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Excel at Excel! – Excel Tips to Boost Productivity

Astadia Experts
November 14, 2018
4 min read
Microsoft Azure

Excel offers many features that can help you increase your productivity in the workplace. From simple keyboard shortcuts to the more advanced macros, Excel makes it easy to become more proficient. This article will be covering just a few of these features.

Keyboard Shortcuts


Many people know the common keyboard shortcuts, but there are others that you may not be aware of that can save you endless scrolling, searching for dates, or finding the button in the menu. Below are a few and for a complete, detailed list, visit.

Copy: Ctrl+C
Cut: Ctrl+X
Paste: Ctrl+V
Undo: Ctrl+Z
Redo: Ctrl+Shift+Z
Select All: Ctrl+A
Print: Ctrl+P
Find: Ctrl+F
Find and Replace: Ctrl+H
Close Workbook: Ctrl+W
Format Cells: Ctrl+1
Insert Current Date: Ctrl+;
Insert Current Time: Ctrl+:
Move to End of Data Region: Ctrl+<arrow key>
Move to End of Data Region and Select Cells: Ctrl+Shift+<arrow key>
Fill Right: Ctrl+R
Fill Down: Ctrl+D

Auto Fill


One feature that helps save time is auto fill. It is essentially a fast version of copy and paste. If you need to copy data or formulas from one cell to the rest of the cells in a list, you can double-click the black box at the bottom-right corner of the selected cell. You can also single-click it and drag it to a specific cell.

For more information, visit.

Transposing Data


If you start to write a list and realize that you should have written it across the columns instead of down on each row, you can easily copy and paste the list to columns from rows or vice versa with the transpose option.

In the example below, you would copy the range A2 through A6, right-click cell B1 and select paste special. In the paste special dialog box, click the transpose checkbox and click okay. Your cells will be copied to B1 through F1, saving you time you would otherwise spend copying and pasting each cell or typing them each in.


Formula Absolute Cell References


Have you ever noticed how some formulas have a “$” in the range? It is a method to “freeze” the range in the formula if you are copying and pasting or auto filling.

For example, you have a SUM formula in cell D2 that adds the cells A2 and B2, written as “=SUM(A2:B2)”. If you copied that formula to cell E2 (1 column to the right), then the formula automatically changes to reference 1 column to the right. So, it would be written as “=SUM(B2:C2)”. If you would like to add the cells A2, B2, and C2 in the formula you copied to, then you could write the formula in D2 as “=SUM($A2:B2)”. Then, when you copy that formula to cell E2, it would be written as “=SUM($A2:C2)”. It keeps the cells “frozen” when you copy formulas from one cell to another.

For more information, visit

Macros


If you perform similar actions consistently, it may prove advantageous to record a macro. A macro is a small piece of code that performs actions for you so you don’t have to. First, you’ll need to add the Developer tab to the ribbon (menu) at the top of Excel. You can do so by right-clicking the ribbon and clicking Customize the Ribbon. Then select the Developer group, click Add >>, and click OK.

Once you have the developer tab open, you can click the Record Macro button. Any actions that you perform will be recorded. Then, press the stop button to finish recording the macro. Once you save the spreadsheet, you can go back to the developer tab, click the macros button and select the one you saved and all of your actions that you previous performed will be “played back” automatically, saving you time.

You can even have your macros saved into a hidden spreadsheet that will be available so you can run the macro on any spreadsheet at any time. For more information, visit:

Proficiency in the office doesn’t have to be difficult. Simple keyboard shortcuts or understanding how to transpose data makes working with spreadsheets a breeze. Excel offers an efficient platform for managing business spreadsheets and by utilizing these tips, it’s even easier to get the job done!

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