Confession time: I am not an Excel ace. In fact, I avoided using Excel for the longest time because I found it so confusing and frustrating. Until I learned a few tips and tricks. Now I use it all the time, to keep track of my budgeting, create editorial calendars for clients, and my organize grocery lists (yes, I go a little crazy at the grocery store). Excel is such a powerful tool, it’s a shame to avoid it altogether — and if using Excel is an integral part of your job, you can’t avoid it! If you’re also a self-professed Excel klutz, try these five easy Microsoft Excel tips:
Do the Jump Around: When Excel sheets start getting really bulky and long, navigation becomes a nightmare. Jump around the sheet easily by pressing “Ctrl” + one of the arrow buttons. For example, press “Ctrl” plus the down arrow to jump to the bottom of a segment of data.
AutoCorrect to the Rescue: Rely on AutoCorrect to make inputting super long terms a quick breeze. For example, say you’ll have to input a company’s long name a lot in a sheet — let’s call it Really Long Company Name. Instead of writing that out each time, abbreviate it to RLCN and then set RLCN to AutoCorrect to Really Long Company Name. Every time you type in “RLCN” in your sheet, it will automatically transform into Really Long Company Name. Phew!
Take Me Back: Say you click on a cell or highlight a portion of a row in your Excel sheet that you want to take a closer look at — but then you scroll away. EGADS! If your Excel sheet is humongous, it could take forever to find the portion of the sheet you highlighted again. No worries: Pressing “Ctrl” + “Delete” (or “Ctrl” + “Backspace”) takes you back to your highlighted selection pronto. No more getting lost in your own Excel sheet!
Calculate the Easy Way: If using the Excel formulas function scares the crap out of you (no judgment here), there’s an easier way to conduct simple calculations within your spreadsheet — just use “+” to add, “-“ to subtract, “\” to divide, and “*” to multiply. So if you wanted to add two numbers on your sheet together, first click into an empty cell and press the “=” button, then click the first number, followed by the “+” button, and then click the last number and press Enter. Voila! Your calculation appears in the cell.
Insert Blank Rows Quickly: If you need to add more than one row or column to the middle of a set of data, using the “Insert” function from the toolbar can take foreeeever since it only adds a row or column one at a time. Instead, try this: highlight the number of preexisting rows or columns that you need, and then right-click and choose “insert.” The same number of blank rows or columns needed will show up above or beside the rows or columns you just selected.
What easy Excel tricks do you have up your sleeve? Share them with us in the comments below!