Microsoft Excel is used widely for many purposes. It is a powerful and versatile tool especially if you use it to its full potential.
One of the best ways to improve your efficiency using Excel is to reduce your dependence on your mouse and learn some keyboard shortcuts!
Do you know that you could save 47 hours a year using shortcuts instead of doing things manually with the mouse? According to this experiment, you could be 4.5 times more productive!
Here are some shortcuts I know will save you time. If you can master these, then you will see a big difference, especially when working on large data sets.
Navigate to the Last Populated Record on a Column
Let's say you are working on a large data set and have no idea how long it's going to take to scroll down using your mouse to the last record.
Use the following shortcut instead:
This shortcut takes you to the last populated cell. If you have some empty cells in the middle of your spreadsheet, it will stop at these (for the column you are in), making it great for finding data gaps. You can repeat the shortcut to navigate to the next populated cell until you reach the end of your spreadsheet.
What's really cool is you can use this mode of navigation in every direction using the four different arrows.
Select a Column Partially
The following shortcut is also helpful when you're working with large data sets but only need to select a specific piece of it.
Let's imagine you have a few empty cells and a label on top of your column and you want to exclude these rows from your selection.
Place your cursor on any cell and use this keyboard combination to select your column data to the last populated cell.
Just like the last populated shortcut, this can be applied in any direction, with the four different arrows.
Other common commands used in Excel include the inserting of rows and columns. Again, you could use the menu but the keyboard is so much quicker. I use these shortcuts below to quickly add rows and columns.
I find the above really useful when using Excel. But there are other cool simple shortcuts available to insert data; date and time are classic examples.
Finally, if you are working with formulas a lot, sometimes it's nice to see what the formula is rather than the value.
Once you master these shortcut options, you'll find yourself flying around your Excel spreadsheet at a pace you didn't think was possible.
About the Author
Aurelie Mazieres, More4Apps
Aurelie is a presales product strategist at More4Apps. This company develops automation and integration solutions that enable Oracle EBS users to easily upload and download their Oracle data via API's and interfaces. https://more4apps.com/