Summer sale at

Hi there!

Now that summer has arrived I’ve planned a summer sale. From July 1st up to July 10th I offer a 25% discount on both products I sell:
The Excel File Remediation Utility
To get your discount, just go through the purchasing process and enter this coupon code to redeem your discount:

Regards and have a great summer!

Jan Karel Pieterse

Office 2016 Preview

From the Office blog: Office 2016 Public Preview Now Available

Intuitive data connecting and shaping capabilities. With integrated Power Query, use Excel as your personal analysis workspace by connecting to and viewing all the data around you. Take advantage of a broad range of data sources, including tables from websites, corporate data like SAP Business Objects, unstructured sources like Hadoop, and services like Salesforce. After bringing all your data together in one place, quickly shape and combine to fit your unique business needs and get to analysis in seconds

Go here for instructions on how to get the preview.

I use Oracle Virtualbox to install previews. So far, the 2016 preview has been remarkably stable, but I’m not one for taking chances.

AET Excel Utilities

Hi there. For the last few months I’ve been working on my main add-in, AET Excel Utilities.

So far I’m in the process of setting up some partners, had a translation offer, and downloads are happening as I write this. Thanks very much to everybody for your help. Don’t be shy if you are interested!

I first started working on it in 2005, as a hobby, and a way to learn VBA. Over time it’s grown from having a handful of very simple tools, to what it is now – well over a hundred utilities (more like over two hundred), and some of them quite complex, even if I do say so myself. Useful? I like to think so. Not a day goes by that I don’t use it, and I can honestly say it saves me lots of time.

But there’s a problem. Even though I like these utilities, I’m not very good at selling myself, letting alone anything I’ve made. And in the world of Excel, most folk have either never heard of me or think I’ve retired if they have. That’s been fine until now, with me plugging away in a corner, tinkering away, but it’s always bothered me that my tools could be so much more.

So, I’d ask all of you for some help. I’m making the tools shareware. And I’m looking for people to help sell them. Do you have a site? If so, are you willing to become a partner or an affiliate? Like I say, I’m not great at sales so any assistance would be appreciated. Translations? Great! Let’s talk about a percentage. I guess the main thing is making people aware of them. Apart from making a bit of pocket money, serious interest will give me incentive to improve them and maybe even try to give my site a bit of an overhaul. (Please contact me using aengwirda [at] if you are interested).

Here’s a few screenshots to whet your interest. (Well maybe more than a few…). Look to the left, the AET UTILITIES tab shares both my main utilities and free add-ins (which you can download here).

Worksheet Tools

Rows And Columns

Formula Tools

Deletion Tools

Object Tools

Export Tools

Text Tools

Number Tools

Time And Date

Chart Tools

Path And Folder

Workbook Tools

Developer Tools

Fun And Games

Other Utilities

Cell Menu

Row Menu

Column Menu

Sheet Menu

Here’s the download page link. On the same webpage, you can also download a copy of the Help files for more details on the individual tools, plus the password to see how the code works.

In addition to adding more tools over the next few weeks, I’ll be working on my free utilities too. More details on them, and also some new code samples, that I’m looking forward to posting about in the near future.

VLOOKUP & INDEX/MATCH Are Both Badly Designed Functions: Here Are Some Better Ones

It’s fun to argue about whether VLOOKUP or INDEX/MATCH is better, but to me that’s missing the point: they are both bad.

So I decided to design and build some better ones.


Here are some of the more-frequently mentioned VLOOKUP INDEX/MATCH problems

  • Slow exact match (linear search)
  • Approximate sorted match is the wrong default 99.9% of the time and gives the wrong answer without warning
  • Cannot do exact match on sorted data (well they can but only if they ignore sorted!)
  • Numeric VLOOKUP answer column easy to break
  • No built-in error handling for exact match
  • VLOOKUP very inflexible
  • INDEX/MATCH more flexible but still limited
  •  …

MEMLOOKUP/MEMMATCH – easier and faster alternatives to VLOOKUP/MATCH

MEMLOOKUP ( Lookup_Value, Lookup_Array, Result_Col, Sort_Type, MemType_Name, Vertical_Horizontal )

The syntax is designed to make it easy to convert a VLOOKUP to MEMLOOKUP, but there are differences!

  • Defaults to Exact Match on both unsorted and unsorted data
  • Use either column labels or numbers
  • Fast exact match on both unsorted and sorted data
  • Automatic optimisation of multiple lookups within the same row

So you want more flexibility? Try the AVLOOKUP/AMATCH family of functions

It’s always tempting to cram in more function (scope creep is universal), but if the result is too many parameters then it’s a mistake. So instead there is a whole family of these lookup functions that build on the MEMLOOKUP/MEMMATCH technology to provide the ultimate in flexibility and power whilst remaining efficient.

  • Lookup using any column
  • Lookup using more than one column without slow concatenation
  • Lookup the first, last, Nth or all results on both sorted and unsorted data
  • Lookup both rows and columns (2-dimensional lookup is built-in)
  • Built-in error handling for exact match
  • Return multiple answer columns
  • Case-sensitive lookup option
  • Regex match option


Try them out for yourself

These functions are included in the 90 or so additional Excel functions built into FastExcel V3.
You can download the trial version from here.

Download FastExcel V3

If you like them then ask Microsoft to add them to the next version of Excel!

I would be delighted to tell the Excel team how I built these functions and the algorithms they use.

By the way they are written as C++ multi-threaded functions in an XLL addin for maximum performance.



Celebrating my MVP award: Discount offer

Hi everyone!

Every quarter Microsoft announces who are the lucky ones to receive their Most Valuable Professional Award. An MVP award lasts a year, so for a quarter of the MVPs, October 1st is an important day.

I got re-awarded!

