Microsoft Excel continues to be one of the most popular programs in the world. It is widely used by individuals and corporations. If you use Excel frequently and want to make the most of it, this post is just for you. It takes a close look at the 12 things that you can do with it. There is a reason why Excel still ranks at the top. It offers many powerful functions that you can use to make your work a whole lot easier. Let’s take a look at the top Excel tricks.

  1. Remote Duplicates

With Excel, you can easily remove duplicates. The program is made for cleaning your data and making sense of it. The best thing about the Remove Duplicates features is that it is super easy to use. It removes all of the duplicate values from the entered data. To utilize the function, all you have to do is select the data that requires cleaning and choose Data > Remove Duplicates.

  1. Wild Card Searches

There is a lot that you can do with Excel. The Wild Card Searches function is incredibly useful. Chances are that you already are familiar with the search function by holding onto Ctrl + F. With the wild cards, you get to extend search functionality. It is especially helpful when searching for matches that are inexact when it comes to meeting certain criteria. One can use two wild cards as mentioned below.

  • ? Represents one character.
  • * Represents one or more characters.
  1. Use Index and Match to Search the Spreadsheet

People use the Index function for returning a value according to the intersection of a column and row. The following example will allow you to better understand what is included in the Index function.

  • The array that needs to be searched. The table you want to query is represented by A1:B2. It is the area between the upper left (A1 Cell) and the lower right (B2 cell). The area is covered by the first 2 rows and the first 2 columns of the table.
  • You have to look at the first column within the array to search for the values that you want returned.

The value in the array that you want returned to its relative position is checked by the Match function. For instance, if you want the relative position of “red” from the cells, all you need to do is combine the Match and Index functions. Then, the function will search the entire spreadsheet.

  1. Proper

If the data set consists of text values that are oddly-formatted, you can make use of the Proper function. For instance, if the cell A1 reads “This is a picture”, you can use Proper (A1) to change it to “THIS IS A PICTURE”. You can combine it with effective visualization using Dashboards.

  1. Lock Referencing

Cells are represented by Excel using row/column pairs like A1. The row or column value can be locked when you reference a specific cell so that the reference does not change all of a sudden. The following examples will help you use the function.

  • Enter a$1 to lock the row reference.
  • Enter $A1 to lock the column reference
  • Enter $A$1 to lock both the row and column references.

The function can be incredibly useful when you work with a large database.

  1. Concatenate

Combine values of various cells into just one cell by using Concatenate. For instance, you can enter F4, G4, H4, I4, and J4 to use do the trick.

  1. If Statements

To get more out of your data, you can make use of “if” statements. They allow you to generate the value as per your liking. It could either be a “Pass” value or a “Fail” value. To create meaningful data using “if” statement, all you need to do is use SUMIF, AVERAGEIF, and COUNTIF. For instance, you can use COUNTIF if you have survey results to count the numbers of columns where male respondent sat. Enter “=COUNTIF (A16:B15, “Male”)

  1. Conditional Formatting

When it comes to formatting color-coded cells, most people know how to make do. However, it is even possible to utilize the built-in icons for denoting particular interest points. Select the Home ribbon to access the Conditional Formatting area. Then, choose Icon Sets > More Rules to create rules for determining the icons used.

  1. 3D Sum

Anyone working on multiple spreadsheets that have an identical format can calculate their sum easily by using 3D Sum. For instance, if you are finalizing the budgeting spreadsheet to track the monthly expenses, you would have a separate spreadsheet for each week. All you have to do is use 3D Sum to add all the total expenses. To use the function, you need to enter “=SUM (‘’First Week: Fourth Week’! B15”.

  1. Goal Seek

To determine the conditions required to achieve a certain outcome, the Goal Seek function is just what you need. Some of its examples are mentioned below.

  • Considering the sales in July through September, how many items need to be sold in December to meet the quarterly threshold.
  • If savings for each month were the same and they earned a similar interest over the course of ten years, how much saving needs to be done to earn the initial million dollars before retirement.

Launch the Goal Seek function by selecting Tools > Goals Seek.

  1. Pivot Tables

Working with a huge amount of data can be tough which is why it is important to get a bigger picture of the data. This is where Pivot Tables come into place. To create a Pivot Table, head over to Data > Summarize using Pivot Tables and Excel will do the rest.

  1. Spark Lines

Finally, you can use Spark Lines for visualizing simple data. The best thing about the function is that you can even embed an entire chart inside a single cell. To create Spark Lines, choose “Row, Column, and Success/Loss”.



Once you have gone over this post, you will know the top 12 things you can do with Microsoft Excel. Take advantage of each function to take your Excel skills to the next level. They might just help you land that promotion that you have always wanted.