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Top 3 Beginner Excel Mistakes to Avoid

When beginning to use Microsoft Excel, there are several key mistakes that all students should avoid in order to be successful for the long term of a project.  Depending on your industry and specific Excel needs, this list of pitfalls can certainly become a long one. I’ve narrowed down the top 3 mistakes that all beginning Excel users should avoid.   You didn’t set your workbook up for success When you start a Microsoft Excel workbook, you need to do a little bit of project planning. Ask yourself some key questions and you will be able to use the built-in features of Excel...

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Microsoft Excel Cheat Sheet

Download the Microsoft Excel Cheat Sheet for FREE! The Digital Workshop Center provides free cheat sheets on many popular software applications. If you are looking for a quick Microsoft Excel reference sheet, then we’ve got just the thing for you! The Excel cheat sheet includes several useful shortcuts and common commands to help you be more efficient and confident while working in Excel. Several of these commands are included in our hands-on Excel Level 1 training class, so if you need more Excel help please contact the Digital Workshop office.  Stay tuned for more cheat sheets coming...

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Text Functions Can Help You Master Microsoft Excel

The problems in Microsoft Excel that the average person comes across tend to be similar from one person to the next. While working on a recent project with a client, it occurred to me that there are many text functions that everyone might like to know more about. To start, all Excel functions have the ability to calculate or manipulate your data. Many people think of Excel as a resource to build financial spreadsheets and calculations, but the program can do much more than that. When working with text data, common problems arise such as capitalization issues, additional spaces, removing...

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Using Microsoft Excel to Integrate Data Systems

Integrating multiple systems is a problem for any business. In the past few months, it’s been a good problem to have for the Digital Workshop. As our volume of students has increased dramatically, we’ve been trying to figure out how to better handle our multiple systems internally. One of the most common issues that come with having multiple systems is they don’t talk nicely to each other. By “talk,” I mean data does not transfer easily between them. For example, a system for human resources data may export a text file of employee info that a payment tracking system doesn’t understand....

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Five Excel© Features That Everyone Should Know

Microsoft Excel is just about as famous for being frustratingly difficult as it is for being exceedingly useful. These five tricks will make your data-crunching experience a much more relaxing one. 1. What Day Is It? Excel’s “Today” feature is no doubt a quick way to insert the day’s date into your spreadsheet. If you are not familiar with it, entering =TODAY() into a blank cell puts the day’s date into the cell. A word of warning, though – Even though this seems like it would be a useful tool to track when you input important data into your spreadsheet, the date will automatically update...

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Microsoft Excel: Using Conditional Formatting

[Note: This article was originally published in The Coloradoan on 2/24/12] A client recently came in looking for help with Excel spreadsheet issues. As the director of a youth program, she was using an Excel spreadsheet to track participants’ enrollment information. She needed the name of an active participant to show in green. If the participant was transitioning out the name was to show in yellow, and if the participant had left the program, the name was highlighted in red. She had approximately 3,000 participants to work with at any given time, and she manually went through every...

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