Frequently Asked Questions
What is PUP?
PUP, which stands for "Power Utility Pak," is a unique collection of add-ins that enhance Microsoft Excel by adding new features and making existing features easier to use. It consists of general purpose utilities, new worksheet functions, and enhanced shortcut menus. All told, PUP v7 (the current version of the software) adds more than 70 new (and non-trivial) features to Excel.
Does PUP v7 work with all versions of Excel?
No. PUP v7 requires Excel 2007 or later.
Is the Trial Version fully functional?
Yes. The Trial Version of PUP v7 is not crippled in any way, and it doesn't even display any annoying nag messages. It works just like the real thing -- because it is the real thing. You may use the trial version for 30 days. After that, you should either purchase a license or delete the files from your system.
How much does it cost?
The price for a single-user license for PUP v7 is US $40.00. If you would also like the complete VBA source code, add $20.00 (total of $60.00).
Do I really need the source code?
The VBA source code for PUP v7 is intended for those who know (or those who are learning) Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Those who purchase the source can learn how the utilities were created, and even customize them for their personal use. If you're not a VBA programmer (and don't intend to become one), you do not need the PUP v7 source code.
I ordered PUP v7 with the source code, but the VB projects are locked. How do I view the source code?
After you install PUP v7, look in your \pup7 directory. You'll find a PDF document name 'PUP v7 source.pdf'. This file describes how to access the source code for PUP v7.
I purchased an earlier version. Can I get an upgrade?
Yes, free upgrades are available. Go to the Upgrade Page for details. Please note that an upgrade is free, but if you would like to purchase the VBA source code, the $20.00 applies (even if you purchased the source code for a previous version). Also, there is a $5 processing fee for each upgrade.
Why do I have to pay the upgrade processing fee if I chose to download it?
It costs time and money to process an upgrade. When you download a file from this web site, someone (me) has to pay for the data transfer. Most people simply have no idea of how much it costs to operate a large web site on a fast and reliable server. I'm giving you the upgrade free, and I'm asking you to cover the distribution and processing costs. The vast majority of users (about 99.86%) don't have a problem with this.
How can I purchase PUP v7?
The most efficient method is to use a credit card and purchase online using a secure server. Your credit card is approved online, and you can download the files immediately. You can also order by mail, but this method requires human intervention, and a $5.00 processing fee is applied.
Do you offer discounts for multiple copies?
Yes, refer to the table below.
|No. of Licenses||Discount %||PUP v7 Unit Price||PUP v6 Unit Price|
|5000+ (site license)||firstname.lastname@example.org|
Do you offer any special deals for PUP v7?
Yes. Each of the books I've written includes a coupon for a discounted PUP license.
Please note: The coupon in older editions of these books will list an earlier version of PUP. If you'd like to receive PUP v7 instead, just indicate so on the coupon.
I bought one of those books. Can I get the discounted price by ordering online?
No. You must mail the coupon to get the discounted price.
I have the Trial Version, and I'd like to become a licensed user. Is there a way to "unlock" the trial version?
No. When you become a licensed user you'll need to download a new (very small) file to update your installation.
Do you offer any educational discounts?
Officially, no. However, I spent nine consecutive years in college, so I understand that students are often on a tight budget. Therefore, educational discounts will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Contact me and describe your situation.
When extracting the files, I get an error message about CHM files.
You may get this error is you're using Windows Vista. The solution is to right-click the *.exe file and then choose 'Run as Administrator.' Microsoft has apparently decided that *.chm files are a security risk.
The PUP v7 help doesn't work!
It's possible that a security update has disabled *.chm files on your system. Go to your \pup7 directory, and right-click the pup7.chm file. Choose Properties from the shortcut menu. If you see a Security tab, use the checkbox to unblock the file. Repeat for pupfunctions.chm.
Is PUP v7 copy protected?
No. Copy protection only serves to inconvenience honest users, and does very little to prevent software piracy. If you like PUP v7, you should purchase a license. Doing so will keep you honest, enable you to get free upgrades, and help support the concept of independent software development.
The license prohibits illegal copying. You can, however, distribute the Trial Version to as many people as you like.
What programming language did you use to develop the Power Utility Pak?
Power Utility Pak is written exclusively in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). This is Excel's built-in macro language. It doesn't use any custom DLL files or non-standard controls, and it does not make any changes to your system (except for settings stored in the Windows registry).
How did you get that PUP v7 Ribbon to appear?