And to celebrate that I am offering a 3 day 50 percent discount on my Formula auditing tool: RefTreeAnalyser

From October 8, 2014 to October 10, 2104 you receive 50 % off of the list price when you enter this coupon code: MVP2014

Head over to my website and download the tool, you can try it for free!

Jan Karel Pieterse

Pimpin’ My Site

When Doug posted about Data Comparison Tricks, I saw Dick tell him to “pimp his site” in the comments.

Having a vivid imagination, this is what went through my head.

Yo Dawg!

Anyway, that’s what I’ll now proceed to do. (Having obtained Dick’s permission first of course!)

Here’s some stuff I’ve been working on recently.

A multi-field Find and Select/Replace tool.

AET Find and Replace

Although a bit old, (like me), some of the code came from this.

AET Cell Watch Form

Here’s the old post about it from back in 2009. (From my former blog, which I’ll also pimp!)

An alternative Status Bar that recognizes numbers even if the format is text. Woohoo!

AET Status Bar

And some games. (For the kids, but you can play too)
That’s enough pimpin’ for now. (I’m making new stuff as I write this) See you next time?

T Accounts

I’ve made an Excel template for filling out T accounts. For you non-accounting folks, a T account is a method to trace accounting transactions through the accounts on the general ledger. Hey, wake up! This post isn’t finished yet!

I’ve made a T account template at least three times in my Excel career. They never work out. They never make it easier than pencil-to-paper or marker-to-whiteboard. It doesn’t seem to stop me from trying, though, and now I’m making my latest attempt available to you. First, let’s look at this huge image (click to embiggen).

The top left section (C2:F11) is where you write a brief description for up to 10 transactions. Column C is the transaction number and can’t be edited. Column D is where you type the brief description. Column E is overflow for column D because I hate merged cells. Column F is the general ledger period. You can put them all in the same GL Period if it’s not applicable to your transactions. You don’t have to use this section. That is, you can leave off the descriptions and the periods, but good luck trying to figure out what you were thinking.

In this example, the transactions are listed in the order they will happen over time. This series of transactions represent a sale where we get a kickback from the vendor and we’re passing that savings on to the customer. First, we buy the inventory from the vendor. Next, we ship it to the our customer. At that point we need to make our costs correct by accruing the rebate we’re entitled to from the vendor. We pay the vendor, get paid by the customer, and finally get our rebate from the Vendor.

The main section of the workbook is a 3×3 grid of T accounts. This is where the magic happens. The top left cell of each T account is a financials statement classification number. It’s a data validation dropdown containing the numbers 1-7.

  1. Assets
  2. Liabilities
  3. Equity
  4. Sales
  5. Cost of Goods Sold
  6. Expenses
  7. Other Income and Expenses

That financial statement classification number is replicated down the hidden column B (and H and N) for formula purposes.

To the right of the financial statement classification number is the (merged) cell where you type the account name. The account name is only for your reference and has no bearing on any formulas in the model.

The lighter green section down the left side of the T account is a series of data validation dropdowns that allow you to select the transaction number. The main white area of the T account that’s divided vertically is the area where you record your debits and credits. At the bottom of the T account, the debits and credits are summed up and the net debit or credit is displayed.

There are two other areas to the right of the T accounts grid. The top area shows the effects on the major sections of your balance sheet and income statement. It expands to the right for however many periods you have. The financial statement classification number at the top left of the T account determines where your transaction ends up in this area. And, obviously, the period you identify in the transactions section determine the column.

The bottom area is a list of the 10 transactions and the net debit or credit by transaction. If any of these are not zero, you’re missing a piece of the transaction.

Please leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments.

You can download

FastExcel V3 Released – At Last!

As some of you may know I have been working on developing Version 3 of my FastExcel product for more years than I care to remember.
First there was the VB6 blind alley, then 64-bit and multi-threaded calculation and that ribbon thing, then I detoured into learning C++ and XLLs, then there was the inevitable scope creep, (and my consulting customers kept asking me to do things, and then there was the sailing) … you get the picture.

Anyway I finally pushed the release button on June 4 2014. Yippee!!!

The initial reaction has been great (no doubt helped by the introductory offer of 50% off).

So what is FastExcel V3?

There are 3 major products in the FastExcel V3 family, targeted at different types of use scenarios.


FastExcel V3 Profiler

The Profiler gives you a comprehensive set of tools focussed on finding and prioritising calculation bottlenecks. If your spreadsheet takes more than a few seconds to calculate you need FastExcel profiler to find out and prioritize the reasons for the slow calculation

  • Profiling Drill-Down Wizard
  • Profile Workbook
  • Profile Worksheet
  • Profile Formulas
  • Map Cross-References

FastExcel V3 Manager

FastExcel Manager contains tools to help you build, debug and maintain Excel workbooks.

  • Name Manager Pro – an invaluable tool for managing Defined Names and Tables
  • Formula Viewer/Editer – a better way of editing and debugging more complex formulas.
  • Sheet Manager – Easily manage and manipulate worksheets.
  • Workbook – Cleaner – Trim down any excess bloat in your workbooks
  • Where-Used Maps – See where your Defined Names, Number Formats and Styles are being used

FastExcel SpeedTools

SpeedTools provides you with a state-of-the-art tool-kit to help you speed up your Excel Calculations

  • Calculation timing tools for workbooks, worksheets, and ranges
  • Additional calculations modes to enhance control of calculation so that you only calculate what needs to be calculated.
  • 90 superfast multi-threaded functions
  • Faster and more powerful Lookups and List comparisons
  • Multi-condition filtering and Distinct formulas to eliminate many slow SUMPRODUCT and Array formulas
  • Enhanced functions for Array handling, text, mathematics, sorting, information and logic

If you want to find out more just go to my website

or Download the 15-day full-featured trial of FastExcel V3