10 tips to help you work faster in Excel

Published on October 11, 2017 by in Excel | General

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    1. Table it! If you have large data sets, convert them to a table. This means that if you scroll down to the bottom, the headings will remain visible at the top
    2. Hide! :Hide the columns/rows you don’t need.
    3. Top row visible: Freeze the first column of your data so that it’s always visible as you scroll across. Use View | Freeze Panes | Freeze Panes for this. Note that your freeze will happen above and to the left of the point you had clicked on before you activated Freeze Panes.
    4. Navigate...Learn the common navigation keyboard shortcuts:
      1. Ctrl and home to always return to A1 – no matter how far you have wandered in the spreadsheet. Think of it as Dorothy’s red slippers
      2. Ctrl and right arrow always brings you to the right hand side of the data set
      3. Ctrl and left arrow always brings you to the left hand side of the data set
      4. Ctrl and arrow down brings you to the bottom of the data set
      5. Ctrl and arrow up brings you to the top of the data set
      6. Ctrl and * allows you to highlight the data set
    5. Instant charting: You can create an instant chart by highlighting the data and pressing F11 (this creates it on a separate sheet). If you want the chart to be on the current sheet, press Alt and F1
    6. Quick Copy down of formula: When you convert your data to a table, and then enter a formula, it is automatically copied down – invaluable if you have a data set with thousands of records.
    7. Learn how to (Format) Paint: Use the Format Painter option to copy your conditional formatting from one area of your workbook to another. You can also use it if you come across formatting that you have to use but do not know how to create it.
    8. Learn the shortcuts for what you use most often: You can use the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl and + to insert rows or columns (highlight the area you want to insert them in first)
    9. Learn how to fit on a page: Make sure you know how to set the printing options so that you can get it to fit on a page rather than it printing across multiple pages and then frantically trying to stick it together. In particular, learn how to use Print Titles so that it makes your report much easier to read. You can check out a tutorial here on printing
    10. Free goodies!: Have a look at the templates available to you under File | New. Very often much of the work has already been done here and they are all free. So they are well worth checking out.

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