There’s many little-known tips and tricks with Microsoft Excel that can help you and your company improve productivity. While Excel may seem overly complex at times, our goal is to provide options that are simple for users of any level to understand. We’re going to start this guide with 5 simple tips to help you out.
While you might not need every single tip or trick on this page, the goal is for you can take even one of them away with you – such as a hotkey or key press or menu you can customize – to help increase your productivity and ease some of the pain you might associate with massive Excel sheets and workbooks.
Continue below for this quick guide, which highlights some of the best and simplest hidden tips that you can easily take away and remember the next time you’re using Microsoft Excel.
Lock the format painter
- Double-click the Format Painter button to lock the Format Painter.
- Click it again or press the Escape key to unlock it.
The Format Painter lets you apply the same formatting, such as font, color, border styles, or font sizes to multiple selections of graphics or text – it’s essentially the same as copy and paste but for formatting.
Apply most recent format
There are two options that let you re-apply the most recent action in Excel, including formatting.
- F4 button
- CTRL + Y
Get the Sum, Total and Average without a formula (from the Status bar)
- You can easily get the Sum and Average for a column of numbers without the need for a formula.
- Simply highlight the set or column of numbers, then look in the Status bar (at the bottom of the page).
- You’ll see numbers for Average, Count, and Sum.
- Click any of the numbers to copy them.
If the numbers don’t appear, you might need to enable them. Right-click the Status bar (at the bottom) and then check the options you want to appear.
Customize the Quick Access Toolbar for Most Used functions
The Quick Access Toolbar appears (by default) at the top of an Excel sheet. You can customize what appears there, which is helpful for organize functions you use frequently – such as filters.
- Click the little drop-down error, then click the More Commands option.
- Highlight a command, then click Add to add to the Quick Access toolbar. Click OK when done.
Save a mouse click with F2
- Do you find it tedious to select a cell then click into the formula bar to fix a typo?
- Well, hitting the F2 key will put the cursor itself into the cell/formula bar.
- You can use F2 and arrow keys to edit what’s in the cell.
Additional Excel Tips
Looking to get more from Excel? We’ve got more tips and some of the best shortcuts compiled in our guides: