Nearly everyone has heard of Microsoft Excel. Some professionals use it more than others, but we all know of its existence. Many of us have likely spent time, some more than we care to admit, in an Excel spreadsheet. It may come as a surprise to some people that Excel is bursting with various shortcuts and other functions that can help you save time. As an added bonus, I’d bet that not too many of your co-workers, and maybe even your boss, are aware of these tips and tricks. If you’re ready to take your Excel skills to the next level, and impress your co-workers along the way, the following tips are just for you.
Excel rows and columns are always presented in a standard size (width = 8.43 and height = 15). This may work for your intended purposes, or it may not. If you are in the latter category, here is a quick fix.
Select the row and/or column that you would like to adjust. To select more than one row or column, if they aren’t consecutive, press and hold the Ctrl key as you make your selection. Once the selection is made navigate to the Home tab.
Click the “Format” option then “Row Height” to adjust the cell height. Clicking “Column Width” will make the cell wider.
Some of you may be thinking, “Hey! I can do this with my mouse” and you are correct. However, a true Excel expert, what you are working to become, avoids lifting their hands from the keyboard at all costs. This trick, combined with other keyboard shortcuts, allows you to adjust the rows and columns without touching the mouse.
Have too many rows, but want to add more columns? Stop that right-click and insert hassle. The “Insert” and “Remove” commands allow you to add or delete as many columns, rows, and cells as you need.
On a Windows machine, press ALT + H + I (if adding) or D (if removing) and select from the options provided.
Rows too long and you want to convert the data to columns? For your less Excel savvy co-workers this could present a challenge. However, you know that this conversion is as easy as:
1. Select and copy (Ctrl + C) the cells you want to convert.
2. Click on the cell where you would like to paste the data. Press Ctrl + V + Ctrl and select “Transpose”.
3. Hit Enter and your data will now convert from a row to columns or vice versa.
Wading through large data sets can be tiresome, inefficient, and leads to missed insights. Using conditional formatting can help alleviate these issues.
Excel’s conditional formatting provides a variety of options such as Highlight Cells Rules, Top/Bottom Roles, Color Scales, and much more.
To start, select the data set for which you would like to apply formatting.
Select “Conditional Formatting” from the Home ribbon. You will be presented with various options. Select the one that best fulfills your needs.
In our example, we will highlight cells that are greater than 10. Any cells meeting this condition will be highlighted light red. If light red fill isn’t your thing, you can select other options or create a custom format.
Comments are extremely useful in Excel. If you are working on a team and sharing a spreadsheet it may be necessary to provide insight as to what you are doing in some situations.
Comments can quickly be added, edited, and deleted with a few strokes on the keyboard.
1) Navigate to the cell where you would like to leave a comment.
2) Press ALT + R + C and a comment box will appear.
3) Enter your comment and press Enter to save.
To delete an existing comment simply press ALT + R + D.
If the above tips & tricks got you exited, then it may be time to head over to our page of shortcuts to further your knowledge. If you are seeking a downloadable file for easy reference we also have you covered. We also have career specific courses that can help you get a leg up at the office or at school.