16 Advanced Excel Skills You Should Have To Succeed At Office

Excel is one of the most perplexing pieces of software in the Microsoft Office suite. And is the most widely used spreadsheet software.

So, if you are the one who needs to regularly use this scary program then this article is going to be very helpful for you.

Whether you are just starting your Excel journey or have been using it for a while, there are few skills that will help you succeed in this complex program,

…and the best things about the Excel skills are this help to avoid the certain hazard and impress the other person with your work (especially your Boss).

Here learn about the 21 top Excel skills to make yourself a more dynamic and an experienced user.

Highlights Of Advanced Excel Skills Checklist:

Choose the Right Layout Use Fill Function
Use Named Ranges Formatting
Converting to PDF Protect Your Work
Control Data Input Use Keyboard Shortcuts
Use PivotTable Tool Customize the Ribbon
Create Charts Use Custom Views
Grouping and Outlining Automate Complex Tasks with Macros
Automating Sub-totals Import Data from a Website

1) Choose the Right Layout

This is the very first thing that you need to include in your regular Excel work. Many Excel users have seen that just open Excel and start typing and hope for the best.

But this is not done…

You need to do a little planning before starting to create a spreadsheet. Understand your data, and given a little time what you want to get out of it.

And try to layout your spreadsheet in a way to easily achieve what you want.

This little effort will make your work a lot easier and accurate.

2) Use Fill Function

The Fill function is a GREAT Excel skill that will make your work a lot easier and less time-consuming.

Suppose you need to create 12 months complex report in one workbook. And for this, you need to create 12 sheets from Jan-Dec. You laid out the Jan sheet and proceed to copy & paste the spreadsheet to the other 11 sheets.

Well, this is the very tiresome process and a small mistake while pasting data can become a big Blunder.

So, in this case, make use of the Excel’s “Fill Across Sheets” tool. This will allow you to duplicate one sheet across many others quickly and more precisely.

Additional Reading: 

  1. 11 Vital Tips for Optimizing Excel Spreadsheets and Speed-up your Excel
  2. 30 Tips & Tricks to Master Microsoft Excel

3) Use Named Ranges

This is the most advanced Excel skill that every Excel used to use while creating data.

Named ranges (definite names) are fundamentally absolute, and here you don’t require to put the symbols on anchor refs. In fact, use names in formulas, or rapidly select a named range.

The named ranges when applied to a single cell or a range of cells and you can see in the formula, it can be used as a direct replacement for the cell or range address.

This is by default set, and when you create a named range on one sheet, you can use that name on other sheet and always back to its original location.

4) Formatting

This is also very effective Excel skill that you need to implement in your regular Excel work.

Once you have created your spreadsheet – you will commonly do two things:

  • Enter data or review data.

Neither of these things helped by a creation of fonts, sizes and colours, so to make your spreadsheet easy to understand, picks one font and stick with it.

Make use of the Bold or Italics, for highlighting the differences between headers and data and utilize light cell colour to pick out summary rows and formulas

And leave all the formatting till last one.

5) Protecting Your Work

While creating a perfect Excel report, one has to go through a great deal of trouble, so protecting the Excel file is highly important.

 Excel is having great tools to protect your work and preventing others from doing any change.

You can protect formula cells to stop any other changes, stop the rows and columns from being resized and also stop the user from changing the structure of the workbook.

Well, at a highly advanced level, you can even allow certain users to edit the particular regions.

6) Converting to PDF

After creating your report, you need to send that Excel spreadsheet or report to the clients. Well, till here it is Fine, but do you really want them to look at your data and formulas. I think possibly NOPE.

If you answer is NO, then the simplest thing is converting your Excel report to PDF.

Though there are other numbers of ways, that will stop other to take a look at your data or formulas or change things on your spreadsheet such as (hide things, protect things or disguise values with formatting).  But all these steps can be circumvented.

So here the best thing is simply to convert your spreadsheet to PDF and send it out without any worry.

Well converting Excel to PDF is easy and the entire current versions of Excel can do it without any additional software.

7) Use Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are very helpful to make your work easy.

Many users reach for the mouse to perform an action in Excel, but using the keyboard is not only easy but also speed up your work and saves time.

Here in this video watch the Excel keyboard shortcuts:

8) Control Data Input

For me and I guess every Excel user the most irritating thing is – incorrect data in Excel.

And in this Dates are one of the biggest culprits. Many users enter dates in a wrong way and it looks like just a text.

This not only makes you entire report down the line but also end up causing formulas to go wrong and filters not to work.

So, the solution makes use of the Data Validation, using this not only control the information types user enters into cells like numbers, dates or text but also the data range.

Also Read: Stuck With MS Excel Data Validation Error? Here Is The Quick Fix To Get You Going!

9) Use PivotTable Tool

This Excel skill is very time-saving; make use of the PivotTable Tool. This will help you to save yourself from large amount to analysis time.

This tool is available in the Excel itself, just go to “Insert” menu and look for the “PivotTable” icon.

The best way to use this is to click the icon after highlighting entire data table and the headers too. The PivotTable tool analyzes data and brings it into a new sheet and there you can manipulate the data as you like.

The PivotTable will automatically do the work, and save time to study the results.

10) Customize the Ribbon

Ribbons are very useful but quite frustrating when you need to switch from one tab to the other to find the commands that you want to use.

