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10 tips to make you a Microsoft Excel power user

Excel remains an important tool to master in many professions. Here are 10 tips for mastering the spreadsheet.

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Image: Microsoft

Excel has been an enterprise mainstay for years, with Microsoft recently increasing its workplace appeal by adding collaboration tools and notifications, among other features. While the spreadsheet program is popular, many users do not know how to take advantage of the plethora of features it offers.

Here are 10 popular TechRepublic articles with tips for becoming a Microsoft Excel power user and getting the most out of the program.

1. How to add a drop-down list to an Excel cell

Drop-down lists can greatly facilitate data entry for business users, but in Excel, the process to create them is not exactly intuitive. Here, TechRepublic contributing writer Susan Harkins explains how to use Excel's data validation feature to create drop-down lists within your worksheets.

2. A quick way to delete blank rows in Excel

Black rows in Excel can inhibit some of the program's built-in features. In this article, Harkins describes an easy way to remove blank rows from a data range—though she cautions readers that the technique can also potentially delete data, and to proceed carefully.

3. Save time by using Excel's Left, Right, and Mid string functions

Enterprise users may not know that they don't have to re-key something they can extract using an Excel string function, which can save valuable time. Here, TechRepublic contributing writer Jeff Davis explains how to use the "big three" string functions to make the process more productive.

4. Using Excel's Find and Mid to extract a substring when you don't know the start point

As a follow-up to the previous story on this list, Davis tells readers who use Excel's Find function in conjunction with the Mid function to locate and extract a string. This process works regardless of how many characters the source string contains.

5. Use a custom format in Excel to display easier-to-read millions

In Excel, large numbers can be difficult to read, especially if many are listed. But as Harkins notes here, the program offers a way to reduce the number of digits without losing the number's scale. In this article, she explains how to reduce the number of digits by using a custom format.

6. How to count duplicates and unique values in Excel

Excel users will find that they can have duplicate values within the same column, or duplicate records within a row. Here, Harkins demonstrates how to count duplicate values and unique values in an Excel spreadsheet using different functions in the program.

7. Copy an Excel sheet from one workbook to another

It can be tricky to figure out how to move information from one Excel report to another without any formatting issues. In this story, Harkins describes two different ways to use Excel's built-in features to quickly copy a sheet of data from one workbook to another, step by step.

8. How to suppress 0 values in an Excel chart

Excel users do not always want zeros to appear in their worksheets or charts. The program offers several different choices to get rid of the zeros when users do not want to display them; however, some work better than others, Harkins notes here. In this article, Harkins explains a few different methods to suppress zero values in Excel, noting which are most effective.

9. Two ways to build dynamic charts in Excel

Creating dynamic charts that reflect changes and additions to source data can be a boon for business users. Here, Harkins explains how to define the chart's source as a dynamic range using two different methods, to speed up your work.

10. Pro tip: Group an Excel PivotTable by dates

Excel allows users to group and summarize large amounts of data by inserting a PivotTable and adding the appropriate fields. Here, Harkins explains all of the different ways to group a PivotTable by date components.

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About Alison DeNisco Rayome

Alison DeNisco Rayome is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO, cybersecurity, and the convergence of tech and the workplace.

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