Tag: Productivity

0022 Excel Shortcuts: How to Copy and Paste Column Widths

After painstakingly changing your column widths, there’s no need to do that work over again. Just use the shortcut I’m about to teach you to copy and paste the column width in a snap!

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Full Video Transcript:

If you’re anything like me, you probably spent the better half of your adult life not knowing that you could copy and paste column widths in Excel.

Now that you know it’s possible, today I’m going to teach you exactly how to do it.

In the previous video, I showed you how to change column widths and row heights. You can actually go ahead and click on the link in the description in case you missed it.

Now that you’ve done that work already, I’m going to teach you how to copy and paste only the widths of the columns from one section to another, using a little something I like to call “Paste Special.” Since Microsoft calls it Paste Special too, that’s what we’ll all be calling it from here on out.

Paste Special’s one of those amazing things that, if you’re using it correctly, you’re saving yourself tons of time every single time that you’re using Excel, but if you don’t use it, you’re really missing out.

The key to it is to first choose and select the cell that has the quality that you want to it. For example, if I want to take this cell right here, and actually this entire column really, I’ll go ahead and expand the selection using CTRL + SPACE. I’ll do a little CTRL + C to copy it.

Now, I’m not going to paste the actual contents, but what I will do is paste the width of the column. I can go ahead and do CTRL + SPACE again to select this column here, or I can just choose a single cell and do CTRL + ALT + V. Now notice what happens. I threw an ALT in there. Instead of doing a regular paste with a CTRL + V, I’m using CTRL + ALT + V, which brings me to Paste Special.

And of course, the magic here completely is the column width. I can jump to this even quicker by using the ALT + W on the PC to get to that spot immediately. I’ll hit OK, and it’s now going to obviously give me an error message, because why not? In fact, that thing I said before, let’s make it width, and then it’s going to work. See, it’s always better to make it like to like. If you’re doing a whole column, then paste a whole column. Otherwise it’ll yell at you, basically.

That’s how you want to do it. I can hit ESC to get rid of these little borders here. It’s just showing it’s on the clipboard. The whole point is, you’re doing a Copy and a Paste Special with just the column width.

Let’s see this in the Mac. It’s very much the same thing. The whole point on the Mac is that instead of doing it with…let’s do, for example, over here. Same concept. I’ll do CTRL + SPACE to get the whole column, COMMAND + C to copy. I’ll do CTRL + SPACE to get this new column over here, and do CTRL + COMMAND + V to bring my Paste Special window up here.

The only difference is, I’m not going to do ALT, I’m going to do a fn + W. I hit the fn + W, it will get you to this spot right here. Then you do OK, and it will apply that width to there as well. Hit ESC to get rid of that.

If you want to lock in this shortcut, then let’s go ahead and go to this exercise, where you’re actually going to take the original column width over here, you’re going to copy it, and you’re going to paste it over to these.

It’s really, really simple, but the whole point is to get it to look like it does on the right. Use that shortcut and then do it as many times as you need to until you can do it with your eyes closed. Enjoy.

Don’t forget to visit 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, every journey begins with a first step. May I suggest that first step be to share the Excel love. I read it in a fortune cookie once. It was delicious.

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 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 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 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 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.