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5 Things You Must Know to Become an Excel Pro 

5 Things You Must Know to Become an Excel Pro 

5 Things You Must Know to Become an Excel Pro 

If you have ever used a spreadsheet program on your computer, chances are you have utilized Microsoft Excel. With over 750 million users worldwide, Excel handily leads the way over competitors like Apple’s Numbers¹. While corporate offices and research firms rely on Excel on an essential tool, Microsoft’s spreadsheet platform is also helpful for everyday users like you and me². For example, if you run a small business, you can use Excel to streamline your inventory management². In this article, we will outline five helpful tips on how to become an Excel pro. 

One important Excel function you must conquer is the art of creating pivot tables³. Since they summarize your data for you, pivot tables make working with copious quantities of data much easier³. Creating a pivot table takes only a few simple steps³. First, select the table or spreadsheet for which you wish to create the pivot table³. Next, click the Insert tab³. Then, select Recommended Pivot Tables to choose different options for how you would like to summarize your data³. Once you select one of the recommended pivot tables, it will create a new spreadsheet with the pivot table inside³. However, if none of Excel’s recommended tables fit your needs, you can also create and customize a blank table³. 

(Image courtesy of  

While pivot tables are helpful, Excel also lets you visualize your data using a variety of charts and graphs². To create a chart or graph, begin by highlighting a range of data in your sheet². Then, select the Insert tab, followed by the See all charts button². Next, click the All Charts tab, where you will find a selection of charts such as bar graphs, line graphs, and pie charts, for example². If you would like to preview how your chart will appear, simply hover over a sample chart². Once you are satisfied with your choice, click OK to insert the chart into your spreadsheet². If you prefer to keep your chart separate from the main spreadsheet, select the chart, then click Move Chart, followed by “New Sheet,” and finally click “OK” ². In short, Excel has the charts you need to become a data visualization expert. 

Another Excel capability you must know is the ability to work across multiple files simultaneously³. To work with two or more files at once, select the desired files in your File Explorer and press Enter³. When switching between files, simply press CTRL+TAB on your keyboard to quickly toggle from one file to another³. Not only will you impress your colleagues with this marvelous multitasking display, but more importantly, you will become more productive and thus able to reach your business goals faster³. 

You must also know how to resize columns and rows in every spreadsheet you create². Chances are Excel’s default cell height and width are either too small or too large to accommodate your data². Therefore, to resize cells, click the column or row you wish to resize². Next, select the Home tab, and then click the Format button within the Cells group². You can then select whether you wish to adjust the height or width of your cells². Then, enter the desired amount and click OK. Excel will then automatically adjust the selected cells to the exact measurements you have specified². 

(Image courtesy of  

While Excel offers no shortage of mathematical functions you can use in your spreadsheets, there are five basic ones you should know by heart: Sum, Average, Max, Min, and Count². True to its name, the “Sum” function calculates the total for a given range of cells². “Average” calculates the average of a selected range. Meanwhile, the “Max” and “Min” functions calculate maximum and minimum values within a range, respectively². Finally, “Count” calculates the number of values in a range of cells that you select². However, keep in mind that the “Count” function does not include empty cells or those containing non-numerical data².  

Using these functions is quite simple. Start by entering labels for the numbers for which you would like to perform the calculation². Next, select the Function tab, then choose “Sum,” “Average,” or whichever category of function you would like to apply². Press Shift+F3 on your keyboard or click the Insert Function button to insert the function². Then, select the function you need or use the Search for Function button, then click OK². Once you have found the function you would like to use, select it, and then click OK². Finally, if you wish to make any modifications to the range you are calculating, do so and then click OK to apply the function². 

If you are looking to enhance your Excel proficiency, navitend can help. Our Microsoft Excel how-to video series on YouTube features 37 installments, each one giving you the necessary skills and knowledge so you can transform from Excel novice to spreadsheet wizard in no time. We have all the tools you need to create predictably awesome spreadsheets every day. 

Navitend can help you. Call 973.448.0070 or setup an appointment today. 


¹Excel with Business. “Microsoft Excel Versus Apple’s Numbers: Who Prevails?” by James Wann. Retrieved from 

²groovyPost LLC. “10 Microsoft Excel Tips Every User Should Know” by Andre Da Costa. Retrieved from 

³Tech News Today. “20 Things You Should Know How to Do in Excel That Will Make You an Expert” by Mduduzi Sibisi. Retrieved from 

Contact us at 973.448.0070


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