5 Useful Tips and Tricks for Microsoft Excel

Have you ever had that feeling when you’ve been doing something for years, and then someone shows you a much quicker and more efficient way of doing it? It’s equally frustrating and revelatory, and it’s the feeling I had recently when I saw a new infographic from Microsoft training experts STL.

Their infographic – fittingly titled How To Excel At Excel – features a raft of incredibly useful tips and tricks for Microsoft Excel, from quicker selections to branded charts. Some of these tips (especially the handy shortcut for adding new rows) would have saved me countless hours had I found them years ago, so to help you avoid the same pain, I’m covering 5 of the most useful here.

  1. Quicker selections

Stop dragging over every cell you want to select and start using keyboard shortcuts! Ctrl + A will select everything in a sheet, while Ctrl + Shift along with the up, down, left or right arrows will allow you to quickly select adjacent cells.

  1. Add new rows

If you need to add ten new rows, instead of going right click > insert > new row ten times, just highlight ten rows and then perform the action once. Or, if you want add rows quickly without the right clicking, press Shift + Space to select a row, and then Ctrl + + to add a new row.

  1. Filter

If you have a very big spreadsheet with lots of data in it, you might want to be able to quickly organise it to find a specific set of information. You can do this by adding filters. Just go Data > filter to add them (they will appear as small black triangles in each column header). These filters will allow you to filter the data in a variety of different ways, including alphabetically, numerically or by colour, as well as letting you add custom filters.

  1. Transpose

Typed data into a row when you actually need it in a column? Don’t go through the hassle of deleting and retyping, because you can use the handy transpose feature instead. Copy the information you want, then select a new cell and go right click > paste special. Now just hit transpose and you’re done!

  1. Save chart templates

If you’ve spent hours creating a beautiful, branded chart in Excel, there’s a good chance you might want to recreate it in the future. The easiest way to do this is to save it as a template. Right click on your chart and select ‘save as template’, and this will save it as a CRTX file. Now, the next time you’re creating a chart, you can insert it via recommended charts > all charts > templates, without having to go through the hassle of manually recreating it!

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