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5 Common Mistakes with Excel and How to Avoid Them

Microsoft Excel has a whopping 750-million-person user base. You’re one of them—and you have questions about how to use the platform.

Mainly, you feel like you’re making mistakes with Excel, ones that you could easily avoid if you knew the ins and outs of the software. We’re here to help you fix those problems and learn the features for Excel that help you to side-step these issues. Here are five must-know tips to get the most out of this program.

  1. Copying and Pasting Errors

It is easier to use shortcuts for copying and pasting—that’s for sure. But doing so in Excel can be a risk. Specifically, copying and pasting can mess up the numbers, as well as the formulas with which you’ve formatted your Excel sheet.

Make sure you click the “Paste Special” option in the dropdown menu, rather than the regular “Paste.” This step will ensure that your data appears as-is—and that your bottom line remains accurate.

  1. Ignoring an Error Message

One of the many benefits of Excel is that it is a smart piece of programming. Rather than entering your data into a book or blank document, you have a system ensuring that everything’s working properly.

So, if you see a cell with an error warning, such as #VALUE or #N/A, there’s a reason for this. The program hasn’t been able to compute the data points you’ve entered. So, don’t ignore these messages—try and find the mistake in the formula or data and fix it.

  1. Formatting Excessively

It’s nice to have a uniform-looking Excel sheet. But formatting Excel cells can make the file larger and harder for your computer to open and run. Would you rather have a functioning sheet or one that looks good?

We assume you’d choose option A. Skip out on the post-completion formatting to ensure your Excel document still works well—it’ll still be organized, just not as visually clean.

  1. Not Knowing the Shortcuts

You can save a lot of time and energy if you know the Excel shortcuts. It’s not just about copying and pasting, either. You can use your keyboard for a lot of Excel tricks.

So, seek out resources to help you learn how to format and add data with the press of a few keys. This site, for example, will teach you how to use c# create Excel file.

  1. Hiding Rows and Columns

Finally, you might find that hiding rows and columns makes it easier for you to navigate the data in your Excel sheet. This is probably true, but there’s one problem. What happens if you forget to unhide that information?

Someone else might log onto the Excel sheet and miss out on the information that you’ve hidden. And that can paint an inaccurate picture of the data set you’ve gathered. So, skip out on hiding columns—or, be diligent about unhiding them as soon as you can.

Skip the Common Mistakes With Excel

These are just five of the common mistakes with Excel. Now that you know they exist, you can do your best to avoid them. And doing so will make your data clearer—and your work easier.

Don’t forget to check back with us for more tech-centric news to further streamline your professional and personal life.