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Have you ever struggled with knowing how to use Excel to enhance your workflow? Stephanie Chastain, CPE’s Excel instructor, joined us for Workstation and shared tips that will help you increase efficiency and have a better overall understanding of Excel. I have broken down the tips she shared into a series of blogs with easy-to-follow steps, and you can use the timestamps I included to follow along with the webinar recordings!

In Session 1, Stephanie focused on sharing productivity hacks to save you time.


SESSION 1 TABLE OF CONTENTS

DIFFERENT WORKSHEETS IN EXCEL

USING THE AUTOFILL HANDLE

COLUMNS & ROWS

NOTE: Stephanie assumes viewers know basic Excel terminology (for example, how you work in a workbook and create worksheets within a workbook). She also shares a disclaimer that there are multiple ways of doing the things she shares about, but she is sharing the method(s) that she thinks is easiest.


DIFFERENT WORKSHEETS IN EXCEL

First, Stephanie hits different topics regarding worksheets and Excel, like renaming, creating, deleting, and searching for worksheets.

  • RENAMING SHEETS (5:05)

When you open a workbook, you will have a default worksheet set up for you (Sheet1). To rename the sheet, you will:

  1. Double-click Sheet1 in the bottom left-hand corner.
  2. Type your new title into the textbox.
  3. Press Enter.

or

  1. Right-click Sheet1.
  2. Select Rename on the pop-up menu.

 

  • INSERTING SHEETS INDIVIDUALLY (6:26)

There are times when you need more than one sheet in your workbook. To add new sheets to your workbook quickly, you will:

  1. Right-click Sheet1.
  2. Select Insert on the pop-up menu.
  3. Select the Worksheet option.

NOTE: Anytime you select insert in Excel, if you’re working with a column, things will be inserted to the left of the column; if you’re working with a row, things will be inserted above the row. Think about where you want things inserted ahead of time.

Stephanie also shares another shortcut trick for inserting sheets individually at the 8:30 mark; if you click on the plus sign next to the worksheet tabs, a new sheet will be inserted to the right.

 

  • REORDERING SHEETS (7:50)

Click and drag worksheet tabs to reorder them.

 

  • INSERTING A ROW OF SHEETS (10:52)

If you want to insert multiple sheets, choose how many you want to add, and that number of sheets will be added for you by doing the following:

  1. Click on a sheet.
  2. Hold the Shift Key down.
  3. Highlight how many sheets you want to add.
  4. Release the Shift Key.
  5. Right-click the last sheet you highlighted.
  6. Select Insert from the pop-up menu.
  7. Select the Worksheet option.

NOTE: If you click, hold the shift key down, and click again, everything will be highlighted between the two clicks. Then, your next action will be applied to everything highlighted.

 

  • DELETING A ROW OF SHEETS (11:34)

While Stephanie doesn’t visually show the viewer this, it’s inferred that this would be the same process as inserting a row of sheets, except you would delete instead of insert, and ignore step 7.

  1. Click on a sheet.
  2. Hold the Shift Key down.
  3. Highlight how many sheets you want to delete.
  4. Release the Shift Key.
  5. Right-click the last sheet you highlighted.
  6. Select Delete from the pop-up menu.

 

  • DELETING MULTIPLE SHEETS THAT ARE NOT IN A ROW (11:54)

  1. Hold down the ctrl key and click on the sheets you wish to delete.
  2. Right-click the last sheet you selected.
  3. Select Delete from the pop-up menu.

 

  • CHANGING YOUR DEFAULT NUMBER OF WORKSHEETS (12:58)

Let’s say that you know you always want to start out with six tabs in your worksheet. To change the default number of worksheets that show when you open Excel:

  1. Click on the File tab.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Stay on the first General tab. About halfway down, under “When creating new workbooks,” there is an option that says “Include this many sheets.” Use the arrows to change the number there.
  4. Click Ok to save your changes.

 

In the bottom left-hand corner, to the left of the worksheet titles, there are two navigation buttons shaped like arrows. The arrows won’t be clickable until you have enough worksheets that the worksheet titles expand past the bottom area and you can no longer see them all. If you have a larger number of worksheets, you can:

  1. Double-click the arrows.
  2. You will see two options: Ctrl+Left to scroll to the last sheet, or Right-click to see all sheets.
  3. Right-click to see a list of the different sheets in your workbook. This way, you can just click on what you need instead of having to navigate through all your worksheets at the bottom of your workbook.

USING THE AUTOFILL HANDLE

The autofill handle is what allows you to quickly populate cells with data without having to manually enter every piece of individual data.

  • USING THE AUTOFILL HANDLE TO NUMBER LINES (19:30)

To alleviate having to type 1 into a cell, then hit the down arrow, type 2 into a cell, hit the down arrow, and so on, you can:

  1. Put in at least two numbers in the first two cells of data. There MUST be at least two numbers for the autofill handle to work.
  2. Highlight your series (the numbers you have entered in the cells).
  3. In the bottom right-hand corner of your series, hover your mouse over the square outline. A solid plus sign will pop up.
  4. Now, you can click and drag as far down as you want your data to be entered. Data in the same increments you have chosen (for example, if you chose 2, 4, 6, it will continue to go by 2’s) will be auto-filled into your cells.

Note: Stephanie talks more in-depth about this in her Excel courses, but there are ways to customize Excel to autofill data with certain words using whatever nomenclature you used for abbreviations. (For example, months and quarters are commonly used words). (21:02)


COLUMNS & ROWS

Stephanie also shared productivity hacks for columns and rows.

  • INSERTING COLUMNS AND ROWS (22:48)

Inserting columns and rows is a similar process to adding worksheet tabs at the bottom of your Excel sheet. If you want to insert more than one column (for example, four columns), you would:

  1. Highlight the same number of columns as the number of columns you would like to insert.
  2. Right-click your selection.
  3. Select Insert.

This process applies to inserting rows. It also applies to the deleting process, except you would select Delete rather than Insert. It’s also important to remember the “left and above” insertion tip Stephanie shared.

 

  • RESIZING COLUMNS (23:54)

To quickly resize to the largest entry in a column:

  1. Select the column you wish to resize.
  2. Double-click on the column; your mouse should change to a plus sign with arrows on the sides.
  3. Double-click again; your column will resize automatically to be the length of your longest entry in that column.

 

  • SELECTING YOUR WHOLE SPREADSHEET (24:43)

To select your entire spreadsheet, click on the arrow shape that is to the left of A and above the 1. That will quickly select everything in your spreadsheet so you can easily change all of your data at once. You can bold all text, change the color of your text, etc.

NOTE: Once you click on the triangle, you can then double-click anywhere on your spreadsheet between two columns and rows and it will automatically resize to the largest entry in your columns and rows. This saves you from clicking and dragging! Also, when your whole spreadsheet is selected, if you click or drag the width of any column, it will resize everything to the same width of the column that you resized!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Hi! My name is Marah Whitaker (think Laura with an M). I am the Marketing Assistant for UTC Center for Professional Education. During the workday, I spend time writing blog posts, creating content for social media, developing email campaigns, and building relationships with our customer base. During my free time, you can find me getting lost in a good book, having spontaneous dance parties, playing piano, and going to Buffalo Wild Wings on Wing Night. Professionally and personally, I aspire to live by the Mr. Feeny quote, “Dream. Believe. Try. Do Good.” I strive to use my passions to serve others and contribute positively to the world around me. 

Connect with me on LinkedIn.