Roughly 750 million people around the world use Microsoft Excel, the Financial Post reports. However, despite its wide user base, not many people know how to use the software to its very fullest potential. Learning useful Excel hacks can help users save time, simplify complex tasks, and gain clearer business insights.
Add alt text to images
Alt text is used to describe the content of images and improve SEO, while also aiding visually-impaired readers. Adding alt text to Excel documents can be useful, especially if blind or visually-impaired users will be using screen readers to review them. With Excel, alt text can be added to graphics via either the “illustrations” or “insert” buttons. Right-click on the specific image, and select “edit alt text” from the menu. Enter your chosen alt text in the alt text pane that appears. You can also select “mark as decorative” if the image is purely for aesthetics rather than informative. When you’re ready, click off the pane. The alt text will automatically save to the image.
Whether users are working on a spreadsheet on different computers or with coworkers, ending up with multiple versions of the same file is common. Learning how to use Excel correctly can eradicate this problem and improve workflow. For example, with the Windows Live Excel web app (provided for free on Microsoft’s SkyDrive online storage service), multiple users can access a single, synchronized version of the same spreadsheet from any location. On your Windows Live account, upload the spreadsheet to SkyDrive. Click “share” and “share with more people” to enter the email addresses of relevant contacts. Select “recipients can edit” and “share”. Click “file” in Excel and “open in Excel”, which launches the desktop application. Sign in with your Windows Live details. Select “save” in the desktop application. Sign out of Windows Live. Close the desktop Excel application. Click “file” in desktop Excel. Select your spreadsheet from “recent workbooks” to open the online version of it.
Find data with XLOOKUP
XLOOKUP makes it easy for users to find the information they need by matching data from one column with data from other columns or sheets. To start this process, type “=XLOOKUP(” into the cell you want the results to appear in. “Look_up value” will appear: click this cell and enter a comma (this is the value that needs identifying in other columns or sheets). With your mouse, highlight cells to search for this “lookup_value” and enter a comma. Finish by entering a close parens. The resulting formula can be copied and pasted into other cells and entire sets of rows. In fact, if a different row is then highlighted, Excel automatically replaces the initial “lookup_value” cell number with the new row number to make it as easy as possible to find the data needed.
Excel is useful software for both businesses and consumers. By taking the time to learn specific hacks that simplify complicated tasks, all users can become masters of the software.