By Chris Wood, CPA - Chapter 1 – The Excel Objective

At my last seminar someone asked “Can I get a cell using a data validation list to show the drop down arrow even when the cursor is not on the validation cell”? The answer is NO. However, one can generally get Excel to accomplish almost anything. An active X Combo Box can accomplish this task.

Here’s how data validation works. First create a list.

Chapter 2 – Introduction to Dave

Last weekend I went to Maine for my niece’s graduation party. My brother Dave from Boston was there. I really admire Dave. He is one of the most intelligent people I have ever known. He still holds the all-time GPA at his high school for the first two years. He started to get a life in his junior year. I’ll never forget the time we were sitting at the dinner table and Dave mentioned to dad “You have to sign my last test. Most of the class failed the test and the teacher wanted to make sure all the parents were aware of the situation”.

“Well what did you get” my father demanded.

Without skipping a heartbeat Dave meekly replied “I got a 68”.

I thought my father’s chin was going to make a dent on the dinner table when mom chimed in “Tell your father the rest of the story”.

Dave added “Out of 70”.

Dave is now a high school math and science teacher. I asked him “Have any of your students or parents of your students ever objected to your teaching evolution”?

Surprisingly, he said that there has never been one instance of protest or insurrection. “I tell my students that they don’t have to believe it, but they certainly have to understand it” (pass the test).

There will be no equal time or discussion about Creationism. End of story.

Chapter 3 – Data Validation

So for the first list we’ll use evidence for Evolution. I goggled “scientific evidence for evolution”. The 3rd selection titled 29+ Evidences for Macroevolution at www.talkorgins.org looks promising. I’ll go there.

However, the arrow disappears once the cursor is placed outside the cell with the data validation setting, and the cell looks just like any other cell on the sheet.

Chapter 4 – The Combo Box

Now let’s see how the Active X Combo Box works. I goggled “scientific evidence for creationism”. The 1st selection is www.creationscience.com. That’s got to be the ticket. Hmmm, this list includes Organic evolution has never been observed and Spontaneous generation (the emergence of life from nonliving matter) has never been observed. These “scientific” claims attempt to disprove evolution. There is no case for scientific evidence for creationism. I tried some other sites www.creationism.org, www.bible.ca, www.creationism.org, www.halos.com and they all appear to have the same methodology for claiming the case for creation by refuting evolution. Personally, I believe that life was brought to this planet by an alien race of ancients through portals that created worm holes that allowed for the ability of near instantaneous interplanetary travel. But that’s just me. Finally, at www.allaboutcreation.org I find direct evidence for Creation, and that evidence is...“It says so in my bible”. I’ll need to expand that a little to make a list.

Notice that the Combo box and the arrow on the right side of the Combo Box are visible even when the cursor is not on the Combo Box. That is because the Combo Box doesn’t reside within a cell. It is an object that is embedded on top of the sheet. Any reference formulas that are used in conjunction with the results of the Combo Box have to be linked to cell C1.

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by Chris Wood, CPA - Chris Wood is a CPA with experience in Big Four, large regional and local public accounting firms. Write to the good Captain on everything under the sun concerning the captivating world of Excel!



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