Friday, October 12, 2007

Another Goodbye

After finding a need for a Microsoft Office computer tutor in the local newspaper a few months ago, I have been tutoring my new friend Don ever since. Each week, I go to his mother's home - where Don has been living while applying for jobs - and help him learn the basics of Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and the like. It was an interesting experience getting to know Don at first, and I fear I was going much more quickly than I should have been going. Now, Don is making great progress, and I believe I hit my stride this month - in both teaching him and being able to better communicate with him.

Don with Miss Molly Brown

I felt a mixture of emotions when Don called me out of the blue this past week. He was calling to announce that he finally received a job offer, and he will be moving to Texas shortly. He was offered the position as head librarian at a community library, and he is very excited about this next chapter of his life. Prior to this, Don taught English overseas - in Taiwan for two years, South Korea for five and one half years, and Oman for one year. He has seen some fascinating places, and I've enjoyed learning about his travels and his experience in gaining an online Masters degree in Library Science. Most importantly, we've shared experiences about how our Heavenly Father has watched over each of us. I was looking forward to his visit to church soon, but unfortunately, that will have to wait until a time when he returns to see his mother.

I pray for great professional success and a wonderful church home for Don in Texas. I will miss our visiting and tutoring sessions very much.


jsarber said...

So, you're a Microsoft Office expert? I have a question about Excel. Can I combine columns while simultaneously inserting something between the data in those combined columns? For instance, if I have column A with "Smith" in it, and column B has "John," can I combine them into one column and have it say "Smith, John?" I racked my brain on that one awhile back but eventually gave up.

strem said...

If your last names are in column A and your first names are in column B, make a temporary or permanent column C by inserting a column. If your first name combo appears on row number 2 (with header row on row 1), go to cell C2 and type or copy the following formula:

=A2&", "&B2

Please note there is a space after the comma inside the quotes that is necessary to create the space in your desired result.

Then copy the formula in that cell for all of the other cells in that Column C, and Excel will figure out the rest to apply it consistently in the other rows. If you need more help or more explanation on this, let me know. Hope this works out for you. :)

strem said...

FYI. The weird symbols above are ampersands. This font makes them look strange.

jsarber said...

Yeah, I actually had that figured out but since I've got 3,000 rows I was hoping to find an easier way. Otherwise, I have to copy and paste that 3,000 times and that's not including the many other sheets with 3,000 on each.

strem said... copy the formula. You just click on the first cell to which you want to apply it, drag your mouse down to start highlighting, keep dragging down until you've highlighted your last cell to which you want to apply it, and then press paste. It copies it to the entire group of cells at one time. Just takes seconds.

Either way, we should talk about this. Depending on the reason you want it this way, there may be an easier solution.

jsarber said...

Are you serious? That's it?! Well, now I'm just embarrassed. I spent a lot of time trying to figure that out.

I was using it to convert some spreadsheets into a format where I could upload the info into a database on a webserver.

strem said...

Don't be embarrassed. Hopefully, your version will work like that.

Of course, I don't know anything about your type of web documents. But, for other merges, when you pull information from the spreadsheet, it is often easier to add the extra words and punctuation in the merge instead of altering it in the spreadsheet. I was wondering if this was applicable in your case. Just depends on how you're converting the information.