Excel forums

Please note: This is not a forum. I do not answer questions here!


Whether the world of Excel is shiny and new to you, or you are a grizzled veteran of many a spreadsheet campaign, prone to long and rambling stories about the good old Multiplan days, chances are that at some stage you will get stuck on something. Given that most IT departments know more about string theory than they do about Excel, this is where the world of online Excel forums comes to your rescue.

There are far too many for me to list all of them, so this is just a list, in no particular order, of the ones I spend most time in:

There are also many others, such as MS Answers.

All of these sites have their own feel, quirks and idiosyncrasies, so I suggest you find the one (or more) where you feel most comfortable.

One thing they have in common is that they all have rules. It is wise to read and follow these before you begin, even if you are in a rush! Some sites are pretty lenient in their enforcement of the rules, while others will shoot you at dawn for poor question titles.

The key things to remember generally are:

  • The rules exist for a reason. Read them! (and read the FAQ section if there is one) Even if the moderators seem tolerant, many regular posters frequent more than one forum and may simply ignore your questions if you do not behave properly – using meaningless titles like “Excel help!!!” will not help your cause.
  • Be polite. Chances are that anyone helping you is volunteering their time (nobody on the sites I mentioned is getting paid for helping). If you don’t play nicely, they will take their answers and go home!
  • The clearer your question, the better the answer you will get. Try to state clearly what you need as well as what you’ve tried that did not work. (people often like to know that you have at least made some effort yourself).
  • If you have a problem with code, be specific. Did you get an error? If so, what was it, and on which line? Or did the wrong thing happen? Again, if so, what? Hopefully you get the idea.
  • Be patient. Unless you want to pay to hire a consultant (and you can at some forums), you may have to wait for the right person to see your question. Although many forums allow you to bump your question, this can actually harm your chances of getting a response. Many regulars start their days online with a search for questions with no replies.


Your mantra for the day: Be polite, be specific, and be patient. And breathe.

Note: Not all of these sites allow you to post file attachments, and in some cases you may not want to anyway, for whatever reason. For such situations, there are add-ins available that will allow you to post copies of your ranges as tables, using either HTML or BB Code (depending on the forum).


To that end I have amalgamated a couple of these tools (the MrExcel HTML Maker by Richard Schollar and a BB Code add-in created by several members of the MrExcel and ExcelForum boards – primarily Marcelo Branco.) into one add-in (Forum Tools) that you can download here. The code is unprotected so feel free to modify it to suit your needs.

The Forum Tools add-in is also now Mac compatible. It will create a new custom toolbar with five buttons on it (the built-in toolbars and Ribbon in Mac versions not currently being editable, sadly).

32 thoughts on “Excel forums

  1. Dr(Physics!) Alan Elston says:

    Thanks Rory for sharing your Forum “Tools”.
    – I Downloaded, and “Added – in”. – Result: I have a new “Forum Tools” Tab up in the Ribbon. – One option, (for copying A spreadsheet Range to Clipboard as BB Code), I find very useful alternative and enhancement for posting a “Spreadsheet Screen shot” in a Forum Thread.
    (Thanks also to Marcelo and Jon von der Heyden for some „directions“ Here)

  2. cyrilbrd says:

    I am getting a compile error “type mismatch’ running 2013 64bit.
    works fine on MAC
    Thanks to advise is version of Excel is incompatible.

    • romperstomper says:

      Hi Cyril,

      Thanks for the feedback. Are you using the latest version of the Windows add-in, and can you tell me where the error occurs?

  3. cyrilbrd says:

    Ok, downloaded from the link found in this page, the add-in Forum Tools.xlam – mClipboard (Code) module calls for a Compile Error: Type mismatch at:
    ‘ Copy the string to this global memory.
    lpGlobalMemory = lstrcpy(lpGlobalMemory, MyString)

    Using Excel 2013 (15.0.4693.1000) 64 bit

    • cyrilbrd says:

      Right… Kindly allow me to rephrase… “Yes it is NOW working”… darn phone keyboard incompatible with oversized finger…

  4. cyrilbrd says:

    Saw your test here: http://www.mrexcel.com/forum/test-here/839789-forum-tools-mac-testing.html
    Updated MAC 2011 to 14.4.8 (150116) . When I select “BB codes” the data is copied on the clipboard and is accessible for posting on a forum.
    However, if I select I get the following:
    Run-time error ‘5’:
    Invalid procedure call or argument
    The module affected is mCreateHTML (Code)
    Line is b = StrConv(s, vbFromUnicode)
    part of :
    Function ReplaceSpace(ByVal s As String) As String
    'function to replace
    Dim b() As Byte
    Dim I As Long
    Dim lngLB As Long

    b = StrConv(s, vbFromUnicode)
    lngLB = LBound(b)

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  8. talatam apparao says:

    How to get offline help in vba in microsoft office 2013 by hitting F1 button.. In my system whenever i’m hitting it is connecting to internet.. So please help me out of this problem..Thanks in advance

  9. Alan says:

    Hi talatam apparao
    “In the help page that opens (when you hit F1) in the bottom right corner can you see a button that probably says something like “Office Online” or some such value? Click this and change it to “Show Content From This Computer Only”, then retry“


  10. Gracia Fernandes says:

    I had developed an application in excel 2010. It contains activex command buttons. This application was working fine on across all the systems.
    Recently, I got a new laptop along with office 2010 installed.

    Now, if I take that excel file from other system and tries to modify it in my new laptop and send it to others to use it, the command buttons are not getting executed. But on my laptop it is working fine. The earlier version is working fine on their system.

    To perform test, I created a new excel file with an activex button on which on click it will show the message “Hello”. It works fine on my system, but not getting working on others system.

    On the design mode, I asked them to double click on that button ,and it shows the event reference is broken.

    Any idea what must be happening here?

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  13. Leo Meijer says:

    I think “Forum Tools” is super for posting solutions on a forum thread. But I did change 1 thing in the code… In the Netherlands we use a semicolon as a divider in formulas. So I changed on 2 places the .Formula into .FormulaLocal.
    Now I’m getting a good output for the TS.

    Greetings from Delft, The Netherlands
    Leo Meijer

    • Alan says:

      Hi Leo
      I Have also played a lot with Rory’s Great tool. Following your suggestion I changed .Formula to .FormulaLocal in 4 places in the Klassenmodule Cell Parser and was also able to get a BB Code Table Generated for a Formula in my Language when choosing Formulas A1 or Formulas R1C1.

      Public Property Get Formula() As String
      If Not m_rMyCell Is Nothing Then Formula = m_rMyCell.FormulaLocal

      Public Property Get FormulaR1C1() As String
      If Not m_rMyCell Is Nothing Then FormulaR1C1 = m_rMyCell. FormulaR1C1Local

      If bUseA1 Then
      s = m_rMyCell.FormulaLocal
      s = m_rMyCell.FormulaR1C1Local

      Another useful change possibility. Thanks!

  14. Rakesh says:

    do you have any formula to add / symbol between date month and year automatically?

    e.g 04072016 (4th July 2016) automatically converted to 04/07/2016 ??

    pls help

    thanks in advance

    • romperstomper says:

      It will depend somewhat on your regional settings, but something like:
      should work.

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  17. Alan Elston says:

    I make extensive use of the Forum tool to produce tables in some “demo blog explaining type post” in Forums.
    I hit the post size text character limit sometimes.
    I noticed that I can edit out a small part of the code with no effect on the final displayed table. I think it sets the background row color to white.
    For deep thin Tables it can save quite a few characters in the final BB Code produced by the Tool.
    All I did was in the Private Function RngToBBC in module mBBCode, I replaced
    sOut = sOut & vbNewLine & “[tr=bgcolor:” & csROW_BACK & “]”
    sOut = sOut & vbNewLine & “[tr]”

    • Alan Elston says:

      P.S: If you have a big table, -Try including BB Code code tags around the BB Code given by the Forum Tools BB Code Generater, – That can sometimes look neater as the final Table comes out a bit smaller in that code window, and also you only see a very deep table by scolling down in the code window.

    • romperstomper says:

      Hi Ali,

      That looks like a forum issue to me since all the relevant BB Code seems to be there, it’s just not being parsed. Can you confirm your build number and I’ll do some checking just in case.

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