Ultimate Microsoft Office Mastery: 90+ Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials for You

Use Microsoft Office every day? Check out our tips, tricks, and tutorials that’ll turn you into an efficiency machine with both Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.

Microsoft Office is powerful; there’s a reason why nearly every serious business in the world relies on it for office productivity. Yes, Microsoft Office can be daunting to learn, what with all of its crazy menus and features—but it doesn’t have to be difficult at all.

If you use either Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel on a regular basis and want to become a more fluent user, we have all kinds of tips, tricks, and tutorials that’ll help you effortlessly learn the ins and outs of each program. You’ll be a master in no time!

Getting Started With Microsoft Office

If you’re a new user, or if you don’t even have Microsoft Office yet, you may want to check out our articles on how to acquire a copy of Microsoft Office for free—without breaking the law. Did you know you can even use Microsoft Office on Linux computers?

Once Microsoft Office is installed, you may also want to make a few tweaks and install a few add-ins that’ll ease your overall experience:

Mastering Microsoft Word


Beginner Tips for Microsoft Word

The first step to getting comfortable with Microsoft Word is making sure it’s set up properly. With a few tweaks to the settings, and some familiarity with basic features, you’ll feel much more at home when using the software:

And then once you’re comfortable with Microsoft Word, that’s when you’ll want to check out our various tutorials on how to do things with it, which will give you a quick boost to productivity:

Advanced Tips for Microsoft Word

After acquainting yourself with the basics of Microsoft Word, that’s when you’ll be ready to try full-fledged projects that are more than just simple essays and typed reports. Here are some of the cooler things you can do with Microsoft Word:

Useful Templates for Microsoft Word

Don’t have time to make new documents from scratch? You aren’t alone. That’s why you should check out our roundups of the best Microsoft Word templates for all kinds of needs and use-cases:

Mastering Microsoft Excel

For many, Excel is the much tougher software compared to Word. Numbers and formulas will do that to you. That’s why before you dive into our Excel tips and tricks, we recommend starting with these introductory articles:

Beginner Tips for Microsoft Excel

The first and most important skill to learn in Microsoft Excel is understanding worksheets and tabs. Check out our beginner articles that teach you how to set up, edit, recover, and compare Excel worksheets with ease:

And then learn the other essential skills that’ll give you a leg up when it comes to creating and modifying Excel spreadsheets. There’s a lot of cool stuff you can do, and most of it’s quite easy once you know how to do them:

Advanced Tips for Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a powerhouse application, and with a bit of know-how, you can effortlessly pull off some crazy cool tasks. Here are some of the more advanced techniques you can use to manage your Excel worksheets:

And there are plenty of more advanced tricks you can use to automate much of the process when dealing with complex Excel spreadsheets, and these automations will save a ton of time over the long run:

Useful Templates for Microsoft Excel

Who has the time to build new Excel spreadsheets from scratch? Whether for personal or business use, you should consider downloading one of the many free templates available on the web and customizing it to your specific needs:

Read the full article: Ultimate Microsoft Office Mastery: 90+ Tips, Tricks, and Tutorials for You


How to Hide or Unhide Columns and Rows in Excel

If you’re dealing with a data-heavy spreadsheet, sometimes it’s helpful to hide or unhide rows and columns to better see the information you need to analyze. Fortunately, Excel makes it easy to do this.

How to Hide Columns and Rows in Excel

Start by selecting the column(s) or row(s) you want to hide. You can do this a few different ways.

  • Select multiple adjacent columns or rows: Click the first column or row, hold the Shift key, and click the last column or row.
  • Select multiple non-adjacent columns or rows: Click the first column or row, hold the Control key (Command on Mac), and click the remaining columns or rows.
  • Use the name box: Type a cell label in the name box to the left of the formula field. For example, if you want to hide the second row, for type B2. (For more, check out our guide to the Excel name box.)

Once you make your selection(s), follow one of these two methods to hide the columns or rows.

  • Right-click the selected column or row you want to hide and choose Hide. (This method will not work if you’ve typed in the column or row identifier.)
  • Click the Home tab and in the Cells group, click Format > Hide and Unhide and pick either Hide Rows or Hide Columns.

Excel Hide Columns or Rows

The column or row will be hidden and you’ll see a thin double line indicating where the hidden column or row resides.

Excel Hidden Columns

How to Unhide Columns or Rows in Excel

There are a few ways to select and unhide columns or rows:

  • Right-click the thin double line indicating a hidden row or column and select Unhide.
  • Select the two surrounding columns or rows. On the Home tab in the Cells group, click Format > Hide and Unhide and choose either Unhide Rows or Unhide Columns.
  • To unhide all columns or all rows in your spreadsheet, select all using the keyboard shortcut Control + A (Command + A on Mac), right-click, and pick Unhide.

Excel Unhide Columns Rows

Keep in mind that while you can hide or unhide either multiple columns or multiple rows at the same time, you can’t hide or unhide both columns and rows simultaneously.

Remember, columns and rows are not the only items you can hide and unhide in Excel. And for more ways to work with your data, take a look at how to freeze and lock data in Excel.

Read the full article: How to Hide or Unhide Columns and Rows in Excel


Excel Quick Tips: How to Flip Cells & Switch Rows or Columns

Microsoft Excel is a powerful program that can help you analyze and visualize data. To get the best results your data needs to be in the proper format.

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Occasionally you will run into data that is placed in a table, and you may not be able to work with the arrangement of rows and columns. Perhaps you have a column or row that you need to reverse entirely.

