5 Tips to Use Excel More Efficiently

You may want to wow your boss because you want a promotion, or a raise, or you simply want to stand out from the crowd. Regardless of the reason, the initial question is how?

Why not consider Excel? This spreadsheet program might appear to be just a basic, albeit essential, business tool, but the truth is there are several lesser-known Excel tricks that enable you to work more efficiently.

  • Hiding Information: You may wonder why you may wish to hide particular information in a spreadsheet. Well, imagine the spreadsheet which has all your data with regards to the company also has everyone’s salary. That is confidential information that you don’t want to reveal at the meeting. Simple hide the column or row by clicking the related number or letter to highlight it, then right-click on that highlighted row or column and choose the Hide option from the popup menu. You may then Unhide the row or column in the same manner once the meeting is finished.
  • Timestamping: You can attach a fixed date and time to your Excel spreadsheets using your computer’s “Ctrl” key. To do this, hold Ctrl while you press the semicolon key. For the current date and time merely hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys while pressing the semicolon.
  • A Better-Looking Spreadsheet: Give your spreadsheet a fresh look by using Excel’s Themes option. You can find this in the Excel Ribbon, at the top. Click it, and you’ll be given a huge variety of fonts, and color schemes that you may apply to your spreadsheet. You can also create your own!
  • Tracking Trends: The newest version of Excel includes a feature called Sparklines. With this feature, you can create small charts that show trends in information. For example, you might use Sparklines to instantly determine how many software bundles each of your company’s salespeople sold in the first half of 2011.
  • Conditional Formatting: This feature allows formatting only in cells that meet the criteria that you select. For instance you could decided to have any dollar amount over 1,000 be a particular color.