Useful Tricks in MS Excel

1. Change the shape / color of cell comments

Just select the cell comment, go to draw menu in bottom left corner of the screen, and choose change auto shape option, select a 32 pointed star or heart symbol or a smiley face, just wow everyone

2. Filter unique/ Custom Sort/ Advanced Filter items from a list

Select the data, go to data > filter > advanced filter and check the “unique items” option.

3. Sort from Left to Right

What if your data flows from left to right instead of top to bottom. Just change the sort orientationfrom “sort options” in the data > sort menu.

4. Hide the grid lines from your sheets

Go to Options dialog in tools menu, uncheck the “grid lines” option to remove gridlines from your worksheets. You can also change the color of grid line from here (not recommended)

5. Add rounded border to your charts, make them look smooth

Just right click on the chart, select format chart option, in the dialog, check the “rounded borders”. You can even add a shadow effect from here.

6. Fetch live stock quotes / company research with one click

Just enter the stock symbol (MSFT, GOOG, AAPL etc.) in a cell, alt+click on the cell to launch “research pane”, select stock quotes to see MSN Money quotes for the selected symbol. You can fetch company profiles in the same way.

7. Repeat rows on top when printing, show table headers on every page

When you are on the sheet view, just hit menu > file > page setup, go to the last tab, specify “rows to repeat”. You can “repeat columns while printing” as well from the same menu.

8. Remove conditional formatting / all formatting with one click

Just go to Menu > Edit > Clear > All to remove all the formatting from selected cell / range.

9. Auto sum cells with one click








Select a bunch of cells and click on the Sigma symbol on the standard tool bar. Alternatively you can use Alt+= keyboard shortcut

10. Find width of a column with formula, really!

Just use =cell("width") to find the width of the column to which that formula cell belongs. Width is returned as the nearest integer.

11. Find total working days between any two dates, including holidays

If you work on project plans, gantt charts alot, this can be totally handy. Just type=networkdays(start date, end date, list of holidays) to fetch the number of working days. In the above sample you can see the number of working days between New years day and September first of this year (labor day).

12. Freeze Rows / Columns in your sheet, Show important info even when scrolling

Select the cell diagonally beneath the row / columns you want to freeze (for eg. if you wan to freeze row 1&2 and columns A&B, click in C3), go to menu > window and click on freeze panes.

13. Split sheets in to two, compare side by side to be more productive

Just click on this little vertical bar on the bottom right corner of the sheet (see below) and drag it to create a vertical split. You can do the same way for a horizontal split as well

14. Change the color of various sheet name tabs

Right click on sheet and select “Tab color” option to change the worksheet tab colors. Group them with similar colors if you have lot of sheets, it looks nice.

15. Insert a quick organization chart

Click on menu > insert > diagram to open the above dialog, just select the organization chart option, enter node values and you have a pretty organization chart.

16. Filter : the most used feature of MS Excel.

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