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20 Tricks That Can Make Anyone An Excel Expert

20 Tricks That Can Make Anyone An Excel Expert

After Microsoft developed Excel to the 2010 version, it offered more surprises than ever. In order to deal with tons of big data, you can’t ignore the important role Excel plays in daily work. However, both for beginners and advanced users, there are still many useful tips and tricks that are inevitably overlooked. Here are 20 useful Excel spreadsheet secrets you may not know. Please note that all these functions are based on Microsoft Excel 2010.

    Photo credit: Source

    1. One Click to Select All

    You might know how to select all by using the Ctrl + A shortcut, but few know that with only one click of the corner button, as shown in the screenshot below, all data will be selected in seconds.

    One Click to Select All

      2. Open Excel Files in Bulk

      Rather than open files one by one when you have multiple files you need to handle, there is a handy way to open them all with one click. Select the files you would like to open then press the Enter key on the keyboard, all files will open simultaneously.

      Open Excel Files in Bulk

        3. Shift Between Different Excel Files

        When you have different spreadsheets open, it’s really annoying shifting between different files because sometimes working on the wrong sheet can ruin the whole project. Using Ctrl + Tab you can shift between different files freely. This function is also applicable to other files like different Windows tabs in Firefox when opened using Windows 7.

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        Shift Different Excel Files

          4. Create a New Shortcut Menu

          Generally there are three shortcuts in the top menu, which are Save, Undo Typing and Repeat Typing. However, if you want to use more shortcuts, like Copy and Cut, you can set them up as follows:

          File->Options->Quick Access Toolbar, add Cut and Copy from the left column to the right, save it. You will see two more shortcuts added in the top menu.

          Create New Shortcut Menu

            5. Add a Diagonal Line to a Cell

            When creating a classmate address list, for example, you may need a diagonal link in the first cell to separate different attributes of rows and columns. How to make it? Everyone knows that Home->Font-> Borders can change different borders for a cell, and even add different colors. However, if you click More Borders, you will get more surprises, like a diagonal line. Click it and save—you can now make it immediately.

            Add Diagonal Line for a Cell

              6. Add More Than One New Row or Column

              You may know the way to add one new row or column, but it really wastes a lot of time if you need to insert more than one of these by repeating this action X number of times. The best way is to drag and select X rows or columns (X is two or more) if you want to add X rows or columns above or left. Right click the highlighted rows or columns and choose Insert from the drop down menu. New rows will be inserted above the row or to the left of the column you first selected.

              Add More Than One New Row/Column

                7. Speedily Move and Copy Data in Cells

                If you want to move one column of data in a spreadsheet, the fast way is to choose it and move the pointer to the border, after it turns to a crossed arrow icon, drag to move the column freely. What if you want to copy the data? You can press the Ctrl button before you drag to move; the new column will copy all the selected data.

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                Speedy Move and Copy Data in Cells

                  8. Speedily Delete Blank Cells

                  Some default data will be blank, for various reasons. If you need to delete these to maintain accuracy, especially when calculating the average value, the speedy way is to filter out all blank cells and delete them with one click. Choose the column you want to filter, go to Data->Filter, after the downward button shows, undo Select All and then pick up the last option, Blanks. All blank cells will show immediately. Go back to Home and click Delete directly, all of them will be removed.

                  Speedy Delete Blank Cells

                    9. Vague Search with Wild Card

                    You may know how to activate the speedy search by using the shortcut Ctrl + F, but there are two main wild cards—Question Mark and Asterisk—used in Excel spreadsheets to activate a vague search. This is used when you are not sure about the target result. Question Mark stands for one character and Asterisk represents one or more characters. What if you need to search Question Mark and Asterisk as a target result? Don’t forget add a Wave Line in front.

                    Vague Search with Wild-card

                      10. Generate a Unique Value in a Column

                      You are aware of the key function of Filter, but few people use the Advanced Filter, which will be repeatedly applied when you need to filter a unique value from data in a column. Click to choose the column and go to Data->Advanced. A pop-up window will show up. As the screenshot shows, click Copy to another location, which should be in accord with the second red rectangular area. Then specify the target location by typing the value or clicking the area-choosing button. In this example, the unique age can be generated from Column C and show in Column E. Don’t forget to choose Unique records only, then click OK. The unique value showing in column E can be the contrast of the original data in C, that’s the reason why it is recommended to copy to another location.

                      Generate Unique Value in Column

                        11. Input Restriction with Data Validation Function

                        In order to retain the validity of data, sometimes you need to restrict the input value and offer some tips for further steps. For example, age in this sheet should be whole numbers and all people participating in this survey should be between 18 and 60 years old. To ensure that data outside of this age range isn’t entered, go to Data->Data Validation->Setting, input the conditions and shift to Input Message to give prompts like, “Please input your age with whole number, which should range from 18 to 60.” Users will get this prompt when hanging the pointer in this area and get a warning message if the inputted information is unqualified.

                        Input Restriction with Data Validation Function

                          12. Fast Navigation with Ctrl + Arrow Button

                          When you click Ctrl + any arrow button on the keyboard, you can jump to the edge of the sheet in different directions. If you want to jump to the bottom line of the data, just try to click Ctrl + downward button.

