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6 Ways to Make Your Excel Spreadsheet Easier to Read

2 minute read

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In Excel, it’s always much more of a pleasure to view a spreadsheet that is clean, concise, and easy to read. Whether you’re looking at a spreadsheet you created yourself, or you’re reading over a co-worker’s spreadsheet that needs some touch-ups, this list of Excel cleanup tips will make Excel data a lot easier to absorb.

1. Two-Click Fix to Get the Perfect Fit

Many times, our text doesn’t fit perfectly in Excel cells. To adjust the size without having to drag and find the ideal fit, a double-click can take care of it for you. With a quick click, you can AutoFit your cells so that your text fits comfortably within your spreadsheet, and doesn’t trail off into the next cell.

2. Play Hide and Seek in Excel

Hiding and showing columns and rows can be very helpful when, for example, you want to hide parts of your spreadsheet that are distracting, or if you want to hide them temporarily. Many people use certain columns for calculations that don’t necessary need to be present for everyone to see. It’s simple to hide columns and rows, and unhide them when you need to reference them.

3. Wrap Your Text

When you insert a long URL or a large amount of text into your workbook, you’ll notice that the cell doesn’t automatically resize to fit your text–and you might not want it to. But it does become difficult or even impossible to read the text when it is spilling over into the next cell or being overlapped by new data you add. To make your text legible in your spreadsheet, use wrap text to quickly adjust the text and size of the cell.

4. Learn How to Make Your Excel Sheets Say Brrr

Freezing your panes can be a great way to lock a view of a column or row that you want to see while scrolling through any cell in the workbook. Say for instance you need to reference the sales numbers from January 2015 but want to compare to past January performances, and simultaneously see January 2015 as you scroll throughout the other months, freeze panes can be your solution so you can have your eyes on targeted sections of a spreadsheet.

5. Point an Excel Reader in the Right Direction with Hyperlinks

In many Office 2013 applications, you can paste a URL and it becomes immediately active, or clickable. Excel 2013 is a little bit different and you have several linking options to choose from. Adding a link in your spreadsheet can forward a user to another cell in the sheet, a URL, or even an existing local or cloud file location. Linking in excel takes on a meaning to point your user to just about wherever you want, and there are methods to add links to make your spreadsheet look cleaner, without having a long URL that looks like gibberish.

6. Aesthetically Please By Merging or Splitting Cells

Let’s face it, there are a ton of cells in an Excel spreadsheet and many are unnecessary and serve as white noise. To make some use of those floating empty boxes, merging cell in Excel can make your title cell look cleaner, and organize your spreadsheet with an aesthetically pleasing view.

For more tips in Excel, learn how to insert line breaks in Excel and how to replicate and concatenate data across cells.

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