Duplicate letters or emails, misspellings, incorrect email addresses can make you look silly, plus they’re wasteful. Before you start your next mass communication, here are a few utterly superb tricks that you can use to eliminate waste and a red face.
First, copy the list you’re going to use into Excel if not there already. Why? Because is not just for numbers. You can work database magic, Enmasse!
Problem: First and last names in one column, you can’t personalise.
Solution: Under the data menu, Text to columns will split it apart. Tell Excel what to look for – comma, space.
Problem: Double or triple last names
Solution: Need to use those Van de Geens split into three columns by text to columns? Concatenate will put many columns into one.
Solution: The exact function will show you where. Simply sort by one column – example email addresses. Use exact to compare. It will return a true for the duplicates. Office 2007 has a new remove duplicates function.
Problem: Mixed upper and lower case
Solution: The function Proper will turn everything to proper tense, meaning first letter of each word capitalized, the remaining lower case.
Problem: Extra spaces between names so your text to columns doesn’t work
Solution: The function Trim gets rid of all spaces in excess of one between items.
With the exception of Text to columns, the functions listed are found under Insert function or the fx icon. After using a function, you have one last step. You see Excel still sees the results as functions (you’ll see the end result). To work with the new data simply highlight the column, copy and paste special. Under paste special select value. This removes the function and replaces it with the new proper format of your text, the last names combined from concatenate.