MS Excel – the ultimate cheat sheet

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t use Microsoft Excel in today’s data-driven business world. Even if you’re only an occasional user, familiarising yourself with a few of its powerful features will make your life easier and save you oodles of time. Offering significant productivity and efficiency benefits, isn’t it time you got up close and personal with MS Excel?


We have scoured the internet looking for tips and tricks to take your MS Excel skills to the next level. Behold the results, cherry-picked and tested by the nation’s favourite multilingual recruitment agency:

  1. Favour keyboard shortcuts over mouse moves. As with MS Word, firm favourites are Ctrl + C to copy, Ctrl + V to paste, Ctrl + X to delete, Ctrl+Z for undoing the most recent action, Ctrl+Y for redoing it, Ctrl + B to bold and Ctrl + F to find.

To save time when working with tables and data, move quickly to the last cell by pressing CTRL + ↔ ↕. You can also quickly highlight up to the last cell of your table/data by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + ↔ ↕.

To access Microsoft’s comprehensive list of Excel keyboard shortcuts online, click here.

  1. To save time and eradicate errors, Excel’s wide range of available formulas – including SUM, AVERAGE, and IF – is incredibly useful. These powerful functions enable you to analyse complex data quickly and in total confidence.
  2. PivotTables and PivotCharts – found in the Insert tab in the ribbon – also offer major benefits in terms of time, accuracy and understanding.
  3. Conditional formatting – which enables you to format cells based on specific criteria – is an invaluable feature when it comes to quickly identifying trends and extreme values within a dataset.
  4. Excel templates – AKA pre-built spreadsheets – are another powerful time-saving tool. Just click on File in the ribbon at the top of your screen, followed by New, and get click-happy with the impressive choice of options.

For more tips on improving your MS Excel skills, please visit the Microsoft Word for Excel training page. In addition, you can sign up for excellent online tutorials on LinkedIn.

Did you find the above article helpful? Are there any other work-related skills that you’d like us to explore in the future? Please get in touch to let us know. And, if you’re thinking about your next career move, please reach out to learn how we can quickly find you fantastic-fit opportunities. Thanks to our longstanding relationships with 400+ leading companies worldwide, we will connect you with vacancies that you might not otherwise hear about. And we’ll help you ace your interview. What’s not to love?! Please contact us today at or on 020 7092 3911 to brainstorm the options.