Maximize Your Excel Efficiency: 11 Lesser-Known Productivity Tips

Microsoft Excel has a wealth of capabilities to help with data management and analysis, but are you taking advantage of all of them? Discover 11 little-known Excel productivity shortcuts and features to improve your productivity drastically.


1. Power Query (Get & Transform Data):

Power Query, an Excel add-in, is located under the “Data” tab in the “Get & Transform Data” section and simplifies the process of extracting, manipulating, and importing your data. Import data from diverse sources, cleanse it and effectively organize it.


2. Quick Analysis Tool:

The Quick Analysis tool, which appears in the bottom-right corner of your selected data, provides instant insights. This can be used for quick formatting, graphing, totalling, table building, and sparkline generating.


3. Excel Tables (Ctrl + T):

After selecting your data, use Ctrl + T to turn it into an Excel table, an effective data management and analysis tool. This action enables improved sorting, filtering, and structured references, among other advantages.


4. Flash Fill (Ctrl + E):

Flash Fill, activated by Ctrl + E, auto-fills your data when it detects a pattern. It is beneficial for activities like distinguishing first and last names.


5. Select Visible Cells Only (Alt + ;):

When working with filtered data, use the shortcut Alt + ; to select only visible cells. This is useful when copying and pasting data without including hidden rows or columns.


6. PivotTable (Alt + N + V):

PivotTables, accessed by pressing Alt + N + V, are great for summarizing, analyzing, and presenting data. Once you’ve chosen your data, Excel will walk you through the creation process.


7. Name Ranges (Ctrl + F3):

Naming cell ranges can ease formula creation while also improving readability. Choose the cells, press Ctrl + F3, enter a name, and click OK.


8. Data Validation:

The “Data Validation” option under the “Data” tab assures data consistency by restricting the type of data or values users can enter into a cell.


9. Go To Special (Ctrl + G and then Special):

Selecting only the cells with formulas, comments, constants, or blanks by pressing Ctrl + G and then clicking “Special” brings up a world of alternatives.


10. AutoSum (Alt + =):

AutoSum (Alt + =) is a simple yet powerful tool that instantly calculates the sum of a range of cells.


11. Format Painter (Ctrl + Shift + C to copy, Ctrl + Shift + V to paste):

Ctrl + Shift + C (copy) and Ctrl + Shift + V (paste) bring up the Format Painter tool, which swiftly duplicates the format from one region of your worksheet to another.


Mastering these Excel efficiency hacks and shortcuts can transform your workflow by saving time and increasing productivity. Congratulations on your achievement!