Office and Admin Professional Development

7 Excel Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier

Written by Peter Jones

A whopping 67% of middle-skill jobs require experience in Excel. Just because you hate numbers and the thought of spreadsheets make you nauseous doesn’t mean you can’t add this valuable skill to your resume with confidence. Here are a few tricks to make you an Excel wizard. 

1. Charts

These are not just for the know-it-all in grade school. Charts are a great way to make your data visual, and a great way to impress the bigwigs. Once you’ve entered your data, simply click Insert –> Chart–> Chart Type  and you’re on your way.

2. Conditional Formatting

The possibilities here are endless. Want to show off profit margins? Or efficiency? Simply click Home –> Conditional Formatting –> Add and make your magic. Low numbers (say those below 70%) or profits under 3% could be set to automatically highlight in red, while excellent numbers could be highlighted in green.

3. Quick Analysis

Have a smaller data set? You can skip to the fancy chart and table stage by using this tool. Just highlight your data and click on the icon in the bottom right corner of your highlight field to open the Quick Analysis menu.

4. Autofill

Why enter the same thing in every row when you can have Excel do it for you? Just type in the datum you need repeated, then click and drag the lower right-hand corner of the cell all the way down the column.

5. Power View

Have a larger data set? Power View can collate and make sense of your data for you, generating visual, interactive reports for you to present directly to the boss. Just click Insert –> Reports and start exploring.

6. Pivot Tables

They sound really fancy, but they’re super useful. You don’t have to write a single formula, but you can summarize all of your data into impressive and informative tables and lists. Just click Insert –> PivotTable, select your data range, use the drop-down menu to select your fields, then make your table!


If you’re working in a database with multiple sheets and tabs, VLOOKUP is a great way to bring them all together and pull coherent information from the entire data set. Under the Formula menu, select VLOOKUP and enter the cell that contains your reference, then the range of cells to pull from, the column number, and either “true” or “false.”

These few tricks are handy for everyone, but will make you stand out among your colleagues—even if you’re “bad at numbers.”

Once you have these done, step up your game and learn these 7 advanced Excel Tricks. It might even get you a raise or promotion.

7 Excel Tricks That’ll Make Your Life a Lot Easier (Especially if You’re Not a “Numbers” Person)

About the author

Peter Jones