Advanced Excel Tips and Tricks PDF 2023. As an expert in Microsoft Excel, I can suggest some advanced tips and tricks that you can use to improve your productivity and efficiency when working with Excel.
1. Add Serial Numbers
If you work with large data then it’s better to add a serial number column to it. For me, the best way to do this is to apply the table (Control + T) to the data and then add 1 in the above serial number, just like below.
To do this, you simply need to add 1 to the first cell of the column and then create a formula to add 1 to the above cell’s value. As you are using a table, whenever you create a new entry in the table, Excel will automatically drop down the formula and you will get the serial number.
2. Insert Current Date and Time
The best way to insert the current date and time is to use the NOW function which takes the date and time from the system and returns it.
The only problem with this function is it’s volatile, and whenever you recalculate something it updates its value. And if you don’t want to do this, the best way is to convert it to hard value. You can also use the below VBA code.
Sub timestamp() Dim ts As Date With Selection .Value = Now .NumberFormat = "m/d/yyyy h:mm:ss AM/PM" End With End Sub
Or these methods to insert a timestamp in a cell.
3. Select Non-Continues Cells
Normally we all do it this way, hold the control key, and select cells one by one. But I have found that there is a far better way for this. All you have to do is, select the first cell and then press SHIFT + F8.
This gives you add or remove selection mode in which you can select cells just by selecting them.
4. Sort Buttons
If you deal with data that needs to sort frequently then it’s better to add a button to the quick access toolbar (if it’s not there already).
All you need to do is click on the down arrow on the quick access toolbar and then select “Sort Ascending” and “Sort Descending”. It adds both buttons to the QAT.
5. Move Data
I’m sure you think about copy-paste but you can also use drag-drop for this.
Simply select the range where you have data and then click on the border of the selection. By holding it move to the place where you need to put it.
6. Status Bar
The status bar is always there but we hardly use it to the full. If you right-click on it, you can see there are a lot of options you can add.
There is a problem with normal copy-paste that you can only use a single value at a time.
But here is the kicker: When you copy a value, it goes to the clipboard and if you open the clipboard you can paste all the values which you have copied. To open a clipboard, click on the go to Home Tab ➜ Editing and then click on the down arrow.
It will open the clipboard on the left side, and you can paste values from there.
8. Bullet Points
The easiest way to insert bullet points in Excel is by using custom formatting and here are the steps for this:
- Press Ctrl + 1 and you will get the “Format Cell” dialogue box.
- Under the number tab, select custom.
- In the input bar, enter the following formatting.
- ● General;● General;● General;● General
- In the end, click OK.
Now, whenever you enter a value in the cell Excel will add a bullet before that.
9. Worksheet Copy
To create a copy of a worksheet in the same workbook drag and drop in the best way.
You just need to click and hold the mouse on the sheet’s name tab and then drag and drop it, to the left or right, where you want to create a copy.
Just like sort buttons you can also add undo and redo buttons to the QAT. The best part about those buttons is you can use them to undo a particular activity without pressing the shortcut key again and again.
If you deal with financial data, then auto format can be one of your best tools. It simply applies the format to small as well as large data sets (especially when data is in tabular form).
- First of all, you need to add it to the quick access toolbar (here are the steps).
- After that, whenever you need to apply the format, just select the data where you want to apply it and click on the AUTO FORMAT button from the quick access toolbar.
- It will show you a window to select the formatting type and after selecting that click OK.
The AUTOFORMAT is a combination of six different formattings and you have the option to disable any of them while applying it.
12. Format Painter
The simple idea with the format painter is to copy and paste formatting from one section to another. Let’s say you have specific formatting (Font Style and Color, Background Color to a Cell, Bold, Border, etc.) in the range B2:D7, and with format painter, you can copy that formatting to range B9: D14 with a click.
- First of all, select the range B2:D7.
- After that, go to the Home Tab ➜ Clipboard and then click on “Format Painter”.
- Now, select cell C1 and it will automatically apply the formatting on B9: D14.
The format painter is fast and makes it easy to apply to format from one section to another.
13. Cell Message
Let’s say you need to add a specific message to a cell, like “Don’t delete the value”, “enter your name” or something like that.
