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Q: What version of Excel is required to use these spreadsheet templates?
A: Excel version 2013 or higher will work. You can use Microsoft Windows or the Mac version of Excel. Google Sheets is not supported. Microsoft also offers an online (web browser) version of Excel which unfortunately does not support macros or Power Query. You can use the basic version of the checkbook register with the online version of Excel.

Q: Is it possible to download my bank transactions and get them into this spreadsheet?
A: Nearly all banks will allow you to download your checking or savings account transactions to a CSV file which Excel will open. The trick is to then reformat that spreadsheet from the bank so that it has a similar layout of columns as the Excel Checkbook Register. In other words, you’ll need to add/remove columns from the bank downloaded spreadsheet so that you have columns for: Date, Trx Type, Check#, Description, Withdrawal and Deposit. I created a YouTube video to demonstrate this process along with how to easily record an Excel macro to automate it.

Q: How can you insert a transaction (row) in the register in order to add a missing entry?
A: Using standard Excel features, you can insert a row anywhere you’d like. A few ways to do so include: (a) Right-click your mouse on a row number, and choose Insert. (b) With your cursor or mouse in one of the cells of an existing row, look on the main ribbon bar for Insert and click that button. A new empty row will be inserted above. Here’s a short YouTube video to demonstrate.

Q: Can you rename the tabs (sheet names) at the bottom of the spreadsheet so they say something other than Register1, Register2, etc.?
A: Yes, just point your mouse at a bottom tab and right-click it and choose Rename. Type your preferred name and press Enter.

Q: I bought the new 2024 version which has a nice dashboard but I’m getting an error and/or it’s not updating.
A: See this page for a video walkthru for initially setting up the spreadsheet and in particular, see the section about updating the Data Source Setting.

Q: When I click to refresh the dashboard charts, I get an error like: “datasource.error: The process cannot access the file (xxx) because it is being used by another process“. What does that mean?
A: Currently this happens with Microsoft OneDrive. If you store (save) the spreadsheet in a OneDrive folder, the OneDrive program puts a special lock on the spreadsheet which blocks Excel’s power query from having full access to the file so that the charts can be refreshed. While we wait for a fix from Microsoft on this issue, I recommend that you store the file in a folder outside of OneDrive. Or, you can temporarily quit (close) OneDrive before opening the spreadsheet; refresh the dashboard; and when you’re done, restart the OneDrive program from your Start menu (or just reboot).

Q: If I have been using a previous version, how can I upgrade or move my data to a newer version?
A: Please see the YouTube video and instructions on this page for a demonstration on how to do so.

Q: Can you split a transaction into separate entries for categorizing?
A: At this point in time, we don’t have a feature to automate the splitting of a transaction. Quicken does have that feature. One simple way to work around this limitation is to create a separate entry (row) in the register for the items you want to uniquely categorize. As long as those entries total up to the exact amount that your bank recorded, your balances should match. For example, if you went to Target and the entire transaction was $200 but $80 was for groceries while the remainder was household goods, you could put the $80 as a separate row (categorized as groceries) and the $120 as household goods.

Q: Can this spreadsheet be used to manage or track investment properties, portfolios and/or for business or rental properties?
A: No, this spreadsheet is intended for personal use for managing basic checking accounts and savings accounts. For business needs, QuickBooks or Quicken Classic Business & Personal is still a good option.

Q: Is there a free version of Excel or a free spreadsheet program that can be used with this checkbook spreadsheet?
A: Microsoft does offer Excel Online through a browser (Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge) for free, and it is possible to use my basic checkbook register or the 2023 version that doesn’t have a macro. Excel Online doesn’t support macros so my 2024 version of the checkbook won’t work but you can upload Excel files without macros to Excel Online.