpg-flie), just scan as a TIFF (.tif-file) and convert the scanned image afterwards (in Preview app or another image editing program, like Photoshop or Graphic Converter)

Credits :

Matias Ellert and the Open Source developers of the SANE project

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fixed : export contacts database from AddressBook to Excel

Question [1] : I’m new to Mac, I just switched to my first Mac, before I only used Windows PCs. How can I import my contacts from my Windows PC into my new Mac running OSX ?

Question [2] : I’m a Mac user myself, but I need to share my contacts database from Apple AddressBook with WindowsPC-users I’m working with. Since there is no Apple AddressBook for Windows, this seems impossible. What can I do ?

Answer to both [1] and [2] : It’s possible, and it isn’t that complicated either.

There are (free) MacOSX-applications that can do this for you.

! BEWARE ! there are 2 applications around that are extremely similar (and therefore easily confused) both in name and features :

Address Book Exporter 2.1.2 (from 2003 ; with a space in the name)

http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/9312/address-book-exporter

AddressBook Exporter 1.0 (from 2005 ; without a space in the name)

http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/17501/addressbook-exporter

The first one (from 2003 ; with a space in the name) is the best one. That’s the one that still works properly with Apple AddressBook from MacOSX 10.6 “Snow Leopard”.

How to install :

  • download the application (from 2003 ; with the space in the name)

http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/9312/address-book-exporter

  • drag the application-icon to your Applications folder

How to use it :

  • startup the application “Address Book Exporter 2.1.2”
  • from the “Groups” list, choose “All” to start converting your entire AddressBook, or choose only the selection that you want to export
  • if you would like to convert / export a selection that is not listed, go back into your AddressBook and create a (temporary) group from your selection
  • now, in “Address Book Exporter 2.1.2” check the checkbox of “Export using current field settings”
  • click the “Configure Settings” button
  • in the pull-down menu that appears, check the checkboxes of everything that you would like to export, and click “OK”
  • click the “Export Address Book” button
  • if you like, you can change the name of the exported file
  • then choose a destination on your Mac where you will be able to easily find the exported file (e.g. “Desktop”) and click “Save”
  • quit “Address Book Exporter”
  • open “MS Excel”
  • drag the icon of the exported file (from the Desktop) onto the MS Excel icon in the Dock, to have it opened in Excel
  • and… here you are : all your contacts are in Excel now
  • from there you can “Save As” to have a .xls-file that you can share with WindowsPC-users