In this case, you can add a cell message for that particular cell. When the user will select that cell, it will show the message you have specified. Here are the steps to do this:
- First, select the cell to which you want to add a message.
- After that, go to the Data Tab ➜ Data Tools ➜ Data Validation ➜ Data Validation.
- In the data validation window, go to the Input Message tab.
- Enter the title, and message, and make sure to tick mark “Show input message when the cell is selected”.
- In the end, click OK.
Once the message is shown you can drag and drop it to change its position.
Unlike Word, in Excel, there is no option on the ribbon to apply strikethrough. But I have figured out that there are 5 ways to do it and the easiest of all of them is a keyboard shortcut.
All you need to do is select the cell where you want to apply the strikethrough and use the below keyboard shortcut.
Ctrl + 5
And if you are using MAC then:
⌘ + ⇧ + X
Quick Note: You can use the same shortcut keys if you need to do this for partial text.
15. Add Barcode
It is one of those secret tips that most Excel users are unaware of. To create a bar-code in Excel all you need to do is install this bar-code font from ID-AUTOMATIC.
Once you install this font, you will have to type the number in a cell for which you want to create a bar code and then apply the font style.
16. Month Name
Alright, let’s say you have a date in a cell, and you want that date to show as a month or a year. For this, you can apply custom formatting.
- First, select the cell with a date and open formatting options (use Ctrl + 1).
- Select the “Custom” option and add “MMM” or “MMMMMM” for the month or “YYYY” for the year format.
- In the end, click OK.
Custom formatting just changes the formatting of the cell from date to year/month, but the value remains the same.
17. Highlight Blank Cells
When you work with large data sheets it’s hard to identify the blank cells. So, the best way is to highlight them by applying a cell color.
- First, select all the data from the worksheet using the shortcut key Ctrl + A.
- After that, go to Home Tab ➜ Editing ➜ Find & Select ➜ Go to Special.
- From Go to Special dialog box, select Blank and click OK.
- At this point, you have all the blank cells selected and now apply a cell color using font settings.
…but you can also use conditional formatting for this
18. Font Color with Custom Formatting
In Excel, we can apply custom formatting and in custom formatting, there is an option to use font colors (limited but useful).
For example, if you want to use the Green color for positive numbers and the red color for negative numbers then you need to use the custom format.
- First, select the cells where you want to apply this format.
- After that open the format option using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + 1 and go to the “Custom” category and the custom format in the input dialogue box.
- In the end, click OK.
19. Theme Color
We all have some favorite fonts and colors which we use in Excel. Let’s say you received a file from your colleague and now you want to change the font and colors for the worksheet from that file. The point is, you need to do this one by one for each worksheet and that takes time.
But if you create a custom theme with your favorite colors and fonts then you can change the style of the worksheet with a single click. For this, all you have to do is apply your favorite designs to the tables, colors to the shapes and charts, and font style, and then save it as a custom theme.
- Go to the Page Layout Tab ➜ Themes ➜ Save Current Theme. It opens a “Save As” dialogue box, names your theme, and saves it.
- And now, every time you need just one click to change any worksheet style to your custom style.
20. Clear Formatting
This is a simple keyboard shortcut that you can use to clear formatting from a cell or range of cells.
Alt ➜ H ➜ E ➜ F
Or, otherwise, you can also use the clear formatting option from the Home Tab (Home Tab ➜ Editing ➜ Clear ➜ Formats).
21. Sentence Case
In Excel, we have three different functions (LOWER, UPPER, and PROPER) to convert text into different cases. But there is no option to convert a text into a sentence case. Here is the formula which you can use:
This formula converts the first letter of a sentence into capital and the rest all in small (learn how this formula works).
22. Random Numbers
In Excel, there are two specific functions that you can use to generate random numbers. First is RAND which generates random numbers between 0 and 1.
And second is RANDBETWEEN which generates random numbers within the range of two specific numbers.
ALERT: These functions are volatile so whenever you re-calculate your worksheet or hit enter, they update their values so make sure to use them with caution. You can also use RANDBETWEEN to generate random letters and random dates.
23. Count Words
In Excel, there is no specific function to count words. You can count characters with LEN but not words. But, you can use the following formula which can help you to count words from a cell.
