Microsoft Excel 2013 is a powerful tool that can be used to organize, analyze, and present data. Whether you're a seasoned Excel veteran or a beginner just starting out, there are always new tips and tricks to learn that can make your work more efficient. In this guide, we will explore 15 top tips and shortcuts that can help you get the most out of Excel 2013.
1. Master the Ribbon
The Ribbon is the toolbar at the top of the Excel window. It contains all the commands you'll need to perform tasks in Excel. By , you can save time and effort in your work.
One way to do this is by customizing the Ribbon to suit your needs. You can add or remove tabs, and even create your own custom tabs with the commands you use most frequently. This can make your work much more efficient.
2. Learn Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts can save you a lot of time when working in Excel. Instead of reaching for the mouse every time you need to perform a command, you can simply press a combination of keys on your keyboard.
For example, you can press Ctrl+C to copy a cell, and then Ctrl+V to paste it elsewhere. Or, you can press Ctrl+Z to undo your last action. There are many more keyboard shortcuts in Excel, and learning them can greatly speed up your work.
3. Use the Fill Handle
The Fill Handle is a small square in the bottom-right corner of a selected cell or range of cells. You can use it to quickly copy the contents of a cell to adjacent cells, or to fill a range of cells with a series or pattern.
For example, if you have a cell with the value "1" and you want to fill a range of cells with a series of numbers, you can simply select the cell, drag the Fill Handle over the range of cells, and Excel will automatically fill them with the series "1, 2, 3, and so on.
4. Use Conditional Formatting
Conditional formatting is a powerful feature in Excel that allows you to change the formatting of cells based on their contents. For example, you can use conditional formatting to highlight cells that contain values above a certain threshold, or to color-code cells based on their values.
This can be very useful for analyzing data and identifying trends or outliers. To use conditional formatting, select the cells you want to format, then go to the Home tab on the Ribbon and click the Conditional Formatting button.
5. Use PivotTables
PivotTables are one of the most powerful features in Excel. They allow you to summarize and analyze large amounts of data quickly and easily. With a PivotTable, you can group data, calculate totals, averages, or other statistics, and create interactive reports.
Creating a PivotTable is easy. Simply select the data you want to analyze, go to the Insert tab on the Ribbon, and click the PivotTable button. Then, drag and drop fields to the Rows, Columns, and Values areas to create your PivotTable.
6. Use Excel's Built-In Functions
Excel has hundreds of built-in functions that you can use to perform calculations, analyze data, and more. These functions can save you a lot of time and effort, especially when working with large amounts of data.
For example, you can use the SUM function to quickly add up a range of cells, or the AVERAGE function to calculate the average of a range of cells. To use a function, simply type its name in a cell, followed by a pair of parentheses. Inside the parentheses, you can specify the cells or range of cells you want the function to operate on.
7. Use Data Validation
Data validation is a feature in Excel that allows you to control what kind of data can be entered into a cell. For example, you can use data validation to ensure that only numbers are entered into a cell, or that a date is within a certain range.
This can be very useful for preventing errors and maintaining the integrity of your data. To use data validation, select the cells you want to validate, go to the Data tab on the Ribbon, and click the Data Validation button.
8. Use the Quick Access Toolbar
The Quick Access Toolbar is a customizable toolbar that contains a set of commands that are independent of the tab on the Ribbon that is currently displayed. You can add commands to the Quick Access Toolbar that you use often and want to be able to access quickly.
For example, you can add the Save, Undo, and Redo commands to the Quick Access Toolbar so that you can quickly save your work or undo or redo your last action, regardless of which tab on the Ribbon you're currently on.
9. Use Excel's Charting Features
Excel's charting features allow you to create a variety of charts and graphs to visualize your data. You can create bar charts, pie charts, line charts, scatter plots, and more.
Creating a chart in Excel is easy. Simply select the data you want to chart, go to the Insert tab on the Ribbon, and click the chart type you want to create. Then, customize your chart as desired using the Chart Tools tabs on the Ribbon.
10. Use the Format Painter
The Format Painter is a tool in Excel that allows you to quickly copy the formatting from one cell and apply it to another. This can save you a lot of time and effort when you want to apply the same formatting to multiple cells.
To use the Format Painter, select the cell with the formatting you want to copy, click the Format Painter button on the Home tab on the Ribbon, and then click the cell you want to apply the formatting to.
11. Use the AutoSum Button
The AutoSum button is a quick and easy way to add up a range of cells. Simply select the cell where you want the total to appear, click the AutoSum button on the Home tab on the Ribbon, and Excel will automatically insert a SUM formula that adds up the adjacent cells.
You can also use the AutoSum button to quickly calculate the average, count, max, or min of a range of cells. Simply click the drop-down arrow next to the AutoSum button and select the function you want to use.
12. Use the Flash Fill Feature
Flash Fill is a feature in Excel 2013 that automatically fills in values in a column based on a pattern recognized in the data. For example, if you have a column of full names and you start typing first names in the adjacent column, Excel will recognize the pattern and automatically fill in the rest of the first names for you.
This can save you a lot of time and effort when you need to split or combine data in a column. To use Flash Fill, simply start typing in the adjacent column and Excel will suggest the rest of the values. If the suggestion is correct, press Enter to accept it.
13. Use the Quick Analysis Tool
The Quick Analysis tool is a feature in Excel 2013 that provides quick access to common analytical tasks, such as adding totals or averages, applying conditional formatting, or creating a chart.
To use the Quick Analysis tool, select the data you want to analyze, click the Quick Analysis button that appears at the bottom-right corner of the selection, and then choose the task you want to perform.
14. Use the Freeze Panes Feature
The Freeze Panes feature allows you to keep a portion of your worksheet visible while you scroll to another area of the worksheet. This can be very useful when you're working with large worksheets and you want to keep the row or column headers in view.
To use the Freeze Panes feature, go to the View tab on the Ribbon, click the Freeze Panes button, and then choose whether you want to freeze the top row, the first column, or a specific number of rows and columns.
15. Use the Text to Columns Feature
The Text to Columns feature allows you to split the contents of a cell into multiple cells based on a delimiter, such as a comma or a space. This can be very useful when you have data in a single cell that you want to split into separate cells.
To use the Text to Columns feature, select the cell or range of cells you want to split, go to the Data tab on the Ribbon, and click the Text to Columns button. Then, follow the steps in the wizard to specify how you want to split the data.
In conclusion, Excel 2013 is a powerful tool with many features and shortcuts that can help you work more efficiently. By mastering these tips and shortcuts, you can save time, improve your productivity, and get the most out of Excel 2013.
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