Ever since Microsoft rolled out Excel – the software which transformed the way spreadsheets were dealt on computers, there have been numerous new features that have been included in the updated versions. This has been the industry standard for over 20 years now, totally making the then favorite Lotus 1-2-3 go completely obsolete.
Saying you have mastered Microsoft Excel without having complete command on every intricate feature that it offers would indeed be very, very misleading.
Excel is much more than just a brand everyone is familiar with. It has substantial features that anyone can ask for in a spreadsheet.
Although it is impossible to list all the cool features it offers, here are 5 cool features that are worth mentioning:
1. Navigate Masterly
You can’t match the speed of a dexterous keyboard user in Excel with your mouse. Navigation using the keyboard is much easier and Excel provides some shortcuts for the ease of the users. You can also select datasets in the form of entire rows or columns connected to a specific cell where you want to start from. All you have to do is hold Ctrl+Shift followed by either up, down, left or right navigational keys. You can use Ctrl+Shift+End to move the cursor to the lowest right hand cell that contains data, with selecting every cell in between.
2. Flash Fill
This is a very handy feature that has been included in the newer versions of Excel. Flash fill helps the user to smartly fill a column based on the pattern of data that it observes in the first column. If you want to edit the way the numbers or text are written in the cell, all you have to do is start typing. By the time you finish the second cell, Excel would most probably pick up the pattern and modify accordingly. However, this might take longer if the patterns are hard to recognize. This feature works with numbers, dates, names, et cetera. You can choose the “Flash Fill” button under the “Data” tab and all your work will be reduced to half.
This feature saves the humanity from mind numbing toil of moving the data cell-by-cell. Suppose you have a bunch of rows and columns which you need to exchange. This feature helps the user to transpose the rows and columns of the selected data. Choose “Paste Special”, and check the transpose box and witness all the magic in a flash. Paste Special is also used to copy data into a different or the same worksheet with some specific attributes of the copied data.
4. Save Your Personal Charts As templates
It is very difficult to find the exact type of chart from the numerous default charts available in Excel that fits in your presentational requirements. Fortunately, Excel saves the user from the trouble of recreating the chart all over again. All the user needs to do is save his chart as a template by right clicking on the chart and choosing “Save As Template” option once the chart is perfected. Once the chart gets saved, the user can go to the “Insert” tab, click on “Recommended Charts”, and then the “All Charts” tab, and then the “Templates” folder. Once the user reaches the Templates box, he can pick the one to use and then click ok.
5. Hiding A Sheet
Microsoft Excel also offers a feature to hide the worksheets just in case the workbook you’re working on gets too messy. It might get uncomfortable at times when you have to constantly switch between two specific sheets from a bunch of sheets for reference purposes. You can hide the sheets which are not required at the moment rather than deleting them by right clicking on the bottom sheet tab and then choosing the “Hide” option. You can unhide the sheets whenever you want by going to the “View” tab at the top, choose “Unhide”, and select the sheet name from the list that pops up on the screen.
I hope this post helped you in getting better and fast with MS Excel. If you didn't know all these things, you can thank me and if you knew these things already, do share this with your needful friends!
Microsoft Excel comes standard with every Microsoft Office purchase. You can also purchase it stand alone here.