8 Microsoft Excel Tips and Tricks For Spreadsheet DummiesDonna Marie Padua
Students use it and their teachers too. Office employees are required to learn it while computer geeks re born to be excellent on Microsoft Excel. Scientists need and so do teachers and accountants. Almost anyone who uses computer in their work and need some sort of documentation need Microsoft Excel in their lives.
In fact, a recent study showed that literacy on everyday productivity software such as Excel and Word has more significant impact on the middle-skill job market. It was also mentioned there that job seekers applying for any position in any company will have best chance of getting hired when they have these basic but vital computer skills.
But what’s in it for companies when their employees know Microsoft Excel? Before we get there, let’s first look into this software and its significant role in employee productivity and the business’ success.
Microsoft Excel – Summary of Uses
Microsoft Excel is a part of the Microsoft Office package along with Word and Power Point. As a whole, they are known as a suite of productivity software which are widely used I businesses. As you probably already know, there’s no business that can run without keeping any document. This is especially true for a company’s accounting department that uses spreadsheets to easily track financial records.
Manual computation and documentation are such tedious tasks. Microsoft Excel fused these functions together with, along with a plethora of other useful features, making calculations, chart making, and recording data so much faster and easier.
In the modern business world, Microsoft Excel isn’t just a simple spreadsheet program. It’s used to create grids of text, numbers, and formulas specifying calculations. That’s extremely valuable for many businesses, which use it to record expenditures and income, plan budgets, chart data and succinctly present fiscal results.
It can be programmed to pull in data from external sources such as stock market feeds, automatically running the data through formula such as financial models to update such information in real time. Like Microsoft Word, Excel has become a de facto standard in the business world, with Excel spreadsheets frequently emailed and otherwise shared to exchange data and perform various calculations.
On top of that, Excel also contains fairly powerful programming capabilities for those who wish to use them to develop relatively sophisticated financial and scientific computation capabilities. It’s an excellent tool so you must see now why companies require their employees to have at least the basic knowledge on Microsoft Excel.
Other Microsoft Excel Uses
There are other surprising things you can create from Microsoft Excel. Some of them include:
If you need to map out a calendar for your team or your own personal task, Microsoft Excel is an easy program to use. You can add columns to indicate the status of your task too and share with other members of the team so everyone gets updated about your project’s progress. This will also easily let your boss understand your activities.
Here’s an example of a simple calendar sheet used for personal goal tracking.
Microsoft Excel is a surprisingly great tool for creating website wireframes and designing dashboards. In fact, it has a collection of tools right for the job, making it a popular choice among designers.
Project management charts
Since Excel is the best when it comes to creating charts, it can be the perfect program to use for project management charts too.
From waterfall charts to manage your team’s progress to kanban style boards (just like Trello) to keep things organized, Excel is packed with features to help you keep your project on track.
Did you know that you can design dropdown forms from Excel too? You can create the simplest menu to the most complicated dropdown using just this software.
Graphs in Accounting Reports
Budget plans, forecasts, expense tracking, financial reports, loan calculators, and more. Excel was pretty much designed to meet these different accounting needs. Excel even has numerous different spreadsheet templates to make all of those processes that much easier. And just look at that simple graph to make your accounting reports complete.
Microsoft Excel Tricks and Tips You Should Try
Add Features With The Status Bar
Did you know that there are shortcuts to changing values or adding features on your spreadsheet? Whenever you highlight a range of numbers, the status bar at the bottom of Excel will feed you some useful information. You can find information about the sum, the average, and the total count of numbers.
Many people know about the status bar, but they didn’t realize that they can right click it to add more features. For example, you can add the minimum and maximum values in a range.
If you’d like some rows to stay at the top of the Excel sheet as you scroll through it, select the row by clicking on its letter on the left side, then click View at the top. Next, click Freeze Panes to be given the following options:
- Freeze Panes – Sticky all, based on current view.
- Freeze Top Row – Sticky only the top row.
- Freeze First Column – Stick only the first column.
Quick Select Formulas
Since Microsoft Excel is known for efficient computing because of its ability to create formula, then here is a feature you should take advantage to make the task faster.
This tip can save a lot of time if you are constantly entering formulas. As you begin to type a formula, you can use the up/down arrow keys to go through suggested formulas and the tab key to automatically select that formula. This method is often much faster than typing out a formula in full each time.
Yes; it’s as simple as that!
Create a Macro to Automate a Task
If there are any tasks you repeatedly perform in Excel, you can create a macro to automate the process. To do this, follow the steps below.
- Click File>Click Options>Click Customize Ribbon
- Under the Main tab, select to activate the Developer box.
- Click OK>Click the new Developer tab at the top of the Excel ribbon>Click the Record Macro button.
- Name the macro and choose a shortcut for it.
- Add a description to make things easier for you in the future.
- Perform any task just like you’d normally do on Excel.
- Click Stop Recording.
- You can now use the shortcut you’ve created to instantly perform the task you recorded.
Shortcuts never grow old. They will always be among the tips and tricks lists for using programs like Microsoft Excel.
When you have so much data on a single spreadsheet, it can be very annoying to navigate through rows and cells using your mouse or arrow keys. If you need to navigate through your spreadsheet quickly, here are the most useful keyboard shortcuts you should use:
- Ctrl+End – takes you to the furthest right cell you’ve entered data in.
- Ctrl+home – takes you to the start.
- Ctrl+right arrow – takes you to the furthest right of the Excel sheet.
- Ctrl+left arrow – takes you to the furthest left of the Excel sheet.
- Ctrl+up arrow – takes you to the top of the Excel sheet.
- Ctrl+down arrow – takes you to the bottom of the Excel sheet.
Crete Appealing Tables Quickly
You can create visually appealing tables in seconds by following the steps below.
- First, highlight the data you’d like in the table.
- Go to the Insert tab.
- Click Table.
- The highlighted area will now have a border around it.
- Click OK to create the table.
You can use the table icons at the top right to change the colors, and use the checkboxes under the design tab to change up the layout.
You can also click the small icon underneath the table once your cursor is hovering over the table. This will open a small menu for creating charts, tables, formatting rules, and more.
Change How ‘Enter’ Works
By default, pressing Enter will move you a cell down, but there is a method to change how Enter works in Excel. To change this, go to File, then Options, then click on the Advanced tab.
From here, you can choose whether the Enter key will move you up, down, right, or left. Alternatively, you can just turn off the functionality completely. This is useful if you’d like to keep enter as a simple way to confirm data and would prefer to navigate cells manually.
Copy the Same Data into Multiple Cells at Once
You can quickly copy the data of one cell into as many cells as you’d like. To do this, first press Ctrl+C on the cell you’d like to copy. Next, highlight the cells you’d like to copy to, then press Ctrl+V.
Excel may seem intimidating at first, but by just starting to use the program for basic tasks in your life, you’ll get a better feel for how it works and also how it can make everything you do so much easier.