FAQ Tech Blog

7 Handy Excel Features

Continuing our series on tips for office, here are some handy tips when using Excel and its features

Conditionally Format

Looking at a huge amount of data and wondering who has the highest (or lowest) score, what the top five are? Excel’s Conditional Formatting will do everything from put a border around the highlights to colour coding the entire table. It’ll even build a graph into each cell so you can visualize the top and bottom of the range of numbers.

To activate highlight your data and click on Home > conditional formatting

AutoFill Your Cells

This is something that is easily overlooked. You start typing a series of repetitive data like dates (1/1/20, 1/2/20, 1/3/20, etc.) and you know it’s going to take a while. Instead, begin the series and move the cursor on the screen to the lower-right part of the last cell. When it turns into a plus sign (+), click and drag down to select all the cells you need to fill. They’ll magically fill using the pattern you started.

Here is a video on how to do this also.


Import a table from the internet or other program

Excel allows you to quickly import tables from the internet, without having to worry about formatting

Go to the Data tab, click on get data > From Web > type in the web address.

Validate Data

Creating a spreadsheet for others to use? Data Validation is an effective way to restrict data that is entered for example, give a date range, and people can’t enter any dates before or after what you specify. You can even create the error message they will see.

Highlight the cell, go to the Data tab, and click Data Validation. Under Allow select List in the Source field, type a list, with commas between the options.

Add without Formulas

Do you have numbers in a spreadsheet you want to quickly calculate without the hassle of going to a new cell and making a SUM formula for the job? Microsoft Excel provides a quick way to do that. All you need to do is click the first cell, hold down the Ctrl key, and click each cell you want to add up. Look at the status bar at the bottom and you will see the sum of the cells calculated for you.

Analysing data with ease

One of the most common tasks performed aside from adding data to a spreadsheet is analysing it. Microsoft Excel has a built-in feature specifically for this It’s called Analyze Data, and it can help you see trends and patterns in your data.

Import or add your data into the spreadsheet that you’d like to analyze, go to the Home tab, and click Analyze Data toward the right side of the ribbon.

This will bring up a side pane with visual options (graphs) and other ways to analyze your current data.

From this pane you can also ask Excel questions about your data for example how many sales of shirts was in January.

The Search Box Is Your Friend

Not sure where something is with in Excel’s menu systems? Simply just type what you are trying to find in the search bar, and it will show you options and take you straight to the tool to cut down time looking through the menus.

We have only touched on 7 of the functions and features within Excel in this article, if you would like to know more or require training in Excel or other office products then speak with one of our team on 0333 332 6600 and we can discuss your requirements.

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