Perhaps not as sensually satisfying as raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens, but when it comes to Excel, these are a few of my favourite things:
Quickly copy formulas or create a series of months, days, quarters, or other custom series.
- cell and range names
Use cell or range names to make formulas easier to understand at a glance.
Stop re-inventing the wheel when you need new workbooks to handle data with tried and true formulas and layouts
- lookup functions
Reduce the amount of repetitive data in your workbook
- absolute references
Make it easier (and faster) to copy formulas that need to refer to the same value regardless of where you copy them to
- 3-D formulas
Create a worksheet to summarize data from detail worksheets using simple formulas.
- header and footer improvements (Excel 2007)
Custom headers and footers made a giant step forward with Excel 2007
- tables (Excel 2007)
Although the table concept is not new with Excel 2007, this version has added some amazing enhancements to tables.
- keyboard shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts were absolutely essential in DOS days. They may not be essential in today’s mouse-based graphical user interface but they are as useful as ever.
- date and time
- copy cell data
- display formulas or their results
- draw borders (ctrl-Shift-7)
- custom sort order
For values that you want to put in order in a non-standard way
- custom number formats
For those numbers that are not numbers (you know – values like telephone or serial numbers that you would never ‘do’ math on.)
Watch for these and other articles in the coming weeks. If you have other favourite Excel things, drop me a note and tell me what they are and why you like them?