This formula counts the number of spaces from a cell and adds 1 to it after that which equals the total number of words in a cell.
24. Calculate the Age
The best way to calculate a person’s age is by using the DATEDIF. This mysterious function is specifically made to get the difference between a date range.
And the formula will be:
=”Your age is “& DATEDIF(Date-of-Birth,Today(),”y”) &” Year(s), “& DATEDIF(Date-of-Birth,TODAY(),”ym”)& ” MONTH(s) & “& DATEDIF(Date-of-Birth,TODAY(),”md”)& ” Day(s).”
25. Calculate the Ratio
I have figured out that there are four different ways to calculate the ratio in Excel but using a simple divide method is the easiest one. All you need to do is divide the larger number into the smaller ones and concatenate it with a colon and one and here’s the formula you need to use:
This formula divides the larger number by the smaller one so that you can take the smaller number as a base (1).
26. Root of Number
To calculate the square root, cube root, or any root of a number the best way is to use the exponent formula. In the exponent formula, you can specify the Nth number for which you want to calculate the root.
For example, if you want to calculate a square root of 625 then the formula will be:
27. Days in a Month
To get a total number of days in a month dynamically you can use the following formula:
28. Month’s Last Date
To simply get the last date of a month you can use the following dynamic formula.
29. Reverse VLOOKUP
As we all know there is no way to look up to left for a value using VLOOKUP. But if you switch to INDEX MATCH you can look up in any direction.
30. SUMPRODUCT IF
You can use the below formula to create a conditional SUMPRODUCT and product values using a condition.
31. Smooth Line
If you love to use a line chart, then you are awesome but it would be more awesome if you use a smooth line in the chart. This will give a smart look to your chart.
- Select the data line in your chart and right-click on it.
- Select “Format Data Series”.
- Go to Fill & Line ➜ Line ➜ Tick mark “Smoothed Line”.
32. Chart Formatting
Copy Chart Format in Excel
33. Hide Axis Labels
This charting tip is simple but still quite functional. If you don’t want to show axis label values in your chart you can delete them. But the better way is to hide them instead of deleting them. Here are the steps:
- Select the Horizontal/Vertical axis in the chart.
- Go to “Format Axis” Labels.
- In the label position, select “None”.
And again, if you want to show it then just select “Next to axis”.
34. Display Units
If you are dealing with large numbers in your chart, you can change the units for axis values.
- Select the chart axis of your chart and open the format “Format Axis” options.
- In axis options, go to “Display Units” where you can select a unit for your axis values.
35. Round Corner
I often use Excel charts with rounded corners and if you like to use round corners too, here are the simple steps.
- Select your chart and open formatting options.
- Go to Fill and Line ➜ Borders.
- In borders sections, tick mark rounded corners.
36. Hide Gap
Let’s say you have a chart with monthly sales in which June has no amount and the cell is empty. You can use the following options for that empty cell.
- Show the gap for the empty cell.
- Use zero.
- Connect data points with the line.
Here are the steps to use these options.
- Right, click on your chart & select “Select Data”.
- In the select data window, click on “Hidden and Empty Cell”.
- Select your desired option from “Show Empty Cell as”.
Make sure to use “Connect data points with the line” (recommended).
37. Pictograph in Excel
How to Create a Pictograph in Excel
38. Chart Template
Let’s say you have a favorite chart formatting you want to apply every time you create a new chart. You can create a chart template to use anytime in the future and the steps are as follow.
- Once you have done with your favorite formatting, right-click on it & select “Save As Template”.
- Using the save as dialog box, save it in the template folder.
- To insert a new one with your favorite template, select it from templates in the insert chart dialog.
39. Default Chart
You can use a shortcut key to insert a chart, but the problem is, it will only insert the default chart, and in Excel, the default chart type is “Column Chart”. So if your favorite chart is a line chart, then the shortcut is useless for you. But let’s conquer this problem. Here are the steps to fix this:
- Go to Insert Tab ➜ Charts.
- Click on the arrow at the bottom right corner.
- Then in your insert chart window, go to “All Charts” and then select the chart category.
