5 Ways to Work Efficiently in Excel

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You would love to get that promotion, or maybe you are hunting for that elusive raise. Maybe you simply want to secure your job in this down economic time. But whatever the reason, you are looking for ways to wow your supervisor.

What about Excel? The majority of us, no matter our job, use spreadsheets in Excel. This program is an extremely powerful business tool; here are some tips to improve your efficiency, which is certain to impress your boss.


  • Hiding Information: There may be a time when you want to hide certain data when printing an Excel spreadsheet. For instance, maybe your spreadsheet includes sensitive salary information. Luckily, you can tell Excel not to print certain rows or columns by hiding them before you hit print. To hide rows or columns, select the corresponding number or letter then right-click on a highlighted row or column and click the Hide option. You may then choose the Unhide option to bring these columns and rows back into view.
  • Timestamping: You can attach a fixed date and time to your Excel spreadsheets utilizing your computer’s “Ctrl” key. In order to do this, hold Ctrl as 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 employing Excel’s Themes option. You will find this in the Excel Ribbon, at the top. Click it, and you will be given a huge variety of fonts, and color schemes that you may apply to your spreadsheet. It’s also possible to create your own!
  • Tracking Trends: This is only applicable for people with a more up to date version of Excel. The feature is called Sparklines and with it you can create charts that relate trends in the information in your spreadsheet. One way this can be used is to quickly and easily figure out how many software bundles your company’s salespeople sold in the first quarter of 2011.
  • Conditional Formatting: This allows you to format only certain 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.