Excel: 10 tricks that will help you be more productive

Do you want to optimize your performance in Microsoft Excel? Follow the list of tips that we detail in the following publication.

Excel 1
We tell you how to take advantage of a useful formula so that you can translate large sets of words and phrases in a matter of seconds. Photo: Xataka / composition

A large number of people use the Excel program whether for work, studies, management, or accounting; however, few know what shortcuts can be used with this tool to save time and effort. The next time you enter a spreadsheet, consider the following Excel tricks that will surely help you.

This program, which is part of the Microsoft Office suite, together with Word, is one of the most used and required in calls for jobs. However, reaching an advanced level of Excel is not an easy task, because it is a complex application and includes a wide range of functions, which are constantly changing.

In order for you to be able to optimize this tool as much as possible, pay attention to the following recommendations.

10 practical tricks to use in Excel

  • Menu with shortcuts: In the top menu, you will find the options Save, Undo and Redo. However, you can add more in this same bar, such as Cut, Paste, or Copy. To access this functionality go to File> Options> Quick Access Toolbar and add the options of your preference. The icons will be displayed in the top menu.
  • Insert more than one row or column at a time: Inserting them one by one is time consuming. To do it simultaneously, select with the cursor the number of rows or columns that you need to add. Then, right-click on the selected area and hit Insert.
  • Open multiple files at the same time: If you want to work with several files simultaneously, you can open them at the same time without having to go one by one. To do this, you must select all the files and press Enter. They all open with a click.
  • Repeat the contents of the upper cell. If you want to write the same content inside a cell as in the box above it, the simplest way is to press CTRL and apostrophe. In the case of Mac OS X, you must replace CTRL with “Cmd”.
  • Diagonal line in a cell: To avoid problems in finding the diagonal line and inserting it in the cell of your spreadsheet you should go to Home> Format cells> Borders> More borders. This way you will find the diagonal line, click on it, save it and then you can have it in the cells whenever you need it.
  • Insert comments in cells: Excel allows you to add annotations to cells that serve as a guide when editing documents. To do this, press Shift and F2 at the same time in the desired cell, and the comment box will appear for you to complete.
  • Date and time automatically: If we press CTRL and ‘:’ the date and time will appear automatically in the cell where the cursor is placed.
  • Repeat the last action performed in a cell: You have to press the F4 key. The function will reproduce the last action you performed in the cell that is now active. In this way, any action applied to another part of the document can be repeated as many times as necessary.
  • Delete all content in cells: Press ALT plus H, E, or A and it will allow you to delete all the content that is in the cells such as the text, formatting, links, and comments visible in them. With this, a total reset of the marked cells will be carried out instead of going one by one.
  • Adjust the size of all columns or lines to the size of the cell: Finally, if you want to adjust the size, you must press ALT together with the O or I keys. Thus, the size of all the columns or lines will be automatically adjusted to the size of the cell that has been selected as a sample.

Excel is a tool that allows you to use a large series of useful tricks to boost your productivity, save time and create more complete and specialized documents.

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Written by Christina d'souza

Proofreader, editor, journalist. I have been doing my favourite thing for more than six years.


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