- Right, click on the chart style you want to make your default Select “Set as Default Chart”.
- Click OK.
40. Hidden Cells
When you hide a cell from the data range of a chart, it will hide that data point from the chart as well. To fix this, just follow these steps.
- Select your chart and right-click on it.
- Go to ➜ Select Data ➜ Hidden and empty cells.
- From the pop-up window, tick the mark “Show data in hidden rows and columns”.
41. Print Titles
Let’s say you have headings on your table, and you want to print those headings on every page you print. In this case, you can fix “Print Titles” to print those headings on each page.
- Go to “Page Layout Tab” ➜ Page Set Up ➜ Click on Print Titles.
- Now in the page setup window go to the sheet tab and specify the following things.
- Print Area: Select the entire data which you want to print.
- Rows to repeat at the top: Heading row(s) which you want to repeat on every page.
- Columns to repeat at the left: Column(s) which you want to repeat at the left side of every page (if any).
42. Page Order
Specifying the page order is quite useful when you want to print large data.
- Go to File Tab ➜ Print ➜ Print Setup ➜ Sheets Tab.
- Now here, you have two options:
- The First Option: To print your pages using a vertical order.
- The Second Option: To print your pages using a horizontal order.
43. Print Comments
If you add comments to your reports then you can print them as well. At the end of all printed pages, you can get a list of all the comments.
- Go to File Tab ➜ Print ➜ Print Setup ➜ Sheets Tab.
- In the print section, select “At the end of the sheet” using the comment dropdown.
- Click OK.
44. Scale to Fit
Sometimes we struggle to print entire data on a single page. In this situation, you can use the “Scale to Fit” option to adjust the entire data into a single page.
- Go to File Tab ➜ Print ➜ Print Setup ➜ Page Tab.
- Next, you need to adjust two options:
- Adjust % of normal size.
- Specify the number of pages in which you want to adjust your entire data using width and length.
45. Custom Header-Footer
Instead of using the page number in the header and footer, you can also use a custom header and footer.
- Go to File Tab ➜ Print ➜ Print Setup ➜ Header/Footer.
- Click on the custom header or footer button.
- Here you can select the alignment of the header/footer.
- And the following options can be used:
- Page Number
- Page Number with total pages.
- File Path
- File Name
- Sheet Name
46. Center on Page
Imagine you have less data to print on a page. In this case, you can align it at the center of the page while printing.
- Go to File Tab ➜ Print ➜ Print Setup ➜ Margins.
- In “Center on Page” you have two options to select.
- Horizontally: Aligns data to the center of the page.
- Vertically: Aligns data to the middle of the page.
Before printing a page make sure to see the changes in the print preview.
47. Print Area
The simple way to print a range is to select that range and use the option “print selection”. But what if you need to print that range frequently, in that case, you can specify the printing area and print it without selecting it every time.
Go to the Page Layout Tab, click on the Print Area drop-down, and after that, click on the Set Print Area option.
48. Custom Margin
- Go to File Tab ➜ Print.
- Once you click on print, you’ll get an instant print preview.
- Now from the bottom right side of the window, click on the “Show Margins” button.
It will show all the margins applied and you can change them just by dragging and dropping.
49. Error Values
You can replace all the error values while printing with a specific value (three other values to use as a replacement).
- Go to File Tab ➜ Print ➜ Print Setup ➜ Sheet.
- Select the replacement value from the “Cell error as” dropdown.
- You have three options to use as a replacement.
- Double minus sign.
- “#N/A” error for all the errors.
- After selecting the replacement value, click OK.
I believe using a “Double minus sign” is the best way to present errors in a report while printing it on a page.
50. Custom Start Page Number
If you want to start the page number from a custom number let’s say 5. You can specify that number and the rest of the pages will follow that sequence.
- Go to File Tab ➜ Print ➜ Print Setup ➜ Page.
- In the input box “First page Number”, enter the number from where you want to start the page number.
- In the end, click OK.
This option will only work if you have applied the header/footer in your worksheet.
51. Tracking Important Cells
Sometimes we need to track some important cells in a workbook and for this, the best way is to use the watch window. In the watch window, you add those important cells and then get some specific information about them in one place (without navigating to each cell).
