5 Basic Excel Hacks You Should Know in 2023

Updated on: February 28, 2023

Becoming an Excel expert, it's possible! You can do it step by step acquiring more skills and knowledge. Learning tips enrich your abilities and help you become a real expert. So based on that, here have five hacks to use Excel and make your life easier!

Let's see the 5 Basic Excel hacks you need to learn in 2023.

Return to the top without scrolling

When you start using Excel, you likely use tables or giant data sets that will make it difficult to return to the spreadsheet’s beginning by scrolling up. So here is the first hack related to navigation across your Excel file.

  1. Hit the Ctrl key.
  2. While holding the Ctrl key, push twice the up arrow on your keyboard. This will bring you back to the first row.

Note: If you have a MAC replace the Ctrl key with the Command key. This will bring you back to the first row.

Quickly resize columns and rows

Well, once you introduce yourself to Microsoft Excel, you realize how important it is to customize your spreadsheet according to the data you have. One of that customization is resizing the columns and rows to avoid them running outside the cell. To do so, you need to follow the steps below:

  1. Place the cursor on the line between two columns (the first must be the column you have your data in, and the next one, the immediately following).
  2. Double-click the dividing line between columns when the cursor becomes a two opposite-facing arrow symbol.

Then, it will resize the column to a proper dimension based on your data. This exactly happens with rows. So try it yourself!

Inserting two or more columns or rows:

Adding a row per row in a manual process can be frustrating if you need several of them at once. Fortunately, this works like inserting only one of them; all you need to do is:

  1. Highlight the number of rows or columns you want to insert.
  2. Right-click.
  3. Choose the “insert” option from the contextual menu.

And just like that will have several new columns or rows. That was easy, wasn’t it?

Keyboard shortcuts

Have you ever seen someone who makes things seem to be easy? It’s like a real pro when everything is suddenly solved with a few clicks or buttons! Well, in Excel, you can learn some shortcuts to show you off too:

  • Alt + = for PC, or Command + Shift + T for Mac, to auto-sum all selected cells.
  • To select direct precedents, Ctrl + [ for PC, or Command + { for Mac.
  • Ctrl + Shift + & for PC, or Command + Option + 0 for Mac, to add a cell border.
  1. Format numbers

Another shortcut you can use is giving a format to the number you have, for example, coin or percentage. Finally, of course, there’s a route you can follow in the worksheet: In the “Home” tab, search the “Number” group tools in the middle of the ribbon and click on the percentage or currency symbol.

YkLtm5YuZYWdrLlFz ULaUvmnzjTDdU6SLFTyHp4HLSe7PptTWTx bhdycDeFRfknvEDwMjvuhLaWnmg92wDpNq8mwQt48Gov NhReigKy8lNFWcM1oTWqqThuL5S8qQ4RUYunRX0VRcWG49AhWhb5Ksi3ZHqYd3Z1 LnzODKfK9HDD9fukgXwbJdBYF8w

Notice that you can also display the “General” dropdown to change the number’s format, and each of them has its own clauses, just as seen below in the picture:

WpJP KgQ5p0R0Sb4K5qJa

But, for the primary two options already mentioned, you can use these shortcuts:

  • For price: Ctrl + Shift + $
  • For percentage: Ctrl + Shift + %

You can apply them to a whole column or row by clicking on the desired number or the letter and using the shortcut you instead.

Apply the same formatting

The last hack you should know to use Excel more easily is applying a specific format to a whole existing column or row. Don’t worry; this is quite simple. You just have to do the following steps:

  1. First, select the cell that has the formatting you want to apply.
  2. Hit Ctrl + C to copy the configuration.
  3. Highlight the section of your spreadsheet in which you need the format.
  4. Right-click and pick the “Paste Special” option. (If you see various icons go down in the menu and click again on “Paste Special…”.
quNK9jaOo64MbdKlIG4XRl9CgKPkOEZiC7xj6voIHSy89PArxIBXjR89c RQCheBZbLPW33GTkw45ItRT83ITYm81z lhXRWuf5qlG2iONcFxZbX1pvJeh4xarx9pZiF9agFdSCEH4p6r90t8NscqkDpGm56uUL4Gm5Xc1wRLfMsx0oS 5rYxVsyNk d4g
  1. In the “Paste Special”  dialog box, choose “Formats” or what you must paste.
eajci iy mlhR4SFiiLYnLhDQVcCdEDLMP9zGSmEC5sMfrns7UKKCxgolrET6wSC69qD6P9kScn6cGB67ABK85KxCXjP7hUJVbJKisFKbIgklh341L83zmcpcVs1

Once you think everything is correct, click the “OK” button

There you have it! Now with these 5 hacks, you’re ready to save time while working on your Excel File! Remember to put them into practice every time you need them! And if you want to learn more hacks, find out these tips to master Excel and check out our  Excel course in Skillademia. Enjoy, and good luck!

Lorena M. Rodas leverages her experience across film, writing, and production to make complex tech concepts accessible through storytelling. With a background spanning sci-fi, AI, and emerging tech, Lorena translates her depth of knowledge into engaging, educational content. She is an expert at decoding high-level topics to reach broad audiences.
Access 4,242+ video lessons. Instantly.
Start Learning Now →