Excel is for lazy people. If you’re working too hard using excel—you’re working too hard.
After teaching ICDL and Advanced ICDL for over 8 years I have found that people make the same mistakes when it comes to using excel. I have compiled a list for you to look at.
This works, but it’s wrong. Excel is for lazy people. Seriously, why do you do this? I think Lotus 123 used to do formulas this way. You don’t have to do that anymore. Excel uses BODMAS to do calculations. You can just write the above formula as =A1+A2. Use it to your advantage.
Summing the decimal when it’s not visible
In excel you can change the number of decimal places for a cell. Excel will round the value in the cell to the number of decimal places you specify. The thing is, excel will not use the number as shown if it is needed in a calculation, it will use the actual number in the cell.
Example: in cell A1 type the number 1.5. Do the same in cell A2. Highlight A1:A2 and change the decimal places to 0. The number (in cell A1 & A2) appears to the end user as 2. When you add these two numbers together, the result is 3. (1.5+1.5=3).
The # sign fills the entire cell in Excel
When you see a series of hashes (#) in a cell, excel is trying to tell you that your column is not wide enough. To fix this simply widen the column the cell is in.
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This post is part of a series on excel. Next week we will look at 3 more things that people do in excel that makes them look bad.