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                          Fast Navigation with Ctrl + Arrow Button

                            13. Transpose Data from a Row to a Column

                            You would use this feature if you want to transpose data to get a better display; however, retyping all data would be the last thing you would need to do if you know how to use the Transpose function in Paste. Here’s how: copy the area you want to transpose, move the pointer to another blank location. Go to Home->Paste->Transpose, please note that this function won’t activate until you copy the data first.

                            Transpose Data from Row to Column

                              14. Hide Data Thoroughly

                              Almost all users know how to hide data by right clicking to select the Hide function, but this can be easily noticed if there is only a little bit of data. The best and easiest way to hide data thoroughly is to use the Format Cells function. Choose the area and go to Home->Font->Open Format Cells->Number Tab->Custom->Type ;;; -> Click OK, then all the values in the area will be invisible, and can only be found in the preview area next to the Function button.

                              Hide Data Thoroughly

                                15. Compose Text with &

                                Complicated formulation is unnecessary, as long as you know how to use &. You can compose any text freely with this symbol. Below I have four columns with different texts, but what if I want to compose them to one value in one cell? First, locate the cell that is to show the composed result, use the formulation with & as shown in the screenshot below. Click Enter: all texts in A2, B2, C2 and D2 will be composed together to become LizaUSA25@ in F2.

                                Compose Text with &

                                  16. Transforming the Case of Text

                                  With all the tricks shared here, I’ve tried my best to avoid complicated formulation. But there are still some simple and easy to use formulations to show you, like UPPER, LOWER and PROPER, which can transform texts for different purposes. UPPER will capitalize all characters, LOWER can change text to all lower case and PROPER will only capitalize the first character of a word.

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                                  Text Transform

                                    17. Input Values Starting with 0

                                    When an input value starts with zero, Excel will delete the zero by default. Rather than reset the Format Cells, this problem can be easily solved by adding a single quote mark ahead of the first zero, as shown.

                                    Input Value Starts with 0

                                      18. Speed up Inputting Complicated Terms with AutoCorrect

                                      If you need to repeat the same value and it is complicated to input, the best way is to use the AutoCorrect function, which will replace your text with the correct text. Take my name, Liza Brown, for example, which can be replaced by LZ. Therefore, every time I input LZ, it can autocorrect to Liza Brown. Go to File->Options->Proofing->AutoCorrect Options and input Replace text with correct text in the red rectangular area, as below.

                                      Speed up Inputting Complicate Terms with AutoCorrect

                                        19. One Click to Get More Status

                                        Most users know how to check the data status in the bottom of an Excel sheet, like Average and Sum Value. However, do you know you can move the pointer to the bottom tab and right click to get more status, as shown below?

                                        One Click to Get More Status

                                          20. Rename a Sheet Using Double Click

                                          There are multiple ways to rename sheets, and most users will right click to choose Rename, which actually wastes a lot of time. The best way is to just click twice, then you can rename it directly.

                                          Rename Sheet by Double Click

                                              Photo credit: Source

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                                              40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                                              40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                                              Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

                                              There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

                                              Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

                                              It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

                                              Productivity apps to help you get things done

                                              1. OmniFocus

                                              This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

                                              Download it here.

                                                2. Forest

                                                Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

                                                Download it here.

                                                  3. Things

                                                  Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    4. 30/30

                                                    Recently covered here at Lifehack

                                                    , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      5. Any.Do

                                                      A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        6. PocketLife Calendar

                                                        This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          7. Asana

                                                          We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                                                          , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                                                          Download it here.

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                                                            8. ToDoist

                                                            This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              9. FlowTasks

                                                              From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                10. Calendars 5

                                                                This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                                                                  A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    12. Due

                                                                    A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      13. Checkmark 2

                                                                      I use this app

                                                                      for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        14. TeuxDeux

                                                                        Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          15. Wunderlist 

                                                                          Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                                                          Download it here.

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                                                                            16. Nirvana

                                                                            For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              17. Priorities

                                                                              An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                                                                18. Productive

                                                                                With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                                                                  You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                    20. Streaks

                                                                                    This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      21. Remember The Milk

                                                                                      Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        22. Day One Journal

                                                                                        When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                          Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                                                                          23. Evernote

                                                                                          Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                            24. Pocket

                                                                                            You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                                                            Download it here.

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                                                                                              25. Sync.Me

                                                                                              This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                26. Droplr

                                                                                                One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                  27. Dropbox

                                                                                                  Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                    28. iDolly 

                                                                                                    In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                                                    Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                                      29. Soulver

                                                                                                      It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                                        Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                                                                        30. Captio

                                                                                                        A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                                          31. Drafts

                                                                                                          A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                                            32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                                                            This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                                                            Download it here.

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                                                                                                              33. Doodle

                                                                                                              This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                                34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                                                                I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                                  35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                                                                  A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                                    36. GoodReader

                                                                                                                    This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                                                      37. LogMeIn

                                                                                                                      Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                                                        Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                                                                        38. 1Password

                                                                                                                        There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                                                          39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                                                          You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                                                          All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                                                            40. Truecallers

                                                                                                                            Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                                                              There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                                                              Reference

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