0021 Excel Shortcuts: How to Change Column Width and Row Height

You know those annoying # signs that pop up on your spreadsheet every once in a while? It’s because your columns aren’t wide enough!

In today’s video, I’m going to teach you how to change the column width and row height with laser-like precision and speed.

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Full Video Transcript:

If you’re still using the mouse to adjust the column widths manually, I guarantee you that you’re leaving minutes on the table every single day.

Minutes that you could be spending getting coffee, gossiping with coworkers, or watching videos of corny Excel instructors.

No matter what industry you’re in or what your job is, or pretty much what you’re doing with your life, you will always need to change column widths and row heights. It’s just a fact of life. It’s just how it is.

There’s two main approaches. You can do the quick and dirty approach, and the precise guess and check. Quick and dirty refers to AutoFit, and the guess and check refers to changing the exact column width or row height. So, let me show you both.

If you’re on a PC, you want to go ahead and use the ALT + H + O + W to set the column width. Now, notice something about all of these is that they’re based on the current selection. So, for example, if I take all of this here and I want to expand it to fit all of them, I’m not just going to go ahead and click this way because that takes me forever.

Instead, I’m going to select all of these and do ALT + H + O, right? H for Home, O for Format, and I want to do a W for Width. If I wanted to guess exactly how much, because I’ve been doing this a long time, I’m going to guess probably, like, 14, and it’s pretty close, right?

But if I want it to be exact, I would do ALT + H + O + I to AutoFit, which is a really big time saver, and it’s based on the selection, meaning if I do ALT + H + O + I here, it’s going to fit only to this level. If I want to do the entire column, ALT + H + O + I.

If I, you know, hit ALT first, it’ll work, and it’ll give us to all of that because I have a lot of text underneath, so be aware of what you’re selecting before you actually put that shortcut into effect.

If you want to do the row, in contrast, it’s going to be ALT + H + O + H for the Row Height. Usually the default is 15. Or you can actually go ahead and do ALT + H + O + A to AutoFit the row height.

So, how do we remember all this? There’s a couple really corny Santa Claus tricks here, so just bear with me.

W is for width, which is super easy. H is for height, but for the I and the A, just think of the I as, like, suck it in, Santa, and the fact that I is, like, the most narrow vertical line anyway, so it will, you know, suck it in, basically.

A is, like, think of an attic, and you got to watch your head in the attic because they have low ceilings. You want to fit that row so it’s nice and snug, and it’s really compact. So, again, you always start with the H + O. That’s why I thought of Santa Claus. HO HO HO HO, get it? Okay.

And then there’s the Mac equivalent, which is all based on the customized shortcuts. So, go ahead and go to the description of this video and click on the link to go step-by-step on how to create your own Mac keyboard shortcuts. otherwise these will not work at all. So, again, I chose similar keys so that it’s actually very much related to the same as the PC.

Wishing you had your own exercises to follow along with? Well, fortunately, they’re right here. Just go ahead and actually follow through with each of these to the point where the left side looks exactly like the right. And you’ll notice that the numbers themselves are different on the PC than on the Mac, but again, just use the ones that correspond to the system that you’re using.

So, If I have a PC here, I’m going to keep the default at 8.43, but this one I’m going to do ALT + H + O + W and get the 9 here and hit ENTER, and it’s going to adjust it for me that way.

So, I’m going to go through each one. You can select a single cell or the entire column if you’re doing the Adjust Width with ALT + H + O + W because it’ll affect the whole column anyway. So, that’s for the Set Column Width.

Similar thing with the row height, and then you’re going to do AutoFit. So, be aware of what you’re selecting first. That’s the trick to this whole thing to make it look exactly like this. You’ll get a feel for it and see how it works, but, basically, that’s it, and then when you’re done, you want to actually go ahead and make sure that everything wraps up nicely.

The trick to this whole thing is that when you’re using Wrap Text, things can get a little bit weird because it doesn’t know how you want to, basically, AutoFit them. So, what I mean by that is…I’m going to do a little AutoFit of the row. So, ALT + H + O + A is how I get this point, but I don’t know. If I do ALT + H + O + I it’s going to cut it off here, but if I’m over here, for example, and I do ALT + H + O + I, it’s different.