- First, go to Formula Tab ➜ Formula Auditing ➜ Watch Window.
- Now in the “Watch Window” dialog box, click on “Add Watch”.
- After that select the cell or range of cells that you want to add and click OK.
Once you hit OK, you’ll get some specific information about the cell(s) in the watch window.
52. Flash Fill
Flash fill is one of my favorite options to use in Excel. It’s like a copycat, perform the task which you have performed. Let me give you an example.
Here are the steps to use it: You have dates in the range A1: A10 and now, you want to get the month from the dates in the B column.
All you need to do is to type the month of the first date in cell B1 and then come down to cell B2 and press the shortcut key CTRL + E. Once you do this it will extract the month from the rest of the dates, just like below.
53. Combine Worksheets
I’m sure somewhere in the past you have received a file from your colleague where you have 12 different worksheets for 12 months of data. In this case, the best solution is to combine all of those worksheets using the “Consolidate” option, and here are the steps for this.
- First, add a new worksheet and then go to Data Tab ➜ Data Tools ➜ Consolidate.
- Now in the “Consolidate” window, click on the upper arrow to add the range from the first worksheet and then click on the “Add” button.
- Next, you need to add references from all the worksheets using the above step.
- In the end, click OK.
54. Protect a Workbook
Adding a password to a workbook is quite simple, here are the steps.
- While saving a file when you open a “Save As” dialog box go to Tools General Options.
- Add a password to “Password to Open” and click OK.
- Re-enter the password and click OK again.
- In the end, save the file.
Now, whenever you re-open this file it will ask you to enter the password to open it.
55. Live Image
In Excel, using a live image of a table can help you resize it according to space, and to create a live image there are two different ways in which you can use it.
One is camera tools and the second is the paste special option. Here are the steps to use the camera tool and for paste special use the below steps.
- Select the range you want to paste as an image and copy it.
- Go to the cell and right-click, where you want to paste it.
- Go to Paste Special ➜ Other Paste ➜ Options Linked Picture.
A few of the Excel users know that there is a default data entry form is there which we can use. And the best part is there is no need to write a single line of code for this.
Here’s how to use it:
- First of all, make sure you have a table with headings where you want to enter the data.
- After that select any of the cells from that table and use the shortcut key Alt + D + O + O to open the user form.
57. Custom Tab
We all have some favorite options or some options which we use frequently. To access all those options in one place you create a tab and add them to it.
- First, go to File Tab ➜ Options ➜ Customize Ribbon.
- Now click on “New Tab” (this will add a new tab).
- After that right-click on it and name it and then name the group.
- Finally, we need to add options to the tab and for this go to “Choose Commands From” and add them to the tab one by one.
- In the end, click OK.
58. Goal Seek
In simple words, Goal Seek is a problem-solving tool. It helps you find the input value by proving the value you want in the result.
…here is the complete guide to learning about it.
59. Text to Speech
This is an option where you can make Excel speak the text you have entered into a cell or a range of cells.
60. Named Range
To create a named range the easiest method is to select the range and create it using the “Create from Selection” option. Here are the steps to do this:
- Select the column/row for which you want to create a named range.
- Right-click and click on “Define name…”.
- Select the option to add the name for the named range and click OK.
TRIM can help you to remove extra spaces from a text string. Just refer to the cell from where you want to remove the spaces and it will return the trimmed value in the result.
62. Remove Duplicates
One of the most common things we face while working with large data is “Duplicate Values”. In Excel, removing these duplicate values is quite simple. Here’s how to do this.
- First, select any of the cells from the data or select the entire data.
- After that, go to Data ➜ Data Tools ➜ Remove Duplicates.
- At this point, you have the “Remove Duplicates” window, and from this window, select/de-select the columns which you want to consider/not consider while removing duplicate values.
- In the end, click OK.
Once you click OK, Excel will remove all the rows from the selected data where values are duplicates and show a message with the number of values removed and unique values left.
63. Combine Text (Fill Justify)
Let’s say you have words in the range A1: A5 and you want to concatenate all of them in a single cell.
- First, make column A enough wide so that the entire text can be combined into one cell.
- After that, select the entire range.
