Proficiency in Microsoft Excel is a game-changer in office support roles. Lots of people say they are Excel literate, but few use it to its full extent. Excel is not just a spreadsheet tool; it's a powerful ally that can enhance your productivity and efficiency. So, to help you improve your skills, let's dive into some Excel hacks that can make your work life smoother and more effective.
1. Get the hang of keyboard shortcuts
Navigate through your spreadsheets like a pro with keyboard shortcuts. Pressing Ctrl + arrow keys swiftly takes you to the last filled cell in a row or column. Combine with Ctrl + Shift for even faster navigation. Mastering these shortcuts minimises scrolling time, allowing you to focus on the task at hand. There are so many different keyboard shortcuts, so look them up and get learning.
2. Make things visual
Make your data visually compelling and gain quick insights using conditional formatting. Highlight cells based on specific criteria, making trends and patterns easily identifiable. Whether it's identifying outliers or tracking progress, this feature adds a visual dimension to your data analysis, a valuable skill in many roles. It’s also really handy for making your reports better.
3. Summarise data with pivot tables
Become the data wizard in your office by mastering pivot tables. They allow you to summarise and analyse large datasets quickly. Pivot tables make complex data more manageable, providing a clear snapshot of information. Again, they will make your reports shine!
4. Don’t spend ages looking for something use XLOOKUP (or VLOOKUP in older versions)
Save time on data retrieval with the XLOOKUP function. This powerful tool allows you to search for a value in a table and retrieve corresponding information from another column. If you find yourself wasting time manually searching data, this will change your life.
5. Use Autofill to save time on repetitive tasks
We were recently chatting to a PA candidate who had walked in on their executive typing cell by cell repetitive data. It’s not an uncommon story. Excel's Autofill feature is a hidden gem for those dealing with repetitive tasks. Whether it's filling a column with a series of dates, numbers, or formulas, Autofill can do it superfast. Click and drag the fill handle, and let Excel do the heavy lifting for you. It's a small trick with a big impact on efficiency.
6. Use data validation for error prevention
Use the data validation feature to prevent data entry errors. You can set specific criteria for cell entries, ensuring accuracy and consistency. This is particularly useful for maintaining clean and error-free databases, a crucial aspect of many office support jobs in London.
7. Bulk add columns and rows
Ever sat clicking over and over to add more rows or columns? There’s no need. Just highlight the number of pre-existing columns or rows and simply right click and hit ‘Insert.’ Excel automatically adds the same number of rows or columns that you’d selected.
Excel is brilliant for saving time but also improving the quality of your office support work. It’s why it’s one of the programmes we offer as free software training for candidates. If you want to be an Excel pro in your next role, use us as your London recruitment agency and benefit from the training we provide.