What do all spreadsheet programs have in common? They can be extremely difficult to master if you don't have the proper training.
If you're a beginner-intermediate spreadsheet user it is important to learn the tricks of the trade. Once you become a wizard you will never look back. Nothing makes you feel more organized than a perfectionist-pleasing spreadsheet, am I right?
There are many skills when it comes to executing a good spreadsheet. Keep reading to learn a few advanced spreadsheet skills that will have the whole office lining up to learn at your hand.
Data Entry, Sorting, and Filtering
The idea behind a spreadsheet is compiling clean data that can be sorted by an array of different functions.
If you are working with spreadsheets day-to-day, you will definitely want to utilize the sorting features to manipulate how you visualize your data.
Applying Data Validation
There are a few advanced spreadsheet skills involving data entry but one of the best is definitely data validation.
When it comes to data entry, there may be instances where you would like to limit what can be put into a cell. Data validation allows you to define the parameters that you may want to put on a cell.
Protecting Sheets and Locking Cells
This advanced spreadsheet skill is a lifesaver when you're preparing a spreadsheet that is going to be used by a group.
The last thing you would want is for data to be altered or lost when others are working on a document. It will be very helpful for you to lock the cells that should not be edited.
Even the most green of spreadsheet users have dabbled in filtering their data. Within the filters that you have probably already played around with there are many other more advanced filtering options.
Using the more advanced options, you can really tailor your data based on what you are looking to analyze.
Another way that you can use filters is for duplications in your data. You can filter out duplicates through the Data tab. Filtering out the duplicates will create an additional column with just the information that you are looking for.
Sort by Column
Sometimes you may have a specific category of data that you may want to work with and manipulate. The sort by column function is similar to that of your iTunes library and is another super helpful way to view your data.
Pivot tables are one of the most popular advanced spreadsheet skills for those that are working with large amounts of data.
If you have too much data, it is almost useless if you don't have a way of analyzing it.
Pivot tables will allow you to take some of your data and information and summarize it so you only see what you want to see. This is another reason why it is important to have clean data, so it can be sorted and summarized.
While pivot tables can seem overwhelming to the untrained eye, they can be used to summarize pretty much anything and their potential purposes are very vast.
Macros and Scripts
Using macros is a very advanced spreadsheet skill that can help you to automate complex processes.
Tasks can get redundant when you are working in spreadsheets for hours on end and using macros can cut your time working on specific things drastically. You can record things that you're going over and over again into a macro.
Sometimes using macros can require some programming knowledge which takes a bit of learning. However, there are other macros that are more basic, useful, and time-saving that are relatively easy to learn.
Combine Multiple Functions to Create Formulas
Creating formulas is definitely one of the more advanced spreadsheet skills and is often the reason that many people shy away from wanting to learn the nitty-gritty of spreadsheet work.
Formulas are multiple functions put together in one cell. Using formulas can allow you to quickly make calculations and get sums of multiple columns, rows, or cells in a spreadsheet.
Whether it be basic math or more advanced calculations, spreadsheets can be great for doing either.
The SUM function can add the contents of two columns together.
Simple math can be done by using typical math shorthand operators (+, -, *, /). You can add up as many columns as you would like. For example, enter the following =(A1+A2+A3+A4).
Additionally, you can make statistical calculations. Functions like average and mean can come in handy in your day-to-day life and luckily these can easily be done in a spreadsheet.
One more helpful mathematical function that you can use spreadsheets for is calculating dates and times within cells.
Put your Advanced Spreadsheet Skills to the Test
Do you feel like a spreadsheet master after hearing all our pro tips? Time to put your new advanced spreadsheet skills to the test.
There are a few things listed above that you should definitely keep in mind.
First, there are so many ways to manipulate data to show only what you really need. Whether you are looking to sort, filter, or even enter your data in a special way, your spreadsheet can do that for you.
Next, formulas are your friend! Combining different functions is about to save you all the time in the world. While formulas do tend to be the most overwhelming or scary part of working on a spreadsheet, once you learn how to use them to your advantage you will be deemed advanced in no time.
Finally, spreadsheets make doing mathematical calculations easier. A large piece of why spreadsheets are used in many job functions is due to their versatility and functionality. It doesn't matter if you are just looking to do basic addition. Use your spreadsheet to its full potential!
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