Microsoft Office Forums Splitting one column into two with two different widths
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#1
12-13-2013, 06:28 PM
 officeboy09 Windows XP Office 2003 Advanced Beginner Join Date: Oct 2013 Location: Australia Posts: 40
Splitting one column into two with two different widths

Is it possible to horizontally split one column into two new columns in vertical connection (not adjacent) so that the lower/upper column width can be changed without changing the width of the other?

Also, that if there are two groups of people namely A & B. People in group A attended a company conference in September and people in group B attended the conference in December.

There are hundreds of them.

I placed the names of group A people in column "Conference Sep" and group B in column "Conference Dec" respectively, and sorted them in alphabetical order by their surnames.

I need to identify which people were not in either of these conferences. Is there any way in excel to automatically highlight the difference between these two columns?

Last edited by officeboy09; 12-13-2013 at 09:50 PM.
#2
12-13-2013, 08:33 PM
 differentdrummer Windows XP Office 2007 Novice Join Date: Nov 2013 Posts: 10

Re identifying the differences between the columns
You aksed how to identify people who werent in either of the 2 conferences. Do you mean people who went to one conference but not the other ?

If you do then a conditional format will do the trick

Use the "use a formula to determine wich cells to format"
enter the following formula for the Column A cells . Formula will show people in column A who did not attend the Column B conference

=ISNA(VLOOKUP(A2,B:B,1,FALSE)) and select a format

enter the following formula for the Column B cells . Formula will show people in column B who did not attend the Column A conference
=ISNA(VLOOKUP(B2,A:A,1,FALSE)) and select a format

(by the way this worls regardless of whether the columns are sorted or not)
#3
12-13-2013, 08:43 PM
 BobBridges Windows 7 64bit Office 2010 32bit Expert Join Date: May 2013 Location: USA Posts: 678

Your second question is easier, officeboy. I'm assuming you have a list of all names in a main worksheet—let's call it "Index"—because if you don't you're up the proverbial creek. But assuming you have a master list, one solution is in the sample I'm uploaded. There are other ways to format the results, and probably other ways to generate them (Pecoflyer is especially adept with alternatives that I'm not yet used to), but this is one way.

By the way, in creating that sample I had to generate some random names. I was going to pull them off any random database—IMDb, perhaps—but ran across this site instead, which generated random names for me just by asking. Very cool, and I plan to bookmark it for repeat visits.

Now back to your first question, which I left for later because I don't understand it. If you have one column, you can certainly "split" it (in a sense) by creating one next to it. And certainly the two columns could have different widths. But they wouldn't be upper/lower columns; one would be to the left and the other to the right. I figure I must have misunderstood the question.
Attached Files
 x.xlsx (12.5 KB, 8 views)
#4
12-13-2013, 09:53 PM
 officeboy09 Windows XP Office 2003 Advanced Beginner Join Date: Oct 2013 Location: Australia Posts: 40

Thx Bob!

Yeah, I meant splitting one column e.g. "A" so that the new ones are, say, "A1" & "A2" with A2 below A1, and the widths of them can be adjusted independently without affecting the other.

I did not describe my question clear enough. It has been modified with regard to this.

Last edited by officeboy09; 12-14-2013 at 02:38 AM.
#5
12-14-2013, 02:01 AM
 Pecoflyer Windows 7 64bit Office 2010 64bit Expert Join Date: Nov 2011 Location: Brussels Belgium Posts: 2,458

Could you please post a sample sheet showing BEFORE and AFTER ? Thx (no pics pse)
#6
12-14-2013, 09:17 AM
 BobBridges Windows 7 64bit Office 2010 32bit Expert Join Date: May 2013 Location: USA Posts: 678

I don't think he can post a sample, Peco, because he's asking whether it's possible to do it at all. If he could show us what he wants to accomplish, it would only be by having already figured out how to accomplish it.

Officeboy, I still have a problem with the description. Since a column is vertical in nature, it's not possible to split it and then have two columns one above the other. By their nature, two columns must be to the left and right; just as it would be impossible to split a row and arrange the two rows left and right of each other.

But maybe you mean you want to split a single cell into two (so to speak) sub-cells, one above the other? You can do that in Word tables; maybe you're hoping to do it in Excel too?

If so, I'm going to offer the opinion that while it's practical in Word, it can never be in Excel, for the simple reason that there's no workable scheme for addressing such arrangements. You say you could split A1 into A1 and A2. Presumably the other cells on the row would remain B1, C1 and so on. But how would you refer to the second row? If "A2" now means the second sub-cell in the first row, how do you refer to the cell on the second row in column A? Should that cell be A3, while all the other cells on that row continue as B2, C2 and so on?

Of course not, you say; you just refer to the whole row as A3, B3, C3 and so on; and there needn't be any B2, C2 etc at all.

And in that case, you can indeed do what you want, though it's a workaround. Insert a new row after row 1. Merge cells B1 and B2, C1 and C2, D1 and D2 and so on, leaving A1 and A2 unmerged. Now you have what you're asking about (if I guessed correctly).

As for giving one cell a different width than the other cells in the same column: The objections are similar, and so is the workaround. If for presentation purposes (you wouldn't want to do this otherwise) you want to extend some cells' width into adjacent columns, you can do it—rather you can pretend to do it—by merging cells horizontally. See the attached sample. But I wouldn't call it a convenient method.
Attached Files
 x.xlsx (14.6 KB, 7 views)
#7
12-15-2013, 09:48 PM
 macropod Windows 7 32bit Office 2010 32bit Administrator Join Date: Dec 2010 Location: Canberra, Australia Posts: 21,173

The simple answer is that, in Excel, a column cannot have different widths for different rows and you can't split a cell horizontally (i.e. one part above the other). Bob has posted a workaround that may suit. FWIW Word tables can have both attributes.
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