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18 Excel tips every user should master

Last updated on 09/03/2021

Whether you are a Microsoft Excel beginner or an advanced user, you’ll benefit from these step-by-step tutorials.

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Microsoft Excel was first released in 1985, and the spreadsheet program has remained popular through the years. You can master Excel by reading these tips and tricks on how to add a drop-down list in an Excel cell to finding duplicates, how to delete blank rows in Excel, and more.

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How to combine Excel’s VLOOKUP() function with a combo box for enhanced searching
A combo box’s autocomplete feature linked to a lookup function creates a flexible search tool.

3 quick and easy ways to summarize Excel data
Summarizing data in Microsoft Excel doesn’t have to be difficult. Put these few techniques to work for almost magical results.

How to use the new Excel Lookup function
A little from column A, a little from column B: XLOOKUP is the new, easier way to retrieve information across Excel spreadsheets.

How to evaluate the last rows in a changing data set in Excel 
In Microsoft Excel, changing the evaluated range on the fly requires a bit of work, but it’s definitely possible thanks to the Offset() function.

How to change an Excel conditional format on the fly 
Conditional formatting is a flexible and powerful tool in Microsoft Excel, but you can’t change a condition without modifying the underlying rule. Don’t let that stop you—use an input cell. Here’s how.

How to add a drop-down list to an Excel cell
Drop-down lists can greatly facilitate data entry. Here’s a look at how to use Excel’s data validation feature to create handy lists within your worksheets.

A quick way to delete blank rows in Excel
Deleting blank rows in an Excel data range is easy with this technique, but watch out for unintended consequences.

How to password protect an Excel workbook
At the file level, you can password protect an Excel workbook in two ways: You can determine who can get in and who can save changes.

Entering leading zeroes in Excel
By default, Microsoft Excel won’t display or store leading zeros. Read this Excel tip to learn three handy ways to get around the problem.

Use Excel to calculate the hours worked for any shift
With Microsoft Excel, you can create a worksheet that figures the hours worked for any shift. Follow these step-by-step instructions.

Copy an Excel sheet from one workbook to another
Susan Harkins shows you two quick ways to copy data from one Excel workbook to another.

Use a custom format in Excel to display easier to read millions
Use a custom format in Microsoft Excel to reduce the number of digits in a large number without losing its scale.

How to transfer data from Word forms to an Excel worksheet
Avoid the hassle of manually importing Word form data into Excel. With the help of an Excel wizard, you can quickly step through the process.

How to suppress 0 values in an Excel chart
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for removing 0 values from an Excel chart. Here’s a look at a few methods.

How to find duplicates in Excel
You’ll need more than one trick up your sleeve to find duplicates in Microsoft Excel.

Two ways to build dynamic charts in Excel
Users will appreciate a chart that updates right before their eyes. In Microsoft Excel 2007 and Excel 2010, it’s as easy as creating a table. In earlier versions, you’ll need the formula method.

How to use named ranges to quickly navigate an Excel workbook
Named ranges aren’t just for formulas. Here are two ways you can use named ranges to create shortcuts for quick navigation in a Microsoft Excel workbook.

How to combine formulas with Excel’s data validation and a Word Replace trick

These tutorials based on readers’ questions detail how to combine formulas with Excel’s data validation and feature a Word Replace trick.

How to use Excel’s border options by creating a simple floor plan
Applying borders to your sheets will make them more readable and easier to use. Learn how to use borders efficiently by creating a simple floor plan.

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