It doesn’t always know what to do, so this is more of the art of Excel than the science. So, kind of get it most of the way there first, but then get more precise by doing ALT + H + O + W and maybe doing it to a four. And then you can snug it in so it’s already cut off at the right word, that kind of thing. So, again, just play with it and get the feel for it, but basically, have fun and learn.

Don’t forget to visit test.excelshir.com where you can download these exercises, along with other free resources such as keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for both PC and Mac.

Thanks for watching, see you next time, and one last exercise. Think of the person you love the most. Call them up and share the Excel love. Sharing is caring.

0020 Excel Shortcuts: How to Add and Remove Borders

FACT: Most Excel files either have way too many borders, or not enough. The reason? Formatting borders with the mouse is inconvenient and time consuming.

The solution? Watch this video and learn 6 Excel shortcuts for the most common border formats.

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Full Video Transcript:

Can I ask you a personal question? How much time are you spending creating borders? If it’s any more than a few seconds, you’re taking way too long.

But don’t worry, in this video, I’ll show you how to create the exact borders you want, fast.

We all know borders are important because it separates information, like headers or total rows from the rest of the table.

But the real question is how do we create the exact borders we want and how do we do it efficiently? We can actually do it very, very fast and very efficiently with the following shortcut.

So for the PC, we want to do things like CTRL + SHIFT + & to create an outside border on the current selection. Let me show you how this works, right? If I’m over here and I do CTRL + SHIFT + &, it looks like nothing happened, but as soon as I move the selection away, I’ve left that outside border there in place. It’s there, it’s waiting, it’s awesome.

You can even select a few different cells and then do that shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + & and then you move aside and you get that same effect.

Let’s go to the next shortcut. Over here is the CTRL + SHIFT + _ (Underscore) to remove the outside border from the current selection. So, if I want to take this one only, I can do CTRL + SHIFT + _ (Underscore) and it’s going to remove it, or I can take an entire selection like this and overlap it that way, if I want to save some time to do it across the board.

The memory trick here is to think of it as an ampersand, you’re adding a lot of borders, hence the outside, everything up on a perimeter of the current selection.

The underscore is like a blank, so you want to fill in the blanks, right? It’s going to remove whatever border you had on the outside.

The next series of shortcuts are going to be a little bit more involved, in the sense that we have the ALT + H + B and then a letter. So, the way that works here is…let me show you each example. ALT + H + B Home Border and we get a ton of options, but we don’t want to use all these because they’re not as useful.

In fact, the P is really helpful because it’s going to be the top. Now, T was already taken, but P, you want to think of it as popping the top off the Pringles. It’s a lot of P’s in the sentence but it basically helps you remember to put it towards the top, right?

If you want to do the bottom, it’s ALT + H + B + O for the bottom. Think of O as like, the original flavor of Pringles, which is the bottom of the barrel, because some people hate it, apparently. And you can also think of it as like a Pringles can on a table and tracing a pencil around it and it draws a little O there. So ALT + H + B + O will get you to the bottom of whatever the current selection is.

In contrast, ALT + H + B + L is for left border, ALT + H + B + R is for right, those are really straightforward. So again, you can do all the directions you want based on the current selection if you just start with the ALT + H + B and then a letter that corresponds to the border that you want.

Things are a little bit different for the Mac. So, if we want to go back to the other sheet here, we’ll see that, in fact, the same things can be achieved, but it’s done a little bit differently.

So, with the Mac, you want to use the OPT + COMMAND + 0 (Zero) to add the outside border. If you look at it, it’s kind of like an outside perimeter. Sort of. But basically, helps you draw the outside border.

If you do the OPT + COMMAND + _ (Underscore), that’s the same to remove the outside border, and then this is one of those rare cases where Mac is better than a PC, in terms of the default shortcuts, because you just use the arrows. You do OPT + COMMAND + UP up to create a top border, DOWN for a bottom border etc. etc. I think that’s awesome and I love that about the Mac shortcuts there. So, if you have a Mac, enjoy it while you can.

Let’s see these bad boys in action, right? Go ahead and go to these different tabs and actually complete these exercises. So, you want to make the left section here match with the right section in the example, and use the borders shortcuts that we just learned.

So, select the cells you want first and then put into effect the actual shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + &, in this case, and you’ll just go through and fill in everything until it looks identical and until you pretty much have this down cold. So, go ahead and practice it for the outside border, removing borders, top, bottom, left, right, and if you’re feeling fancy, little challenge, anyone want to play pong, anyone? Yeah? Okay, great.

