When running a business, there are countless busy days where you would be grateful for a handful of small shortcuts. Well, your wishes have come true. This collection of Excel hacks have been created for people like you, with the effect of shaving time off of your daily activities, allowing you to put those minutes towards something a little more important. Grab your pen and paper, it’s time to make some crucial notes!

Resize your columns

When typing information into your spreadsheet, we all know the pain of that tiny timewasting activity of resizing each column so that your wording is visible. However, did you know that by dragging the cursor to the line that separate the two column markers and double clicking, the column will automatically re-size to the correct point, allowing your text to remain visible.

Mass select

When you have an entire spreadsheet full of figures that all need to be selected, don’t waste your time dragging and highlighting over each individual cell until you have covered the entire document. Can you see that light grey triangle, in the top left-hand corner of your spreadsheet? One click of this, and your entire document will be selected.

Formatting your digits

Once you have completed a table, you may find that you have an entire column of figures which require listing with a pound sign (or any other currency). Instead of wasting valuable minutes selecting each figure and manually placing a pound sign before each number, simply click the column marker to highlight the entire group of numbers and use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + £. This will then revolve your single figures into money formation, automatically inserting commas and points where needed, just so that you don’t have to!

No time for scrolling!

It really is the small things in life that bring us joy, isn’t it! On those extra busy days, the constant scrolling to the top of your spreadsheet can become tedious – especially if your document is extremely large. Try this to save you some time. By hitting Ctrl and then the up arrow on your keyboard twice, your computer will take you back to the top of your document without the need to scroll.

Basic mathematics

The most tedious jobs of all is calculating the sum of figures within a group of cells. Of course, there is a formula that can work out your final answer for you (by use of Autosum) but, if you have no time to figure these steps out, then just drag over and highlight the figures you want to add together and take a look at the bottom right hand corner of your screen. Excel will do the math for you!

Keyboard shortcuts you must take note of

Ctrl + Z – This combination of keys will allow you to undo as many times as you click. Perfect for those panics when you insert the wrong figure and need an instant reverse!

Ctrl + Shift + UP or DOWN arrow – This combination of keys will allow you to select and highlight the cells which have date inserted either directly above of below, saving you from endlessly clicking.

Ctrl+ S – This combination of keys allows you to save your work. When you are working against the clock, the tedious activity of moving the mouse up to the save button can result in you losing track. By inserting this keyboard shortcut, you can save whilst in the flow of inserting figures to your document.

F7 – This key will bring you to the all-important and self-explanatory, spell check. 

F4 – This key will allow excel to repeat the last action into the next cell, such as changing the font size or colour.

Be careful not to confuse this keyboard hack with:

Ctrl + F4 – This combination of keys will close your Excel worksheet. Make sure that you have saved your work before using this shortcut.

Of course, these Excel hacks can save you in a busy day of number crunching, but if you find that you are running out of time within your days more often than not, it may be time for you to consider hiring a bookkeeper to assist you further with your figures, allowing you to focus additional time on growing your business. Contact us at Cain & Co by calling 020 8087 1341 to see if we could assist you and your business.