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4 extremely useful Excel tips

4 extremely useful Excel tips

March 2012

In this article, we’re going to look at four useful tips for Excel® 2007 and 2010: taking screenshots in Excel; embedding Excel charts in Word documents; rearranging rows in Excel by using Word; and ignoring paragraph breaks when pasting copy into Excel.

1. Taking screenshots in Excel

This is a very useful little tip! You probably already know how to include an entire screen shot within your Excel worksheet (Press “PrintScreen” and paste the screen shot where you want it with Ctrl+V). However, if you only want to show a selected region like a small part of the screen in your spreadsheet, try this:

  • Select the area in your Excel sheet
  • If you have Excel 2007, go to “Paste”, then “As Picture”, then “Copy as Picture”
  • If you have Excel 2010, go to the “Copy” link and click “Copy as Picture”

Once the screen is placed in your workbook, you’ll be able to move it in the same way as you can any other graphic. (Remember that adding graphics to the worksheet will increase the size of the file in which the workbook is saved.)

2. Embedding Excel sheet in Word documents

How do you embed Excel sheets into Word documents? You’ll need to know this in case you have to create reports for presentations and want to include an Excel sheet for reference. It’s no trouble at all simply to embed the worksheet directly in your Microsoft® Word documents – and this is how you do it:

  • Select the tables in the Excel sheet which you want to embed in your Word document
  • Copy it to the clipboard by pressing Ctrl+C
  • Now go to your Word document and click the cursor where you want the chart to be placed
  • Go to the Paste button in your toolbar and click Paste Special
  • In the dialogue box select the Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet Object (2007) or Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object (2010) as the method of pasting
  • Ensure that the Paste Link radio button is selected and click OK to insert the linked chart into your document (Paste Link means that when the original changes, the destination cell automatically changes as well, so it’s easier to update worksheets)

3. Rearranging rows by using Word

Another very handy tip to know is how to quickly and easily shift rows around when you’re sorting data on an Excel sheet – for example, if you want to group names and addresses. Of course, you could write a complex statement to achieve this, but for a small list it’s much quicker just to shift the rows around – and by far the best way to do it is to move the data to Word, use Word commands, and then paste it all back to Excel:

  • Copy the rows and columns which contain the relevant data and paste it all into a Word document. It will look like a table and retain all your formatting
  • Select entire rows or parts of rows
  • Press SHIFT-ALT-UP-ARROW and SHIFT-ALT-DOWN-ARROW to slide them up and down
  • Once the rows are as you want them, you can paste them back into Excel
  • (Be careful that you put them back in exactly the right position!)

4. Ignoring paragraph breaks when pasting copy into ExcelThis tip will save you time! If you want to copy and paste text from another source into your Excel worksheet, Excel will separate each paragraph into a different cell. If you want it all in one cell, with no paragraph breaks, you need to change how you are doing the pasting so you avoid Excel’s normal import filter:

  • Copy the desired text by pressing Ctrl+C
  • In Excel, select the cell where you want the information pasted
  • Press F2, which switches to Edit mode for the cell
  • You will see the insertion point blinking in the formula bar
  • Now paste your information from the clipboard and press Enter

Microsoft and Excel are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.


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