Excel tips

Real Excel power users know these 11 tricks


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From PivotTables to Power View, learn these functions to be a spreadsheet savant.

There are two kinds of Microsoft Excel users in the world: Those who make neat little tables, and those who amaze their colleagues with sophisticated charts, data analysis, and seemingly magical formula and macro tricks. You, obviously, are one of the latter--or are you? Check our list of 11 essential Excel skills to prove it--or discreetly pick up any you might have missed.


Vlookup is the power tool every Excel user should know. It helps you herd data that's scattered across different sheets and workbooks and bring those sheets into a central location to create reports and summaries.

Say you work with products in a retail store. Each product typically has a unique inventory number. You can use that as your reference point for Vlookups. The Vlookup formula matches that ID to the corresponding ID in another sheet, so you can pull information like an item description, price, inventory levels and other data points into your current workbook.

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