Thursday, January 3, 2013

Use these three tips to boost your Excel power

Excel is a must-have software program, whether you're using your laptop at home or the desktop in your office. With Excel, you are able to quickly determine whether you're pulling in enough income to pay for your mortgage bill this month. You can instantly determine which of the company's sales reps are or aren't boosting the results. You can calculate which of one's fantasy football team's running backs and wide receivers are getting you the most fantasy points. Nevertheless, many users aren't using Excel to the full capability. Avoid being one too. Read the three tips below to make Excel work better .


Adding non-contiguous values


You know that Excel's AutoSum option is an incredible tool, allowing you to add rows of numbers together fast. However, were you aware that you can use AutoSum to add values that are not contiguous, or adjacent, to each other? The TechRebpublic blog recently explored how to make this happen. As the Web site says, if you want to add the sales numbers of two sales guys -- whose sales numbers aren't listed next to each other -- simply choose one sales person's column of numbers then hold down your computer's "Control" key to pick a second column. Then you can use AutoSum to calculate the sales numbers of these two sales guys.


Preventing bad data entry


What's more frustrating than when your employees enter the wrong kind of data -- say words in place of numbers or numbers with decimal points instead of whole numbers -- in their spreadsheets? Who knows? But the good news is the fact that Excel incorporates a function that can stop this incorrect data entry. As PC Magazine wrote in a recent online story, the Excel feature that is able to stop these problems is termed Data Validation. Basically, the feature will allow you to set the boundaries about what kind of data -- say, text and not numbers -- your spreadsheet will accept. To reach Data Validation, select the "Table Tools" tab. Next, click "Data Validation." You will be now allowed to enter exactly what form of data your employees should enter in your spreadsheet. For example, you can tell Excel to permit only whole numbers and not numbers with decimal points.


Don't let unsaved files ruin your day


You're in the middle of developing a long Excel file when your computer suddenly shuts down. That's a great deal of effort now wasted, right? Actually, no. Excel now comes with a function that allows you to easily recover these "lost" documents. Here's the trick: First, select the "File" tab within your Excel program. Next, select the "Recover Unsaved Documents" option. You can now simply click on the document once it shows up on your screen. On top of that, here's another amazing fact: This will work even for those Excel files which you never even gave a name before you lost them.

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