5 Advanced Excel Skills You May Not Use (But You Should)

There are many advanced Excel skills that can make your day-to-day work in Excel much easier. Some of these skills you may have already heard of and may use on a daily basis. However, there are likely several you have never heard of or were never quite sure how to use. The following list of 5 advanced Excel skills are some of the more under-appreciated functions in Excel. However, once you implement them into your daily workflow, you will find that they make many complicated activities much easier.

The Format Painteradvanced Excel skills format painter

The Format Painter is one of the most useful advanced Excel skills that you should have in your toolbox. It allows you to quickly copy and paste formatting from one or more cells to another area of your spreadsheet. Due to its being unfortunately crammed all the way on the left-hand side of the Ribbon, the Format Painter is easily overlooked. However, once you start using it, you will wonder how you ever formatted spreadsheets without it!


Templates are invaluable time-savers, especially if you need to recreate similar reports/spreadsheets on a regular basis. All you have to do is format and design the template once and get everything functioning the way you need it to. Then you can simply copy the template every time you need to run the report in the future. So, there’s no need to re-invent the wheel!

Named Ranges

Named Ranges are one of the most useful advanced Excel skills that you can learn. In much the same way that templates can save you time in setting up and designing workbook layouts, Named Ranges are a great way to save time when writing long/complicated formulas. You can use a Named Range to refer to a particular range or group of cells using a regular alpha-numeric name (rather than the actual cell references). Not only do Named Ranges allow you to quickly refer to the same cells across multiple formulas, they also allow you to keep your spreadsheets more organized through the ability to give them actual names. Knowing how to use Named Ranges is one of many key advanced Excel skills that you should be familiar with.

advanced Excel skills sheet protectionSheet Protection

File security is very important when you are sharing your Excel files with other people. Even if the data in your spreadsheet isn’t “sensitive” per se, properly deploying file protection can help prevent unintended changes to your file. Knowing all of the ins and outs of sheet protection is one of the most valuable advanced Excel skills you can learn if you are going to be sharing your Excel files or allowing other people to make changes to them.

Page Break Preview

If you need to do any printing in Excel, the Page Break Preview is a quick and easy way to format and adjust the layout of your spreadsheet. Rather than wasting time (and paper) printing out a spreadsheet multiple times and tinkering with the layout to get it to fit, simply use the Page Break Preview to see how your spreadsheet will print before you ever send it to a printer.

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