Don’t forget to visit test.excelshir.com where you can download these exercises, along with other free resources such as keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for both PC and Mac.

Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time. And share that Excel love. Yeah, it’s contagious.

0019 Excel Shortcuts: How to Wrap Text (PC Only)

Have you ever had text get cut off because the cell wasn’t wide enough? Wrap Text is what’s been missing in your life, and your spreadsheet.

In this video, I will teach you how to maximize the space on your spreadsheet with one simple shortcut for PC (sorry Mac users).

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Full Video Transcript:

Have you ever widened a column so much just so that you could fit all the text, and have a whole bunch of white space left over? Stop immediately.

In this video, I’m going to teach you how to actually wrap text quickly and correctly.

This shortcut is really important because it lets you take full advantage of the space that you have on your spreadsheet, on your screen, and pretty much in your life, right?

I’ve had clients where they had columns that were way too wide and was just taking up all the space because they didn’t know how to wrap text correctly, and so we couldn’t even see all the relevant information on the screen at the same time. We had to scroll back and forth, it was a waste of time, it was frustrating. The whole point is to be concise, get everything nice and neat on your screen.

The way to do Wrap Text with a PC is to hit ALT + H + W. It’s going to give you the same spot here on the top ribbon, and the whole thing is, it’s a “sticky key.” When you hit ALT, it is a sticky key because you’re pressing and letting go and that means it’s still waiting for your next move.

You’re going to hit H for Home and W for Wrap Text. So again, you want to keep in mind what you’re selecting first before you do this, otherwise it’ll just wrap the wrong thing, essentially.

Sadly, for the Mac, there is no keyboard shortcut for this and you can’t customize it, but what you can do is go to the top ribbon on the Home tab and hit Wrap Text on the Mac and you’ll get the same result. Or you can get into the same Format Cells with command one and go to the Alignment tab and change the Wrap Text that way.

Let’s see this in action with an exercise that’ll help us remember and actually internalize this shortcut. So, go ahead and go to this Wrap Text tab and match the left side to the example on the right. So again, select first. Choose all the cells that you want to make have this change, and then do ALT + H + W and it’s going to wrap them so that you can see everything nicely versus having to do it the old-fashioned way and spend way too much time and space to do it that way.

Instead, you’re going to choose those cells and you’re going to ALT + H + W and make it look clean, nice and concise.

Don’t forget to visit test.excelshir.com where you can download these exercises, along with other free resources such as keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for both PC and Mac.

Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time, and in the meantime, don’t forget to share the Excel love.

0018 Excel Shortcuts: How to Align Cells

Cell Alignment isn’t just for the obsessive excel user, since it can singlehandedly make or break the overall presentation of a report. I’ve sat in on year end evaluation meetings before, trust me.

In this video, I will show you how to align cells consistently every time with a few simple excel shortcuts.

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Full Video Transcript:

Nothing will drive a person crazier than when cells do not line up.

I kid you not. I had a client once whose entire purpose for hiring me was to line up the cells in a report.

And it might seem trivial, but in fact, this can make or break the professionalism of a report. And today I’m going to show you how to do it.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you are already aligning cells left, right, center, all the time, but you’re probably using the mouse. And today I’m going to show you how to use the keyboard to cut that time down significantly.

It really comes down to a very straightforward series of steps. The whole beginning is to hit ALT + H for Home and A for Align, and then it’s going to be a letter that corresponds to the action itself, so L for Left, C for Center, R for Right. I mean it doesn’t get more straightforward than this. T for Top, M for Middle, B for Bottom. Just go straight with that, and you’ll be on a very good footing.

The whole point is to get to this top ribbon piece with the PC, and then you’re golden. There’s really not too much to remember. It’s all baked into it. If you’re on the Mac, on the other hand, the two that are built in are COMMAND + L for the Left and COMMAND + E for Center. And because C was already taken, you have to use E and think of it as Equidistant from both sides.

Unfortunately, on the Mac, you cannot customize the keyboard shortcuts for the rest of these, for the right, top, middle or bottom, so you’re going to have to use the ribbon on the Mac to actually do it the other way. But otherwise, you’re going to save a considerable amount of time by using these keyboard shortcuts to align your cells.

