Time is one of life’s greatest commodities. Which is why we’re always on the lookout for ways to do more with less of it—especially at work.
If you use spreadsheets as part of your job, you already know that they’re an excellent tool for collecting and organizing data. But the odds are you’re not using it to its fullest capacity.
The good news? You can be with these five time-saving hacks for Microsoft Excel.
1. Keyboard shortcuts
This isn’t just one hack. It’s hundreds of them. (Yes, you read that right.)
Rather than using the pull-down menu to perform functions, keyboard shortcuts can help you save seconds—which adds up to some serious time savings.
Some examples of our go-to keyboard shortcuts include:
- Ctrl+ A Select All
- Ctrl+B Bold (apply or remove)
- Ctrl+F Find
- Ctrl+O Open file
- Ctrl+Y Repeat last command
- Ctrl+D Fill down
Looking for even more commands to speed up your Excel use? A quick Google search will turn up an abundance of keyboard shortcuts for common tasks and actions.
2. Total columns or rows
Need to quickly tally up a row or column? Forget highlighting. Instead, just click in the last cell of the worksheet and select “Alt + =.”
3. Move up and down without scrolling
If you’re working with a large data set, scrolling from the top to the bottom (and back again) can feel like it takes forever. Rather than endlessly scrolling, use these two hacks:
- Ctrl+ Up Arrow (1x) Jump to the last line of data preceding a blank row
- Ctrl+ Up Arrow (2x) Jump to the top line of the worksheet
4. Insert multiple rows (or columns)
Manually inserting more than a single row or column can be a time-consuming chore. This hack lets you bypass the drudgery with a single click.
Start by determining the number of columns or rows you need to insert. Then, highlight that number in your worksheet. Next, hit right click and choose insert. Voila! You’ll instantly have the exact number of rows or columns you need.
5. Copy your worksheet
Let’s say you have to create the same worksheet on a weekly or monthly basis. Rather than starting over from scratch every time, you can simply use this hack. It carries over all of the existing parameters, so you don’t have to waste time recreating formatting and other elements. All you have to do is update whatever needs to be updated.
Ready to learn this time-trimming trick? Just right click on the tab at the bottom of the worksheet and select “Move or Copy.” Since your goal is to copy the existing worksheet, check the “Make a Copy” box and you’ll have an exact copy of the worksheet to revise and use.
The best part? These five hacks are just the start. There’s a near-endless array of tips, tricks, and techniques that can help you optimize Excel for user-friendly and speedy results.
We recommend mastering these five, then moving on to learn five more. Before you know it, you’ll be an Excel hacks expert.