6 Excel Tips for Clean, Concise Data


You probably already know that it is important that nonprofit organizations collect, manage and analyze their data in order to improve their programs and raise more money. 

We have all seen spreadsheets in Excel that are a mess visually, below are six tips that will make your data; clean, concise, and easy to read.

1. Two-Click Fix to Get the Perfect Fit

Most of the time your text doesn’t fit perfectly in Excel cells. To adjust the size without having to drag and find the ideal fit, a double-click can take care of it for you.

Scroll your mouse to in between the letter columns and you will and a  "↔" character will appear, double click and your columns will be a perfect fit!

2. Play Hide and Seek in Excel

 It’s simple to hide columns and rows, and unhide them when you need to reference them. Say you had a full years worth of data, but you only wanted to focus on the second half of the year.

You would:

  • Highlight the columns you want to hide
  • Rick click
  • Select "Hide"

To unhide, highlight, right click and select "Unhide".

3. Wrap Your Text

When you insert a long URL or a large amount of text into your workbook, you’ll notice that the cell doesn’t automatically resize to fit your text–and you might not want it to.  To make your text legible in your spreadsheet, use wrap text to quickly adjust the text and size of the cell. Screenshot 2016-10-28 11.46.13.jpg

4. Learn How to Make Your Excel Sheets Say Brrr

Click the view button, view panes, and choose either: "Freeze top row" or "Freeze first column". 

Freezing your panes can be a great way to lock a view of a column or row that you want to see while scrolling through any cell in the workbook. Say for instance you need to reference the sales numbers from January 2015 but want to compare to past January performances, and simultaneously see January 2015 as you scroll throughout the other months, freeze panes can be your solution so you can have your eyes on targeted sections of a spreadsheet.

5. Point an Excel Reader in the Right Direction with Hyperlinks

Adding a link in your spreadsheet can forward a user to another cell in the sheet, a URL, or even an existing local or cloud file location.

Paste a link into one of the cells. Press enter, then double click, then click away and you have a hyperlink. 

6. Aesthetically Please By Merging or Splitting Cells

To merge cells; highlight the cells you want to combine, click Merge, then Merge and Center. Side note, when you merge only the upper left cell value is kept and discards the other values. 

Screenshot 2016-10-28 12.03.16.jpg


Many nonprofit organizations are using Data Visualization tools to help them analyze their data to turn it into usable information. Thanks to discounts and donations, very powerful data visualization tools are accessible to nonprofit organizations with small budgets. 

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May we suggest reading: Microsoft Word & Excel Shortcuts


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View the original article from Better Cloud   Featured Image Courtesty of Imaged used under a creative commons license. AJ Cann Flickr
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