Go Ask Debbie
3 More Excel Tips to Save Time
Updated: Jun 24, 2021
As a follow up to my 3 Excel Tips to Save Time, I've thought of a few more that have always saved me time and I've shown clients lately who didn't know these were possible.
Not only will these tips help you get better at Excel, but they will help you get faster at using Excel.
You know I'm all about learning how to use your tools, like Microsoft Office, to save yourself time and become more productive. Tools aren't meant to slow you down, but I see it too often where people struggle and waste time because they don't know how to do things properly or they don't know how to use certain features and functions in their tool - just like Excel.
So, I've put together this list of 3 More Excel Tips that will Save You Time!
1) Quickly Add Multiple Cell References
Often you will need to calculate the sum of cells or data that are not adjacent to one another. The screenshot here shows an example.
If you want to create a formula that sums the Total rows for each product, you can easily do this:
Using the =SUM Formula in the Grand Total row (Row 18) would add up all of the products in addition to the totals. So, since we don't want to repeat our summation, we can quickly do the following.
Placing our cursor in Cell C18,
Click Cell C9 with the Mouse
Continue holding the CTRL key
Click Cell C13
Continue holding the CTRL key
Click Cell C17
This technique of holding the CTRL key while selecting multiple cells or ranges of cells to add to a formula absolutely saves time.
2) Jump to a Cell or Range Reference
When using Excel for large data files, it can be very easy to get lost.
If you spend time navigating through your workbook to find a cell or a range reference that is on another worksheet, this tip will save you a lot of time.
Using the screenshot below, let me show you how to easily use this tip.
You can easily use both the ScreenTip and the Go To menu to quickly jump to a cell or a range that is referenced in your formula.
In this example, the =VLOOKUP formula shows a reference to a range of data on the "Data" worksheet. In case you're not sure that is the correct range or you want to see what's included in that range while you're working within the =VLOOKUP (or you could be referencing or checking a co-worker's spreadsheet), you can do the following.
Double-click the Formula Bar to edit the function.
Once in the Edit mode, Click and Drag your cursor to highlight the Data!$A$1::$C$5" portion of the function and press F5.
In the Go To dialog box, the Reference appears and you can click the OK button. Excel will jump you to that reference.
It's so simple, so you really need to start using this shortcut and save yourself time from jumping all over in your spreadsheets.
3) Quickly Open the Functions Argument Dialog
I think the most common things I see students doing is re-doing functions because they want the Function Arguments Dialog box to assist them, but need corrections.
You can make corrections and adjust anything you'd like within the Functions Argument Dialog box with existing functions.
With your cursor in the cell containing the function, simply Click the Function Symbol to the left of the Formula Bar.
- OR -
You can Press SHIFT + F3.
Either of these options will open the Functions Argument Dialog box where you can read more information and/or change anything you'd like.
I've found myself saving a LOT of time with this easy tip.
What other tips can you share with others to help them save time in Excel?
I know everyone reading would love to hear your tips as well.
I hope you start using these time saving Excel tips because they really will make a difference in your productivity.
If you'd like to find more time saving tips, download my "65 Ways to Use MS Office to be More Productive" eBook.