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Microsoft Excel Tips
My marketing manager is a unique individual, not only is he phenomenal at promoting our services, researching and developing various advertising campaigns, keeping our website up to date AND on top of GOOGLE, he develops effective methods and processes for a variety of applications.  For example; he uses the Microsoft Office suite of software to qualify and disqualify the computer literacy of an individual.  Here is a brief look into his mindset for computer savvy or not-savvy people:

  1. Beginner: Can use Outlook but on a basic level, can’t set up the account
  2. Intermediate: Uses Word but has issues with some of the more complex aspects of the program
  3. Competent: Likes to use Excel and can create spreadsheets, but has trouble creating formulas
  4. Expert: Is fluent in Access and can create and manage databases

As you can see from his 4 levels of computer competence, if you can use Excel then you are an above average computer user.  I hope today’s Tech Tip on Microsoft Excel will help many or at least some of you expand on your computer skills.  As always, if you have a tip not listed on our chart, send them my way for inclusion.

  1. To keep an area of a worksheet visible while you scroll to another area of the worksheet, you can lock specific rows or columns in one area by freezing or splitting panes
    Click Format > Lock Cell
  2. Create a bar chart within a set of data?
    Press F11 in any cell
  3. If you need to sum a column or row of numbers, let Excel do the math for you
    Select a cell next to the numbers you want to sum > click AutoSum on the Home tab > press Enter
  4. Need to format your data into currency?
    Press Ctrl + Shift + $ to do so with commas and two decimal places
  5. Create and edit formulas with Formula Autocomplete
    Type an = and the beginning letters > Excel displays a list of valid functions > Insert the function by pressing TAB
  6. Need to format your data into percentages?
    Press Ctrl + Shift + %

Most of us will not qualify as experts on my managers scale for computer literacy, but if you use Excel and learn the value of the software, it’s amazing how much more productive and professional you will become.


John McCann
John McCann & Associates, Inc.
IT Management for Small Business
Computer Services, Solutions & Support