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Excel Quick Tips [3]

Quick Excel Tips

We’re back for another set of quick Excel tips.  These tips featured on Twitter initially, so there is only a short description with each video, but it is incredible what can be achieved with a small animated image and 280 characters or less.

Quick Excel Tip #21

Insert a line break inside a Custom Number Format with Ctrl + J.

Line break in Custom Number format

Quick Excel Tip #22

Change numbers from positive to negative (or vice versa) by multiplying by -1 with Paste Special. (Please tell me you don’t go through each cell one by one to add/remove the minus signs, that would be crazy).

Flip Number Signage - multiply by -1

Quick Excel Tip #23

Move and Copy is a very slow way to duplicate a sheet – there is just too much clicking involved. The quick way is to hold the Ctrl key, then click and drag the worksheet.

Ctrl + Drag to Copy a Worksheet

Quick Excel Tip #24

Add some pizzaz to your comment boxes by changing their shape.

It will definitely liven up your spreadsheets.

Change Comment Box Shape

Quick Excel Tip #25

Turn a Line Chart into a Step Chart in under 30 seconds:

Values Range: Select all cells except last, press comma, Select all cells
Axis Labels: Select all cells except first, press comma, Select all cells.

Step Chart from Line Chart

Quick Excel Tip #26

Reduce your data entry errors by creating a single use drop-down list to pick from.  Right-click on the cell directly below the existing data and select Pick from Drop-down list…

Single Use Drop Down

Quick Excel Tip #27

The status bar shows information about the selected cells.  Add more measures here to have visibility of key information without needing to write a formula.

Add Quick Calcs to Status Bar

Quick Excel Tip #28

Want to know where your named ranges are?  Just zoom out and Excel will show you.

Zoom Out Named Ranges

Quick Excel Tip #29

Need to get a number as Roman Numerals, but can’t remember the system you learned whilst you were in school?  No worries, just use the ROMAN function within Excel.

Roman Numerals from number


Headshot Round

About the author

Hey, I’m Mark, and I run Excel Off The Grid.

My parents tell me that at the age of 7 I declared I was going to become a qualified accountant. I was either psychic or had no imagination, as that is exactly what happened. However, it wasn't until I was 35 that my journey really began.

In 2015, I started a new job, for which I was regularly working after 10pm. As a result, I rarely saw my children during the week. So, I started searching for the secrets to automating Excel. I discovered that by building a small number of simple tools, I could combine them together in different ways to automate nearly all my regular tasks. This meant I could work less hours (and I got pay raises!). Today, I teach these techniques to other professionals in our training program so they too can spend less time at work (and more time with their children and doing the things they love).


Do you need help adapting this post to your needs?

I'm guessing the examples in this post don't exactly match your situation. We all use Excel differently, so it's impossible to write a post that will meet everybody's needs. By taking the time to understand the techniques and principles in this post (and elsewhere on this site), you should be able to adapt it to your needs.

But, if you're still struggling you should:

  1. Read other blogs, or watch YouTube videos on the same topic. You will benefit much more by discovering your own solutions.
  2. Ask the 'Excel Ninja' in your office. It's amazing what things other people know.
  3. Ask a question in a forum like Mr Excel, or the Microsoft Answers Community. Remember, the people on these forums are generally giving their time for free. So take care to craft your question, make sure it's clear and concise.  List all the things you've tried, and provide screenshots, code segments and example workbooks.
  4. Use Excel Rescue, who are my consultancy partner. They help by providing solutions to smaller Excel problems.

What next?
Don't go yet, there is plenty more to learn on Excel Off The Grid.  Check out the latest posts:

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