Review: ASAP Utilities – You Sexy Thing

Did you know that ASAP Utilities is sexy? I didn't too but I found out it is yesterday when I read the following review on the UK website Dooyoo! by raehippychick.
I would like to share her enthusiasm with you.

Review by 'raehippychick'

ASAP Utilities ReviewASAP Utilities rating

Advantages: Brilliant for any Excel user - simple, easy to use, saves time and tempers

Disadvantages: None!

In 1999 Bastien Mensink of the Netherlands did an amazingly generous thing for all Excel users. He designed an add-in utility that does those irritating jobs that Excel does not do automatically. It does it beautifully, seamlessly and with a certain panache... hence my title...

A fellow Excel addict told me about this nifty little utility a few years back. She worked at the time for HMSO and I figured if they allowed the program on their computers it had to be pretty safe. I quickly googled off and found // had a very quick read around and downloaded the latest version of ASAP Utilities. By the end of the day the time I had spent googling and downloading the app was saved twice over by using just a couple of the labour (and brain) saving functions on offer

My favourite clever tricks are:

# Playing with rows/columns
I often need to delete blank rows between rows with data etc in after playing about with my spreadsheets and before ASAP it was a time consuming process of highlighting, deleting and swearing because I'd accidentally deleted a row with formulae in! Now I just go to the drop down menu that appears after an install and I select what I want, sit back and look smug as my spreadsheet magically becomes tidier (not sure why I look smug as I didn't actually write any of the code, but I do feel smug anyway!)

Also available here is the ability to delete alternate odd or even rows, and my personal favourite that started my obsession off: Merging rows/columns whilst keeping all your data! Woohoo! When you merge cells/rows/columns Excel only keeps the data from only the top right cell, so to merge anything before was time consuming and often involved copying to Word and a lot fiddling. Now you just highlight what you want merged, click on the menu and choose your separator... and Robert is your mother's brother... you have a tidy spreadsheet with no loss of data or formulae

# Doing clever things to/with ranges
The top super use here for me is to remove duplicates. I use a helpdesk database that has a unique report number, but there can be many entries on each report, each one on its own line. So all I do now to see an entire report at a glance is to sort by report number, then date highlight the report number column and remove all duplicates from the selection. Bliss!
This part also does tricky things with advanced sorting and copy and pasting with various formats, deleting names from selections and workbooks, find and replace in all sheets... ooh, and a few more too

#Numbers, text, formats and fill...
My first experience here was the joy of discovering 'insert before current value'¬Ě. I was creating a database of our movie collection and wanted to put a leading set of characters in front of certain films, previously this was a case of click each cell and press F2, (or double-click) and type. Now this is automated... more time saved!

This area will also help you remove any leading zeroes, carriage returns, or other specified anomalies from your cells. You can apply a formula to highlighted cell; change the absolute referencing of formulae, fill down empty cells in a selection (the reverse of deleting duplicates)

Other things I find useful are changing the name of the spreadsheet without having the hassle of doing a save-as and delete. Saving all objects on a sheet, deleting all comments, ding things with hyperlinks, listing names, ranges, and other things... the list is seemingly endless!

I can hear people muttering about price in the background there. How much will such a magnificent thing cost me you ask? I'll tell you - nothing, that's right, nowt, zero, zip, diddly-squot. Absolutely nothing! You can purchase this gem with support for the paltry sum of 49 dollars. You should do this if you use it commercially (the first 90 days is considered a free trial), you do not want to have to upgrade twice a year or if you feel it is worth the money. Personally I shall be paying for this in a few months as I do feel it is worth it, but until then it is wonderful to know that someone 'out there' cares enough about us frustrated Excel-aholics to give us a time saving program for free

If you use Excel, go and download this right now. It will save you time, reduce your stress levels and make you popular with your work! Depending on what you use Excel for you will have different favourite features that you use regularly and will bring an a happy sigh of relief to you as you remember the bad old days when it took you half a day to do what now takes you only minutes!

Let's face it, the only thing it doesn't do is make the coffee, but once you start using it you'll be so popular with your boss he'll not only be making your coffee for you he'll be buying you buns!

Summary: Does pretty much all the niggly things you wish Excel did
Summary: Does pretty much all the niggly things you wish Excel did


This review was written on September 18, 2007 on the website Dooyoo! by raehippychick:

Thank you raehippychick!

12 Responses to “Review: ASAP Utilities – You Sexy Thing”

  1. Overall I agree with the review but I am a bit perplexed about giving ASAP utilities a noise rating. It never occurred to me to do that, though if I did I would say that I am very happy with the current noise levels :)

  2. Hello Tony,

    I'm not sure what the noise level actually means in this context, but I guess that less noise is good :-)

    Kind regards,

  3. Hi Bastien,

    May the couple live 1000 years, really !


    CA Kanwaljit Singh Dhunna

  4. Hi Bastien,

    May the couple live 1000 years !

    1. It would be better if all the asap-functions appear in a separate category "AsapFunctions" in the Category Box of "Insert Function" screen.
    2. I am getting a "No help Available" message when clicking on the "Help on this Function" link on the "Function Arguments" screen, while inserting a function.
    3. I would love the see the "asapspellnumber" function spelling the number in Indian Style.

    Best Regards
    CA Kanwaljit Singh Dhunna

  5. Hello Kanwaljit,

    Questions 1 and 2 is something that cannot be changed. Question 2 is something many developers don't like and I think it is also very confusing for the users.

    Question 3, and you send me some examples by email?

    Kind regards,

  6. Hi Bastien,

    Very frankly, I couldn't understand what yours answer meant.

    1. I asked for a separate category for all the "Asap Functions" because the "MoreFunc" add-in ( adds one such category to the Category List of "Insert" Function command.

    2. I am using ver 4.2.1. In excel 2003, when I insert any "Asap" Function using "Insert -> Function" command, the arguments screen appears. When I click on "Help on this function" on bottom left of the arguments screen, a message box, "No help available" appears. But I feel it should lead to help for that particular function, because "Asap-Utilities" contains the User Guide.

    3. I will definitely send u one example file as early as possible.

    CA Kanwaljit Singh Dhunna

  7. Sorry, the link is here.

  8. Hello Kanwaljit,

    We (programmers) cannot change the behavior of the help function in Excel 2007. I've seen more questions about this and it is frustrating that Excel displays "Help on this function" but we cannot set the action for that and a user gets the message "no help available".

    About the function categories, I'll do some more research, development and testing. There seems to be a trick to do this using Excel 4(!) techniques.

    Kind regards,
    Bastien Mensink

  9. Hi Bastien,

    1.I am not talking about Excel 2007. I am getting this "No help available" message in Excel 2003.
    2. Here is one Helpful link.

    CA Kanwaljit Singh Dhunna

  10. Hello Kanwaljit,

    It has been busy here and my head has been to much "buried in the code". I now understand that your comment with description and help all apply to the worksheet functions. That would indeed be a great improvement.

    I've read the article from Jan Karel, and I've also found a few articles from MS. All looks promising and I will reserve some time the next weeks to work on it. I'll inform you when you can try it out.

    Kind regards,
    Bastien Mensink

  11. Hi Bastien,

    May the couple live 1000 years !

    I am looking forward to the new Version :)
    Best of Luck.

    Best Regards
    CA Kanwaljit Singh Dhunna

  12. Hi,

    It is really a admirable thing which you have done.

    I strongly recommended everybody i meet after using the ASAP.