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Step Up Your Game in Excel

Business Technology | April 6, 2012

Are you gunning for a raise or a promotion? Perhaps you simply want to stand out for job security. In either case, this can be done by impressing your supervisor, but how?

Why not consider Excel? This spreadsheet program might appear to be just a basic, albeit important, business tool, but the truth is there are several lesser-known Excel tips that can help you work more efficiently.

  • Hiding Information: Did you know that you can hide columns, instead of deleteing them, when printing a spreadsheet? This can be convenient, for example, if the spreadsheet has private information such as salary. In order to hide rows or columns, select the related number or letter of the row or column to highlight it, then right-click on the highlighted row or column and select the Hide option. You can Unhide a row or column in the same manner once you have printed or exhibited your spreadsheet.
  • Timestamping: You can attach a fixed date and time to your Excel spreadsheets utilizing your computer’s “Ctrl” key. To do this, hold Ctrl while you press the semicolon key. For the current date and time simply hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys while pushing the semicolon.
  • A Better-Looking Spreadsheet: Give your spreadsheet a fresh look by using Excel’s Themes option. You will find this in the Excel Ribbon, at the top. Click it, and you’ll be given a huge selection of fonts, and color schemes that you may apply to your spreadsheet. It’s also possible to make your own!
  • Tracking Trends: This is only applicable if you have a more recent version of Excel. The feature is called Sparklines and with it you can create charts that show trends in the information in your spreadsheet. One way you can use this is to quickly and easily see how many software bundles your company’s salespeople sold in the first quarter of 2011.
  • Conditional Formatting: This allows you to format only specific cells, you can select a criteria, and any cells that fall within it will be a certain color. This feature will be helpful to get a quick visual read of your spreadsheet.


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