Seven Advanced Excel Features You Should Be Using [Infographic]

Microsoft Excel is packed with useful data management features that don't see a lot of use, like pivot tables, index and match, and conditional formatting. If you're just using excel to sum and chart columns, this graphic can show you some other tools to help you become the spreadsheet ninja you always wanted to be.

Excel picture from Shutterstock

Of course, real spreadsheet ninjas probably already use these features on the reg — but let's say you're in training and just want to beef up your Microsoft Excel skills. This graphic from the folks at STL won't show you exactly how to apply each Excel feature to your graphs, but they do show you how things like Waterfall Charts, Goal Seek and Flash Fill actually work, so you can try them out yourself. The next time you're working with large quantities of data, give them a try.

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    Wow, first time I've seen vlookup given a backseat to index/match. Now it may be less than a decade until this becomes the new corporate standard.

    The formula shown appears incorrect. It's just =index(array,match(lookup_value,lookup_array,0))

    (You seem to be duplicating the match function a second time)

    It's takes a couple of tries to learn. I remember it with: "I want to display this column, so match this individual cell, to this group of cells."

    Last edited 21/01/16 3:03 pm

      the second match function is not a duplication, it is the function used to define the column within the index to look in. In the example you provided, the formula will only return a value that it finds in the first column of your array. Using a second match function allows you to search across as well as down

        OK. Thanks - didn't know that one.

    The second match function essentially makes your index-match-match into a vlookup-hlookup command. I use it quite often.

    I think flash fill will change my life. Save me hours of scripting!

      i got very excited by it when it first appeared in 2013, however i have found that for anything other than the simplest patterns it is not particularly good at figuring out what you are trying to achieve

        I'll have to try it out. I have a number of reports that come through every month and need translating into formats readable by other systems. Most of them are fairly basic so it should work, tbh even if it helps with some of them it will be most welcome!

    Anyone know for a good free online excel course that incorporates most of these?

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