If you’re an office junkie like me, then you must know how pointless it feels like to work on Excel without having the slightest idea of how everything works. It’s very frustrating, actually. And at the end of the day, you just end up using it like any old columnar – which defeats the entire purpose of automating tasks.
Excel is supposed to help make our lives easier, not the other way around. It’s meant to give us an edge at the office, make routine tasks faster to finish, and create more accurate calculations. Excel is a state-of-the-art program continually updated to help us automate office-related data processes. But to the unknowing, Excel can be downgraded to a simple digital columnar – its rows and columns merely used to house manually inputted information.
The good thing about Excel, however, is its vast amount of informative resources. Many businesses and professionals use Excel for work so it is no surprise that we have many guides – both online and offline – available to teach us about it. However, learning Excel is not as you think, especially when you already have preconceived notions about it.
In order to learn how to use Excel faster, follow these three things:
Reset & Start Over
First, you have to reset whatever you’ve come to understand about Excel in the past. This is doubly true when you are used to operating other office programs like Word. You see shortcuts, commands, and functions in other office programs are not necessarily the same in Excel. For example, the “Tab” key does not have the indent function. In Excel, the Tab key allows you to switch from one column to another (going right). The same goes with the “Enter” key. Pressing enter won’t get you to start another paragraph or to put space between sentences. In Excel, it will only move you down to another row. Keys work differently in Excel. So if you think that usual shortcuts will work, then you really have to change your learning approach. Erase whatever it is you think you know about Excel. It’s better for you to start with a blank slate.
Learn Your Basics
After you reset, the next thing to do is to refill. You have to start learning from the basics – what Excel is about, what are the common controls, how it can be best used in the office, etc. Mastering the basic concepts Excel functions with is necessary to move on to learning more complicated commands. Familiarize yourself with everything that’s on the upper bars and lower bars. You may also look at online basic resources for further info.
Familiarize Yourself With VBA
Excel becomes too easy the moment you learn VBA or Visual Basic for Applications. VBA is the programming language of most Office programs. It goes without saying that it is the same language understood by Excel as well. With Excel and VBA, you can learn how to use macros, arrays, and many other concepts.
Excel VBA may seem difficult at a glance but there are various resources online that can help you understand it better. When you do, you are sure to improve your Excel experience. Be more productive by learning Excel bottoms-up!