Flipping cells in a row or column can be a lot of work to do manually. Instead of re-entering all your data you can use these strategies to flip columns, turn columns into rows, and flip rows.

How to Flip Cells in Excel Columns

At first glance, there is no good way to flip columns upside down. Data sorting can sort by values or alphabetically but that doesn’t invert a column in Excel.

So what can you do? Copy the data and paste one by one? There’s a much better way to get this done.

Reversing the order of cells in a Microsoft Excel column is easy, and can be done in just a few steps with this nifty trick:

  1. Add a column to the left of the table you’d like to flip.
  2. Fill that column with numbers, starting with 1 and using the fill handle to create a series of numbers that ends at the bottom of your table.
  3. Select the columns and click Data > Sort. Select the column that you just added and filled with numbers. Select Largest to Smallest, and click OK.

Flipping Excel Table Columns

The columns are now inverted!

This is a useful trick to add to your toolbox when you’re managing columns in Excel.

Inverting Excel Table Using Data Sort

If you like working with Excel shortcuts you can perform this trick with one click. This shortcut can perform a quick sort by the leftmost column; Either by smallest-to-largest or largest-to-smallest.

The real key to all this is the index column.

Quick Sort Excel to Invert Columns

Once you’ve got the data reversed you can delete the index column and you’re ready to go. This trick was done on an Excel table but it works on any number of columns you want to invert.

If you use Visual Basic (macros) with Excel, you can use this code to accomplish the same thing. Just select the column you want to flip and run this macro:

Sub FlipColumns()
 Dim vTop As Variant
 Dim vEnd As Variant
 Dim iStart As Integer
 Dim iEnd As Integer
 Application.ScreenUpdating = False
 iStart = 1
 iEnd = Selection.Columns.Count
 Do While iStart < iEnd
 vTop = Selection.Columns(iStart)
 vEnd = Selection.Columns(iEnd)
 Selection.Columns(iEnd) = vTop
 Selection.Columns(iStart) = vEnd
 iStart = iStart + 1
 iEnd = iEnd - 1
 Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

VBA Macros are very useful but if you’re not comfortable with them you can get results instantly using the data sorting trick.

If VBA does pique your interest you can learn more about it with a beginner’s tutorial on writing VBA macros.

How to Switch Columns and Rows

Reversing a column has some use for data analysis but there are more ways you can manipulate data.

Another change you may want to make is switching the columns and the rows. That is, turn the column data into a row or row data into a column.

Just like inverting tables, copying and pasting information one by one is not the way to do it. Microsoft Excel has a very useful function to get this done.

  1. Select the columns you’d like to transpose and hit Ctrl+C or Edit > Copy.
  2. Click to an open cell and click Edit > Paste Special…
  3. Select Transpose

Transpose Excel Data Table to Switch Rows and Columns

Your column has now been turned into a row, with the topmost value placed on the left of the row. You might have a long row so make sure you’ve got some room.

Transposed Excel Column Into Row Using Paste Special

It works in the reverse order as well—you can transpose a row into a column. You can even transpose a block of data, which will turn the entire selection by 90 degrees.

How to Flip a Row in Excel

Now that you know the trick to flipping columns and you’ve seen the way to turn a column into a row; What about flipping a row in Excel?

To flip the cells in an Excel row you will use both of the tricks you learned together.

Because Microsoft Excel doesn’t support sorting rows, you’ll need to first turn the row into a column by using transpose. Once the row has been turned into a column, you can use the first trick to invert the column.

After you’ve reversed the column, transpose it back into a row and you will have inverted the entire row. It’s a rather roundabout way to get it done, but it works!

To do this in a far simpler manner, you can use Visual Basic again. Just run the same macro as before, but replace all of the instances of the word column with the word row.

Sub FlipRows()
 Dim vTop As Variant
 Dim vEnd As Variant
 Dim iStart As Integer
 Dim iEnd As Integer
 Application.ScreenUpdating = False
 iStart = 1
 iEnd = Selection.Rows.Count
 Do While iStart < iEnd
 vTop = Selection.Rows(iStart)
 vEnd = Selection.Rows(iEnd)
 Selection.Rows(iEnd) = vTop
 Selection.Rows(iStart) = vEnd
 iStart = iStart + 1
 iEnd = iEnd - 1
 Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

Why Flip Rows and Columns?

Excel is widely used in data analysis. Data analysis and data visualization are becoming a critical part of decision making in many different ways.

It’s not just in computer science, data analysis is used in:

  • Business
  • Marketing
  • Sports
  • Medicine
  • Real Estate
  • Machine Learning

Often times information used to analyze data will not be organized the way you might like. In order to get the best results, you should know how to set up data for processing.

Database tools like SQL are great for working with data, but they won’t organize your data for you. Excel can do this and give you results in Excel or Common Separated Value (CSV) files.

Knowing these tricks to flip columns and rows get you one step closer to getting the most out of your data.

Flip Data in Excel Easily

If you need to flip the data in a Microsoft Excel column or row, using one of the strategies above can save you a whole lot of time. And if you need to do it on a regular basis, using the Visual Basic macros will save you even more time. You’re ready to start getting your data to work for you!

Of course, there’s plenty more you can do with Excel. Check out these crazy Excel formulas that do amazing things or review our essential Excel formulas and functions cheat sheet.

Read the full article: Excel Quick Tips: How to Flip Cells & Switch Rows or Columns