Author Archives: Patrick O'Beirne, spreadsheet auditor

About Patrick O'Beirne, spreadsheet auditor

Patrick provides consultancy and training in spreadsheet development, auditing / testing and model review; and the Excel addin XLtest

Querying Text/CSV files. Method #1: Querytable

The legacy Get Data from Text/CSV command in Excel creates a Querytable. This is pretty good for most purposes, except… Continue reading

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Reading Unicode file contents as text

This is a short update on my post of Sep 28, 2020 on reading Unicode text in VBA. I am reposting the module as ADOStream.bas Continue reading

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Hello (the rest of the) World – reading data in other languages

Have you ever opened a text file in Excel and found that the characters looked weird or corrupted? The Wikipedia entry for mojibake says ‘In German, Buchstabensalat (“letter salad”) is a common term for this phenomenon, and in Spanish, deformación … Continue reading

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UK Covid-19 Track & Trace Excel snafu: Uncontrolled spreadsheets lead to data loss

The story broke around October 5th that Public Health England temporarily lost 16,000 Covid test results because they did not notice that the XLS data format they were using was insufficient to process the number of results they were getting. … Continue reading

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Nested JSON to flat data tables

Have you ever had to convert a file of JSON text to Excel tables? Not simple JSON, but one with a collection of dictionaries inside a dictionary inside a collection of dictionary records inside another collection of records inside a … Continue reading

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VBA Read Unicode file contents in various encodings

To read a text file, you need to be able to handle more character sets than just ANSI. Not just in the contents but also in the file and folder names.The classic article on this is by Joel Spolsky:https://www.joelonsoftware.com/2003/10/08/the-absolute-minimum-every-software-developer-absolutely-positively-must-know-about-unicode-and-character-sets-no-excuses/ Here … Continue reading

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A look back to Eusprig 2019

The 20th conference of the European Spreadsheet Risk Interest Group was held in  Browns of Covent Garden, London on 11-12 July 2019, Thursday 11 July 2019 Developing Excel Thought Leadership David Lyford-Smith, ICAEW, Chartered Accountants’ Hall This described the development … Continue reading

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A look ahead to Eusprig 2019

The 20th annual conference of the European Spreadsheet Risk Special Interest Group (http://www.eusprig.org) will be held on July 11 & 12 at The Barrister’s Court, Browns, 82-84 St Martin’s Ln, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4AG, UK. David Lyford-Smith of the … Continue reading

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UK HMRC MTD OAuth2 Excel/VBA demo

I’m making available as open source my VBA routines for the “Hello World” tests on the UK HMRC “Making Tax Digital” (MTD) web service which use oAuth2 and JSON. Thanks to posts from Bruce McPherson (Excel Ramblings), Tim Hall (Excel-REST), … Continue reading

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MS Azure Cognitive Services V3 API Translator VBA

I have now updated my free open-source VBA code for the MS Translator API V3, which uses JSON data formats rather than the previous XML. There is no change in your subscription method, you can continue to use the same … Continue reading

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