Sometimes when employees begin to start tracking some data they underestimate how important the data will become over time.  Without proper planning and organization, a once relatively minor Excel spreadsheet can turn into a clunky, error-prone document that only the original author can analyze.

In this post we will discuss our 10 favorite Excel tips. These are good practices for creating Excel spreadsheets.  When adhered to they will lead to useful, organized information for a multitude of viewers.

Excel Tips

1.  Worksheet Creation

Keeping related data within one tab allows one to use features such as Pivot Tables, functions, subtotals and worksheet formulas.

2.  Consider Data Layout

Viewers typically scan columns and rows in order to understand data organization.  By highlighting and presenting the most important information first, viewers can begin to manage and evaluate data more quickly.

3.  Improve Workbook Performance

Fewer, bigger workbooks allows for greater overall performance rather than a group of smaller, linked workbooks.

4.  Use the Data Validation Function

Any tool that can help minimize errors is a time saver and helps to keep your data accurate.  Find this function in the Data tab of the Data Tools group.

5.  Using Absolute References

Need to keep the cell reference the same when copying or when using AutoFill?  Simply use a “$” sign to avoid automatic adjustments to your content.

6.  Safeguard your Important Cells

Protect important cells or ranges by defining which users are allowed to perform editing or even formatting tasks.

7.  Take Advantage of Color

Using color is a great way to highlight important information and to give readers a break when viewing a substantial amount of numbers.  Try using some of the color options found in Conditional Formatting, Cell Styles and the standard color options.

8.  Use a Cell Merge Alternative

To make sorting easier, go through Format Cells, select Alignment, and from the horizontal drop down, choose Center Across Selection to center a label across multiple cells.

9.  Label for Clear Communication

When sharing and creating formulas, label the ranges and give formulas descriptive names.  Doing so will make selecting big amounts of data easier and understanding the purpose of various formulas more straightforward as well.

10.  Creating Summary Total Sheets

To produce a summary total sheet, create a named range to cluster totals from each sheet you want to create a summary from.  To produce a summary total sheet, simply select the named range from the function menu.

Want to know more Office 365 for Business tips?  Contact us.

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