Let’s illustrate these shortcuts with a few specific exercises. So you’ll have the align left. Again, just make this left section here match the exact format on the right and use the keyboard shortcut to make it happen.

So once you’re here, ALT + H + A + L for the Align Left. And you’ll go through and you’ll actually practice it several times until you get it down cold. We have it for the left, for the center, for the right, top, middle and bottom. And of course, a nice little challenge to get it to match up exactly.

Don’t forget to visit test.excelshir.com where you can download these exercises, along with other free resources such as keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for both PC and Mac.

Thanks for watching. See you next time. And if there’s just one thing you do today, share the Excel love. It will make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

0017 Excel Shortcuts: How to Change Number Formats

I wouldn’t show this as a party trick at your next soirĂ©e, but I would use this when creating a quick back-of-the-napkin spreadsheet.

In this video, I will teach you how to quickly format your numbers 7 different ways without touching the mouse.

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Full Video Transcript:

Don’t you hate it when you’re typing out a list of numbers and some appear with a decimal, some with no decimal, some with a comma, some with a currency symbol, and all you wanted is to get them all to look the same?

This video is for you because I’m going to teach you exactly how to format your numbers quickly, efficiently, and correctly.

In the previous video, I showed you how to format your spreadsheet precisely and comprehensively. There’s actually a link in the description below, in case you missed it.

In contrast, this video shows you how to get the most common formats really quickly, for those back-of-the-napkin type calculations that you just need more quickly.

So here is a list of all of the quick formatting shortcuts. The trick to all of this is CTRL + SHIFT + Something, and that something is going to be on that entire, basically, half of that row on the keyboard on the top, starting with that Grave symbol, which you may not have used ever before, all the way through 1 through 6.

So if you do CTRL + SHIFT and one of those, you’ll get the format that corresponds to it. So CTRL + SHIFT + ` (Grave) will get you general. G, grave, general. Get it? It’s all related. Okay.

Exclamation point is because you’re going to do the number, right? Think of it as like the decimal point that appears when you do it. The @ is like, “What time is the party at?” So I want to see the time. That’s how that’s working.

The hashtag here, the little date thing, I always think of, you know, being stranded on a deserted island and counting down the days with little tick marks. So that makes me think of the day format.

Currency is straightforward because it’s a dollar sign. Percentage is a percentage. This one is a little caret, or caret, depending on how you want to pronounce it, and it’s going to be raising the scientific roof because basically it’s scientific notation. So the numbers are too big or too small, actually, and you need to show it in a scientific format.

That’s essentially it, and it’s the same exact shortcut for the Mac. It’s still CTRL + SHIFT, and then that other additional number or the Grave symbol on the left of the 1.

Pull up a chair because there’s a bunch of shortcuts to work through here, right? We’ve got the general. So you want to make the entire left section over here match the format on the right. And all you have to do is turn these cells into the correct format, CTRL + SHIFT + ` (Grave), and it will go ahead and match it to that spot.

Go through each of these using the shortcut that we talked about. There might be some subliminal messaging here, which is not so subliminal anymore because I talked about it, but you get the idea. Go through each of these, and then go through the challenge one where every single one of these should match in a very precise way. And really just practice as much as you need to until you get it memorized.

Don’t forget to visit test.excelshir.com where you can download these exercises, along with other free resources such as keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for both PC and Mac.

Thanks for watching. See you next time. And tonight, before putting your kids to sleep, instead of reading them a bedtime story, share the Excel love. Trust me. Knocks them right out.

0016 Excel Shortcuts: The Best Way to Format Cells

You may think you know how to format cells, but until you master this goldmine of a shortcut, you’ll forever be limited.

In this video I will teach you the best (and most comprehensive) way to format cells.

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Full Video Transcript:

Some people are extremely particular about the way their spreadsheets look. Clearly, I’m one of them, and in this video, I’m going to teach you how to be very precise and comprehensive with your formatting, which is great for presenting to your boss, investors, or that guy across the hall you’re trying to impress.

Sure, you can use the “Home” tab on the ribbon for many of the most common formatting options, but if you really want to start to get things to the next level and be really precise and comprehensive with all your formatting options, the one place to go is Format Cells, and the way to get there is with CTRL + 1 on the PC or COMMAND + 1 on the Mac.

