How to Use Excel Fast: A Guide for Beginners and Advanced Users

Excel is a powerful tool that can help you analyze, organize and present data in various ways. However, Excel can also be slow and frustrating if you don’t know how to use it efficiently. We will share some tips and tricks on how to use Excel fast, whether you are a beginner or an advanced user.

For Beginners: Learn the Basic Tasks in Excel

If you are new to Excel, you might feel overwhelmed by the many features and functions that it offers. However, you don’t need to learn everything at once. You can start by mastering some basic tasks that will help you perform common operations in Excel, such as:

  • Applying cell borders and shading to make your data look more attractive and organized.
  • Using AutoSum to quickly add up a range of numbers.
  • Creating simple formulas to perform calculations on your data.
  • Applying number formats to display your data in different ways, such as currency, percentage or date.
  • Use tables for easy data sorting, filtering, and analysis.
  • Showing totals for your numbers using Quick Analysis, a tool that lets you apply functions such as SUM, AVERAGE or COUNT with one click.
  • Adding meaning to your data using Quick Analysis, a tool that lets you apply visual features such as charts, sparklines or conditional formatting with one click.

You can learn more about these basic tasks in Excel by following Best Excel Tutorial.

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For Advanced Users: Speed Up Excel Performance and Calculation

If you are an advanced user of Excel, you might have encountered some issues with Excel’s performance and calculation speed. This can happen when you work with large or complex workbooks that contain many formulas, functions, references or formats. To speed up Excel and make it run faster, you can try some of these tips:

  • Avoid volatile functions, such as NOW, TODAY, RAND or INDIRECT. These functions recalculate every time there is a change in the workbook, which can slow down Excel significantly. Instead, use non-volatile functions or manual calculations when possible .
  • Avoid array formulas, if you can. Array formulas are powerful but they can also be resource-intensive and hard to debug. Instead, use helper columns for calculations or use dynamic array functions if you have Office 365 .
  • Use conditional formatting with caution. Conditional formatting can make your data look more appealing and informative, but it can also affect Excel’s performance if applied excessively or incorrectly. Instead, use conditional formatting sparingly and avoid using complex formulas or references in the rules .
  • Use Excel tables and named ranges. Excel tables and named ranges can help you organize your data and make it easier to reference in formulas and functions. They can also improve Excel’s performance by reducing calculation time and memory usage .
  • Convert unused formulas to values. If you have formulas that are no longer needed or used in your workbook, you can convert them to values to free up some memory and speed up calculation. You can do this by copying the cells with formulas and pasting them as values .
  • Keep all referenced data in one sheet. If you have formulas that refer to data in other sheets or workbooks, you can improve Excel’s performance by moving all the referenced data to one sheet or workbook. This can reduce the number of external links and dependencies that Excel has to update every time there is a change .
  • Adjust your system settings for best performance. You can also speed up Excel by optimizing your system settings for better performance. For example, you can disable unnecessary visual effects, increase your virtual memory or update your drivers.
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You can learn more about these tips for improving Excel’s performance and calculation by following our articles. We publish also very advanced topics.