[techtalk] EXCEL - Quick Trick to Highlight Just Your Data

HANNING Darci * SLO Darci.HANNING at slo.oregon.gov
Fri Feb 19 09:00:31 PST 2021

Welcome to the latest issue of Tech-Talk!

Choose only the info in your spreadsheet


This Week's Topic: EXCEL

1. ARTICLE & VIDEO ... Quick Trick to Highlight Just Your Data
2. COMMUNICATING ... Get to the important stuff
3. LEADERSHIP ... What you can do now

·     Feb 17: Instantly Customize Emails, Documents, Labels … with Mail Merge
·     Mar 3: Preventing Citation Errors and Protecting Academic Integrity Using Bibliographic Tools
·     Mar 17: Five (5) New and Cool Tricks in PowerPoint
·     Mar 31: 12 Powerful Phrases to Use in Critically Important Work Situations

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EXCEL - Quick Trick to Highlight Just Your Data

[large spreadsheet]

Do you work in large spreadsheets where the end of the data in the rows and or columns is out of view? You have to scroll down or over to see all of it. This makes editing a bit tricky.

For instance, if you highlight the whole spreadsheet to add borders to the cells, it not only adds the outline to the cells with data, but the WHOLE spreadsheet (which can have thousands of rows and columns)!

If you've ever made a mad dash to the printer to halt a print job that is spitting out extra pages with no data (only cells with a border), you know what I mean!

Here are a few more examples of when you might want to grab just the cells with your info in them: 1. You may want to convert your info in the spreadsheet into a Table Format which makes everything appealing and easily sortable. 2. You might want to add borders or formatting. 3. You may want to print the selected area.

We've got a quick shortcut that allows you to highlight ONLY the rows and columns in your spreadsheet that have data -- instead of the whole thing.

Now you'll no longer have to scroll all the way down, then across to find the end of the data.

Highlight Just the Cells with Data

[first cell]

To quickly capture only the cells with content in your spreadsheet:

·     Put the cursor in the first cell you want to include - like A1.

·     Next, hold the Shift and Ctrl keys down and press the DOWN ARROW key to capture from the top to the bottom row.

[Shift and Ctrl]

·     And then hold the Shift and Ctrl keys down and press the RIGHT ARROW key to capture from the left to the right.

[Shift Ctrl and down arrow]

TIP: This shortcut takes you to the first EMPTY cell, which is most likely the end of your data. But if you have some empty rows or columns in the content you're trying to capture, you may have to hit the arrow key another time to get to the end of your data.

With this shortcut, you should have highlighted just the data in the spreadsheet. This way you don't capture the entire spreadsheet with zillions of empty rows and columns as you would if you used the Ctrl +A to highlight.

Shortcut Using Google Sheets

Good news! Google has taken a cue from Microsoft so this shortcut works exactly the same in highlighting all of your data in a Google Sheet.


Communications: Talking
Getting to the really important stuff

If you've ever asked someone to rate an idea or project on a scale of 1 to 10, you know that you get a more accurate assessment of how they really feel.

But wait, there's more!

To get to the really good stuff, be sure to ask a follow-up question ... no matter what number they choose. Yes, even if they say a "9," you want to then ask:

"What is one thing that would get you closer to a 10?"

Yes, don't sit on your laurels if they had chosen a high number. Ask how to make it even better, because that is where the gold is. That's when you'll get a specific understanding of why they chose that number. Then you can walk away pleased ... or have a more in-depth discussion because you have new insight.

TIP: What if they say a "10"? Ask, what is one thing that would get it to an "11." Or, you can flip it, and ask, "What is one thing that would have kept it from being a "10"?


What You Can Do Now

If you're a manager, when was the last time that you spent 10 – 30 minutes to sit down with each individual on your team to go over the tasks and projects you’ve asked to be done?

If you're an individual contributor, when was the last time you requested a half-hour session with your manager to review and clarify what you've been asked to do? You don't have to wait for them to suggest these actions. You can take the lead. They will respect your initiative.

Make sure that in these sessions that you have there is a two-way discussion touching base with each of the five commitment conversations we've presented in recent articles.

Ask yourself…
1. How often do we take time to really discuss tasks so that we have a better chance of success?

2. How well do we pay attention to our team member's ideas, giving them careful consideration so that opportunities don’t fall through the cracks?

3. How well do we stay in touch and follow up with what we've been tasked to do so that these projects can continue the momentum?

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Darci Hanning, MLIS (she/her/hers)
Public Library Consultant / CE Coordinator
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