Excel Cheat Sheet – Tips and Tricks to Master Excel

By Yazmeen O. Gadalla

In order to excel in the workplace, one of the most essential tools to understand is Microsoft Excel. A spreadsheet program, Microsoft Excel is used for a variety of reasons, mainly to track data. For so many of us in the legal field, Excel is a program that we keep close.

Whether it is for tracking deadlines, calculating numerical amounts, or more, we tend to use this software on a daily basis.

Below are some common (and not so common) tricks for working in Excel.

  • Creating a new line.
    • Much like pressing ‘Enter’ in Word creates a new line, you can do the same in Excel. However, you need to press down “ALT” while hitting “Enter” in order to create the new line.
  • Adding up all of the numbers in a cell.
    • Formula: =SUM(A2:A8)
    • You can also select the Σ symbol under the “Home” tab to create this formula. You can also select “Average,” “Count Numbers,” “Max,” “Min,” and more.

  • Creating a table from existing data.
    • Select the data from the spreadsheet to be included in the table.
    • Go to “Insert” and select “Table.”
    • Select whether or not your table has headers; then, click “Ok.”
    • The table will be created, and you will be able to sort based on each column.

You can also select “Format as table” under the “Home” tab to create a table as well.

  • Combining two or more cells into one.
    • Formula:  =A2&” “&B2
    • You need to manually enter the spaces; otherwise, the text will just merge together.

  • Comparing two columns.
    • Formula:  =IF(A2=B2, “Yes”,”No”)
    • This is useful if you are comparing two sets of data.

    • You can also use this to find case-sensitive matches, using the following formula:
    • =IF(EXACT(A2, B2), “Yes”,”No”)


  • Separating one column into several columns.
    • Select the column of text you need to separate.
    • Go to “Data” and select “Text to Columns.”
    • Choose “Delimited.” This will allow you to choose what character will divide the column.
    • Select your delimiters. This is how the columns will be created. If it is a list of names, I use “Space.”
    • Press “Finish.” You should now have separate columns for your text.

These are just some of the tools that Excel has to offer. In my experience, I am constantly searching for new ways to utilize the mechanics of Excel within the workplace. Excel almost always has a workaround to any problem you may have. If you cannot find the answer, rest assured; someone else has Googled it, and someone else has made a website about it.