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Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

5 Tips to Improve Your Spreadsheet Skills

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Oct 30, 2017 5:43 AM

Spreadsheets are essential tools when it comes to accounting and business in general. The worksheets are also useful for the visual explanation of data and charts. The use of spreadsheets can be extensive especially in finance. In education, spreadsheets are used to keep a Record of student's data that includes student's scores and grades. Therefore if you are in the line of keeping financial records or any digital records, good spreadsheet skills are necessary. Learning how to use the spreadsheet can be interesting. You could choose to learn through taking classes but advancing your skills in through other means can be quite helpful. In improving your spreadsheet skills, regular practice is essential. Spreadsheet books and advanced tutorial videos are also excellent references. The advanced spreadsheet courses are data manipulation or Macros. Here are some tips on how to improve your spreadsheet skills.

Using Microsoft Excel Shortcuts
Shortcuts are available in Excel 2010 in keyboard shortcuts 2010. There are many useful shortcuts you can use to improve your spreadsheet skills. Alternatives that include inserting column (ctrl- +), selecting column (ctrl-space) and cutting columns (ctrl-x) are among the many useful keyboard shortcuts you will need when improving your spreadsheet skills. When trying to grasp the many keyboard shortcuts, learning a few at a time is most efficient as you can frequently practice until you get the hack of it then move to the next new alternatives.

Microsoft Excel formulas
Mastering Microsoft Excel formulas can be time-consuming and strenuous as they are many but still possible. Microsoft Excel formulas can be a lot easier to master when categorized in their different categories. Break them down and focus on one group at a time until you learn most of them. Logical and arithmetic are the core formulas of the Excel program, master them first. The various Microsoft formulas you need to master include: IF and Else formulae, the sum of values meeting criteria, Average Formula, Mod Formula, Count of Values, Auto sums and others. Taking up tutorials for Excel basics can be helpful in mastering Excel formulas with ease. The basics for excel include keyboard shortcuts, worksheets, format cells, templates, ribbon, data validation and print. Most essentially start with the essential formulas that apply to the category of the work that you are frequently doing.

Utilizing specific cells for Comments
Another essential skill you need to learn to be competent in your spreadsheets. It is more like explaining the contents of particular cells in the worksheet. In other cases adding necessary information in the sheet for others to make further corrections when need be. Comments are notes flexible for inserting in any particular cell of the Microsoft Excel. In the Microsoft Excel 2010 and 2013 version, a new comment tab was enabled. The tab functions when clicked on and a small dialogue window pops up allowing the user to type in the preferred context. It is necessary for you to know the basics of document validation option to use the comments option appropriately.

Multiple worksheets
Using multiple worksheets can also be a helpful way of improving your spreadsheet skills. Knowing how to work with various workbooks that have comparable formatting requirements makes your spreadsheet skills more effective. While using the multiple spreadsheets, be keen on the format techniques and the group provided for grouping worksheets together in Excel. This grouping feature becomes functional for editing, formatting, printing and entering data simultaneously. There are essential steps to follow while working with multiple worksheets as they develop. 

  • By holding the shift key, click the first sheet tab of the group
  • Then click the last sheet tab you would like to include in the group
  • Hold Ctrl key down to choose the required sheet tabs in case the worksheets are not adjacent to each other.
  • Enter labels and titles on one worksheet once the worksheets have been grouped. It will also appear in the rest of the sheets. You can also be able to format the spreadsheets arranged.

Practice makes perfect
In addition, practicing the above Microsoft Excel skills makes it easier and faster for you to improve and sharpen your skills in spreadsheets.

Finally, copy an already made worksheet and create a copy option on a new selected sheet then insert and copy-paste. There are also other useful ways of improving your spreadsheet skills like using pivotal table tools, Aligning objects, charts, and shapes on spreadsheets, cleaning backups, and efficiently using Auto Fill among others. With the Microsoft Excel tips above coupled with the regular practice of the skills, you are on a path of making professional and efficient spreadsheets.

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