Excel spreadsheets is one of the most popular and used software applications in the workplace. If you are looking for a job, applying for promotion or just want to increase your efficiency and effectiveness in the use of spreadsheets, then it is really worth getting some formal training. Often staff are self taught or have to keep asking that one person at work who has become the company Excel guru. Being self taught is fine but sometimes there are more efficient ways to carry out a task on the spreadsheets. Training does not have to cost much for example InIT Learning in Milton Keynes offer in-house courses at your company at prices starting from £80.00 per head and also have scheduled Excel courses at only £129.00 per head. It is surprising just how much more you can learn on the software that is used every day. Remember you are an advanced user at the bit you use every day and a beginner at the bit you don’t use or don’t even know exists.
This video shows you how to simply create a user interactive dynamic chart. There is no coding necessary just an understanding of Data Validation and the VLOOKUP() function.
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TRUE and FALSE Logical Tests
> Greater than
< Less than
>= Greater than or Equal to
<= Less than or Equal to
<> Does not Equal
The content of cells can be tested and returns the word TRUE or FALSE. TRUE and FALSE are “Boolean Functions”, and therefore TRUE = 1 and FALSE = 0
Sometimes it’s more beneficial to display a 1 or 0. This can be achieved in several ways:
Ctrl + D Duplicate cell above
Ctrl + ; Enter today’s date
Ctrl + 1 Open ‘Format Cells’ dialog box
Shift + F11 Add new worksheet
F12 Save As
Excel Tip: Duplicating Data in a cell
Here are a couple of very neat shortcuts for duplicating data, formula or function in a cell.
Video by David Ludlow – One Day Computer Courses
Help Focus the eyes with Conditional Formatting
Microsoft have made conditional formatting very easy with many preset formats. These are an ideal way to get started and will bring your spreadsheet to life and get the spreadsheet working for you. You can change the font and cell formatting based on the contents of cells. Many companies I have worked with use the Red, Amber and Green colours (traffic light system of colours). Red normally meaning some action needs to take place immediately, Amber showing that you need to keep an eye on the figures and Green is okay. There are so many ways that conditional formatting is used it would be impossible to list them all. If you sit at work changing colours to help highlight certain parts of your spreadsheet then you might find conditional formatting will save you time.
Remember to highlight the cells that you are going to conditionally format and then click the Conditional Formatting command, from here you can make your choice from all the Microsoft presets or select New Rule to set your own rule and formatting/colours.
Most of the conditional formats are based on the contents of the cell being formatted; however, there is one choice where you can format cells based on other cells using a formula that is True or False.
Training or a course with this in is really useful as this really opens your Excel spreadsheet use and what you can get out of it.
The Importance Of Excel In Businesses Today
Excel has come a long way since it was released by Microsoft back in 1985. Despite it’s unquestionable importance it had at that time, many people and businesses are wondering if they should continue to use Excel or if there is a better tool that is able to replace it.
Keeping things short, there are many different tools that can, together, replace Excel. However, there’s no one single tool or software that is able to replace Excel completely.
Here are 4 reasons why you should continue to use Excel in your business:
#1: Most Businesses Use Excel:
Although you may think this isn’t a real reason (just because everyone’s doing it it doesn’t mean I need to do it as well), the truth is that it will be a lot easier when you need to share some data with another business. When you both use the same software, the data exchange will be quicker and easier.
#2: Excel Is A Lot More Than A Spreadsheet:
Besides being a spreadsheet, Excel is, above all, a problem-solving tool. Although accountants use Excel simply as spreadsheets, the fact is that Excel can and is used for many other things. You can use it to send out emails, lists that need to be reconciled with other sources, create information for PowerPoint presentations automatically, just to mention a few.
#3: Excel Is A Time Saver:
When you know how to use Excel, it can be a real time saver. However, this is one of the main problems that businesses have. Their own employees only know the basic stuff that Excel offers. Luckily, there are great Excel Courses that will teach them how they can take the most advantage out of Excel and still have a lot of time to do more important things.
#4: Looking At Your Data:
You know that there isn’t small data anymore when we’re talking about a business. There is data about every single aspect of your business that needs to be processed and analysed. This is one of the few software that is usually accepted when you need to import and analyse your data.
Excel is an amazing software that you can use that will save you a lot of time and will make your life easier. And this becomes especially true when you have a small or medium-size business. So, in case you or your employees don’t have a good knowledge of Excel (you just have the basics), make sure that you get you and them an Excel Training Course that will teach you how you can actually do everything you already do in less time, with a better quality, and still have time to do other important things within your business.
Keep Active Cell on the same cell
This combination of keyboard keys is really useful. If you enter data, a function or formula and you wish the active cell to remain on the cell you are entering in, hold the Ctrl key down and press Enter.
Enter a replica of text, numbers, formulas or functions across a selected range
Select the required range of cells and then enter the data in the active cell (the white one in the range) hold the Ctrl key down and press Enter.
Simple but effective use of the Ctrl and Enter keys
There are many uses of Excel at work:
Charts and Graphs
They say a picture paints a thousand words, I say a chart paints a thousand numbers. Excel charts are an ideal way to demonstrate comparisons, trends, proportions and so on without showing the numbers. Its all about selecting the right type of chart and how that is display. Presenting charts is a very powerful way to get a message across. The chart can add much more meaning to the data.
Data in One Place
Data from various sources can be brought together into one place or one report, making it easier to understand how the various parts of the company effect each other. It’s much easier to send one spreadsheet report or chart that shows everything than keeping them separate and then asking staff to understand. Learning how to import data, analysing it and displaying it in an easy to understand way really helps with decision making etc.
Formatting data is an ideal way to help our eyes focus on the important parts of the data. Excel uses a great feature called conditional formatting that changes the format of the cells and font depending on the content. Data jumps out at you so you do not miss crucial information.
Of course we must not forget formulas that carry out calculations across the spreadsheet allowing one piece of data to change and updating all the associated data in a flash.
Uses of the spreadsheet
There are just so many reason companies use the spreadsheet, here are just some:
- Stock control
- Time sheets
- Mileage record
- Customer database
- Holiday record
- Project management
- Company income and expenditure
Can you add more?
Where did it all start? – Dan Bricklin and the Spreadsheet
This is interesting as it’s not that long ago really. Take a look at this video as this is the man that came up with the idea and then worked at making it easy for all levels of users.