Microsoft reports more than 1 billion people use its Office suite. While they don’t all use Excel, estimates put the number of Excel users at an impressive 800 million.
Unfortunately, most of those users only scratch the surface of what Excel can do. Let’s look at 5 simple Microsoft Excel tips that will help turn you into a power user.
1. Insert Multiple Rows or Columns
Most Excel users know you can click on a row or column heading to select it, then use the Insert command to insert a blank one. If you need to insert several, this gets tedious.
Instead of inserting them one by one, select the number of rows or columns you want to insert first. When you use the insert command, you’ll get that many blanks automatically.
2. Learn Common Microsoft Excel Shortcuts
The mouse is an important part of the interface to Windows but if you’re entering data in Excel, moving your hand to the mouse and back to the keyboard slows you down. Learning a few simple keyboard shortcuts like CTRL-C to copy and CTRL-V to paste lets you manipulate data without leaving the keyboard.
3. Use Wildcards to Make Searching Easier
If you’re working with a large spreadsheet, the Find command lets you navigate quickly by searching for certain parts of the sheet. The challenge here is you need to know what to search for.
If you don’t know exactly how something is spelled, wildcard searches can help. A ‘?’ symbol stands in for any character and a ‘*’ symbol will match anything from that point forward in the search.
For example, “lu?ch” would match lunch or lurch while “lun*” would match lunch, lunar, or lunchtime.
4. Filter the Data in Your Spreadsheet
When you’re working with a spreadsheet that has a long list of data in a table, you might need to narrow the list down. Rather than copying and pasting the items you want into a separate sheet, use the Filter feature to show what you need.
Click on the Data menu, then Filter. The column headers change to dropdown menus where you can select what you want.
Of course, if your spreadsheet is more complex than simple tables, you may want to hire Excel expert help to analyze the data in more detail.
5. Quickly Select All Cells in a Spreadsheet
If you’re working with a small spreadsheet, it’s easy to drag the mouse to select the entire sheet. But if it’s larger than can fit on a single screen, this gets unwieldy.
There are two ways to select the entire sheet quickly. First, click on the corner above the row 1 heading and to the left of the column A heading. Second, use the Select All keyboard shortcut (CTRL-A).
These Microsoft Excel Tips Will Make You the Office Expert
These Microsoft Excel tips can save you a lot of time. Just be careful who sees you using them. When your coworkers see how efficient you are, they might start treating you as the office Excel expert – and giving you more work to do!
Check out the Business section of our website for more helpful articles about how to get the most out of your office applications.