A Funny Excel Prank…

Excel prank

I learned this prank from  Liam Bastick – Excel MVP  (Sumproduct company)…. Hope no one does it to me 🙂 

By far and away the most popular ‘trick’ (in all senses of the word!) I demonstrate in training sessions is this monster.

Data Validation is a useful way to control what end users can type into a worksheet cell.  You can use this functionality to play a trick.  Please use this at your own risk: if you get fired, you will get no sympathy here.

If someone is unfortunate enough to leave a spreadsheet unprotected, simply highlight the whole worksheet and then activate Data Validation (Data -> Data Validation -> Data Validation… or ALT+D+L).  In the ‘Settings’ tab, select settings similar to the following (the aim is to pick a number the user won’t be able to guess):

Tips Tricks and Shortcuts Data Validation Settings

Then, select the ‘Error Alert’ tab:

Tips Tricks and Shortcuts Data Validation Error Alert

Now, de-select the range and wait for your victim to use the worksheet.  As soon as they type an invalid entry, they will be greeted with the following error alert:

“A fatal error has been detected on the hard drive. The hard drive will now be reformatted. All Existing data will be lost. Press any key to continue.”

Tips Tricks and Shortcuts Data Validation Fatal Error

Who says spreadsheets can’t be fun…?

Write in a comment: What will you do if you read this message!

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