The pup7.xlam file contains XML code that creates the Ribbon when the add-in is loaded.
Is the VBA source code available?
Yes. The complete VBA source code is available to licensed users for an additional $20.00 -- a very small price to pay for literally hundreds of examples of useful programming techniques. Purchasing the source code will also let you see how the Ribbon is created. Click here for more information about purchasing the VBA source code.
I purchased PUP v7, and now I'd like to purchase the source code. I can't find a way to do that online without buying another copy of PUP.
That's because there is no way to determine licensed users. Send me an email and I'll provide instructions for paying the extra $20 for the PUP source code.
If I purchase this product, can I adapt your VBA code for applications that I develop?
Yes, but the applications that you develop may not be sold or used for commercial purposes (refer to the VBA Source Code License Agreement).
If you have any questions about this, please contact me..
Does PUP v7 include a user manual?
To reduce the size of the PUP v7 download, a printable manual is not included. The product's documentation is in the form of thorough, context-sensitive help files. You can, however, download a User's Manual in PDF format, or you can download the help files separately.
Is PUP v7 a memory hog?
Not at all. Memory usage was a primary consideration in developing this product. PUP v7 is modular, so only the utilities that you actually use are loaded into memory. PUP v7 includes an option that lets you control how many utilities will remain in memory.
How long has Power Utility Pak been around?
Power Utility Pak was first developed in 1994, shortly after Excel 5 was released. I was looking for a project that would help me learn VBA -- the programming language that debuted in Excel 5. I created some utilities, gave them the unimaginative name of Power Utility Pak, and included them with my Excel 5 Power Programming Techniques book.
I continued working on the project, added some new utilities, and released an updated (shareware) version called Power Utility Pak 2.0. When Excel 97 was released, I worked on it some more (a lot more), and released PUP97 -- which happened to win a ZDNet Shareware Award in 1998. I continued to add new utilities and enhancements, and PUP97 evolved into PUP 2000, which became available when Excel 2000 was released.
PUP v5 was the most significant upgrade, and it included about 20 new utilities, and most of the others were significantly enhanced. PUP v6 added still more utilities and improvements.
The current version, PUP v7, was started during the beta phase of Office 2007. Because Excel 2007 is so different from previous versions, I decided to create a new Excel 2007-only version.
Is there a Macintosh version of PUP?
I have an idea for a new utility for the next version of Power Utility Pak. Are you open to suggestions?
Absolutely. The main requirement is that the utility must be general purpose in nature, and add something that's useful to a fair number of users.
How do I get technical support?
Technical support is available by e-mail, directly from the developer. Questions are typically answered within 24 hours, usually more quickly. Details at the Technical Support page.
What do I do if I discover a bug in PUP?
First, check the PUP v7 Update Page. An updated version of the utility may be available, and you can download the new file.
If an update is not available, send an e-mail, and describe the problem and the steps required to reproduce it. The problem will be corrected, and the updated file will be made available to everyone.
I developed an application that uses one of the custom worksheet functions included with PUP v7. Can I distribute the workbook file that contains the functions?
Yes, workbook files that use any of the PUP worksheet functions can be distributed. However, the application may not be sold or used for commercial purposes.
Should I uninstall an earlier version of PUP before installing PUP v7?
You can if you want to, but it's not necessary. The first time PUP v7 loads, it will uninstall any previous version that it finds: PUP97, PUP 2000, PUP v5, or PUP v6.
How do I install PUP v7?
Installation is a two-step process:
- Execute the *.exe file to extract the PUP v7 files. If you're using Vista, right-click the file and choose 'Run as Administrator.'
- After the files are copied, a workbook named 'pup installation instructions.xlsm' is opened automatically, and provides additional instructions.
Can I move my copy of PUP v7 to a different computer?
Yes, all of the PUP v7 files are contained in a single directory. You can simply copy the files to your new system, and then delete them from your old system. You can transfer the files via a network connection, burn them to a CD-ROM, or even copy the files to a series of floppy discs.
After the files are copied, you'll need to install the add-in. To do so, start Excel and open the workbook named 'pup installation instructions.xlsm' for additional information.
How does PUP v7 work?
PUP was developed using the programming tools that are supplied with every copy of Excel -- the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro language. One of the primary design goals of PUP v7 was simplicity. Consequently, it does not use any custom DLLs or non-standard controls, and it does not make any changes to your system settings (except for settings stored in the Windows Registry).
