Undiscovered Excel Tips

Via kbAlertz’s RSS feed, I saw a new knowledge base article called Description of the undiscovered tips about Excel. I love reading these kinds of articles because amid the mundane, there’s always something I didn’t know. For instance,

While you enter a formula in a cell, press CTRL+SHIFT+A to see the arguments in a formula. If you type =RATE, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+A, you can see all the arguments for that function–for example, =RATE(nper,pmt,pv,fv,type,guess). If you want more details, type =RATE, and then press CTRL+A to display the Function Wizard.

It’s a shame that I’m just learning this, it’s quite useful, the Ctrl+Shift+A part. I’ve never much cared for the Function Wizard. Oh, how many times I had to look up FIND in help to see the order of the arguments.

Then there’s the tips I know, but somehow never use:

If you want to quickly enter the same text or the same formula in a range of cells, follow these steps:
1. Select the range of cells that you want to fill.
2. Type the text or formula but do not press ENTER. Instead, press CTRL+ENTER.
The data appears in the range that you selected.

That’s so handy, I don’t know why I never remember to use it.

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3 thoughts on “Undiscovered Excel Tips

  1. Dick,

    I found that site a while ago too… that’s where I discovered the CTRL+SHIFT+A shortcut.

    But I discovered it when I’d already moved to Excel XP. If you hover over the formula, the tooltip is actually a hyperlink to the help.

    So, if I start typing =MID( then a tooltip appears – I can click on the tooltip MID and help opens for MID function. Great!

    Cheers,
    Rob

  2. thats tip sheet has been around for ages though, i must have seen it about 20 times by now: – and i still don’t use ctrl+sht+a

    I wonder how much we forget about excel – as a perecnatge – crazy stuff,

  3. Yeah, every time I see that Ctrl+Shift+A tip, I always say to myself, “Self, you must remember to use that.” Except I never do. As Rob mentioned, it’s less useful in later versions because of the tooltip. But I think it’s still handy for entering the formula with placeholders for the arguments so you can come back later and fill them in.

    FWIW, I use the Ctrl+Enter thing a lot.

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