There are many different skill levels of people who use Excel. If you are a casual user of Excel you probably don’t know many of the advanced features of it. You probably also don’t know some of the basics just because of your infrequency of using it. Below I will list 5 Top tips that will improve the skills of every casual Excel user.
- Format all tables you make as Tables in Excel
This is a common one that most people do not do. Even more advanced users. When you set up a simple spreadsheet, you have column headings and data underneath it. But if you can format that as a Table, then you can get many added benefits with that table.
To do this, first make sure your table has no blank rows in it. Also check that you have column headings on each column. Then put your cursor anywhere on the table and go to the Home Tab and over to Format as Table and just pick any of the colors from the drop down.
This will then make Excel recognize your data as a Table. The benefits to this are:
- Easier to Sort and filter
- Extend formulas to all new records
- Make the charts you make from it dynamic
- Automatically names the table and expands as you add data
- Get Free Excel Templates all ready to use
Sometimes you don’t want to start a spreadsheet from scratch. Excel gives you many preset Excel templates all ready to use. Everything from calendars to budgets to invoices to receipts and more.
To do this, just go to File then New.
Then in the middle of the screen will be a list of template categories. Just click on one and you are set to go!
- Color Code your Excel Tabs
When you have a large spreadsheet, you might have many different sheets. So looking at the bottom of the screen at each tab can get confusing.
Excel lets you color these tabs, so you can group them by category and let’s you pick them out easier.
For example, you might want to color the tabs green that you need to enter data in daily. Color the tabs red that you use weekly and color them blue for reports.
So look at the below screenshots and see how color coding tabs can help. Which is better:
To do this, just right click on the tab and go to Tab Color and scroll over to the color wizard.
- Set up your Autosave
You don’t want to lose your work so you need to be sure Excel is set up to autosave your documents at regular intervals.
To do this, go to File then down to Options.
Then the Options wizard will open up. Click on the Save tab and then you will see the option to Autosave. Make sure that is checked and then you can enter in the number of minutes you want to set it at.
- Know your Filters
Setting up filters in Excel is the best way to go through data and find what you need. You may have a large list of data but if you filter it by certain criteria, you can get it to a manageable list which you can see better.
To do this, you can do it in two ways. The first is to format your data as a Table. This was Tip 1 above. That will put the filters on your column headings.
But if you didn’t do that, you can do this by putting your cursor on the column heading and go to Data tab and then Filter.
You can then click the drop down and see a list of all the data in that column with check boxes to the left. You can uncheck what you don’t want to see and only see what is checked.
So that is it for my list of 5 Tip Excel Tips. If you don’t use Excel every day, these are probably new to you and can be very helpful to improving the speed and efficiency of how you work in Excel!