Tips for more comfortable use of MS Excel

Access keyboard shortcuts to help you work with the data in your spreadsheets without having to scroll through menus. These one-stop guides help you become familiar with the basic keyboard shortcuts for Excel 2010 and Excel 2007.

The ribbon, a graphical toolbar that makes it simple to build and use spreadsheets, is your key to creating useful spreadsheets. The ribbon saves you time and enables you access to a huge toolbox of visual and computational tricks. To learn more about the basic and advanced features it offers (including user customizability in Excel 2010), see the following 2010 edition video or this article on the function the Ribbon plays in Excel 2007.

Conditional formatting allows you to automatically change the appearance of cells that meet specific, user-defined criteria. Conditional formatting lets you quickly identify important data points such as top-performing students or salesmen. Here’s how to take advantage of it this feature in Excel 2010 and Excel 2007.

Using the Microsoft Excel Web App, you can access spreadsheets from anywhere with your web browser or easily share and collaborate in-real time with friends and colleagues. The Web App is a convenient solution to tackle group projects.

Power Pivot for Excel 2010, a free downloadable add-on, offers even more muscle for performing calculations that involve large amounts of data. Users can also easily share spreadsheets which can help with heavy workloads.

Creating charts and graphics

With Excel, you can create colorful pictures and graphs or generate eye-catching reports in minutes that help you identify usage or spending patterns at a glance.

From bar and pie charts to histograms and attention-grabbing sparklines, Excel provides a variety of practical ways to visually represent data, which makes it easier to understand at a glance. These images offer a fast and intuitive way to display information and illustrate points more effectively. Chart options include:

  • Area
  •  Bar
  •  Bubble
  •  Column
  •  Doughnut
  •  Line
  •  Organization
  •  Pie
  •  Radar
  •  Stock
  •  Surface
  •  Scatter Diagram

Detailed PivotTable and PivotChart reports can also help you quickly summarize large amounts of data so that you can browse and assess information in a more streamlined way. See step-by-step procedures for using PivotTables and Pivot Charts for Excel 2010 and Excel 2007. To jazz up your spreadsheets, you can also use pictures, clip art, and other custom graphics.



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