7 Excel tricks to work better and save time

Excel tricks

Microsoft Excel is an ideal tool to stand out at work and be more organized and productive. Here are 7 simple Excel tricks to save time, efficiency and order in the office.

Excel is one of the most complex and complete programs in the Microsoft suite: thanks to it, you can do all kinds of things, from calculating your pension plan to preparing an invoice or keeping your home accounting up-to-date. For work, harnessing the potential of Excel will help you save time, improve your productivity, and be a highly efficient employee.

It does not matter what your profession is, as this program will help you improve all kinds of functions, from finances to event management or setting deadlines, and it is also useful for all levels. Today, we rescue some tools and functions on this platform that you can use to reduce your workload.

Pivot Tables

They are especially useful for reporting and analysis, as they allow you to summarize large amounts of data and tables in a short space of time. You will find it inside the option “Insert / Pivot tables” and you will only have to select the data in the upper half of the bar on the right. The lower part will be used to generate the table. This tool will classify all the data into an easy-to-understand table so you don’t have to sort through a large collection of data and can fully focus on the most relevant pieces of information.

Automatic Quick Fill or Auto Complete

It is very useful to order the records of the database and to manage the mailing lists. Helps users avoid repetitive data entry tasks, such as splitting last name names or separating uppercase formatting from lowercase formatting. It is on by default and automatically populates the data when it detects a pattern.

However, if it doesn’t work as expected, follow these steps to check if Quick Fill is enabled. Click File> Options and then Advanced, noting if the box is checked. You can also type CTRL + E to update the section.

Search Goals

This tool is very useful for setting goals and creating forecasts, as it helps you determine what you need to achieve a particular goal. For example, if you want to earn 500,000 euros a year from product sales, it will help you know how many units you need to sell to reach that goal.

This tool is found in Data – Data tools – Assumption analysis – Target search and it is quite easy to use: you have to select a cell with the required formula in the “Set cell” box and add the target with the desired value. Then you must click on “Changing cells” to choose an input value adjusted by Excel, which will show you the values you need to achieve the objectives and help create more accurate predictions and forecasts.

Conditional format

The conditional format will help you prepare reports and analyzes of large data sets, as it is designed to highlight the most interesting data, in a similar style and format. Or what is the same, you can format cells automatically to give them a specific color, among many other variables. To do this, you must select the cell and click on “Start / Conditional Formatting / (and select the option you prefer)”. You can choose conditions such as “Less than” or “Greater than”, etc., to highlight them.


These two functions are ideal for quickly searching data in a table as a result of the intersection of a specific row and column. With the MATCH function, you will be able to know the corresponding number of the row and the column and with the INDEX function specify the table and the row and column number. The correct syntax of the functions is as follows: MATCH (searched value; table being searched for; type of match) INDEX (table; row #; column #).

Waterfall graphics

They are very useful for creating performance reports, for example, as they provide a visual representation of the data and can easily show up and down trends in numbers.

You just have to select the data, click Insert, then Insert waterfall chart or stock chart and, finally, Cascade. You can also use the All Charts tab in Recommended Charts to create a waterfall chart.


This Excel function allows you to collate data and combine those sheets to generate reports as a product inventory. To access the SearchV formula you must access the Formulas menu and enter the cell that contains your reference number. Then, you must enter the set of cells from which to extract the data, the column number of the data you need and true or false.

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Author: Sam Owens

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