CP043: My favorite time saving features of Excel, Revealed.

Posted on August 27th, 2015 in Chandoo.org Podcast Sessions - 5 comments

In the 43rd session of Chandoo.org podcast, let’s talk about top time saving features of Excel.

Top time saving features of Excel - Chandoo.org Podcast - Session 43

What is in this session?

In this podcast,

  • Quick announcement about Awesome August
  • My 9 favorite time saving features of Excel
  • Remove Duplicates
  • Tables
  • Pivot Tables
  • Auto fill
  • Format Painter
  • Find & Replace
  • VBA / Macro Recorder
  • Auto save
  • Auto complete / Intellisence
  • Recap & Conclusions

Listen to this session

Click here to download the MP3 file.

Resources to save time

Dealing with duplicates

Tables & Pivot Table concepts:

Auto fill & flash fill:

Format Painter and how it can save time for you:

Find & Replace:

VBA & Macro Recorder

Transcript of this session:

Download this podcast transcript [PDF]

Which Excel feature is the most time saving one?

I’ve revealed my secrets. Now it’s your turn. Tell me your favorite time saving feature of Excel.

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5 Responses to “CP043: My favorite time saving features of Excel, Revealed.”

  1. Hui... says:

    My favorite efficiency thing in Excel is the QAT (Quick Access Toolbar)
    I add Print ranges, Print preview and Quick Print, Paste Values and Paste Formula to that bar every time I see a new Excel installation

    My favorite Function in Excel has to be the Data Tables function
    http://chandoo.org/wp/2010/05/06/data-tables-monte-carlo-simulations-in-excel-a-comprehensive-guide/

  2. Alex says:

    Excel having a huge of features that can save you time, but I need to say that Autofilters is used almost always to do something, formatting, processing data or anything. This is my go to function before I even start process it for reporting or whatever, sometimes I don't even noticed that I used it at all.

  3. Oz says:

    Chandoo, I'm glad that you find the duplicate remover useful. I never use it. In my work there are too many slippery duplicates and I need to flag possible duplicates, review them and perhaps merge the data before removing one of the records. Duplicate remover is one thing in life that scares me.

    One of my time-saving strategies.
    When starting with a new set of data, throw it into a pivot table and review it from several angles. That helps me plan my work by uncovering:
    - how many unique pieces of data do we have?
    - is there any critical data that's missing?
    - how much de-duplication is ahead of me?
    - is there any data that makes no sense; e.g. a phone number mixed in with the list of first names.
    - as I work, will it be better to set things up horizontally or vertically?

    It's horrible to dive into a project and uncover those things along the way.

    Another time saver:
    Dual monitors and the View > New Window feature
    That allows the ability to modify one worksheet and see the impact on another worksheet. Also, when linking lots of non-contiguous cells from one sheet to non-contiguous cells on another sheet. Flipping back & forth can get confusing.

  4. Heather says:

    My Top 3 -
    Conditional Formats (used during the data analysis phase) make it SO easy to see the outliers. I use a lot of color in my data analysis tabs so I can filter by the color to determine how I need to deal with those pieces.

    TEMPLATES - Since I do many of the same reports over and over again, I have built my own templates - one that I am thinking of has a Raw Data table, which feeds into 2 different pivot tables and a pivot chart.
    I formatted this very carefully ONCE - with the headers, colors, print layout and style that I wanted on all pages. Then I wiped out the data in the Raw Data tab and saved the file with the name TEMPLATE at the front of it, and I pinned that file in the "Recent Workbooks" area of Excel (if you don't use this Pinning feature - you need to check it out).
    Now any time I need to update that report with new data, I simply collect the Raw Data again, and paste it into the table on my Template. Update the Pivot Tables/Charts and I've got a new report in minutes instead of hours.

    For the third - I use Trace Precedents and Trace Dependents quite often. This isn't for my own spreadsheets, but to figure out what someone else has done with a spreadsheet. Rather than taking the time to look at each formula - I can quickly see what is related and how with the formula auditing buttons.

  5. MF says:

    I think
    1) Go to Special
    2) Find and Replace (esp. when we know to do it with wildcards)
    should earn a place on the list of time saver
    Cheers,

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