Stop Using Your Mouse

Moderator note (Andy) This was originally posted on 7/9/12
As summer has been moving along, I begin to notice more and more the inefficiencies out interns have with using Excel properly. Because of this, I have created a brief tutorial on some basic functions of Excel which we use every day. I have attached a spreadsheet with various functions already created within it. Please view the formulas in the cells highlighted and the other notes in the spreadsheet.

As you get better at this, you should not need to use a mouse to navigate through the model at all. Here are some quick tips to help with not using a mouse.

To navigate to the end of a column or row, press control and left or right, down or up. This will shoot you to the end of the data. You may have to press twice or more depending on if there is empty data in between the beginning and end. To highlight this data, press control + shift and left or right, down or up.

Shift + space bar highlights entire row
Control + space bar highlights entire column
… After doing either of those, press Control and + to add a column (or row).

Use Alt+tab to move between different programs (word, internet, excel, etc.)

In order to use the toolbar at the top, press ALT, which will then highlight all the functions at the top. The more you familiarize yourself with these letters, (ex: Alt + H + D + R, which deletes row in Excel 2007), the quicker they will be.

To enter a cell to adjust a formula or just to view which cells are in use, press F2.
Use the F4 function to create absolutes on formulas within cells. Based on how many times you press, you will receive varying functions, ex: $C$2, $C2, C$2. View the Code section of the DATA tab within my spreadsheet to see further. The $ keeps the cell from moving when copying formulas down or across.

When you are in a cell that is pulling data from another tab or another section within the tab you are in, press Control + [ to jump to that cell. You can use F5 + enter to return back to your original tab and cell.

Vlookups, Pivots, and various other stuff is shown in the spreadsheet. Practice understanding what is happening in the formulas and practice recreating some of these sections until you have it down. If anyone has anything to add or if I should go more in-depth in one of these areas, just let me know. Enjoy monkeys!

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