Top 3 productivity tips to become an Excel champion

Microsoft Excel is used by more than 750 million people around the world but only 5% really know how to use its full suite of tools. As efficient as Excel can be, you may still waste a lot of time building your spreadsheets if you do not know the right tricks.
In this post, we will highlight the most useful tips that you need to know in order to complete your tasks much quicker within Excel and save you time to really focus on the analysis. Prepare to become an Excel champion!

#1 Trace precedents

You often end up with a lot of complex formulas when building high-level Excel models. Trace Precedents indicates which cells affect the value of the currently selected cell. It allows you to easily check the consistency of your formulas.

How to trace precedents in Excel?

Corentin Bedetti, our Finance 3.1 Excel expert consultant, adds an extra advice:

Excel expert

#2 Track external links

Many Excel users express frustration about having external links in their spreadsheet, but not being able to find them. If this has affected you, you have most likely noticed the warning Excel provides asking if you want to update external links when opening your spreadsheet.

Unexpected external linking can occur for various reasons, many of them stemming from moving or copying charts, chart sheets or worksheets into another workbook. To easily identify and remove phantom links, you can use the well-known CTRL + F shortcut. It will open the Finder in which you can type “.xl” to identify all the external links in your file.

How to track external links

You can also use the ALT + E + K shortcut to open the Edit links message box. It allows you to break old links; values that were linked to external workbooks are transformed into values.


Excel expert

#3 Use keyboard shortcuts

What differentiates amazing Excel users from the good ones is that first ones navigate around the file using only their keyboard.
Keyboard shortcuts are insanely useful and will save you a lot of time lost on your mouse wheel. Once you learn these 12 shortcuts, you will be amazed by the speed at which you can navigate through your whole document. This is great for balance sheets, cash flow statements or any financial results worksheets you work on.

Top Excel shortcuts


Excel Expert

Of course, there are many other advanced hints that can boost your Excel productivity! If you enjoyed the above tips and want to get more delivered straight to your inbox, click on the banner below to download the free Excel Productivity Guide now:

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