Ever been faced with an issue where you can’t move your column to the far left in order to Vlookup? I just came across this issue recently.
The Problem – Vlookup
I needed to add teachers to a list of students who had to move into their class for two tests because their teacher (Hanna John-Kamen) would be absent on the test day.
Essentially, I was splitting the students into the remainder of the classes for that session time. In this student list sheet (Hannah 302-15) I had allocated the students new rooms and each room had a new teacher.
I couldn’t change the teacher proctors test list sheet ( Q2U1 Teacher) because the teachers who reference it would get confused. Unfortunately, the teacher’s name I wanted was in column B and the reference (The Speaking classroom) was in column I.
I need to put my first Vlookup in M2 of the Hannah 302-15 sheet. If I tried to Vlookup it might look like this: =VLOOKUP(L2,'Q2U1 Teacher'!B:I,-8, False). Where L2 is the class I am searching for in the Hannah 302-15 sheet. ‘Q2U1 Teacher’!B:I is the range where B is the name column and I is the Class number. –8 is clearly wrong. Vlookup will not accept a negative reference (It’s stupid, I know). False: because the list was not sorted.
OpenPyXl is a Python open library that allows you to read and write Microsoft Excel files. Specifically, the ‘*.xlsx’ file extension. It helps you to create programs to create and modify files and automate your processes in excel.
NOTE: This post requires that you have some knowledge of Python and the OpenPyXl library. The library also needs to be installed for you to use.
Quite often, I find that I have to work with ranges of data that I need to either copy and paste into a new file or files, or copy > modify > paste into files.
The OpenPyXl library allows you to look at every cell of a file and either copy it or modify it by using the openpyxl.worksheet.Worksheet.cell() method. This method allows you to access each cell by the row and column as a numerical value.
Note! Unlike everything else in coding, rows and columns start with one(1) and not zero(0).
To select whole ranges of our data we need to iterate through it by both row and column and then store that data in a list to be pasted to the new file, spreadsheet or location that we desire.
The following example will take you through the process. For your own data you will need to modify the file, sheet and range locations. Everything else should be good to go.
You can find the whole code at the end of the post.
Why does your MS Excel look weird?
To be honest my screenshots of the ‘.xlsx files will be in Libreoffice. But this simple example will be able to load without issue in MS Excel.
Spacer is a Free Google Add-On that creates row spaces by column categories.
I use it as an academic administrator to create a space or two at the end of each class section to create a visual break between sections. This makes it easier for my staff to quickly identify class sections.
You sure can. Google has a fully supported script editor that you integrate with your Sheets, Docs, Forms, Slide, Gmail, Calendar and pretty much every aspect of the Google Suite. Its name: Google Apps Script.
Google Apps Script allows you to do all sorts of things like building short code to modify sheets and docs, create macros, develop add-ons mess around with Gmail and so much more.