This is one of those shortcuts that will open up an entire world of different options for you. So, we’re going to explore in-depth, but really, the only main shortcut is the Format Cells for CTRL + 1. The way to remember this is, the one formatting shortcut to control them all, all right? Think of The Lord of the Rings when you think about this.

So once you have this window here, CTRL + 1, there’s a lot of different tabs up top, and you want to be able to navigate quickly between the different sections. The way to navigate is to go CTRL + PGDN to move to the tab on the right, CTRL + PGUP to go to the tab on the left. If you hit TAB, you’re going to move to the next section or area on this popup. TAB again, TAB again. If you want to go in the reverse direction, you’ll do SHIFT + TAB. And again, this is true for any popup that comes up on your screen on your computer, which is really cool.

Another way to navigate is to go ahead and hit the Spacebar when you’re on a check mark. You can check it by hitting SPACE, and you can uncheck it by hitting SPACE again. Alternatively, you can also do things like hit ENTER to hit the OK button or basically make it save and take effect, or hit ESC to cancel out and essentially close the window without saving your changes.

You can also do things like use the ALT and then the letter to actually activate that specific area. So, ALT + W, in this case, will get me to Wrap Text. ALT + W again will undo it. If I want to move to this box here, ALT + H. You can do a lot of these types of things, just pay attention. This is for the PC. The ALT key is a nice accelerator option.

The memory tricks for this are to control your pages or they won’t pay their tab. Think of pages as little rambunctious, obnoxious kids. They’re running around in the restaurant and not paying their bill, so control your pages, or they won’t pay their tab. That’s how you remember that piece. If you want space for dessert, nope. Check, please. The space, dessert, you know, check, it’s all related. In my mind, it was. Hopefully, that helps you.

Fortunately, on the Mac, it is actually very much the same kind of thing with very little, minute differences. It’s the same concept. CTRL + FN + DOWN, which is the same as PGDN. So again, it’s pretty much the same thing as we’ve done on the PC.

There are three main tabs on this window that are important, so that we’re going to cover. There’s the “Number,” “Alignment,” and “Border,” and let’s go through each one.

On the “Number” tab, you have a lot of different types of data, different categories for what the data could actually be. So, you’ll start by selecting that on the side, and then you get a whole host of options. Again, explore each of these on your own time, and really get a flavor of it, but things like General, Number, Currency, Accounting, these are all very, very important, and if you get really fancy, you can do all sorts of custom stuff, but most people don’t ever have to do that. So, don’t sweat it.

Let’s go to the “Alignment” tab and see that there’s a lot you can do here. You can orient your text. You can do things like “Wrap Text” or “Shrink to Fit.” You can even do some merging across, we’ll talk about that a little bit later. And so, that’s a great way to take full advantage of how your text, or your numbers, or whatever your data is, is aligned exactly the way you want to.

Finally, there’s the “Border” tab here, which is kind of incredible because it lets you choose, first, your style, what kind of paintbrush are you going to use, essentially. Well, I want this solid line or this thicker line, this thicker brush, for example. You can then choose the color. Most people keep it Automatic, but you can actually choose a different color here, and then, you use this area here as a canvas, and you will paint the borders onto this.

You can use these things on the side to actually be very specific and targeted about it, or you can do it with the mouse on that section itself, which is another approach. You can do None to erase it all quickly, you can do Outline, whole lot of things you can do, again, explore this, get a feel for it. But first, choose your style if it’s not the one that you want, then your color, and then you can go ahead and apply those changes to this canvas here.

Very important note is to select the cells first before you do any of these things. So, for example, I’m going to hit Cancel, I want to choose these cells over here, and then I’m going to hit CTRL + 1 and I’m going to apply a change, for example, a border.

Let’s make it crazy and do a little sideways border, which looks terrible, and then it applies it all the way to it. But the point is, if you just start doing borders all over the place without selecting first, it won’t get you the result that you want.

You better believe it. I’ve got exercises to practice all of these shortcuts and really remember them cold, so let’s go into each one. You’re going to match the format, make this left section look exactly like the right.

Hints, probably do the thing that it talks about at the bottom, right? It’s pretty cool. Select the cells you want, like the Number here, hit CTRL + 1 and go to the “Number” tab, and let’s see. Let’s move this to the side. Well, in fact, I want the number to appear like so, with only one decimal point and a thousand separator, and with the negative to be with red and a parentheses. So, it’s very, very precise and very comprehensive.

