Excel: Week Number Function

Following my post on showing week numbers in Microsoft Outlook calendars, a couple of people e-mailed me questions about how to access week numbers in Microsoft Excel.

The function to use in order to get the week number for a given date is WEEKNUM. For example, if cell A1 contains the date “10/19/2011”, the following formula would return “43”, indicating that it is the 43rd week of the year:


There is an additional optional parameter, “return type”, which is used to specify the day of the week that marks the beginning of a week. For example, use “12” if you’d like the weeks to start on Tuesdays:


The following is a list of the various return types and their corresponding days. You’ll notice there are some duplicates – they aren’t typos, I assure you!

1: Sunday
2: Monday
11: Monday
12: Tuesday
13: Wednesday
14: Thursday
15: Friday
16: Saturday
17: Sunday
21: Monday
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Outlook: Add Week Numbers to Your Calendar

Some of us work with week numbers, something which doesn’t appear by default on calendars in Microsoft Outlook. The nice thing is that you do have the option of having these week numbers appear, both in the month view and in the Date Navigator. That means you no longer need to dig out the paper calendar and manually write in each week number for the whole year (what a pain!).

First, click on the ‘File’ tab on the ribbon. Choose ‘Options’. On the left-hand side of the Outlook Options window which will appear, choose ‘Calendar’. Now look under the ‘Display Options’ header and you’ll find a check box labelled ‘Show week numbers in the month view and in the Date Navigator’. Put a checkmark in that box and you’ll see the week numbers showing up on your calendar.

Removing the week numbers is as simple as repeating the above instructions, but clearing the checkbox.
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Outlook: Add Regional Holidays to your Calendar

Someone recently was talking to me about their calendar in Microsoft Outlook, and pointed out that "it sure is annoying that it only shows American holidays". I was happy to tell her how she can get Canadian holidays (or holidays from just about anywhere else) on her calendar without manually entering them all, and I figured I'd make a post here to tell everyone else how easy it is too!

First, go to 'File', and then choose 'Options'. On the list to the left of the Outlook Options window which will pop up, choose 'Calendar'. Now look for the 'Calendar options' heading. Under this, click the 'Add Holidays...' button. A dialog box will appear, allowing you to choose one or more locations. When you click 'OK', holidays will be imported into your calendar. It's that simple!
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PowerPoint: Arrange Objects Using the Ruler, Gridlines, and Guides

Lining things up in PowerPoint doesn't have to be a hassle. While there are many different features to help you arrange things, sometimes it's easiest to have visual cues on screen to help you place objects more efficiently.

By default, you won't see the ruler, gridlines, or guides. You'll need to turn these on manually by going to the 'View' tab on the ribbon. Look in the 'Show' group, and you'll find three checkboxes to turn on (or off) the ruler, gridlines, and guides.

What's nice about the ruler is that a little dotted line appears on both the horizontal and vertical rulers to help you pinpoint the exact location of your cursor.

If you're looking to actually see a grid over the slide, then you'll want to show the gridlines. Don't like the size of the grid? If you click the little icon in bottom right-hand corner of the 'Show' group on the 'View' tab of the ribbon, you'll open the Grids and Guides dialog box which allows you to adjust the spacing of the grid.

I'm personally a big fan of the guides, which allow you to position a horizontal and vertical line exactly where you need them. You can click and drag to move them, and its position on the ruler appears as you reposition it to help you be more accurate.

Guides and gridlines do not display when viewing a presentation, nor do they print. If you want something similar to be shown on your slides, you'll need to actually build them as objects.

As always, I invite you to stay tuned for future posts about setting up snazzy-looking presentations! I'm currently toying with the idea of creating some videos to demonstrate how to work with objects in PowerPoint, so be sure to visit my site again if that sort of thing is of interest to you. In the meantime, have a great day!
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