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10 Google Spreadsheet Tricks & Tips You Probably Didn’t Know

10 Google Spreadsheet Tricks & Tips You Probably Didn’t Know

Google Docs has been the free alternative to Microsoft Office for the longest time now. This is due in part to how the Google document suite allows individuals to create Google word documents, presentations, and spreadsheets for free and all on the web. However, there are still individuals looking for more ways to extend the power of Google Docs, and more notably Google Sheets, in their every day business and personal tasks. Today, we will take a look at ten Google Spreadsheet tricks and tips that will get you creating spreadsheet docs that will blow everyone by surprise.

1. The Power of the =IMAGE Function

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    It is of course a known fact that you are able to add images through a file upload in Google Sheets. However, a faster way to add images to your Google Sheets is through a formula of =image(“url”). In the parenthesis, put the link of the image from online in quotation marks. It’s a fairly easy formula to make use of and it can possibly save you a ton of upload time in the process.

    2. Make Use of Templates

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      You can make use of a ton of templates in Microsoft Office, and the same is true for Google Sheets. There are a ton for you to make use of and they are a great way for you to get a jump start in what ever form of word processing you are doing in Google Docs and specifically in Google Sheets. All you have to do in Google Docs is click “Create New”, from there select “From Template” and browse away.

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      3. From the Cloud, to Hard Drive

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        Keeping documents in the cloud can be great for accessing your documents on the go. However, it isn’t always best when you are trying to access them while offline. Maybe you want to have a file form of your Google Docs work, if so, this is the tip for you. In Google Docs, select by checking off the documents you are looking to backup. Under “Actions”, select “Download” and in a .zip file, your files are ready to go. It is important to note that you have a 2GB limit.

        4. List All Keyboard Shortcuts

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          Keyboard shortcuts are the ultimate way to stay productive. However, what better way to find out all of the keyboard shortcuts at your disposal than by making use of a keyboard shortcut. Command + “forward slash” (Mac) or “Control” + “Forward Slash” (Windows) brings up the ultimate list of shortcuts that will allow you to get things done in a snap.

          5. Stay Focused in Full Screen

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            It can be easy to find yourself distracted by the other things that are going on around you. When you find yourself in a focused environment however, you aren’t exactly out of distraction danger. You then encounter the distractions of your computer screen. Google Docs has a solution for that. Under the “View” tab, select “Full Screen” and you are off to an environment that will allow you to crank out an amazing spreadsheet in Google Sheets.

            6. Conditional Formatting

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              Conditional formatting is a key feature in any spreadsheet program. This is no different in Google Sheets. Today, we will focus on making use of conditional formatting to colour the cells in your document. Just as conditional formatting is used to make large tasks approachable, making use of the colouring tools in conditional formatting allows you to see a large amount of data as more approachable for you to tackle.

              If you are doing inventory and want to visually see what items are below a set quantity, you can highlight the entire cell(s) you are looking to work with, click the arrow to the right of your column header and click “conditional formatting”. When open, you can set your parameters, choose the colours for each parameter, and then click “save rules”.

              7. Get Related Terms – Magically

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                If you are like me, you may find yourself making use of mind maps a lot to stay creative and to even cure those tip-of-the-tongue moments. Google Sheets is also there to help you out in such situations as well. Using a Google Labs add-on known as Google Sets, simply type two related terms in your cell. From there, highlight the entire cell while clicking “option” on a Mac or “Ctrl” on Windows. Terms begin to “magically” appear.

                8. Accessing More Currencies

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                  If you are working in finance or simply need to make a spreadsheet involving some money, this is the tip for you. If you need to access currency other than the US Dollar, simply highlight the cells, click the “123” button in the toolbar, and scroll to “More Currencies”. Click the currency you want and you’re done. Google Docs just became a bit more travelled!

                  9. Insert Google Sheets into Docs

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                    If you are an avid Google Docs user, you will find that your word documents will need to be placed in Google Sheets and vice versa. Doing this, however, is much easier and seamless than you think. With Charts, in the Google Chrome store, you are able to insert Google Sheets charts in Google Docs by opening the add-on “Charts” in your add-on menu, click “Load Data”, select, drag what data you’ll be using, and select “Insert”.

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                    10. Gathering Data Easier

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                      If you are performing a project or need to make use of a survey to then gather information from for you spreadsheet, Google Forms its what you need. Easily sharable and even with the ability to be embedded on your website by going to “Forms” then “Create a Form”. From there, you can have individuals fill out their respective responses. Once your trials have ended, your data is added to the top of the spreadsheet for you to make use of.

                      I hope that you are able to take the tips and tricks learned today and make some fantastic Google spreadsheets. Let us know in the comments below which trick you’ll make use of the most.

                      Featured photo credit: Xcluesiv via xcluesiv.com

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                      Published on September 20, 2018

                      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                      11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

                      In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

                      Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

                      In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

                      Minimizing Tabs

                      Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

                      Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

                      Incognito Mode

                      Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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                      1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
                      2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
                      3. Download extension New Incognito Window

                      This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

                      Save Webpages as PDF Files

                      Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

                      Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

                      Open Recently-closed Tabs

                      Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

                      One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

                      The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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                      Solve Mathematical Problems

                      Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

                      For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

                      Play Media Files

                      Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

                      In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

                      Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

                      With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

                      Stay Focus(e)d

                      Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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                      Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

                      With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

                      This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

                      Grammarly for Editing

                      Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

                      You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

                      Loom

                      There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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                      There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

                      With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

                      Chrome Calendar Extension

                      No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

                      Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

                      Final Thoughts

                      Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

                      Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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