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  • Writer's picturetheTaxGroup

6 tips to help you become an Excel pro

There are few people who can confidently proclaim that they have mastered the seemingly endless intricate functions that make up Microsoft Excel. For decades, it’s been an industry standard throughout the corporate world. But it is an especially important fixture in the corporate tax process, as no program can match the spreadsheet application’s widespread popularity. We at theTaxGroup love the program so much, we sought to further tailor it to meet the corporate world’s tax needs by building our software suite to work entirely within the much-loved and universally used environment of Excel.

Whether you’re an Excel novice or veteran, the following tips and tricks will help you bring your Excel game to the next level.

1. Create an Index for each of your Excel Workbooks

You’d be surprised how many people don’t think to create an index for their Excel spreadsheets, but those who do implement this tip already know what a game changer it can be. As is common in the corporate world, Excel workbooks can contain dozens of sheets, making it hard for multiple users to keep track of data changes and updates. Index’s are a simple solution to make it easier for users to quickly navigate workbooks, especially if you include hyperlinks to each sheet.

To create an index with hyperlinks, follow the steps in the guide linked here.

2. ‘Select All’ with one click

You, like many others, may already know the very handy ‘Ctrl +A’ function to ‘select all.’ But few know of the much simpler option built directly into Excel that performs the same action. With one click of the very top left corner button on your spreadsheet, you can easily select all of your data with one click.

3. Add a diagonal line to a cell

Another little-known built-in feature is the ability to add a diagonal line that cuts right through your cell. Many already know that you can add borders to your cells via the ‘Home > Font > Borders’ function, but few know about this handy little feature, thanks to its general ability to hide very well. However, if you click on the “More Borders’ function, you will get more even more options, like a diagonal line. Click that option, save and voila! The once illusive diagonal line is yours to use.

4. Add more than one new cell at a time

We all know that one can seriously waste a good chunk of time in Excel workbooks creating new cells one at a time. Adding a new row or column the old-fashioned way can be time consuming and tedious. You can easily add multiple new rows or columns at a time by drag and selecting the number of rows or columns your heart desires, right click your highlighted elements and choose ‘Insert’ from the drop-down menu that appears. Your new rows and columns will appear above or to the left of the first cell you selected respectively.

5. Make in-cell drop downs

Creating drop down menus for your Excel workbook is one of the handiest Excel functions one can learn. It’s especially crucial when multiple users are working in the same workbook, making it a very necessary function that lets the original creator to organize data into specific sections, making it easier to maintain the consistency of the workbook. Follow these simple steps to create a drop-down menu of your own:

1. Highlight the cell, go to the Data tab, and click Data Validation.

2. Under "Allow:" select "List."

3. Then in the "Source:" field, type a list, with commas between the options. Or, click the button next to the Source field and go back into the same sheet to select a data series (great for large lists!).

6. Use a software template to boost Excel’s capabilities

Give your Excel workbooks a boost and increase your spreadsheet’s capabilities with a software template that builds on the much-loved Excel to create a more streamlined experience. theTaxGroup’s innovative software suite offers corporate tax departments a cost-effective solution that increases productivity, eliminates repeat data entry and automates activities for planning, provision, compliance and audit. Our software template effectively addresses key inefficiencies in the current corporate tax landscape, delivering a streamlined approach by offering tax automation with Excel. theTaxGroup brings your experience with Excel to a new level with a more organized, transparent and structured approach to the corporate tax process.

To find out more about theTaxGroup and our products, visit



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