So, go through all of those steps to do things like changing the number format, go through the Alignment tab, make it look exactly the same way, and also do things like the border. It gets very specific. One little note for the alignment, do not merge these cells. It says so right here in the hint. It’s much better to, instead, CTRL + 1, if you want to basically get a hint, Alignment, and Horizontal, it is “Center Across Selection.” What that does is it actually keeps your data only on the left side, but it does the nice thing of putting it as if it’s centered across all of them, versus merging, which can lead to a whole bunch of problems later on, which are just annoying and stupid. So, don’t do that.

Don’t forget to visit test.excelshir.com where you can download these exercises, along with other free resources such as keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for both PC and Mac.

Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next time. And I think it was Gandhi who said it best when he said, “Don’t forget to share the Excel love.” Wise words.

0015 Excel Shortcuts: How to Insert and Delete Cells, Rows, and Columns

One major advantage that Excel has over paper & pen is that you can literally shift EVERYTHING over and make space for more information without disturbing your existing work. You can also clean things up by removing unused information (no more erasing feverishly!).

In this video, I will teach you how to insert and delete cells, rows, and columns quickly and correctly.

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Full Video Transcript:

Ever hand in a report to your boss, only to have her respond with, “Where’s the March data?”

Don’t worry, there’s a super quick fix to this and it involves inserting cells, rows or columns, which is the topic of this video.

This is one of the most powerful shortcuts in Excel because it lets you go back and add new information to an existing project, while keeping the cell references and everything else intact.

On the flip side, when you’re deleting, make sure to do so with caution because you can only undo up to a certain point. And once your information is lost, it’s pretty much gone forever and no amount of kicking or screaming is going to bring it back.

Fortunately, the actual shortcut here is very, very straightforward. To add or insert cells, you’re going to hit CTRL + + (plus). To delete, you’re going to do CTRL + - (minus). That’s really it, and this is one of those rare times where our Mac and PC shortcuts are identical.

The only nuance to this is you’re going to select first, before you actually use this shortcut. So, let me show you what I mean. If you want to take an entire row, you’re going to select the row and then insert with CTRL + + (plus) to get that row inserted. If you want to choose an entire column, you’ll do it this way and then do it afterwards.

If you want to do an entire cell, you’ll get this pop-up window saying, “Do you want to shift the cells right or down?” You’ll never really need to use these two because you can just select the entire row or column first. That saves you some trouble. But again, think about how you want to shift stuff over to the right or down. Sometimes it varies, based on what you’re trying to do.

Here are some exercises that I’ve created specifically to reinforce these shortcuts, and practice as many times as you want. So, to insert all the cells here, you’re going to end up getting the side on the left to match exactly with the side on the right. And the way to do this, in this example, is to insert the cell, so CTRL + + (plus).

Again, notice I’ve selected the cell first. Shift it to the right because I want this number to move over to the right, and hit “Okay.” And I do the same type of thing over, make sure I’m shifting around until it matches exactly.

You’re going to go through insert the cells, you’re going to do delete all the cells. You’re going to insert the rows, delete the rows, insert columns, delete columns. Lots to do, but it’s all under the same umbrella of inserting cells with CTRL + + (plus) and deleting cells with CTRL + - (minus).

Don’t forget to visit test.excelshir.com where you can download these exercises, along with other free resources such as keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for both PC and Mac.

Thanks for watching. See you next time. And in the words of William Shakespeare, “To err is human, but sharing the Excel love, now, that’s divine.” He’s so right.

0014 Excel Shortcuts: How to Clear Cell Contents

Have you ever needed to clear PART of a cell, but not all of it? If so, this video is for you!

It will save you minutes, hours, or days, depending on how complex your spreadsheet is :).

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Full Video Transcript:

I don’t know if you know this, but Excel can actually hold a lot of different types of information, sometimes all within a single cell.

And I’m not just talking about numbers or text. There are things like comments and hyperlinks and other data that’s actually there behind the scenes that may not be visible.

So, what happens when you want to clear away some of it, but not all of it? Well, today I’m going to teach you the shortcut on how to clear cell contents.

Instead of being sloppy about deleting information, there’s actually a way to be very precise and efficient about what specific information you want to get rid of, especially when your spreadsheets start getting more complex.