 However, in Excel 2010, it is easy to customize the ribbon. And here you can add your own custom tabs and drop onto it a selection of the commands that are more frequently used and can even include macros.

11) Create Charts

Creating charts make your presentation, report easy to understand and as well impress your Boss.

Well, using the graphs and charts can be bit tricky, only if you want them. However, a basic chart can be produced in a couple of clicks.

The latest Excel version makes it very easy to try different charts and formats easily.

Also ReadHow To Use Dynamic Data Labels To Create Interactive Excel Charts

12) Use Custom Views

A custom view is useful when you need to print your report. This records the entire current print settings and allows you to re-apply them easily at a later stage.

And in the print settings, it can record filters and hidden rows and columns also.

This is very helpful to avoid the issues while printing like page breaks, scale it correctly, headers and footers and others.

13) Grouping and Outlining

If you are having a lot of rows and columns on your spreadsheet, then it becomes a responsibility constantly scrolling left and right or up and down to get to the point where you want to be, just to go back where you started.

In this case, grouping and outlining will help you with this and allow you to quickly expand and collapse a number of rows or column. This is just like the super hide/unhide features and as you understand it, it is fairly easy to apply.

14) Automate Complex Tasks with Macros

Macros are highly useful and great tool available in Excel. With the help of macros, you can make Excel do the thing that it can’t-do previously. You can also complete the tasks in the couple of seconds that take an hour to complete.

Well, making use of the Macros can be complex but once you use it. This becomes a lot easy for you to complete the tasks with a blink of the eye.

15) Automating Sub-totals

While working on Excel one of the most important tasks is adding subtotals to a column of values.

For Example: If you have a sheet full of sales data and want to show how much of each product was sold. Then, in this case, you need to insert new rows after a group of product and then sum up the values above and repeat the process for every product.

I have seen many people who spend hours in doing that, which is highly frustrating. So, in this case, the sub-totals tool is highly helpful in doing the same job in a couple of seconds and as you are finished, this removes the totals rapidly, leaving the spreadsheet same as it was.

16) Import Data from a Website

Well, this is the last Excel skills that are very helpful and greatly speed up the workflow.

Learning how to import data from a website is very important. As if you see a website with the tone of useful data than just convert it into a worksheet.

  • Just click File > Import External Data > click New Web Query.
  • When you click this tab a new window open that displays browser homepage with the URL of the page.
  • Select the web page that wants to display and copy paste the link into the Address box.
  • Lastly, click OK and now your data is imported into an Excel file.

Well, these are some of the top, advanced and as well as essential Excel skill that you need to implement in your regular work to become more productive and save time.

What Excel Skills Are Employers Looking For?

What Excel Skills Are Employers Looking For

Here is the list of Microsoft Excel skills which employers usually look for in the candidates they are hiring.

Case 1: Auditor Excel Skills

Check out the Excel Skills highly preferred by Employers in candidates applying for the post of auditor:

  • Worksheet
  • Charts
  • Functions
  • Balance Sheet Audit
  • Conditional formatting
  • Pivot Tables
  • Internal Auditing
  • Internal Audit of Inventories
  • Macros
  • Operators

Case 2: For Senior Level / Excel Specialists / Excel Experts

Following are the Excel skill checklist for candidates applying for the post of Senior Level / Excel Specialists / Excel Experts:

  • Advanced Formulae
  • Advanced Charting
  • PIVOT Tables & PIVOT Reporting
  • Conditional Formatting
  • Tool Bars
  • VBA & Macros
  • Excel Worksheets
  • Functions
  • Data Tables, Simulations & solver

Case 3: For Entry Level / Administrative Job Roles

Below here is what advanced Excel skills you needs to have for Entry Level / Administrative Job Roles:

  • Cell Formatting
  • Data validation
  • Data Filters
  • Excel shortcut keys
  • Data Sorting
  • Managing Page Layout
  • Charts & its Analysis
  • Pivot Tables

Case 4:  Business Analyst Excel Skills

Following are list of advanced Excel skills which employers look while hiring candidate for Business Analyst post.

  • Charts & Chart Analysis
  • Conditional formatting
  • Regression
  • MATC
  • Data Validation
  • Merge Data
  • IF Function
  • Data Analysis
  • Pivot Tables
  • Histograms

Case 5: Data Analyst Excel Skills:

Have a look over the top Excel skills you must know if you are applying for Data Analyst post:

  • Functions for data cleaning and manipulation: LEN, Remove Duplicates, Filter & Sort, Concatenation, Logic Functions, Conditional Formatting, IfError, Index Match, Find & Replace, Short-Cuts
  • Pivot Tables
  • LOOKUP Functions
  • Macros
  • Flat data tables
  • Cross Reference Table
  • Graphics Data
  • Advanced Charts
  • Data filters
  • Operators
  • Number Series
  • Data Interpretation

Wrapping Things Up:

I tried my best to discuss some of the essential Excel skills.

Now it’s your turn to make use of the given advanced Excel skills and make your life easier and as well impress everyone with your work.

And also remember, there is always something new to learn about this powerful Microsoft office program.

So, whatever you do try to make your Best.

And also if you have any query, other MS Excel skills that I haven’t mention in this article than do let me know, you can visit our comment section box below.

That’s it…

Priyanka is a content marketing expert. She writes tech blogs and has expertise in MS Office, Excel, and other tech subjects. Her distinctive art of presenting tech information in the easy-to-understand language is very impressive. When not writing, she loves unplanned travels.