Helpful Excel Tips

excel-tips1From time to time, when I am helping students in a class, I am reminded of wonderful features that I take for granted. The student that I help usually doesn’t know about the feature and is so excited to find something to help them work more efficiently.

One of these features is AutoComplete for formulas. Another feature is chart creation using the F11 key. I have also included steps to adjust your default chart. I thought I’d share information on both of these tips in case you did not have these in your Excel toolbox yet.

The AutoComplete feature in Excel for formulas can really help you save time. When you start typing in an Excel function in a cell, you don’t have to type the entire thing. You can type the equal sign and begin to type the function name.

As you type in the name, you will see a list of functions appear below the active cell. You should continue to type until you see the name of the function you want to use. You double-click the name of the function to be able to use it in the active cell. A ScreenTip will show below the cell and will contain the function and its argument to guide you through the process of entering all of the function information.

The other feature that I really like is the chart creation key, F11. That is one of the fastest ways to create a chart in Excel. After you select the data you want to include in the chart, just hit the F11 key on the keyboard. Your chart is instantly created!

The default chart that is used when you press the F11 key is the 2-dimensional Column chart. You can change that by clicking on any chart and then selecting the Change Chart Type button on the Chart Tools Design tab. Excel will open a dialog box where you can choose the chart type you want to become the default. Make sure and click the Set Default Chart button at the bottom of the box. Now, when you use the F11 key, your chart will be based on the new default chart and not the 2-dimensional Column chart.

Enjoy using your formula AutoComplete and F11 chart creation features!

Angela Nino - Versitas Editor

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