Excel expert tips and tricks
Microsoft (MS) Excel is a spreadsheet program, which allows managing data sets, doing basic and complicated calculations, routing different working tasks, and finding complex solutions aimed at optimization. Microsoft Excel is utilized in different industries and areas. If you go to the school of business or management, then you should be ready that you will have three or more classes devoted to excel application, along with a great variety of other classes that utilize Excel as a specific tool. So, read carefully our list of excel expert tips and tricks indicated in this article to be well prepared for any type of excel tasks.
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Excel expert tips and tricks: Things each students should be aware of
- Excel exercises for students
The one of the key Excel tips concerns how you should choose one of the organization standards before starting working on your spreadsheet. Consider that an organization standard usually sets the stage for other users that will finish working with a spreadsheet. A shared standard is capable of improving communication and saving up extra time. It is imperative to note that standardized organization can comprise general layout, cell formatting, ordering, color scheme, and many other options.
- Brood on ordering a worksheet
Put various data types on varied worksheets. For instance, utilize the first some worksheets for the input information, other worksheets for different calculations, and some for results, as well as graphs, tables, pie charts, etc. Limit the number of tables or graphs per worksheet to simply one. Keep in mind that many tables or graphs per worksheet can lead to problematic issues when you need to sort, format or insert some cells in your excel file.
Explanatory types of worksheet inform other users on how the spreadsheet is supposed to be utilized.
When preparing a huge number of worksheets, it is recommended to provide a worksheet dedicated to the table of contents or an explanatory worksheet. This measure allows other users to comprehend how the spreadsheet is organized and how it should be utilized.
- Always keep the timeline consistent
It is recommended to keep the timeline consistent in all the worksheets there are some empty rows or lines left. Consistent timelines are capable of improving the clarity of your spreadsheet sand reducing the risks of incorrect or wrong formulas. For instance, shortening 4 months into quarterly figures could provide a much clearer design in reference to presentation; though, there could be the risk of the incorrect totals. The easiest way to avoid such a problem is to insert the single timeline per each worksheet, perfectly in the frozen header row at the top.
- Label rows and columns
Columns and rows without consistent and clear titles could lead to misunderstandings to future users. Thus, our sophisticated experts recommend the following tip - label each column and row of tables with clear and brief titles that consistently stick to previously utilized labeling. This rule should be utilized both to horizontal and vertical tables. It is allowed to provide titles either in the columns or rows, but sometimes, titles should be in both of them.
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- Make formulae readable and clear
Our experts recommend splitting up your calculations into multiple and smaller ones. This measure will allow increasing readability. Take into consideration that the overuse of various operators or various references in formulae may make the formulae unreadable and unclear. As a consequence, the spreadsheet will be complicated to apply for other users in the future. The original creator is supposed to provide explanations concerning what and how should be done so as to work with spreadsheets accordingly.
- Avoid repeating formulae
Avoid repeating your calculations. Take into account that duplication of formulae can result in different errors or misunderstandings. Moreover, changes or corrections in one formula may not replicated in further duplicates automatically. Sometimes, such duplicates may be omitted or overlooked, hence resulting in inconsistencies within your spreadsheets. In case the application of the same formula is needed, refer to the first use of this very formula. Sometimes, it is possible to break down a certain formula to provide clarity and coherence.
- Avoid the application of the fixed numbers
Utilize a separate input cell for all the fixed values of yours, and provide references to the following cells so as to use it in the further calculations in the future. The formula containing the fixed numbers is considered as the key risk. If the value changes, it should be changed in each instance where it is used. Be very attentive and scrupulous in order to avoid all possible risks and mistakes.
- Avoid merging cells
Keep in mind that it is not recommended to merge cells. Usually, it is done with a purpose of improving aesthetics, but as a consequence, it results in the risk of experiencing problems with references and calculations. The highest risk is to make references to the cells merged. In the referenced merged cells, all the cells could be part of some needed calculations, but as a result, only one of such cells can turn out to be the correct one.
- Try not to hide the data
Consider that hiding the whole worksheets, rows, or columns from view is a bad idea. This can only increase the chances that the users overlook something significant while working spreadsheets, thus leading to the risks for errors. The only exception to the above rule could be when it is of great necessity to hide the info or data that somehow may not be inserted into the separate worksheet. As it is usually possible to separate any piece of sensitive and secret data, such cases happen very rarely.
- Format the work
Excel formatting options are very extensive and numerous. They allow formatting cells values and appearance. Moreover, there are splendid options for borders, colors, and other features. As styling and formatting may assist in keeping a spreadsheet clear and coherent, the process of conducting this comprises abstracting information for the future users. It is advisable to leave worksheet formatting for the very end.
- Keep the styling of your spreadsheet as consistent as possible
The chose styling should be consistent throughout the whole spreadsheet. A consistent and simple formatting style assists the future users in understanding your spreadsheet. Always provide a legend. Consider that abbreviations or cell definitions marked using any color may be provided on the separate worksheet if there is a need.
- Keep the conditional formatting as simple as possible
Conditional formatting assists the future users in understanding how a spreadsheet is supposed to work. Try keeping the conditional formatting rules as simple as possible.
- Be clear and coherent which of the units are utilized
Ensure that future users are always capable of tracing the units that are utilized in the spreadsheet of yours. You may do this by setting the units in the properties of the cell within Excel, or you may indicate them in the label of the column.
- Avoid employing macros
Excel’s solutions should be applied before referring to VBA macros. Take into account that VBA macros are able to make your spreadsheet less vivid as well as transparent, since they are capable of abstracting logic away.
- Utilize simple / ordinary ranges
Take into account that for the majority of calculations in the spreadsheet, it is necessary to incorporate some additional empty columns or rows. This measure is capable of preventing the edits spreadsheet edits in the future.
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