You might be surprised at how powerful Excel can be

January 4th, 2013

Do you have Excel? Odds are you're probably already utilizing this product at work. With the learning curve out of the way and likely some level of familiarity formed, homeowners can also make use of Excel to help manage household resources. It's a useful tool for identifying whether household expenses or revenues are on the rise. On the job, you can use Excel to find out which of your company's sales representatives are securing the most sales and which have been slumping. This can help you take the measures necessary to make sure that your company's offerings are selling as briskly as possible. We want to make sure you are using Excel to its full potential. Mastering Excel doesn't require a PhD. Simply follow these three easy steps to make Excel work even harder for you.

Adding non-contiguous values

From the get-go, Excel's AutoSum option has always been an amazing tool, allowing you to add rows of numbers together instantly. However, were you aware that you can utilize AutoSum to add values which aren't contiguous, or adjacent, to each other?  The TechRebpublic blog recently explored the way to accomplish this (and if you're already a Windows shortcut key user, this'll be comfy and familiar to you). As the Website says, if you want to add two rep's sales numbers -- even if they aren't listed adjacent to each other -- you simply select one sales person's column of numbers then hold down your computer's "Control" key to select a second column. You can then use AutoSum to calculate the sales numbers of these two sales guys.

Preventing bad data entry

Too many Excel users attempt to enter bad data in their spreadsheets. For example, personnel might be asked to enter only whole numbers within your company's quarterly sales spreadsheet. This, however, doesn't mean that some employees might try and enter numbers containing decimals. Fortunately, as PC Magazine wrote in a recent story, Excel incorporates a nifty feature intended to prevent workers from entering the wrong types of information inside a company spreadsheet. It's called Data Validation. To find this feature, select the "Table Tools" tab. Next, click "Data Validation." You may then enter exactly what kind of data your staff are allowed to enter. For example, you could tell Excel to allow only numbers rather than text inside a spreadsheet.

Don't let unsaved files ruin your day

You're part way through making a long Excel file when your computer suddenly shuts down. Aaaaagh!  Catastrophic?? Actually, no. Excel now comes with a function that allows you to easily recover these "lost" documents. Here's the secret: First, click the "File" tab within your Excel program. Next, click the "Recover Unsaved Documents" option. You can now just click on the document once it appears on your screen. On top of that, here's more great news: this works even for those Excel files that you never even named before you lost them.