Basic Excel Tips Everyone Should Know

Basic Excel Tips

Many of us use Microsoft Excel every day while others may only use it from time to time. To help the once in a while user, we put together a list of some of the most essential Excel tips we could think of.

1. Select Everything

Either click the Select All Button (shown below) or press Command+A (Mac) CTRL+A (PC)

Select Everything Excel

2. Auto Resize All Columns

While everything is still selected, double click between any column's upper border.

Auto Resize Columns in Excel

3. Filtering All Data

Make sure everything is selected once again.

Then choose the filter icon from the top menu or main menu [Data > Filter].

Filter Data in Excel

Next, choose the column in which you want to filter all data. Click on the drop-down arrow to bring up the filter menu.

Filter Menu Excel

Decide how you want to filter – ascending / Descending order or by color.

Order By in Excel

4. Find and Replace

Select a whole column by clicking the top bar (shown below).

Excel Find and Replace

To open Find either Command+F (Mac) CTRL+F (PC). Can also be found on main menu [Edit > Find]

Find Next

Type in your search and press "Find Next." Once found press "Replace."


Type replacement in the Replace with input field. Click on "Replace" or "Replace All."

Replace with Excel

5. Proper Case

Insert an additional blank column. Click top of any existing column and either right click and insert or go to main menu [Insert > Columns].

Proper case Data in Excel

Select the second row cell to begin. In the formula field type =PROPER(the cell number).


To extend the whole column, click and drag the lower right corner of the cell down.

You can also double click the lower right corner to expand throughout the whole column without having to drag.

Next, go to Tip #7.

Expand Data

6. Combine Columns

Once again, make a new blank column. Select the first cell and enter the formula =(cell number&” “&cell number).

Extend the column formula down like in previous step and then continue to Tip #7.

Formula to Value

7. Formula to Value

Since these Formula fields are made from other cells, you will have to copy the data and turn it into values.

You can do this by inserting a new blank column.

Blank column

Copy the column of the formula data.

Copy Data

Choose the blank column. Then right-click and "Paste Special."

Paste Special in Excel

Select Paste - Values and click OK.

Now you can move or delete any columns that were dependent on that formula.

Choose to Paste Values

8. AutoFill

Excel recognizes patterns within data and allows you to fill in rows or columns automatically.

If you want an ordered sequence, start by adding the first 3. In this case 1, 2, 3.

Autofill in Excel

Next, simply drag from the lower right corner to expand.

Drag from lower right corner

The same can be done by inserting the same word 3 times and expanding or the same can even be done with a pattern of words or numbers.

Microsoft Excel for mac 2011


Were these tips useful? Is there another tip you think we may have missed?
If so let us know via the comments section below.

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