3 Time-Saving Excel Tips and Tricks

By October 28, 2021Microsoft Office

Love it or hate it, but Excel and related spreadsheet programs are here to stay. Even if you have a nonprofit accounting software package you love, somewhere, somehow, someone will need to use an Excel spreadsheet. Whether you’re using Excel for basic accounting or with MIP, we found some great tips and tricks we’d like to share with you. Here’s to saving more time in Excel!

Tip #1: Viewing and Printing Comments

Have you ever circulated a spreadsheet for feedback and received it filled with comments? Hey, we’ve all been there. It can be quite challenging to read through and implement them in the proper section of a spreadsheet, especially if there are multiple workbooks affected within one document.

Here’s the good news: If you’re using Excel for Office 365, you can view and print comments. Follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Page Layout tab on the Ribbon.
  2. Expand the Page Setup.
  3. Once the Page Setup window opens, go to the Sheet
  4. Next to Comments and notes, choose At end of sheet from the dropdown.
  5. Click Print Preview. You should now see an additional sheet in your workbook that contains all the notes and comments from the file.
  6. From here, you can use the Print Preview screen to output as a PDF or to print it to the device of your choice.

Please note that instructions may differ for older versions of Excel.

Tip #2: Create a Customized Set of Features

Perhaps you’re an Excel champion, the person in your office people rely on to navigate and use Excel with authority. You’ve got your favorite set of features, too. These are features you use frequently, like setting up special tables or completing various functions.

You can create your very own customized Ribbon that includes the features you use frequently. It’s a great time saver. Here’s how to set up the customized Ribbon.

Set-Up a Customized Ribbon

  1. Go to File > Options > Customize the Ribbon.
  2. Under Customize the Ribbon, select Main Tabs.
  3. Choose New Tab. A new tab and group show in the window as part of the Ribbon. You can add more groups to the custom tab by clicking New Group.
  4. Right-click on New Tab (Custom) to rename it. You can choose any name you like.
  5. Right-click on New Group (Custom) to rename the group.

Add Tasks

Next, you’ll need to add specific tasks to your new customized group. To the left of the Customize the Ribbon window, you’ll see a list of Excel features. Choose All Commands under Choose command from. This will display all available options.

To add favorites:

  1. Select the name of your Custom group.
  2. Select the feature you want.
  3. Click Add.
  4. Repeat with each feature until you have the group set up with your favorites.

Tip #3: Create a Quick Ordered List

Imagine that the first column of your spreadsheet is a sequence of dates, in numerical order, from the first of the month to the last date of the month. You could type in the dates, but there’s an easier way.

  1. Type the date in the first cell, first row and column.
  2. Format the date so that it is in the format you wish by right clicking on the cell, then choosing Date > Format.
  3. Once your date is formatted, click on the cell. A green box appears around it.
  4. Click on the lower right corner of the green box. Drag the edge down with your mouse. As you drag, Excel should automatically populate the first column with sequential dates until you release the mouse.

We hope these Excel tips and tricks are helpful to you. For all you Excel fans out there, what are your favorite tricks? Let us know!

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Welter Consulting

Welter Consulting bridges people and technology together for effective solutions for nonprofit organizations. We offer software and services that can help you with your accounting needs. Please contact Welter Consulting at (206) 605-3113 for more information.