ThreeWave Before You EMail Me

This page describes guidelines for sending me help requests by email.

While I genuinely enjoy receiving comments and suggestions from the readers, please keep in mind the following guidelines before you send me an email.

At present (April, 2013), the web site gets between about 35,000 readers each day, pulling up between 50,000 and 60,000 individual pages. As you can probably guess, I get a lot of email from people asking for assistance with Excel. Please review the following guidelines before sending me a email:

  • I may not reply at all. This will happen if I just don't have the time, or if the question is vague, poorly written, overly broad (e.g., "How do I set up an inventory system in Excel?"), or just boring. If you want to increase the chances of getting a reply, run the message through a spell checker. If your message has lots of spelling or grammatical errors, I probably won't reply.
  • Include details in your message. Be specific. Don't send me 100 lines of code and say "It doesn't work". Narrow things down to where you can send me perhaps 10 lines of code that illustrates the problem. Tell me exactly what the problem is. Does the code blow up? Compiler error? Run time error? Incorrect results? Explain what the code should do and what it presently does or does not do. Include the exact text of any error message generated and identify the line of code that caused the error.
  • If you include code, make sure it compiles as written. That means declaring all your variables. If I can't paste the code into a module with Option Explicit in effect, I probably won't reply. I'm not here to fix simple compiler errors.
  • Don't attach a file unless it is absolutely necessary. If you have screen captures, don't embed the images in another file such as a Word document. Simply attach the image files themselves to your email.
  • Poor writing is a pet peeve of mine. If you use poor grammar, misspellings, or abbreviations with which I am not familiar, I will likely trash your email. If you expect me to take the time to read and reply to your message, it is incumbent upon you to take the time and make the effort to write clearly. There is no excuse for poor writing. Take the time to write clearly.
  • If the topic at hand is already answered on my web site, I will likely just direct you to the relevant page. My web site is not a tutorial for Excel. Instead, it provides you with tools and examples that can be configured together to make a working project. It is quite likely that you will need to adapt the code on the web site to your own specific requirements.
  • I develop Excel and VBA, VBNET, and C# applications for a living. This is what I do professionally. Just as you would not expect a dentist to give you free dental care, don't expect me to necessarily give you free code. This is my living and I may well tell you that I will solve your problem for a fee, but not for free.

If you follow the guidelines above, you'll likely get a reply of one sort or another.

This page last modified: 10-April-2013.