Excel Tips and Tricks

Use these Excel tips and tricks to enable proficient use of Microsoft Excel.

One of the challenges of working in Excel is knowing your way around the worksheet and performing certain tasks. If you can make that navigation and input quicker, why wouldn't you?

Here are just some of the Tips and Tricks of using Excel.

For more detailed training, see this Microsoft Office 2007 Tutorial.

Change the size of a chart:

Go to 'File' then 'Setup'. Select the 'Chart' tab, choose 'Custom' and click 'Ok'. Resize the chart by clicking and dragging on the side handle.

Copy cell information:

Click on the fill handle of a cell while holding down the 'Control' key and drag to adjacent cells.

To view multiple worksheets within a workbook:

Click on a worksheet tab. Go to 'Window' 'New Window'. Repeat this process for all worksheets to want to view at the same time. Excel will open sheet worksheet in a separate window that sits on top of the previous one. To see them all at once, go to the 'Window' menu and choose 'Arrange'. Select 'Tiled', 'Horizontal', or 'Vertical'. Select the 'Windows of Active Workbook' checkbox. Click 'OK'.

Change gridline colours:

Go to 'Tools' then 'Options'. Click on the 'View' tab and choose the colour you want from the 'Gridlines Colour' drop-down list and click 'Ok'.

Quickly enter data in a range:

If you want to enter the same information in a number of cells, drag across the cells you want to include in the range. Type your entry and press 'Control' + 'Enter'.

Copy cell format:

CLick on the cell containing the format you want to copy. Right-click on the cell's fill handle and drag across the cells where you want the format to appear. A shortcut menu will appear when you release the mouse button. Choose 'Select Fill Formats'.

To select non-aligned cells:

Click on the first cell, then hold down the 'Control' key for subsequent cell selections.

Change the direction of the 'Enter' key:

To to 'Tools' then 'Options' and click on 'Edit'. Using the drop-down list, select the direction you want the 'Enter' key go in and click 'Enter'.

Protect embedded charts in a worksheet:

To avoid a chart moving within a worksheet being edited, select the chart and click 'Format Chart Area' on the Chart toolbar. Click on the 'Properties' tab and select 'Don't Move' or 'Size with cells' then click 'Ok'.

Find a cell:

Pres the F5 key to open the 'Go To' dialog box. Type the address of the destination cell i.e. x120, or select a cell range. Click 'Ok'.

Auto Complete

Auto complete is Excel's way of anticipating and completing an entry you type into a cell (without you typing in the whole cell). To Turn off 'Auto Complete', go to 'Tools' then 'Options' then click the 'Edit' tab. Deselect the 'Enable Auto Complete for Cell Values' checkbox and click 'Ok'.

Centre title across selected columns:

Select the cells above the data you want under your title. Click on the 'Merge and Centre' button on the 'Formatting' toolbar.

Hide selected cells:

Go to 'Format' then 'Sheet' and select 'Hide'. To unhide these cells later, go to 'Format' then 'Sheet' and select 'Unhide' and selected the hidden sheet from the list.

Print formulas on a worksheet:

Go to 'Tools' then 'Options' and click on the 'View' tab. Select 'Formulas' under the 'Window Options' and click on 'Ok'. Your worksheet will reflect wider columns to display the formulas. Print from here.

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Microsoft Excel - Right-Click Shortcuts

Worksheet Shortcuts

To access worksheet shortcut menu, right-click on a worksheet tab. This will display a shortcut menu with commands such as renaming, inserting and removing tasks. Cell Shortcuts

Fast Access Worksheets

To access worksheets within a large workbook, without scrolling through the tabs: Right-click on any one of the tab-scrolling buttons (to the left of the sheet tabs) and a shortcut menu will pop up with all the tabs listed. Select the tab you want.

Instant Calculations

Right click on any cell to display format shortcut menu. This will display tasks such as copy, paste, insert, delete as well as a number of other formatting tasks.

Quick Print Area Setup

To print only a selection of the worksheet, rather than the entire worksheet:

1. Go to View / Page Break Preview 2. Select the cells you want to print 3. Right-click on the selection and choose Set Print Area from the shortcut menu.

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