10 Excel Tips for Beginners

September 29th, 2006

Change The Function of the Enter Key

Normally, when you press the Enter key, Excel goes to the next cell down. The Enter key can be made to move to in any direction (up, down, left, right) or leave you in the same cell. To change this, go to Tools | Options and select the Edit tab. Change the value in the dropdown for Move selection after Enter direction setting or uncheck the box to remain in the same cell.

Change The Number of Worksheets That Excel Starts With

Excel, by default, creates new spreadsheets with three sheets. To change this number go to Tools | Options and select the General tab. Set the number for Sheets in New Workbook.

Other Tips:

How To Bypass Table Recalculation

How To Hide Formulas from Other Users

How To Copy Excel Column Widths

Copy Formatting from One Cell or Range to Another

How To Copy Formatting From One Chart To Another

How To Email an Excel Workbook

Calculating Elapsed Time

How To Reference Cells in Other Worksheets

In Excel, you can work on two worksheets (from two different workbooks) by placing them in vertical, side-by-side windows. When you have two workbooks open at the same time, select Window, Compare Side by Side With.  After you select this command, a floating Compare Side by Side toolbar will open in Excel. The toolbar includes the Close Side by Side button, which you can use to close the windows as soon as you’re done comparing or transferring data between the two. While the two workbook windows are in open in Excel, you can select different worksheets and scroll to different regions in either one by using its sheet tabs and scroll bars that appear at the edge of the window. To make workbook active, just click the title bar or one of the cells of its worksheets.


When linking an Excel worksheet to another MS Office file (Word document, PowerPoint slide, or another Excel worksheet) use a range name (Insert – Name – Define) rather than a range reference. The range name can tolerate changes to the worksheet that contains it, whereas a range reference remains tied to the specific cells it references. For example, if you delete rows from the worksheet, a range reference will deliver the wrong data, but a range name will deliver the right data.