Tips and Tricks for a Better Excel Experience

Microsoft Excel is one of the most widely used data analysis tools in the world. It simplifies the process of data management, manipulation, and visualization, making it an indispensable tool in business and personal life. Despite its ubiquity, however, Excel can still be a challenging program for many users. This guide aims to provide tips and tricks for a better Excel experience, highlighting the program’s basic functions, formatting, shortcuts, data handling, collaboration, customization, and frequently asked questions.


 Excel Basics

Excel is a grid-based software, consisting of rows and columns. The most basic Excel operations involve selecting, navigating, and editing cells. Here are some basic Excel functions that can help you get started:

 Navigating Excel

Moving the Active Cell

Navigating with the Scroll Bars

Using Keyboard Shortcuts for Navigation

Go To Command


 Selecting Cells and Range


Shift + Arrow Keys

Control + Shift + Arrow Keys

F8 Extended Selection


 Text Editing

Inserting and Deleting Text

Aligning Text

Wrapping Text

Merging Cells

 Copy, Cut, Paste, and Fill Options

Copy, Cut, and Paste Commands

Fill Command

AutoFill Options


 Formatting for Clarity

Excel also offers a wide range of formatting features that can enhance the clarity and readability of your data. Here are some of the most useful formatting options:

 Formatting Cells and Data Types

Apply Number Formats

Choosing the Right Data Types

Data Validation


 Using Conditional Formatting

Highlighting Cell Rules

Top/Bottom Rules

Data Bars/Color Scales

Icon Sets


 Applying Number Formats





Text Formats


Color-code data

Using Color Scales

Creating your own Color scales

Maximizing Efficiency with Excel Shortcuts

Excel consists of many shortcuts that are often much faster than using the mouse or ribbon controls. Here are some of the most useful shortcuts for increasing your Excel productivity:

 Essential Keyboard Shortcuts

Navigation shortcuts

Edit shortcuts

Selection shortcuts

Formatting shortcuts

Formula shortcuts

 Tips for Mouse and Scroll Wheel Navigation

Right-Click Mouse Shortcuts

using center scroll wheel for navigation

 Quick Navigation and Selection Tips

Jumping to the current region

Going to the start and end of an Excel sheet

Selecting rows or columns quickly using shortcuts

Selecting entire sheet


 Customizing Shortcuts

Creating Your Own Keyboard Shortcuts

Changing Ribbon or Quick Access Toolbar Shortcuts


Data Handling and Analysis

Excel’s central function is to handle and analyze data. Here’s how you can use Excel’s features to handle data more efficiently:

 Using Tables and Name Ranges

Creating a dynamic range

Naming Cells and Ranges

Quickly referencing tables

 Sorting and Filtering Data

Sorting data

Filtering Data

 Using formulas and custom functions

Basic formulas

Absolute references and mixed references

Naming conventions

Using custom formulas

 Validating Data Entries

Using Data Validation

Customizing Data Validation rules


 Analyzing Data with Pivot Tables

Creating a Pivot Table

Pivot Table Formatting

Calculated Fields using Pivot Tables


Collaborating on Excel files

Collaboration is also an important feature that Excel has made possible.

 Saving and Sharing Files

Saving files locally

Saving remote files

Sharing files and controlling access

 Version Control

Enabling version control

Restoring a prior version

 Collaborating on Excel Sheets Using Office 365

Share via OneDrive

Share via SharePoint or Microsoft Teams

Granting Permission to Collaborate.


 Co-Authoring Excel

Collaborating in near real-time

Tracking changes and reviewing workbooks

Making privacy setting changes for co-authoring

Customizing Excel

Excel also has some customization features that allows the user to customize the environment for their own workflow.

 Changing Excel functionality with add-ins

Installing Excel Add-Ins

Examples of add-ins

Creating your own add-ins

 Customizing Ribbon and Quick Access toolbar

Adding frequently used commands

Removing Less used commands

Adding data with custom forms

Creating custom forms

Using Custom Form Data in Excel


 Using and creating templates



With the tips outlined above for basic functions, formatting, shortcuts, data handling and analysis, collaboration, and customization, you can increase your Excel productivity and accuracy. By utilizing these tips and tricks, users can decrease errors and increase their productivity.



Q. How can I find and replace specific values in an Excel sheet?

Press Ctrl+F then press the Replace tab. Enter the value you want to replace and the replacement value. Press replace all to replace all values in the sheet.

Q. Can I recover a deleted worksheet accidentally?

Yes, you can recover deleted sheets in the Excel File by selecting the File menu, then Options, then Save, and clicking the Recent File list, then clicking “Recover Unsaved Workbooks”, then searching for the deleted worksheet.

Q. Is there a way to remove duplicates from a large dataset without manually checking?

Yes, use the “Remove Duplicates” function in settings. Go to Data > Remove Duplicates

Q.How do I avoid Excel from treating numbers as text?

Select cells to be formatted as numbers, and press Ctrl+1. Choose the Number tab, and click General, then OK.

Q. What is the best way to convert a table into a chart?

Select the table and navigate to the Insert tab, and select a chart type that best suites the data displayed.

Q. How do I password-protect my Excel file?

Select the File menu, then Info, then Protect Workbook, then Encrypt with Password.

Q. Can I merge multiple Excel sheets with different formats?

Yes, you can merge sheets with different formats by using the Consolidate function.

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