Step Up Your Game in Excel

Are you gunning for a raise or a promotion? Perhaps you only want to get noticed for job security. Either way, this can be achieved by impressing your supervisor, but how?

Well, you could use Excel. Excel is a very robust program; there is a lot to master. We aren’t going to discuss everything you can do with Excel here, but you will learn a few methods to improve your efficiency and perhaps get some acknowledgement as well.

  • Hiding Information: There could be an occasion 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 concealing them before you hit print. To hide rows or columns, click 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: It is possible to attach a fixed date and time — which will never change — to your Excel spreadsheets thanks to your computer’s “Ctrl” key. To put a fixed date into a spreadsheet cell, hold Ctrl as you press your computer’s semicolon key. To put the present time into a cell, hold down your computer’s 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 can find this in the Excel Ribbon, at the top. Click it, and you’ll be given a huge variety of fonts, and color schemes that you may apply to your spreadsheet. You can even create your own!
  • Tracking Trends: This is only applicable if you have a more up to date 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 feature allows formatting only in cells that meet the criteria that you select. For instance you could chose to have any dollar amount over 1,000 be a particular color.

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