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5 Unique Techniques for Excel

Guest Author - Chris Curtis

Automatic Word Wrap in a Cell
To wrap text in a cell you must set the wrap text control on the alignment page of the format cells dialog box. You can also set the wrap text control automatically by entering a hard carriage return in the cell while entering or editing data. To enter a hard carriage return, press ALT + Enter at the point where you want the cell to wrap.

Navigating Between Worksheets
Three shortcut methods for moving between worksheets in your workbook
1. Press CTRL + Page Down to activate the adjacent worksheet to the right of the current worksheet
2. Press CTRL + Page Up to activate the adjacent worksheet to the left of the current worksheet
3. Select the exact worksheet to activate from a list of worksheets displayed when you right click on the Worksheet navigation arrows

Quick Charting
Instead of using the chart wizard to create your chart, select the range of data you want to chart and press F11 on your keyboard. Don’t forget to include the column and row labels in your selection to define your categories and series legend. This technique produces a standard bar chart on a separate chart sheet. Once the chart is produced, you can modify the chart as you see fit using the commands found on the chart menu and chart toolbar.

Viewing Formulas in a Cell
Worksheet cells display the results of formula calculations. To see the underlying formula, you click on the cell and the formula is displayed in the formula bar. There are times when you might need to see more than one formula at a time. You can change the worksheet view to display the formulas directly in the cell by pressing the CTRL + ` (accent) keys together. The accent key is located directly above the tab key on the left side of your keyboard. This keystroke combination is a toggle and you can use it to toggle between the formula view and the results view. You can also set the formula view by selecting or deselecting the Formula option on the view page of the Options dialog box.

Pick from List when Entering Data
Entering data in a worksheet is tedious at best. Most people appreciate features that save typing and tedious data entry. One such magical Excel feature is AutoComplete. AutoComplete activates when you begin to type data in a cell and your entry closely matches a pervious entry in the same column. Excel displays a tool tip suggesting the possible entry. Press Enter to accept the suggestion or continue to type if it is not a correct entry.

Even better, you can select from a drop down selection consisting of the unique entries in the column. To display the list, press the ALT + Down Arrow keys together; then click on the correct entry from the displayed list. Excel will insert your choice in the cell. You can also right click on the cell and choose Pick from List to display the list of unique entries in the column.


Be sure to also visit our sister site PC Advice at Bella. You will find a myriad of links and articles about Internet Issues, Personal Computing and Desktop Management.

Please contact your host with any questions. Please also feel free to make any suggestions or contribute a “Unique Technique.” Suggestions should be accompanied by your name and title so that I may give the contributor credit.

Want to improve your MS Office skills, click here to find out how Elusive Creations can help you with your learning needs.

There is a wide selection of Excel reference books at Half Price Computer Books at a reasonable price. You cannot find a more reputable e-retailer. Click below and search for Excel to view their selection of books.

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Content copyright © 2014 by Chris Curtis. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Chris Curtis. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Laura Nunn for details.

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