Once we learn how to perform an action in Excel, we tend to continue to use the same method again and again. Sometimes, we know there must be an easier way to do a task, but it requires an initial investment of time and effort to find out how, so we continue to use the old method, that we know will get us there in the end!
Many of the most simple Excel tips and tricks are the most frequently used, and therefore the most useful. With this in mind, this page focuses on some of the simple Excel tips and tricks (including some of the most useful Excel keyboard shortcuts), that you might use on a daily basis.
If you spend just a few minutes learning these tips and tricks, you will, in the long-term, save hours of time when developing your spreadsheets. In just a short time, you will look back and wonder how you ever managed without them!
To freeze one or more rows of data at the top of your workbook, select the row below the row(s) that you want to freeze. Then, from the Excel menu at the top of your workbook :
If you want to view more than one page of a workbook, you can use the "New Window" option, which is located in the 'View' menu of Excel 2007/2010 or the 'Window' drop-down menu of Excel 2003. This opens up a second window for the current workbook, so that you can view different worksheets of the same workbook in one Excel viewer.
The best way to display both windows is to use Excel's automatic 'Arrange' command (again, located in the 'View' menu of Excel 2007/2010 or the 'Window' drop-down menu of Excel 2003). Alternatively, you could size the windows manually in the Excel viewer.
If you type a simple reference in your cell (eg. A1) and then decide you want to change this to be a relative reference, while your cell is still in edit mode, simply press F4.
To quickly move to the next worksheet in your workbook, use CTRL-PageDown (ie. press the CTRL key and while this is held down, press the PageDown button)
If you want to copy a function down to further rows, there are a number of ways to do this:
The fill handle is the tiny square on the bottom right of a selected cell or selected cell range. Use this to copy a function to other rows by either:
Pressing CTRL-D copies data, depending upon the current selection:
Therefore, in order to copy a function down to other rows in a spreadsheet, first select the range that you want to copy the cell down to including the original cell to be copied and then press CTRL-D
The copy and paste commands can be performed by the following shortcuts:
There are several ways to select a large range of cells. The most obvious is to simply highlight one cell and use the left mouse button to drag across the range you want to select. However, if you want to select hundreds of rows at a time, this can take forever! A number of faster methods are listed below:
The name box is situated on the top left of your Excel spreadsheet, and typically shows the address of the currently selected cell or cell range.
One way to select a range is to simply type the range into the Name Box. So, for example,
A combination of the CTRL key, the SHIFT key and the Arrow keys can be used to select ranges on your spreadsheet. The key combinations work as follows
|SHIFT ↓||-||Moves the current selected range down a row|
|SHIFT →||-||Moves the current selected range right by one column|
|CTRL-SHIFT ↓||-||Selects all cells below the current selection up to the next cell containing a value|
|CTRL-SHIFT →||-||Selects all cells to the right of the current selection up to the next cell containing a value|
The best way to familiarise yourself with these commands is to experiment with them.
For more Excel tips and tricks, visit the exceltips.com website