Friday, April 6, 2012

Five Excel Tips to Impress Your Boss

You would love to get that promotion, or perhaps you are in search of that elusive raise. Perhaps you simply want to secure your job in this down economic time. But whatever the motive, you need ways to impress your boss.

What about Excel? Most of us, despite our position, use spreadsheets in Excel. This program is a very robust business tool; here are some tips to increase your efficiency, which is certain to impress your boss.

  • Hiding Information: You may wonder why you would want to hide specific information in a spreadsheet. Well, imagine the spreadsheet which includes all your data with regards to the company also has everyone’s salary. That is confidential information that you don’t want to divulge at the meeting. Simple hide the column or row by clicking the related number or letter to highlight it, then right-click on that highlighted row or column and choose the Hide option from the popup menu. You can then Unhide the row or column in the same manner when the meeting is over.
  • Timestamping: You can attach a fixed date and time to your Excel spreadsheets using your computer's "Ctrl" key. To do this, hold Ctrl while you press the semicolon key. For the current date and time merely hold down the Ctrl and Shift keys while pressing the semicolon.
  • A Better-Looking Spreadsheet: You can enhance a dull spreadsheet with Excel's Themes option. You will find this option in Excel's Ribbon. Simply click on it, and you'll discover a variety of different fonts and colors that you can use on your formerly dull spreadsheets.
  • Tracking Trends: This is called Sparklines and is only available in the most recent version of Excel. It enables you to create charts that show trends in the data within your spreadsheet. This may be helpful, for example, if you want to quickly figure out how many software bundles your company’s salespeople sold in the first half of last year.
  • Conditional Formatting: This feature allows formatting only in cells that meet the requirements that you decide on. For instance you could chose to have any dollar amount over 1,000 be a specific color.

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