MS Excel is full of mind-blowing features and tools that can make your work, or personal, life much simpler. A person who has been using Excel for several years will probably be familiar with all the features we’re about to discuss. Beginners, however, might want to pay some attention to what we’re talking about because they can start their Excel training by learning these essential features and functions.

Excel PivotTables

It would be a crime to use Excel without benefiting from its ability to summarize data. Using PivotTables you can do just that. With relative ease you can summarize information present in dozens upon dozens of rows.

If you’re new to PivotTables, Excel can recommend one for you. Of course, if you’re a pro and have been familiar with these tables for a long time, you can just create one from scratch. In order for your tables to be accurate, make sure that there are no empty rows or anything that can affect the table’s creation.

With Excel open, click on the “insert” tab at the top, select tables, then “recommended PivotTables.” It’ll show a several table templates. Just select the one you’re most comfortable with and click OK.

Sorting and Filtering

The difference between writing all of the data you have on handmade spreadsheets and writing on Excel is that with Excel, you can rearrange the data and easily find whatever it is you’re looking for. Excel’s sorting and filtering features make this possible.

You could sort data alphabetically or numerically with a click of a button. This isn’t just useful in an office setting, but also for teachers and even doctors. Regardless of your job or career, you’re bound to have lots of data that needs to be organized in a particular fashion.

Math and Formulas

You can type formulas in the formula bar in MS Excel; you can also enter them directly into a cell and press enter. Always start calculations with the equal sign. It might be time to throw away that calculator. With Excel handling all the numbers for you, you’ll be done and leaving work early on most days.

Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting is a tool that you can use to highlight certain cells. For instance, if you’re a teacher and want to highlight the grades of students who got below 50% on a test so you can call their parents, you can use conditional formatting.

Using conditional formatting settings, you can select a certain font, font size, or cell color to highlight cells of students who get below a certain grade. You could set it to highlight the grades of students who got a 25 or less out of 50 on a test for instance.

It’s an easy way to make information stand out so you can come back to it later. This is really helpful if your Excel workbook has hundreds of numbers and keeping track of certain values can be tricky and time consuming.

Microsoft Excel is truly an amazing program. Nonetheless, some people are discouraged by how much there is to learn. You can start by the few things we mentioned and once you master them, you can move onto others.