5 Tips to Use Excel More Efficiently

Are you gunning for a raise or a promotion? Maybe you only want to stand out for job security. In either case, this can be achieved by impressing your supervisor, but how?

What about Excel? Many of us, no matter our job, use spreadsheets in Excel. This program is an extremely powerful business tool; here are some tips to enhance your efficiency, which is bound to impress your boss.

  • Hiding Information: You might wonder why you may wish to hide particular information in a spreadsheet. Well, imagine the spreadsheet containing all your data about 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 can then Unhide the row or column in the same way once the meeting is over.
  • Timestamping: You are able to attach a fixed date and time — which will never change — to your Excel spreadsheets thanks to your computer’s “Ctrl” key. To put a fixed date into a spreadsheet cell, hold Ctrl while you press your computer’s semicolon key. To put the current time into a cell, hold down your computer’s 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 will find this in the Excel Ribbon, at the top. Click it, and you will be given a huge variety of fonts, and color schemes that you may apply to your spreadsheet. You can also make your own!
  • Tracking Trends: This is called Sparklines and is only available in the most recent version of Excel. It allows you to create charts that show trends in the data within your spreadsheet. This can be helpful, for example, if you want to quickly see how many software bundles your company’s salespeople sold in the first half of last year.
  • Conditional Formatting: With conditional formatting, you can automatically affect the look of spreadsheet cells that meet certain conditions. For instance, a cell showing that product sales rose by more than 100 % in a given month might take on a different shade so that it quickly sticks out.

  • Posted on: 04.06.12