One of the fastest way to get meaning from data in Excel is to insert a table. Here are some tips for getting started with Excel Tables. These tips will work for the 2007, 2010, and 2013 versions of Excel unless stated otherwise.
1) Insert a Table:
- Select a cell within your data area. Go to the Insert Tab on the Ribbon and select "Table"
- Aside from the formatting there are two details to take note of:
2) Use the Table for fast data entry:
- Normally in Excel, Tab moves the cell selector right and Enter moves the cell selector down. In a Table, Tab moves to the next cell in the Table. In other words, it will move right until the last column in your table, and then it will move down to the first cell in the next row. If you're at the end of your data set, a new row is automatically added to the Table.
3) Get instant data analysis by adding a Total Row:
- For this next part, a cell within your table must be selected. Go to the Table Tools Design Tab. Check the Total Row box.
This example is shown in 2013, but you will still see the same option boxes in the previous versions.
- Add formulas to the Total Row.
4) Switch a table back to regular cells.
Formatting and Total Row stay put, but the other tools from the Table are removed.
As the Table Tools Design Tab suggests, Excel can do much more with Tables. Check out Microsoft's Support site more helpful articles and videos. The search feature works rather well if you want help with something specific. For example, type "Excel Tables" or "Excel PivotTables" to continue learning about tables.
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