When it comes down to it, Excel is a miracle worker.  One seemingly unremarkable program is capable of revealing so much.  It can “easily” turn all that random data into real, workable information.  Or, at the very least, it can make your to-do list look really pretty.

But the thing about Excel is that you need to know how to find your way around the thing before you can extract any legitimate value out of it.  And luckily for you, we’re happy to help in that department.  So here are a few simple tips and tricks to get you started.

One click to select all.

If you need to select the whole worksheet, click the triangle on the left side of Excel where Column A and Row 1 first meet.

Remove duplicates.

If you have information that repeats in your set of data, then don’t bother removing duplicates by hand.  Select the column or row, go to the Data tab, and select Remove Duplicates.  This feature will confirm the column or row selected and then automatically remove any duplicates detected.

Add a diagonal line.

If you need to leave data in your worksheet but want to cross it out (like the name of a student no longer in your class), then right click the cell and select Format Cells.  From here, go to the Border tab, select the Border option with a diagonal line, and then click Ok.  A diagonal line should appear in the specified cell.

Start with a zero.

If you input a series of numbers into a cell and start this set off with a ‘0’, Excel will automatically eliminate the ‘0’ and start the series of numbers off with the first non-zero available.  However, sometimes you actually do need that ‘0’ to stay there.  If this is the case, put an apostrophe at the beginning of the number.  Here’s what it should look like… ‘012345.  The apostrophe will disappear, but your ‘0’ will remain.

Jump to different worksheets.

To jump to the next worksheet, hit CTRL + PAGE UP.  To jump back to the previous worksheet, hit CTRL + PAGE DOWN.  Continue tapping these buttons to jump from sheet to sheet.

Jump to the end of a range of data.

If you have a lot of data in your worksheet, it can take a while to scroll to the end of the page.  To avoid this, hit CTRL + the down arrow.  This will take you to the last cell in your set of data.  To go back to the top, hit CTRL + the up arrow.  This also works from side to side, but you’ll use the left and right arrows instead.

Create a new worksheet.

To create a new worksheet, you can also use just your keyboard.  Hit the CTRL button + F11 and a new worksheet should populate to the left of the worksheet you are currently on.  You and your cursor will end up in the newly populated worksheet.