Microsoft Office is arguably the most popular document suite in the world. Businesses of all sizes use them extensively in their daily operations. In fact, many employers require potential team members have advanced knowledge of various Office applications to qualify for a vacant position. Still, despite being so widely used, only a fraction of users is aware of the application's true capabilities or which features and formulas they could use to make their daily tasks and processes easier to manage.
Before we get started with formulas, here’s a bit of a refresher on where to enter the formulas and how they’re formatted. Followed by a few helpful tips and tricks to use in Excel that will scale back your work even further!
Entering and Formatting Formulas
Using formulas in Excel is not nearly as scary as one might think. You don’t have to be a professional statistician or even that savvy of a business person to use these tools to make your life so much easier.
In order to indicate to Excel that you’re going to be entering a formula, you’ll need to enter an ‘=’ in the formula bar before adding in the equation you’re going to use.
Find and enter the appropriate function. If you’re not sure which action applies, access the formula tab and search for your desired function.
Next, add the letter and number for each of the cells you want to be involved with function inside the parenthesis.
Once your formula is complete, hit the ‘Enter’ key and, if entered correctly, your data will be automatically calculated and updated. If entered incorrectly… well, it won’t.
Here’s three formulas that you can put to use when working in Excel!
Measure Characters in a Cell
Function: This action will count the number of letters, numbers and characters that are in the cell you have entered into the formula.
Example: At first thought, you might wonder “Why the heck would I want to do that?”, but as a marketer, it can be super useful. Twitter has a character cap of 140, not including the links. To organize and schedule several twitter posts ahead of time, use a spreadsheet to make sure the posts are 140 characters or less before uploading them.
Calculate a Sum
Function: This action will total a group of series cells. The colon tells Excel to calculate all the cells between the first cell and second in the formula.
Choosing cell A1 for the first cell and A12 for the second one will automatically calculate the sum of all the numbers in Column A, cells 1 through 12.
Function: This action will automatically calculate the percentage. It’s critical for each function within the formula.
Freeze Panes: Freezing a pane becomes extremely important when working with a larger document. This allows you to scroll through the entire spreadsheet with column or headers remaining stationary.
Remove Duplicate: Removes all duplicate instances of a row, column, or cell.
Example: Eliminate duplicates when merging several mailing lists with overlapping contacts. I wish I wasn’t so familiar with this function, but lo and behold, mailing lists rarely fall into my inbox “cleaned”. No worries, Excel makes it relatively easy.
When it comes to any type of work that can be completed in a spreadsheet, the odds are that Excel has some type of function or shortcut that will save you and your team time and energy, and possibly your sanity. These few tips and hints are just a fragment of the ways Excel and streamline a business' operations. Check back here regularly and see what other great technology tips and tricks Keystone is serving up!