- Now, go to Home Tab ➜ Editing ➜ Fill ➜ Justify.
64. Remove Specific Character
In the range, A1: A5 and you want to concatenate all of them in a single cell. Here’s how to do this with fill justify.
- All you need to do is select that column and open the find and replace dialog box.
- After that click on the “Replace” tab.
- Now here, in “Find What” enter the character you want to replace and make sure to leave “Replace with” blank.
- Now click on “Replace All”.
The moment you click on “Replace All” Excel will remove that particular character from the entire column.
65. Combine Text
So, you have text in multiple cells, and you want to combine all the text into one cell. No, this time not with fill justify. We are doing it with TEXT JOIN. If you use Office 365, there is a new function TEXTJOIN which is a game-changer when it comes to the concatenation of text.
Here’s the syntax:
TEXTJOIN(delimiter, ignore_empty, text1, [text2], …)
All you need to do is to add a delimiter (if any), and TRUE if you want to ignore empty cells, and in the end, refer to the range.
66. Unpivot Data
Look at the below table, you can use it as a report but you can’t use it further as raw data. No, you can’t. But if you convert this table to something like the one below you can use it easily anywhere.
But if you convert this table into something like the one below you can use it easily anywhere. So how to do this?
here are the simple steps you need to follow.
67. Delete Error Cells
Mostly while working with large data it is obvious to have error values but it’s not good to keep them. The easiest way to deal with these error values is to select them and delete them and these are the simple steps.
- First of all, go to Home Tab ➜ Editing ➜ Find & Replace ➜ Go To Special.
- In the Go To dialog box, select formula, and tick mark errors.
- In the end, click OK.
Once you click OK it will select all the errors and then you can simply delete all by using the “Delete” button.
68. Arrange Columns
Let’s say you want to arrange columns from the data using custom order. The normal way is to cut and paste them one by one.
But we also have an out-of-the-box way. In Excel, you can sort columns just like you sort rows and by using the same methods you can arrange them in a custom order.
⇢ Complete Tip
69. Convert to Date
Sometimes you have dates that are stored as text and you can use them in a calculation and further analysis. To simply convert them back to valid dates you can use the DATEVALUE function.
Other ways to convert text to date
70. Negative to Positive
The easiest way to convert a negative number into a positive is by using the.
71. Format Painter
Before I started to use format painter for applying cell formatting, I was using paste special with the shortcut key.
- Select the cell or a range from where you want to copy cell formatting.
- Go to ➜ the Home Tab ➜ Clipboard.
- Make double-click on the “Format Painter” button.
- As soon as you do this, your cursor will convert into a paintbrush.
- You can apply that formatting anywhere in your worksheet, in another worksheet, or, even in another workbook.
72. Rename a Worksheet
I always found it quicker than using a shortcut key to change the name of a worksheet. All you have to do is just double-click on the sheet tab and enter a new name.
Let me tell you why this method is faster than using a shortcut. Suppose if want to rename more than one worksheet using a shortcut key.
Before you change the name of a worksheet, you need to activate it. But if you use the mouse it will automatically activate that worksheet and edit the name with only two clicks.
73. Fill Handle
I am sure shortcut addicts always use a shortcut key to drag formulas and values in downward cells. But using a fill handle is more impressive than using a shortcut key.
- Select the cell in which you have a formula or a value that you want to drag.
- Make a double click on the small square box at the right bottom of the cell selection border.
This method only works if you have values in the corresponding column and it works only in the vertical direction.
74. Hide Ribbon
If you want to work in a distraction-free mode, you can do this by collapsing your Excel ribbon.
Just make double-click on the active tab in your ribbon and it will collapse the ribbon. And if you want to expand it back just double-click on it again.
75. Edit a Shape
You often use shapes in our worksheets to present some messages and you have to insert some text into those shapes. Besides the typical method, you can use a double click to edit a shape and insert the text into it.
You can also use this method to edit and enter text in a text box or into a chart title.
76. Column Width
Whenever you have to adjust the column width you can double-click on the right edge of the column header. It auto-sets the column width according to the column data.
The same method can be used to auto-adjust row width.
77. Go to the Last Cell
This trick can be useful if you are working with a large dataset. By using a double click, you can go to the last cell in the range which has data.
