Whatever your future career, there’s a high chance that you will end up using MS Excel spreadsheets as part of your work one day. It’s used by an estimated 750 million people worldwide! Most people know how to use Excel for general tasks, but there’s so much more that this powerful programme can do. Taking your Excel spreadsheet skills to the next level allows you to work more quickly and efficiently, and is a great addition to your CV.
Here’s a few simple things you can learn:
1. Know your shortcuts
You probably already use Ctrl + c to copy and Ctrl + v to paste, but there are so many other shortcuts built into Excel to make your life easier and help you perform actions more quickly. Take a look at this list of Excel shortcuts from Microsoft.
2. Import website data
If you find a website with lots of useful data, you don’t have to manually enter it into a spreadsheet. Excel allows you to automatically import the data, and you can then edit the spreadsheet as you like.
Click File > Import External Data and click New Web Query. A new window will open with your browser homepage. Copy and paste the link of the website you want to import data from into the Address box, click ok and the data will be imported.
3. Auto filtering
Filtering a spreadsheet is important for analysing data, especially if you have a large and complex document. Click Data > Filter > Autofilter and choose how data is auto filtered to your specifications.
4. Calculate sum shortcut
You don’t need to manually enter a formula every time you want to calculate a sum. Just select the empty cell where you want the calculation to be, press Alt + = and then Tab, and Excel will automatically add up all preceding numbers in that column.
5. AutoCorrect and AutoFill
These helpful excel functions help you to work more quickly. AutoCorrect fixes any typos, and can be activated under the Tools tab. AutoFill really saves you time, especially with things like numbered lists. Find it in the Edit menu > Fill > Series.
6. Toggle data and formulas
If you have a spreadsheet that contains lots of formulas, it’s useful to be able to easily toggle between formulas and their results. Press Ctrl + ~ to toggle between data and formulas.
7. Page layout
If you will be printing your spreadsheet, you need to know what it will look like on an A4 page. On the Page Layout tab you can customise different things like page numbering, columns, page borders, etc to ensure that your printed document looks just as good as on screen.
You may be on forced downtime right now, but you can use it to improve your Excel spreadsheet skills and learn more about using this fantastic program more efficiently to benefit your studies and your future career!