3 Spreadsheet Tips and Tricks to Make You More Productive
It’s a little hard to nail down total numbers, but there are around 1.2 billion Microsoft Office users worldwide, with a majority of them using the most popular spreadsheet of all time, Excel. Excel has been an incredibly powerful tool with numerous uses ranging from helping corporations solve financial challenges to accountants preparing tax analysis to individuals creating personal budgets. And everything in between.
We’ve all used Excel to some level, but the features and functionality are so broad and deep that most users only scratch the surface. It’s great to learn how to use this powerful tool from other accomplished users.
Hopefully, we can help with 3 Spreadsheet Tips and Tricks to Make You More Productive. Thanks to our friends at HubSpot for these!
- Add More Than One New Row or Column
- As you play around with your data, you might find you're constantly needing to add more rows and columns. Sometimes, you may even need to add hundreds of rows. Doing this one-by-one would be super tedious. Luckily, there's always an easier way.
- To add multiple rows or columns in a spreadsheet, highlight the same number of preexisting rows or columns that you want to add. Then, right-click and select "Insert." It’s that simple.
- Remove Duplicates
- Larger data sets tend to have duplicate content. You may have a list of multiple contacts in a company and only want to see the number of companies you have. In situations like this, removing the duplicates comes in quite handy.
- To remove your duplicates, highlight the row or column that you want to remove duplicates of. Then, go to the Data tab, and select "Remove Duplicates" (under Tools). A pop-up will appear to confirm which data you want to work with. Select "Remove Duplicates," and you're good to go.
- Text to Columns
- What if you want to split out information that's in one cell into two different cells? For example, maybe you want to pull out someone's company name through their email address. Or perhaps you want to separate someone's full name into a first and last name for your email marketing templates.
- Thanks to Excel, both are possible. First, highlight the column that you want to split up. Next, go to the Data tab and select "Text to Columns." A module will appear with additional information.
- First, you need to select either "Delimited" or "Fixed Width."
- "Delimited" means you want to break up the column based on characters such as commas, spaces, or tabs.
- "Fixed Width" means you want to select the exact location on all the columns that you want the split to occur.
- Assuming you want to choose Delimiters, such as a tab, semi-colon, comma, space, or something else. ("Something else" could be the "@" sign used in an email address, for example.) In our example, let's choose the space. Excel will then show you a preview of what your new columns will look like.
- When you're happy with the preview, press "Next." This page will allow you to select Advanced Formats if you choose to. When you're done, click "Finish."
If you're currently managing product information in spreadsheets, we think you'll appreciate the humor in the "I hate Spreadsheets" t-shirt we've designed for product information managers like you!