5 Tips to Use Excel More Efficiently

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

What about Excel? The majority of us, no matter our job, use spreadsheets in Excel. This program is a very robust business tool; here are some tips to boost your efficiency, which is sure to impress your boss.

  • Hiding Information: There may be an occasion when you want to hide certain information when printing an Excel spreadsheet. For instance, maybe your spreadsheet includes sensitive salary information. Luckily, you can tell Excel not to print certain rows or columns by hiding them before you hit print. To hide rows or columns, select the corresponding number or letter then right-click on a highlighted row or column and click the Hide option. You can then choose the Unhide option to bring these columns and rows back into view.
  • Timestamping: If you want to attach a date to your spreadsheet, you can use the Timestamp feature. Just hold Ctrl as you press the semicolon key. If you would like the current date and time hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys while pressing the semicolon.
  • A Better-Looking Spreadsheet: You can beautify a boring spreadsheet with Excel’s Themes option. You will find this option in Excel’s Ribbon. Simply click on it, and you’ll discover a number of different fonts and colors that you can use on your formerly boring spreadsheets.
  • Tracking Trends: The latest version of Excel includes a feature called Sparklines. By using this feature, you can create small charts that show trends in information. For instance, you could use Sparklines to instantly figure out how many software bundles each of your company’s salespeople sold in the first half of 2011.
  • Conditional Formatting: With conditional formatting, you can automatically change the look of spreadsheet cells that meet certain conditions. For example, a cell showing that product sales rose by more than 100 percent in a given month might take on a different hue so that it quickly stands out.

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