Home tech 10 Excel functions "that we should all learn," said Harvard University News...

10 Excel functions "that we should all learn," said Harvard University News from El Salvador


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How many Excel functions do you master?

Filling an Excel may seem like the most boring and boring thing in the world. The spreadsheet system launched by Microsoft in the late 1980s, however, can be much more interesting and useful than many imagine.

According to the prestigious university of Harvard (in Massachusetts, USA), 10 of the 500 functions that the program offers are basic and necessary, and "we should all learn them".

The educational institution highlighted on its website Harvard Business Review that 750 million people work every day to keep Excel up to date and that the Microsoft product differs from other calculation applications.

"We have been teaching and testing Microsoft Excel for ten years," says the digital magazine. "A study that we are working out on several office workers suggests that we have succeeded more than 10% of our working life do spreadsheets. "

"For those who work in research and development or finance, that figure rises to 30% , about 2.5 hours a day. "

The problem is that they are not all good at processing spreadsheets or they know the basic formulas.

Below we show you a decalogue of Excel functions that Harvard University considers "particularly easy to learn" (you need about two hours in total) and that "can make a difference" when it comes to "saving time and improving productivity".

Harvard University

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Harvard University says that Excel can use certain functions to gain time and productivity.

1. Special stuck (10 minutes of learning)

Excel allows you to copy all information from a selection of cells and paste the data into other specified cells, but you can use an option called "special paste" to paste the information in a different way.

The special pasta ensures that you can choose which elements are copied and which are not. In this way you avoid copying unwanted formats or formulas.

How to implement it? : When you copy what is in your cell (Ctr + C), press Ctrl + Alt + V to make a special copy and select what you want to copy. Alt + E + S + V is the command to paste those elements. You can also use the drop-down menu and choose the option in the dialog box.

2. Insert different rows (2 minutes)

Sometimes you have to add several rows of time to a table, and doing it one by one is not always the most practical. This function streamlines the task.

How to implement it? : use a shortcut key (Ctrl, shift, +) select the number of rows you want to add and click the right button to insert them. You can also use the "Insert sheet sequences" command as long as you first select the rows that you are going to add.

3. Fast filling (30 minutes)

"The fast filling ( Flash Fill in English) is like magic and can be used in different situations, "it says Harvard Business Review . "It's a fantastic time saver when you have to enter or change a lot of data quickly and accurately, it's a great method."

It is a system with which Excel learns certain things from the work you do and identifies patterns to complete some cells, and fills them in automatically.

For example, propose a full name if you put names and surnames in two different columns, or you can separate them if you merge them.


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The quick fill automatically completes the data when a pattern is detected.

How to implement it? you must press Ctrl + E or go to the "Data" tab and activate "Quick fill". If that option does not appear, try "Advanced" and "Automatic Fast Filling," Microsoft Office says on the help page.

4. Index and match (45 minutes)

"Index" and "Match" are widely used in Excel to perform complex searches. Individual they are not too interesting, but if you combine them, you can appreciate their strength, say specialists from Harvard.

Both enable you to extract data and specific values ​​you need from large spreadsheets, so that "a difficult and routine task is quick and easy," they explain from the university.

This method requires a little more time (and patience) to learn, but it will allow you to be much faster when searching for certain data.

How to implement it? "Index" has two syntaxes: matrix and reference. The first (array; num_fila; [núm_columna]) is for performing searches. "Match" (search value, search matrix;[tipo_de_coincidencia]) is used to find the position of a value in a list.

5. Fast addition (2 minutes)

According to Harvard, this is one of the first functions you probably learned in Excel: how to add a row or column. But did you know that you can select the cell at the end of a row or column in just a few seconds?

How to implement it? Select the cell and click Ctrl + Shift + = to activate the function. Same as "Autosuma".

man writing formulas on a blackboard

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When you process large amounts of data, it is useful to use the correct formula.

6. CTRL Z / CTRL Y (1 minute)

You probably already know that Ctrl + Z is used to correct errors. Well, there is another option to restore what you have deleted: the Ctrl + Y command.

It is like a free pass that protects you from every problem, says the American university.

How to implement it? very simple: press Ctrl + Y to correct every "error" that you have deleted with Ctrl + Z.

7. Remove duplicates (10 minutes)

This formula is easy and quick to use. Obviously it serves what one would expect: eliminate repeating values ​​in every dataset in Excel.

Harvard University recommends that you place on a different sheet what you want to delete. The system leaves the first value displayed in the table by default.

How to implement it? select the table, go to the "Data" tab of Excel and click on "Remove duplicates". The program will ask you in which column you want to apply that change.

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Grouping the data can be simple, but how do you find it effectively in Excel?

8. Secure panels (15 minutes)

Freezing rows and columns can be used to contrast data that you have away from others in the worksheet. By doing this, you will see them on the screen when you browse through them.

How to implement it? Choose the part of the spreadsheet that you want to freeze and click on the "view" or "view" menu. Then select "Freeze parent row" and "Freeze column" by clicking on what you want to freeze.

9 F4 (10 minutes)

F4 has two specific functions in Excel: make an absolute reference and repeat your most recent action or command.

How to implement it? Simply press F4 if you want to do one of these two things. Usually it will repeat the last action. If you press the key while highlighting a cell with a formula, you get options for possible references.

10 Ctrl + arrows (5 minutes)

This option is especially useful for large databases, as it gives access to the last figure in seconds, without having to go through the entire table manually.

How to implement it? execute the command with Ctrl + Down arrow to reach the end of the document or scroll through it with the arrows. It will also serve to select data in seconds and maximize your productivity.

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  • Harvard University
  • excel
  • microsoft


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