Excel is everywhere.
If you work with data, there is a 96% chance that you are using Excel in your daily work. (I just made up the statistic, but it sounds legit)
Excel has hundreds or maybe thousands of features. But as a part of my regular job, there is only a handful of these that I need to know to get work done efficiently.
Here are three Excel features that I regularly use to get the work done. And I the difference in knowing these and not knowing these could be huge (in terms of time and efficiency).
#1 – Knowing how to remove duplicates from you data
Data often comes in screwed up forms. For example, there could be missing data points, errors, or duplicates.
Duplicates can be hard to spot of you have a huge dataset. However, Excel has an inbuilt feature that allows you to remove duplicates easily.
Here is how to use it:
Select the dataset and go to the data tab. In the ‘Data Tools’ you will find the Remove Duplicates option.
When you click on the Remove Duplicates icon, it opens the remove duplicates dialog box.
Now you can select the columns from which you want to remove the duplicates and Excel will remove these duplicates instantly.
Just make sure you don’t need the original dataset. If there is a possibility you may need the original dataset, I recommend you first create a copy of the data and then do this on copied data,
#2 – Quickly Cleaning data using Find and Replace
Imagine you get a worksheet with thousands of rows of data.
And unfortunately, there is a comma instead of space in all the data points (maybe in the case of address or names).
What do you do?
Do you go and change it manually.
Absolutely not! That would be a huge waste if time.
Here is what you do. You use the awesomeness of Find & Replace.
Select the entire dataset and go to the Home Tab and with the Editing group, click on the Find & Select option.
From the drop down, select Replace.
This opens the Replace dialog box.
In the ‘Find What’ field, enter what you want to replace (a comma in this case).
In the ‘Replace with’ field, enter a space character.
And now click on Replace All.
That’s it! You just saved yourself a couple of days of manual hard work.
#3 – Using Format Painter to Copy Formatting
Often we have a fixed format in which we need to prepare our reports in Excel. This could be based on your company brand colors or project specific colors.
Now you don’t need to do this over and over again for all the tables and datasets.
Instea you can use an awesome Excel tool – format painter.
Here is what you do to quickly copy and paste formatting in Excel.
Select the cells from which you want to copy the formatting.
Go to Home tab and within the clipboard group, click on the Format Painter option.
You will see that your cursor changes and becomes a plus sign with a paint brush adjacent to it.
Now you go and select all the cells where you want his formatting applied and simply select those cells.
Tadaaa! All the cell that you selected would now have the same formatting as the one from which you copied it.
These are my top 3 Excel tips that I use daily and has saved me countless hours so far.
There are many such Excel tips and based on your work, you can have your own little set of tricks that will make you efficient in your work.
If you’re an absolute beginner, you can start with this Free Online Excel Training.
While these may not seem like a big deal, it’s simple hacks like these that can drastically improve your value as an employee.