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Excel – Determining worksheet cell references

Worksheet names in Excel Cells

If you are working in Excel, and you want to show the worksheet name in a Cell on that worksheet, you can use the CELL function to do so.
By default the CELL function will return the current document name, if used with the filename info_type:

=CELL("filename")

This provides a full path to the spreadsheet, with the worksheet of the current Cell at the end, e.g:
C:\folder\[myfile.xls]Sheet1

You can easily get just the worksheet name by using the FIND and MID functions to do the hard work. You need to find the location of the last square bracket, and find achieves this as shown:
=FIND("]",CELL("filename"))

This would return the position of the last bracket. In this case it is at position 22 of the text that CELL(“filename”) returns. The MID function can extract text starting at a location for n length, where n is an arbitrary number. So we would combine MID, FIND and CELL functions to return just the worksheet name like this:

=MID(CELL("filename"),FIND("]",CELL("filename"))+1,255)

The reason we add a +1 is because we want to start extracting the text one character AFTER the right square bracket, e.g. at the start of the Worksheet name. Our result is:
Sheet1

Worksheet names from another Worksheet

So far so good, and how is this any different than any other blog post or forum post on the net explaining this? So far it’s not, but here comes the fun part.

What if you have multiple Worksheets, and you do this:

  1. Have a cell with content, Sheet1!B2
  2. Sheet1!B2 displays the content of OtherSheet!H5, i.e.:
    =OtherSheet!H5
  3. You want Sheet1!B1 to display the worksheet name where the CONTENT of Sheet1!B2 comes from.

You could try using the MID/FIND/CELL function combination to try this. In Sheet1!B1 you would enter:

=MID(CELL("filename",B2),FIND("]",CELL("filename",B2))+1,255)

However this would yield the worksheet name of B2 itself, not the worksheet where you are taking your content from:
Sheet1

Not what we wanted. Somehow you need to get the Value of the formula used =OtherSheet!H5 and look up the worksheet name for OtherSheet!H5

The Solution

To do this you ware going to need to do two things:

  1. Make a new function to display the formula, sans the equal sign
  2. Make your CELL function use the result of your function to lookup the filename info_type

We can use the Excel VB Editor to create a new function, and call it GetLocation:


Function GetLocation(Cell As Range) As String
   GetLocation = Mid(Cell.Formula, 2)
End Function

But we can’t just use GetLocation to directly feed the CELL function. We need to use another handy function INDIRECT. This allows us to return the result of the GetLocation function as a Reference. This then allows the CELL function to evaluate the filename/Worksheet details for the destination cell in the other worksheet:

=MID(CELL("filename",INDIRECT(GetLocation(B2))),FIND("]",CELL("filename",INDIRECT(GetLocation(B2))))+1,256)

This now provides the Worksheet name of the cell that Sheet1!B1 is using to get it’s content from which is OtherSheet!H5:
OtherSheet

This is very handy when you need to show on a master worksheet which other worksheet your data is actually coming from. Windows Excel only, not Mac I’m afraid – until they bring back VB. Enjoy!

BOE XIR2 cmsdbsetup failure on Oracle10g

If you use Unix, and need to migrate your Business objects CMS from one database to another database, you will probably use the cmsdbsetup.sh script. This script migrates and manages your database connection in a Unix environment using Business Objects Enterprise (BOE).

In my case I am Using Solaris 9, and have Oracle 10g databases and client files for use by BOE.

When running the cmsdbsetup.sh script you get the following error pertaining to clntsh:


           Business Objects 

Current CMS Data Source: DBNAME 

err: Error: Failed to get cluster name. 
err: Error description: Unable to load clntsh 

select (Select a Data Source) 
reinitialize (Recreate the current Data Source) 
copy (Copy data from another Data Source) 
changecluster (Change current cluster name) 
selectaudit (Select an Auditing Data Source) 

[select(6)/reinitialize(5)/copy(4)/changecluster(3)/selectaudit(2)/back(1)/quit(0)] 
----------------------------------------------------------

This error “Unable to load clntsh” refers to the libclntsh.so library used by the Oracle client. Since BOE runs as 32bit, the 32bit Oracle client libraries should be accessible by the user running BOE.

If you are running a 64 bit Unix and a 64bit Oracle install check that the environment for the user running BOE (user that will run the CMS) has the 32bit libraries in the path:
LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:$ORACLE_HOME/lib:$ORACLE_HOME/lib32

Then check that either the user is a member of the Oracle dba Unix group or everyone has permissions to access the 32bit libraries under Oracle 10g:

su - oracle
chmod o+rx $ORACLE_HOME/lib32/*

Feel free to leave any comments if you need help with this.

Tweet WordPress plugin v1.2 released

Twitter Logo

I’ve uploaded the initial public release, v1.2, of my simple Tweet plugin to the WordPress Plugin Repository. You can install the plugin by:

  • downloading it from http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/tweet/ ; or
  • On a recent version of wordpress, v2.7 or above, follow these steps:
    1. Login to your wordpress dashboard
    2. Select the Plugins/Add New menu item as shown
      Step 1 installing the Tweet plugin
    3. Search for Author lantrix as shown
      Step 2 for installing Tweet plugin
    4. Click on the Install link for the Tweet plugin

If you need any assistance, you can leave a comment over on the dedicated page for the Tweet WordPress plugin for Twitter.

If you like the plugin, I’m happy to accept donations if that’s your thing.

Switching to multi-line mode using Textmate Regex

So you have a pattern you want to match across multiple lines, and you have a regular expression that matches it.
You will probably be used to doing this in perl like this:
/some.+?stuff/s
or using regex in ruby like this:
/some.+?stuff/m
However you have just started to get used to Textmate as an editor and you see it supports regex matching. Why though does it not use /s or /m for multi-line dot matching? The reason is that Textmate uses the Oniguruma regular expression library. Oniguruma requires switching to multi-line mode by using an extended group (?m:) so the dot matches the new line as well. So our pattern would be:
(?m:some.+?stuff)
Essentially doing this turns multi-line on for the sub-expression, being some.+?stuff
Make sense? I thought not. Read on about Textmate Regex for more information.

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