You have to click on the right edge of the active cell to go to the right side and on the left edge if you want to go to the left side.
78. Chart Formatting
If you use Control + 1 to open formatting options to format a chart, then I bet you’ll love this trick. All you have to do is just make double-click on the border of the graph to open the formatting option.
79. Pivot Table Double Click
Let’s say someone sent you a pivot table without the source data. As you already know Excel stores data in a pivot cache before creating a pivot table.
You can extract data from a pivot table by double-clicking on data values. As soon as you do this Excel will insert a new worksheet with the data which has been used in the pivot table.
80. Drag Drop Menu
There is a right-click drop-down menu in Excel that few users know about. To use this menu all you need to do is select a cell or a range of the cell and then right-click and while holding it, drop the selection to somewhere else.
81. Default File Saving Location
Normally while working on Excel I create more than 15 Excel files every day. And, if I save each of these files to my desktop it looks nasty. To solve this problem, I have changed my default folder for saving a workbook, and here’s you can do this.
- First, go to the File tab and open Excel options.
- In Excel options, go to the “Save” category.
- Now, there is an input bar where you can change the default local file location.
- From this input bar, change the location address and in the end, click OK.
From now onward, when you open the “Save As” dialog box Excel will show you the location you have specified.
82. Disable Start Screen
I’m sure just like me you hate when you open Microsoft Excel (or any other Office app) and you see the start pop-up screen. It takes time depending on your system’s speed and the add-ins you have installed. Here are the steps to disable the start-up screen in Microsoft Office.
- First, go to the File tab and open Excel options.
- In Excel options, go to the “General” category.
- From the option, drill down to the “Start-Up” options and un-tick the “Show the Start screen when this application starts”.
- In the end, click OK.
From now onward, whenever you start Excel it will directly open the workbook without showing the start-up screen.
83. Developer Tab
Before you start writing VBA codes the first thing you need to do is to enable the “Developer Tab”. When you first install Microsoft Excel, a developer wouldn’t be there. So, you need to enable it from the settings.
- First, go to the File tab and click on the “Customize Ribbon” category.
- Now from the tab list, tick marks the developer tab and click OK.
Now when you come back to your Excel window, you’ll have a developer tab on the ribbon.
84. Enable Macros
When you open a macro-enabled file, you need to enable macro options to run VBA codes. Follow these simple steps:
- First, go to the File tab and click on the “Trust Center” category.
- From here click on “Trust Center Settings”.
- Now in “Trust Center Settings”, click on macro settings.
- After that, click on “Enable all macros with Notifications”.
- In the end, click OK.
85. AutoCorrect Option
If you do a lot of data entry in Excel, then this option can be a game-changer for you. With the auto-correct option, you can tell Excel to change a text string into another when you type it.
Let me tell you an example:
My name is “Puneet” but sometimes people write it like “Punit” but the correct spelling is the first one. So, what I can do is, use autocorrect and tell Excel to change “Punit” into “Puneet”. Follow these simple steps:
- First, go to the File tab and go to options and click on the “Proofing” category.
- After that, click on “AutoCorrect Option” and this will open the auto-correct window.
- Here in this window, you have two input bars to specify the text to replace and text to replace with.
- Enter both values and then click OK.
86. Custom List
Just think like this, you have a list of 10 products that you sell. Whenever you need to insert those product names you can insert them using a custom list. Let me tell you how to do this:
- First, go to the File tab and go to options and click on the “Advanced” category.
- Now, drill down and go to the “General” section and click on “Edit Custom List…”.
- Now in this window, you can enter the list, or you can also import it from a range of cells.
In the end, click OK.
Now, to enter the custom list you have just created, enter the first entry of the list in the cell and then drill down that cell using the fill handle.
87. Apply Table
If you use pivot tables a lot then it’s important to apply the table to the raw data. With a table, there is no need to update the pivot table’s data source, and it drag-down formulas automatically when you add a new entry.
To apply the table to the data just use Ctrl + T keyboard shortcut key and click OK.
88. Gridline Color
If you are not happy with the default color of cell gridlines then you can simply change it with a few clicks and follow these simple steps for this:
- First, go to the File tab and click on the “Advanced” category.
