Minute Monday: Excel Formulas That Will Save You a Lot of Time

Marketing and Microsoft Excel go together like bread and butter. There’s just one problem. For a lot of us, to organize and analyze Excel worksheets feels like walking into a brick wall–repeatedly.

Excel can be tricky. It’s an exceptionally powerful tool for reporting and analyzing data. But, without the proper training, it’s easy to feel like it’s working against you. What if there were plenty of formulas Excel can automatically run for you so you’re not combing through hundreds of cells?

Truth be told, there is, and here’s what we have for you!

TRIM formula in Excel 

Email and file sharing happens all day at work until you get a worksheet with some funky spacing. Not only can those absurd spaces make it difficult to search for data, but also affect the results when you try to add up columns of numbers.

Rather than rigorously removing and adding spaces as needed, you can alter any inconsistent spacing using the TRIM function.

For example, if A2 includes the name ” Steve Peterson” with unwanted spaces before the first name, =TRIM(A2) would return “Steve Peterson” with no spaces in a new cell.

Here’s an example so, enter =TRIM(“A2”) into the Formula Bar, and replicated this for each name below it in a new column next to the column with unwanted spaces.1.png

LEFT, MID, and RIGHT Formula

If a line of text within a cell that you want to break down into a few different segments. Rather than retyping each piece of the code into its column, you can leverage a series of string functions to deconstruct the sequence as needed: LEFT, MID, or RIGHT.

The formula: =LEFT(text, number_of_characters)

The formula: =MID(text, start_position, number_of_characters)

The formula: =RIGHT(text, number_of_characters)

  • Text: The string that you wish to extract from.
  • Start_position: The position in the string that you want to begin extracting from. For example, the first position in the string is 1.
  • Number_of_characters: The number of characters that you wish to extract starting from the left-most character.



Quickly open, close, or create a workbook

Need to open, close, or create a workbook on the go? The following keyboard shortcuts will enable you to complete any of the above actions in less than a minute’s time.5

For PC:

Open = Control + O

Close = Control + F4

Create New = Control + N

For Mac:

Open = Command + O

Close = Command + W

Create New = Command + N

Add a comment to a cell.

To make a note or add a comment to a specific cell within a worksheet, simply right-click the cell you want to comment on, then click Insert Comment. Type your comment into the text box and click outside the comment box to save it.

Cells that contain comments display a small, red triangle in the corner. To view the comment, click over it.



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