9 Tips to increase your productivity with Excel 2007 [ Office ]

Welcome to Office Tips and in this post we will learn about some of the features, tips and tricks of Microsoft Office 2007 Excel Sheets which we usually miss or don’t bother to use without even knowing how beneficial they can be. Here are some useful points which definitely ads on to your excel skills. Right from Choosing cell styles to grouping selected rows. Lets get started!!

#1 Wrapping Text quickly

Writing long sentences in a cell just does not work with Excel. Possibly as it was not made for it. It either just over shadows the next cell or gets hidden by other. However we still need it from time to time. The best option is to give a Wrap up to it so the cell expands in size and fits the text within it. It avoids any confusion and keeps the thing clear.

  • Select a text which has more text.
  • In the Home Ribbon, Find the Alignment section and look for icon which has 2 boxes.
  • On hovering over it you will get a help tip for wrapping, just click it.

Caution: Wrapping up text will make the size of the cell bigger and push underlying cells below.

#2 Using color bars to express value of numerical data

Text are boring if they cant express in different forms. We use charts and bar graphs to express our values why not use the same technique in individual cells.

Where you can use it ? Lets say for an example, You don’t want to use chart or putting a chart is not appropriate but still you want to give similar kind of effect like the one I gave in in the image . 10 gets more colored area then 8 or 7. Pretty cool huh ?

  • Select the cells
  • Now in Home , look for Styles
  • In that click on Conditional Formatting.
  • This gives you more options than above. You can even add images, icon sets, color bars and much more.

#3 Choosing cell styles to make things clear

Adding images express more right how about adding styles for things like comment, links, warning, links and other things!!! You might be thinking why make excel sheet more calculated and cluttered but let’s take a situation.

You have an excel file where you have added lot of comments, there are lot of calculative columns and explanations. Now If I had to analyze it without you being you being there, How much time I would take to find which is what ? Probably a lot more if you were there or if something can tell me which is what Right!!!

#4 Go to Redefined

Jumping from one part to another is difficult with so many elements in excel. We just don’t want to move from one line to another but possibly from one comment to another.

Excel has an Enhanced version of Go To.

  • Use the hot key CTRL + G or On Home , Click on last menu item, Find and Replace. You will fine the Go To
  • This Go To gives use options to Comments, Constants, Formulas and more.


#5 Tracing formulas and their source

Sometimes it becomes hard to find cells which are used to calculate the sum. You know the cell where you calculate the output but if you find the source you need to click on it.

Now when its time to presentations its really not a good idea to find by clicking on every cell and then finding where things are. Excel gives you a quick button which highlights the cells used and with arrows pointing towards it.!!!

  • Go to Formula Tab on the ribbon
  • Select Formula Editing which is second from last
  • Look for Trace Precedents and Trace Dependents.
  • Select any formula cell and click on this and It will point to correct cells.

#6 Reveal all formulas in one click

This is a quick tip, If you want to see all the formulas used any where in the excel .

  • Select the sheets first in case you have formulas in different sheets.
  • Now go to Formula Section and Under Formula auditing
  • Click on Show Formulas

That’s all , It will unscramble all the formulas exactly it was at the time of editing it.

#7 Watching Cell changes live

Now lets take an example you are summing up some of the things and You need to know At Run how much is the value changed in summing up cells to when you increment or decrement values. If you are a programmer probably you know what is a Watch.

You can do it in very simple way. Excel provides you with facility to watch the value of anything at run time but adding it to Watch Box.

  • In the formula section under Formula auditing look for Watch Window
  • Click on it and add watch by selecting individual or range of cells.

#8 Breaking Text into multiple cells

Lets take a situation where you have long text in a cell which comprises of name ( both first and last ) and you want to split it into 2 columns. You can do it manually but that’s not feasible in case of huge data. Excel allows you to do through Text to Columns options it if you can tell it the separator. :D easy

  • Go to Data Tab in the ribbon and look for Data Tools
  • Select your cells and click on Text To Columns
  • There are some steps where you need to tell the separator and others.


#9 Grouping an Un-grouping rows : Stop Scrolling

In case you have huge amount of data and say you want to check on some data which is right at top of the sheet and another which is in middle. But you have lot of data in between which you have to scroll.

This is really a scenario where your valuable time is used up. Now what if you can just select those not required cells and hide it in a click under a group and on other click you get them back. This way you save the scrolling time and traverse fast. Moreover you get the advantage of grouping them in different sections too.

  • Go to Data Tab on Ribbon
  • Check the last section named as Outline.

Have Your Say ?

There are lot more which comes with experience and others. If you use excel and you know some tips. Do share with us all in comments.

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