Simplifying Excel for Digital Marketers
Published: June 14, 2016
Author: Jenna Clark
Before I started my job here at 3Q, I was an Excel noob compared to what I know now. In college they teach you formulas from an example from a textbook, which isn’t that effective in actually learning Excel. It’s different than an everyday application of a formula used to find something that has reasoning.
After six months at 3Q, I’ve learned to embrace Excel and everything it has to offer. I’ve learned some adjustments to make my life easier as a search engine marketer, and I’m going to share them with you. These aren’t just keyboard shortcuts; these are Excel adjustments and must-know features that will improve your Excel experience.
1) Turn on Auto Fill Options (i.e., control the auto fill that changes your numbers)
Yes, you can hold down CTL D to prevent your numbers from Dragging down like this, or you can just make sure your Auto Fill Option is on.
You can change the settings here if Auto Fill Options are not already on:
File > Options > Advanced> Cut, Copy, And Paste> Make sure “Show Paste Options button when content is pasted” is checked off.
This will show up whenever you drag something down to let you choose if you want to fill the series or just copy:
2) View all formulas on a tab at once
Instead of looking at an individual formula, you can view all the formulas in a tab.
Formulas>Show Formulas, Just simply clicking that you can see all of the formulas. It especially helps with QAing formulas.
The Formula Auditing section of Formulas has a lot to offer. If you have time, check out “Error Checking” and “Trace Precedents”. These can help if you’re not sure where something is coming from or if there is an error with your work.
3) Process large Excel data files more quickly
I learned this trick along the way from another Account Associate when dealing with large Excel files with tons of formulas. Removing and inserting new data can take a while. When you paste in new data, Excel will automatically calculate the formulas, and that is what’s taking so long. So if your file is extremely big and you’re tired of waiting, you can adjust the calculation options.
Under formulas> calculation options, Excel will pre-set to Automatic. Before you delete and paste in your new data, you can change it to Manual, which will cause your Excel file to stop calculating formulas for that time being. After you paste your data in, you must change it back to Automatic for Excel to start calculating the formulas again.