Improve your Excel Skills Now with these 5 Tips

Microsoft’s Excel program has been an integral part of the regular office-goer’s life. One part of Microsoft’s Office Suite – Excel – is an extremely feature-rich software program that has proven itself to be indispensable time and again. Whether it is for drawing up a quick report, chalking up some financial sheets, or even running some highly repetitive functions, Excel always comes to the rescue. 

However, the majority of the people who use Excel, even on a regular basis, happen to be unaware of some options, methods, and general features that the application possesses . These can boost productivity and make life a lot more easier when working on lengthy spreadsheets. Take a look at these tips to speed up your Excel tasks:

Top 5 TipsThere are many hidden features in Microsoft Excel that are not well known. These features can prove to be highly beneficial. Here are the top five tips that we found to improve productivity and functionality when using Microsoft Excel:

• Tip 1: Using Excel Functions in a Jiffy (Even the Unknown Ones)

This tip tells you how to quickly find and apply the formula that you need at the click of a button. Clicking on the Insert Function button is the simplest way to get things started. This button can be found as an “Fx” symbol on the toolbar. Clicking on it allows the user to not only apply a function, but also to search for one in a list or in a categorized format.

Once you find the right formula, summon a wizard to make the process of applying the formula that much easier.

• TIP 2: Using the IF Statement in an Easier Way

The IF statement is one of the most commonly used conditional qualifiers in Excel. It allows the cell to contain content based on the validation of some previous entity. This function may be used in the simple IF(if this condition is true, then return this, or else do this) format of usage, but also other ways for more complex conditions and for multiple conditions too, such as : IF(XYZ(C1<=0,C2>=20),”Yes”,”No”).

• TIP 3: Dealing with Multiple Worksheets

When working on an Excel document that contains multiple worksheets, we have often felt the need to compare the content of both sheets. Very few people know that there is an option to do this automatically. In the View tab, click on “new window”, and the click on “Arrange All>Tiled”, we can tile the sheets side by side.

• TIP 4: Comments for Specific Cells

Often, when working on documents that may change several hands, we find the need to define the content of specific cells in the worksheet, or add information that may be needed for others to effectively contribute to the document. In such cases, the document validation option can be used. With this option, a default value can be made to appear in the cell at all times if the cell content is not correctly added, or is wrongly formatted.

• TIP 5: Hide Unnecessary Content

Hiding data that is not necessary to be visible to users is now quite easy, thanks to grouping. To group and hide unnecessary columns, all that the user has to do is chose the columns needed to be hidden, and select “Group” from the data ribbon. The grouped columns then can be hidden or made viewable by the click of a button, on the outline.

Article contributed by Carlo Pandian, freelance writer and community manager at Filtered. He is interested in productivity, management and technology. Find him on Twitter @carlopandian

About Mark P. Holtzman

Chair of Accounting Department at Seton Hall University. PhD from The University of Texas at Austin. Worked at Deloitte's New York Office. BSBA from Hofstra University.

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