- Now, go to the “Display options for this workbook” section and select the color you want to apply.
- In the end, click OK.
89. Pin to Taskbar
This is one of my favorite one-time sets up to save time in the long run. The thing is instead of going to the start menu to open Microsoft Excel, the best way is to point it to the taskbar.
This way you can open it by clicking on the icon from the taskbar.
90. Macro to QAT
If you have a macro code that you need to use frequently. Well, the easiest way to run a macro code is to add it to the Quick Access Toolbar.
- First, go to the File tab and click on the “Quick Access Toolbar” category.
- After that, from “Choose Command from”, select Macros.
- Now select the macro (you want to add to QAT) and click on add.
- From here click on “Modify” and select an icon for the macro button.
- In the end, click OK.
Now you have a button on QAT that you can use to run the macro code you have just specified.
91. Select Formula Cells
Let’s say you want to convert all the formulas into values and the cells where you have formulas are non-adjacent. So instead of selecting each cell one by one, you can select all the cells where you have a formula. Here are the steps:
- First, go to Home Tab ➜ Editing ➜ Find & Select ➜ Go To Special.
- In the “Go To Special” dialog box, select formulas and click OK.
92. Multiply using Paste Special
To do some one-time calculations you can use the paste special option and save yourself from writing formulas.
93. Highlight Duplicate Values
Well, you can use a VBA code to highlight values but the easiest way is to use conditional formatting. Here are the steps you need to follow:
- First of all, select the range where you want to highlight the duplicate values.
- After that, go to Home Tab ➜ Styles ➜ Highlight Cells Rule ➜ Duplicate Values.
- Now from the dialog box, select the color to use and click OK.
Once you click OK, all the duplicate values will get highlighted.
94. Quick Analysis Tool
If you ever noticed that when you select a range of cells in Excel, a small icon at the bottom of the selection appears? This icon is called the “Quick Analysis Tool”.
When you click on this icon you can see some of the options which are there on the ribbon which you can directly use from here to save time.
95. RUN Command
Yes, you can also open your Excel application using the RUN command.
- For this, all you have to do is open RUN (Window Key + R) and then type “excel” into it.
- In the end, hit enter.
96. Open Specific File
I’m sure like me you also have a few or maybe one of those kinds of workbooks that you open every day when you start working on Excel. There is an option in Excel which you can use to open a specific file(s) whenever you start Excel in your system. Here are the steps.
- Go to File ➜ Options ➜ Advanced ➜ General.
- In general, enter the location (yes, you have to type) of the folder where you have those file(s) in “At startup open all the files in”.
97. Open Excel Automatically
Whenever I “Turn ON” my laptop the first thing I do is open Excel and I’m sure you do the same thing. Well, I’ve got a better idea here, you can add Excel to your system’s startup folder.
- First, open “File Explorer” by using the Windows key + E.
- Now, enter the below address into the address bar to open the folder (change the username with your actual username).
- C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
- After that, open the Start Screen, right-click on the Excel App, and click Open file location.
- From the location (Excel App Folder), copy the Excel App icon and paste it into the “Startup” folder.
Now whenever you open your system, Excel will automatically start.
98. Smart Look Up
In Excel, there is an option called “Smart Lookup” and with this option, you can look up a text on the internet. All you have to do is, select a cell or a text from a cell, and go to Review ➜ Insights ➜ Smart Lookup.
Once you click on it, it opens a side pane where you’ll have information about that particular text which you have selected. The idea behind this option is to get information by seeing definitions, and images for the topic (text) from different online sources.
99. Screen Clipping
Sometimes you need to add screenshots to your spreadsheet. And for this, Excel has an option that can capture the screen instantly, and then you can paste it into the worksheet. For this go to ➜ Insert ➜ Illustrations ➜ Screen Clipping.
100. Locate a Keyboard Shortcut
If you use Excel 2007 to Excel 2016, then you can locate a keyboard shortcut by pressing the ALT key. Once you press it, it shows the keys for the options which are there on the ribbon, just like below.
Let’s say, you want to press the “Wrap Text” button, and the key will be ALT H W. In the same way you can reach all the options using the shortcut keys.