10 Useful Excel Tips and Tricks

 In VA Work Tips and Best Practices

To be considered a skilled and efficient virtual assistant or virtual employee means that you need to be knowledgeable in different programs and applications that are used to help you finish tasks and projects assigned to you by your client.

Probably one of the most basic programs that VAs should know how to use is Excel, a spreadsheet software developed by Microsoft. Microsoft Excel has different functions that can help you gather data and present information for co-virtual assistants or to your client. If you want to learn how to use Excel properly, here are 10 useful excel tips and tricks that can help you with your daily tasks and projects.

Keyboard shortcuts

To save time and effort, it’s wise to make use of the different keyboard shortcuts that Excel has to offer. It allows easier access to certain features and functions that usually take numerous clicks to reach. Here are some examples of keyboard shortcuts that are of great help when you create a spreadsheet:

  • Ctrl + 2: Bold
  • Ctrl + 3: Italic
  • Ctrl + 4: Underline
  • Ctrl + 5: Strikethrough
  • Shift + Ctrl + F: Font drop-down list
  • Ctrl + 9: Hide rows
  • Ctrl + 0: Hide columns
  • Ctrl + Shift + (: Unhide rows
  • Ctrl + Shift +): Unhide columns
  • Shift + Space: Select entire row
  • Ctrl + Space: Select entire column

Use one font

Don’t make your spreadsheets too fancy. It’s recommended that you use only one font for your spreadsheet so it would be easier to edit and read. You want fellow VAs or clients to easily read what you have done. Being consistent with your fonts makes your spreadsheet easier on the eyes.

Use filters

If you have a huge spreadsheet with tons of data, it’s advisable to use filters so you can search for the desired data easily. Filters are customizable so it’s up to you how you want your data to appear. Here’s how to access it, click Data > Filter > AutoFilter.

Count entries with ease

If you want to count entries in each cell, you don’t have to do this manually. All you need to do is highlight the cells or data you want to count and check the lower right part of your screen and look for “count.” This shows the total entries you have highlighted; it saves a lot of time and energy and is definitely more accurate.

Use current date and time

If your tasks include real-time reports that need to show the current date or time, you can use these formulas to show this information:

  • =NOW() to show the current date and time
  • =TODAY() to show the only the current date

Use shading

Shading rows alternately make it easy for the viewer to read the data in front of them. This is useful for spreadsheets that have plenty of numbers or data that almost cover the whole page. Putting a little shade of gray alternately allows the data to be easily read and edited if needed.

Use color coding for sheet names

For easier organization and swift access, assigning different colors for your sheet names is advised. You can also color code for specific sheets that are prioritized over the others. This is an effective strategy to properly organize sheets so you can easily distinguish them from each other, especially if they have long sheet names or similar sheet names.

Open multiple Excel files in one click

Excel allows its files to be opened simultaneously. All you need to do is to highlight the files you want to open and simply click Enter. This saves you time as you get to open all the spreadsheets you need. This is useful in projects that use multiple spreadsheets.

Quick Navigation

If you want to go to the bottom of the screen without using your mouse, you can use this tip to achieve this goal. To do this, click Ctrl+ the arrow button. This allows you to jump to the edge of the sheet easily.

Renaming sheets easily

The conventional way is to right click the sheet and then choose Rename. But there’s an easier way to do it. Change the names of sheets by simply double clicking on them. Excel allows this feature so you can easily edit and correct sheet names with ease.

By using these useful Excel tips and tricks, you should expect to spend less time and effort in creating spreadsheets for your tasks. It also helps in keeping the data in your spreadsheet less prone to mistakes since it would be easier to edit and review. Making your spreadsheet user-friendly and error-free should always be a priority, this is why the Excel tips and tricks we have shared are essential to your everyday VA life.


Next: 4 Tips To Help You Get Through A Bad Week At Work


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