Microsoft Excel is one tool that many people will like not to use. There is this wide perception of how difficult and complicated it is to use. However, don’t be deceived. There are simple things you can do with this amazing tool that will blow your mind away– and I bet you didn’t know.
Excel is an extremely useful tool and makes work much easier. Once you are able to notice a few buttons you should click, holala! You are good to go. You don’t really need to be an expert to do little things with Microsoft Excel.
Actually, there are a lot of supportive tricks and tools you can use—regardless of whether you’re an aggregate beginner or a built up master. Here are a few things you ought to completely know how to do in Excel (and, believe me, you’ll be happy you do!).
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1. Sort data
Commonly, spreadsheets are helpful for putting away and arranging an entire group of data—think a contact list for 800 individuals that you need to welcome to your organization’s lunch get-together, for instance.
Presently, suppose that you need to sort those individuals in like manner. Maybe you need them recorded in sequential order arrange by last name. Or then again, perhaps you need to gather them together by city.
Excel makes it simple to search over your whole informational collection and sort everything into a perfect and simple to peruse spreadsheet.
Here’s how you do it:
- Highlight the entire data set you want to sort (not just one column!) by either dragging your cursor across all of the cells or clicking the triangle in the upper left of your spreadsheet to select the entire thing.
- Hit the “Data” tab.
- Click the “Sort” button.
- Select how you want to sort your data (in the example below, I sorted by city!).
- Hit “OK.”
Then, your data will be sorted accordingly—in this case, alphabetical order by city.
IMPORTANT NOTE: It’s important that you select the entire data set you want to sort, and not just one column. That way, your rows will stay intact—meaning, in this case, the correct address will stay with the appropriate person.
2. Remove duplicates
It’s inevitable: When you’re working with a large dataset, there are bound to be a few duplicates that sneak their way in.
Rather than getting bleary-eyed and frustrated by scrolling through that entire spreadsheet and looking for them yourself, Excel can do all of that legwork for you and remove duplicates with the click of a button.
- Highlight the entire data set.
- Hit the “Data” tab.
- Click the “Remove Duplicates” button.
- Select what columns you want Excel to find duplicates in.
- Hit “OK.”
IMPORTANT NOTE: Be careful that you choose enough qualifiers to weed out the true duplicates. For example, if I had just selected to remove duplicates in only Column A above (meaning Excel would’ve looked for duplicates of “Oprah”), I would’ve deleted one Oprah that indeed had the same address, but one that had a different last name and address altogether (a different Oprah entirely!)
3. Basic math functions
Among all the things on your study table/workstation, don’t add a calculator–Microsoft Excel has got your back! You can perform basic mathematics calculations with just a few clicks.
Here are the basic formulas you’ll want to know:
- Addition: Type “SUM=” in a blank cell where you want the total to appear, click the cells you want to add together, and then hit “Enter.”
- Subtraction: Type “=” in a blank cell where you want the difference to appear, click the cell you want to subtract from, type “-”, click the cell you want to subtract, and then hit enter.
- Multiplication: Type “=” in a blank cell where you want the total to appear, click the cell for a number you want to multiply, type “*”, click the cell for the other number you want to multiply, and then hit enter.
- Division: Type “=” in a blank cell where you want the remainder to appear, click the cell for the number you want to divide, type “/”, click the cell for the number you want to divide by, and then hit enter.
INSIDER TIP: If you want to drag the same mathematical formula across a row, you can! After entering the formula into one cell, click that cell where the total appeared, click the little green box that appears in the lower right-hand corner, and drag it across the rest of the row where you need that formula to be applied.
Voila—it’ll happen automatically! You’ll be able to crunch numbers in different columns, without needing to enter the formula again and again.
4. Insert current date
In case you are working and the need arises for you to insert the current date, you don’t have to go to the right bottom corner of your screen to look at your calender and type everything over in your spreadsheet.
Just press the ctrl button together with : and you are good to go.
Ctrl + ;
Put your cursor in the cell where you want the date to appear, use that shortcut, and Excel will automatically fill in today’s date for you. Easy peasy!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Dates entered using that function are static, meaning they won’t change as your spreadsheet ages unless you do it manually by repeating the process.
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