So, here are a number of different ways to clear contents. The first one is Delete. If you actually hit the DEL key, it will remove all of the contents without touching anything else. I’m going to bring that back with a little undo action.

The other ones are all based on the ALT key as the starting point. So, ALT + H for Home, E for the Clear, and then we have a whole bunch of options.

And the memory tricks for all of these is going to be, “Hey, everyone, clear all,” or, “Hey, everyone, clear formats,” “Hey, everyone, clear messages.” All right? The messages part is referring to the comments. Or, “Hey, everyone, remove hyperlinks.”

So it’s all related to that first letter, but you have to get to it with the ALT + H + E something. So, for a clear all, ALT + H + E + A and it will remove not just that content itself, but all the data along with it. Same idea for formats, for comments, for hyperlinks. We’re going to go through each one.

A couple things to note, the DEL key itself is what you want to use when you have multiple cells selected to clear the contents. Instead of the Backspace, which will only give you this annoying first cell removed, but then the blinking cursor, not what you want. So, people usually make that mistake. Don’t make that mistake, just hit the DEL key instead of the Backspace.

For the Mac, there is the other way of doing this, which is to use the fn + Delete on the keyboard. And for the rest of these, these are all customized, so go ahead and go to the description of this video, click on the link for how to customize your Mac keyboard shortcuts, and go through all those steps to do it in detail.

Something that I cannot stress enough is the importance of selecting the cells first, and then making the change, right? “Select, then effect.” So, don’t just start deleting things, select the cell or cells that you want, and then use the shortcut to have it take effect.

Here are a few exercises I created specifically designed to help you practice and reinforce all the different shortcuts. So, go ahead and make the left section here match exactly as it appears on the right using the keyboard shortcuts that we talked about.

So, in this one, we’re going to use the DEL key, we’re going to have…go ahead and select all of it and clear it out and continue to go through until it’s all matching the same way.

And notice that each one uses its own, go through each of these, and at the end, there is a challenge to use a combination of all the different ways to make it look exactly the same.

Don’t forget to visit test.excelshir.com where you can download these exercises, along with other free resources such as keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for both PC and Mac.

Thanks for watching, see you next time. And remember, dream big, live your truth, and share the Excel love. I do.

0013 Excel Shortcuts: How to Freeze Headers

The whole point of headers is to accurately describe the data underneath them. But what good are headers if they disappear every time you scroll down?!?!

Don’t worry, in this video I will teach you exactly how to freeze your headers at the top of the screen, so you always know which data you are looking at.

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Full Video Transcript:

Have you ever gotten lost in a sea of data with no reference point?

Odds are it’s because you have not frozen your headers. Don’t worry. In this video, I’ll teach you exactly how to do it.

The whole point of freezing cells is to keep certain parts of the screen in place while you’re scrolling somewhere else.

And even though there’s many different ways you can use this, the most common and, I think, one of the most helpful ways to do this is to keep your headers frozen at the top.

So, the way to do this on the PC is with ALT + W + F + F, and it’s all activated through the ribbon. So, ALT + W will get to the “View,” F will get to “Freeze Panes” and F will get you to “Freeze Panes” again. You can safely ignore both of these bottom choices because we’re going to cover only this top choice and it’s based on the current selection.

So, I’ll explain exactly how that works in a second. The key thing to remember here is, “Why is the fudge freezing?” That’s all you have to remember, and then you’ll get the whole freezing panes concept down.

If you’re on a Mac, you have to customize your own keyboard shortcuts. So, go to the description of this video, click on the link, and there’s a separate video that goes through detailed step-by-step instructions on how to customize your own keyboard shortcuts.

I recommend using these two because you can’t use an Undo. You have to use one step for Freeze and, again, a different step for Unfreeze.

Let’s see it in action. And go to this page here and actually select, first, the entire row, so that above that row is where I want the frozen section to be.

So, here’s the setup for it. I do ALT + W + F + F, and now that whole top section is frozen where all the rows 1 through 4 are there. If I want to undo, I can’t do CTRL + Z, I have to back, ALT + W + F. And, again, I hit F again. Notice that it’s changing the name here. It’s “Unfreeze” at this point. So that’s how you freeze the rows.

