Part 2 of our three-part series on litigation support tools expands on the commonly used Microsoft Excel. I know all of you MS Access fans out there are very comfortable moving data in and out of your databases, but Excel has certainly come a long way over the last 5 or 10 years, and the add-in by AbleBits puts Excel into another stratosphere as it relates to manipulating data in the litigation support world.
A lot of users out there are very comfortable manipulating data, mass editing records and creating CSVs for import into Excel, but if you are trying to manipulate data without affecting the database or need to merge or match data from different lists, AbleBits is the tool for you.
The first useful item is the deduplication functionality. Yes, Excel has this – I know, I know. But when you “Remove Duplicates” in Excel, all you get is a list without the duplicates. You don’t know what was duplicated, only how many you removed. Deduplication functionality in AbleBits allows you to compare two tables for duplicates, highlight duplicates in a table, create a column with a duplicate flag or, my personal favorite, flag only the duplicates and leave the first occurrence. Why is this important? If you are trying to figure out records to remove as duplicates, you usually want to leave one version. Getting through that using Excel formulas is time-consuming and downright painful. AbleBits can do it in four clicks.
Have you ever received a spreadsheet with rows highlighted where you need to only process the highlighted rows or rows in a certain color? I don’t know any other way of dealing with that than arrow down, X, arrow down, X. AbleBits will allow you to select rows and columns by their color, sum them, count them and, most importantly, copy only those of that color to a different sheet for importing or manipulation purposes.
AbleBits tools have many other features that are extremely useful. If you have to do a lot of data manipulation and you find yourself typing values in many different rows, this tool is for you. Check it out at https://www.ablebits.com/excel-suite/index-2018.php.