Here's a basic overview of how the product works:
- PUP v7 consists of dozens of add-in files, which use a *.pup7 extension, rather than an *.xlam extension. They are, however, standard Excel add-in files. The *.pup7 extension is used because these individual files are not intended to be installed separately. Therefore, they don't appear in the Browse dialog box when the Browse button is clicked from Excel's Add-Ins dialog box.
- When the pup7.xlam add-in is opened, the new Ribbon tab is created based on the XML code stored in the file. The pup7.xlam file controls loading and unloading of the utilities.
- pup7.xlam loads the utilities on an "as needed" basis so they won't use up memory and system resources if they are not used.
- pup7.xlam keeps track of which utilities are in memory, and you can specify the maximum number of utility files to keep in memory. You control this in the PUP Options dialog box (choose PUP Options from the Power Utility Pak menu).
- PUP stores its settings in the Windows Registry database. This is also
where it stores the last-used dialog box settings. The path is:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\VB and VBA Program Settings\Power Utility Pak\
Can I view PUP's registry settings?
To view the current registry settings, choose PUP v7 - Power Utility Pak - PUP - About PUP v7. Then click the Registry Settings button, and respond Yes to the message box. This will create a new workbook that displays all of the settings.
Can I delete PUP's registry settings?
To delete all of the registry settings for PUP v7, choose Power Utility Pak - PUP - About PUP v7. Then click the Registry Settings button, and respond No to the message box. This will delete all of the settings, and it will be as if you just installed PUP v7.
Does PUP v7 use the same registry entries as PUP v6?
Yes. Therefore, if you upgrade from PUP v6 to PUP v7, all of your previous setting will be intact (including your PUP Bookmarks).
Can I temporarily uninstall PUP v7?
Sure. In Excel, press Alt+TI to display the Add-Ins dialog box. Remove the checkmark from the Power Utility Pak v7 item and click OK. This will remove the PUP v7 tab and Ribbon (and unload any PUP utilities that are open). Keep in mind that this does not delete any files.
To install PUP v7 again, repeat the command, but place a checkmark next to the Power Utility Pak v7 item.
The text in the PUP v7 dialog boxes is cut off
If the text in some of the PUP v7 dialog boxes appears cut off, or is not displayed correctly, you're probably using the "Large Fonts" system option. Unfortunately, this setting is not fully compatible with Excel custom dialog boxes.
Activate the Windows Control Panel and access the Display Properties dialog box. Click the Settings tab and change the Font Size setting to Small Fonts.
When I enter a PUP function name into my formula, the formula returns a #NAME? error.
This error can be caused by the following:
- The workbook does not contain the VBA code that defines the function. In Excel, choose Formulas - Function Library - Insert Function. In the Insert Function dialog box, choose the User Defined category to display a list of non-standard functions that are available. If the PUP function you need is not listed, use the PUP Worksheet Function Library to add the function to your workbook. Choose PUP v7 - Cells and Ranges - Formula Tools - PUP Worksheet Function Library.
- You spelled the function name incorrectly. Consider using the Insert Function dialog box to choose the function from a list. The PUP functions are listed in the User Defined category.
When I use a PUP worksheet function, it doesn't update automatically.
Some of the functions may require a complete recalculation in order to update. To force a recalculation, press Ctrl+Alt+F9.
Some of the PUP worksheet functions recalculate very slowly.
If you use a function in many formulas, you may experience significantly slower calculation times. This is perfectly normal. A custom function will never be as fast as Excel's built-in functions.
A PUP worksheet function doesn't return the correct answer.
Although every attempt was made to make these functions robust and error-free, it's possible that, under some circumstances, they may return an error or an incorrect value.
- Make sure you read the help file for the function. You may have overlooked a subtle point.
- Try using the function with a different set of data. If the problem does not occur, try to determine the differences between the two data sets.
- Check the PUP v7 update page. It's possible that a more recent version of the PUP Function Library utility has been posted.
- Send an e-mail, and describe the problem in detail. If it is a problem with the function, it will be corrected and an update will be posted.
When I enter a PUP worksheet function into my formula, it is not converted to uppercase. Excel's built-in functions all get converted to uppercase.
When you use a custom function (such as any of the PUP worksheet functions), Excel "remembers" how you entered it the first time it was used. Therefore, if you enter a PUP function in uppercase the first time it is used, subsequent uses of that function will be converted to uppercase automatically.