Numerous Microsoft Excel Built-In Features to Improve Productivity
Various shortcuts are used daily by Microsoft Excel fans, like copy and paste and even auto-fill, but there are far more hidden gems inside Microsoft Excel just waiting to save you time – and time is money.
- Autocomplete – filling in a list automatically with suggestions based on data already entered in the same column, users have the option to hit the “enter” key to select the suggested entry. Alternatively, users can press “alt” and the down arrow key to see a full list of current entries in the column from which to choose
- Autocorrect – this feature can easily be described as the modern professional’s best friend, with Microsoft Excel detecting spelling errors and offering a best guess at what the user intended to type and making the correction immediately after the user types punctuation or hits the space bar
- Auto calculate – quickly check totals, averages, and other formulas applied to a highlighted range of cells, with the result visible in the lower right corner of the window
Your business has a lot of information, and organizing this data into spreadsheets gives the data more meaning: profits, customer orders, account information, and so much more. Your data is the key to insights about your customer base, your revenue, your operations, and Microsoft Excel helps you make sense from your raw data. Features within Microsoft Excel that allow your data manipulation to become automated save time, improve efficiency, and boost productivity.
Deeper Meaning in Your Data with Popular Features
Finding meaning in your data is easy when it’s organized in a way that gives greater insights into what it means to your business, and accomplishing this in the quickest way possible is ideal. Data is rarely perfectly presented in a way that holds meaning without further organization or manipulation, and a few clicks can deliver much deeper insight.
More automation and formatting features for your information include:
- Basics like sorting – highlighting a row or column and choose how you wish to sort: increasing, decreasing, alphabetically or numerically, and by date to name a few
- Quick Sum – highlighting a row or column and typing the “alt” key, then the + key, and then the + key will yield the sum formula result of the selected cells
- Data Filter – typing ctrl + shift + L
Perhaps the most popular feature in Microsoft Excel is the pivot table. You can create one quickly with a few simple steps:
- Select the cells with the information you want in your pivot table, making sure there are no empty rows or columns
- In your menu bar, select Insert -> Pilot Table
- When prompted to choose your data for analysis, opt for “Select table or range”
- Verify the cell range for “Table/Range”
- When prompted, you’ll need to decide if you want your pivot table to be in an existing worksheet or a new worksheet, and then the cell location for where the table will display
- When you click “OK”, your next step involves choosing fields for your pivot table and making it more meaningful as a way to present your data graphically
Spreadsheet applications have been around for decades, but Microsoft Excel is the dominant winner for modern professionals, packed with features and tools designed to support data mining and help businesses find more meaning in your data.