Chapter 20

The Ten Best Excel Tools


Getting the most out of Excel

Customizing Excel to make it work for you

If you’re like most people, definitely including me, you probably don’t get the most out of Excel, because you don’t know all of what it has to offer. I’ve used Excel for well over a third of my life, but I didn’t know about some of the tools in this chapter until I read about them in online forums and blogs. Cell Comments, AutoComplete, toolbar customization — these aren’t the flashiest tools in Excel’s kit, but they will all save you time and maybe even grief.

Cell Comments

When you use Cell Comments, you can make notes about the contents of a worksheet cell. You can document where the information came from, how confident you are of its accuracy, whether it might need revision and when. All this information can be important in building a baseline for a forecast.

If several people are entering data and formulas in a workbook, Cell Comments are really helpful. You don’t have to see them unless you want to, but when you want to see them, they can provide great backup.

To enter a Cell Comment, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell where you want to make a comment.
  2. Either right-click the cell and choose Insert Comment, or choose New Comment from the Comments group in the Ribbon’s Review tab.
  3. Type into the comments box anything that will help explain what’s in that cell and click another cell in your worksheet to close the comment.

    Now the cell will have a ...

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