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Quick Excel Tips [1]

Quick Excel Tips

Sometimes it is the small things which make the biggest differences.  The following tips are small, some of them very small, but they might save you a lot of time and a lot of annoyance.

Quick Excel Tip #1

If the formula Tooltip box is in the way, you can move it.  Click on the edge of the box and drag it.

I didn’t know this for almost ten years, nobody ever told me.

Excel Tip - Move Tooltip

Quick Excel Tip #2

Press F4 to toggle the $ signs in a formula.  There are 4 different scenarios, keep pressing F4 until you reach the one you want.

Bonus tip: it works range cell references and as well as single cell references.

F4 to Toggle Absolute

Quick Excel Tip #3

Create multiple Named Ranges at once by using the Create from Selection.  When combined with Tip 4, this is a handy feature.

Create Named Ranges - Fast

Quick Excel Tip #4

Create a two-dimensional lookup using named ranges and the SUM function.

The space character between ranges is known as the intersection operator; it creates a range based on where the other ranges overlap.

Simple but powerful!

Intersection Operator with Named Ranges

Quick Excel Tip #5

Make a sheet very hidden (invisible). It does not appear in hidden sheets list.

Make Worksheet Invisible

Quick Excel Tip #6

It’s easy to switch the rows and columns in your data.

Select Cells -> Copy.

Select a single cell -> Paste Special -> Transpose – Ta dah!

The data has now changed orientation.

Quickly Transpose Data

Quick Excel Tip #7

Of all the ways to create a Bullet Chart in Excel, surely this is the easiest: A stacked bar chart with no fill placed on top of another stacked bar chart.  Useful for creating a variety of advanced charts.

Bonus Tip: You can even hold ALT while dragging the chart to snap it to the grid.

Layer Charts

Quick Excel Tip #8

If the [+] and [-] for Group Outlining is not in the correct place change the Outline direction for the sheet.

Change Group Outline Direction

Quick Excel Tip #9

Do not unprotect multiple sheets one at a time, that will take too long.

Use File -> Info -> Unprotect, it’s is much faster.

Unprotect sheets quickly

Quick Excel Tip #10

Double click the format painter to apply the format over and over (Press Esc Key when finished).

Double Click Format Painter


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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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