On the flip side, you can do the columns by choosing the column after the frozen point. So it’s always going to the left of that spot, ALT + W + F + F. And now it’s frozen left-to-right which is, again, pretty helpful if you have things such as names, dates, IDs, something that has to stay visible even when you’re scrolling.

Most people know about these two but what they don’t know about is the third option, So, let me undo it by ALT + W + F + F and choose not a row or a column but a single cell. And this is the point where, at the top left, it’s going to be the frozen point.

So, again, ALT + W + F + F. Not only is it frozen up and down, but it’s also frozen left and right, which is super helpful when you have the headers at the top as well as information on the left that you always need to see.

One caveat here, one thing to avoid is getting lost in your data and saying, “Hey, what happened to my information?” and you go up top and you think you are missing things. You just have to go one down, past that frozen point, to actually pop it back into place and see everything visible again.

So that may happen where, if you’re going down and you go all the way back up, it looks weird. You just have to just go down a little bit more individually, past that frozen point, and everything will pop back into place.

Here are specific exercises I’ve created to help you practice and actually learn all of these shortcuts really, really well. So, go ahead and fill this out.

Freeze the cells along the black border itself. So, again, choose the section underneath, ALT + W + F + F. They’ll be frozen that way for the row. Do the same thing for the column, and the same thing for the rows and columns at the same time. And I recommend using this pretty much all the time because you’ll always have information at the top that you kind of always want to see.

Don’t forget to visit test.excelshir.com, where you can download these exercises along with other free resources, such as keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for both PC and Mac.

Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time. And next time you’re with friends and family, go ahead and share that Excel love. Oh. Oh, they’ll thank you for it.

0012 Excel Shortcuts: How to Zoom In or Out

Fact: When it comes to spreadsheets, size matters.

If the text is too small, make it easier to read by zooming in. On the flip side, if you can’t see everything you need to without scrolling, try zooming out.

Either way, make it easier for your boss, colleagues, and yourself by learning how to zoom in and out quickly and effortlessly by using the shortcuts I’m about to teach you.

Download FREE Hands-On Exercises

Full Video Transcript:

How many times have you received a spreadsheet only to have a really hard time reading it because the text was way too small?

It happens to me all the time, and the first thing I do is zoom in to the correct level. That’s exactly what I’m going to teach you in this video.

What’s wrong with this picture?

If you can read any of this, then I’m extremely impressed. This is way too small, and the only thing we can possibly do before doing anything else is zooming in, right?

That is such a key thing that so many of my clients somehow seem to forget, and they make it really difficult for me to actually read what they’re actually using on a daily basis. So don’t ever make it hard for someone to read your spreadsheet.

Always zoom in very, very nice and big, but not too big because then you can’t see everything that you want to see. So that’s pretty much the essence of this video. And the way to do this with the keyboard is, on the PC, it’s ALT + W + Q will get you to this zoom window.

You can use any one of these presets. You can use up and down arrows to select them. You can use the ALT and then one of those numbers or letters that’s corresponding to the underlined section, and it will jump to that spot. And if you want to type in your own number, I like 125, and hit ENTER, it will now jump to that specific zoom.

On a Mac, what you need to do is actually customize your keyboard shortcut. There is a separate video. Check out the description of this video and click on the link for detailed, step by step instructions.

In this case, it is CTRL + SHIFT + Q, and the “Q” looks like a little magnifying glass. So you’re like Sherlock Holmes for a day and you want to say, “Hey, where’s my magnifying glass?” That’s how I actually figure out how to zoom in with that keyboard shortcut.

If you want another way to do this, you can actually press and hold the CTRL key and then scroll up and down to zoom in and out. That’s actually how I’ve been doing it. You may not have even noticed, but that’s how I did it.

Here are a couple exercises to reinforce these shortcuts and help you practice them. So on the tab itself, on the name of it, it tells you how much you need to zoom in to.

Go ahead and use those shortcuts. In this case, on a PC, ALT + W + Q. Hit TAB to move to this next box and then type in 400 and then hit ENTER, and you’re going to get to the right spot.

Again, just follow the prompts on each of these, and you’ll get to the right approach. And that way, you can practice all of these shortcuts to your heart’s content.

Don’t forget to visit test.excelshir.com where you can download these exercises along with other free resources such as keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for both PC and Mac.

Thank you for watching, and I’ll see you next time. And do me a favor. Share that Excel love.