Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Step Up Your Game in Excel

Are you gunning for a raise or a promotion? Perhaps you simply want to stand out for job security. In either case, this can be achieved by impressing your supervisor, but how?

Why not look into Excel? This spreadsheet program may seem like just a simple, albeit important, business tool, but the truth is that there are several lesser-known Excel tips that enable you to work more efficiently.

    Hiding Information: Did you know that you can hide columns, rather then deleteing them, when printing a spreadsheet? This can be convenient, for instance, if the spreadsheet has private information such as salary. In order to hide rows or columns, click the associated number or letter of the row or column to highlight it, then right-click on the highlighted row or column and select the Hide option. You can Unhide a row or column in the same way after you have printed or displayed your spreadsheet.
    Timestamping: If you want to attach a date to your spreadsheet, you can use the Timestamp function. Just hold Ctrl as you press the semicolon key. If you want the current date and time hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys while pressing the semicolon.
    A Better-Looking Spreadsheet: You can spruce up an ordinary spreadsheet with Excel’s Themes option. You will find this option in Excel’s Ribbon. Just click on it, and you’ll discover a variety of different fonts and colors that can be used on your previously dull spreadsheets.
    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 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: With conditional formatting, you can automatically change the look of spreadsheet cells that meet certain criteria. For example, a cell showing that product sales rose by more than 100 percent in a given month could take on a different shade so that it quickly stands out.


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