Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Back to Basics!

Basics. I have heard many supposed Excel Experts scoff at the idea of revisiting the topic of Basics. The fact is, however, as with so many other disciplines, an occasional review of some of the fundamentals is inevitably a worthwhile Tune-up.

Navigating your worksheets, for instance, can be Drag unless you know a few simple tricks. For instance, if you wish to go to your last entry at the bottom of a list that contains 30 records, scrolling to where you wish to go is a Breeze! When you have a list containing 30,000 records, however, it is a bit tedious.

As is true with so many Slick Moves in Excel, keyboard shortcuts rule when it comes to saving time moving from one location to another on your spreadsheet.

Here are few Slick Moves you can make without ever touching a mouse:

1. Control / Down Arrow: Goes to last cell in column with data

2. Control / Right Arrow: Goes to last cell in row with data

3. Control / End: Goes to last row, column and cell

4. Control / Home: Returns to cell A1

When using your mouse, another way to navigate to the end of your data (whether in a column or row) is to carefully place your pointer on the adjacent border of cell in your range and double-click. For instance, if you wish to navigate to the last cell in a column of data that starts with cell B1, you can select B1 and double-click on the bottom border of the cell.

Want one additional way to navigate when you know the exact address of some remote cell? Simply enter the address (e.g. ET30000) in the Name Box and Zap: you have beamed directly to that location (without the help of Scotty...).

And how about Entering Repetitive Data?

While it is very intuitive to copy and paste Repetitive data to a set of noncontiguous cells (copy data, select the cells and paste), entering Newly Typed data doesn’t work quite as slick (I admit, I like “Slick” moves…)

To enter Repetitive New Data into a series of noncontiguous cells, simply hold down the Ctrl key and select all of the cells into which you want to enter your new data. Then type the text you want to enter and (a little drum roll, please…) press Ctrl+Enter. Bamm! Your Data is Entered!

Basics. Excel has a multitude of easily-mastered Slick Tricks that can save you time, and make you look good at the same time. It pays to revisit them once-in-a-while…

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