Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
Data entry is generally a fairly boring topic, but we do throughout the course of using Excel need to put data in this worksheet, that worksheet. A few tips here are going to make this a little bit easier. In column A we have Name. We are going to be building a small list here, let's imagine. In column B we want to put in for example a current salary or 2011 salary. I would like to have the 2011 appear above Salary because maybe the entry below, it's not going to be that wide. So rather than putting in an entry and then using a command to format this, you can as you type an entry, press Alt+Enter to force a line break.
Keeps the data in the same cell, but it puts the data under the previous entry. I pressed Alt+Enter after the 2011. I am typing Salary. Now I am pressing Enter. It looks like this. And you could stack these up multiple times too. If I want to put in 2011 Tax Rate, the indicator below that maybe is only going to be a letter or two, 2011, Alt+Enter, Tax, Alt+Enter, Rate. Probably what a lot of people would do also as a follow up here, it would be on the Home tab to perhaps put these in the top of the cell, using that Alignment button there or maybe in the middle, whatever it looks best to you.
But Alt+Enter is fast, and it's easy, and it's ideal for situations where the column needs to be a lot narrower than the actual heading, fast and easy. There is also a feature in Excel called Auto Complete. It's been around for a long time. Suppose some of the names here, maybe it's a slightly different setting, the names might be recurring. So I am going to put in Smith right here and Anderson. And I am about to put in Smith again. I'll just type the S, and sure enough this pops up. This feature is referred to as Auto Complete. It only works with text.
It only works in columns. It's quite handy though. If I am about to type Sanders, well of course, I don't want to type Smith. I will type a and then nders. Now what happens when I type the letter S? It doesn't prompt with anything, until I put in the most significant character, in this case the second one. If I put in a, it's going to prompt me with Sanders and so on. If you do have a situation where names start to repeat or words or text repeat, you can get to this two other ways. If you reach that stage where you rarely will have any new entries, you can do one or two things.
Right-click and pick from dropdown list that's automatically generated. You will have your list in here. It will be alphabetized. Do that. Another way from the keyboard, Alt+Down Arrow. That activates the list then use your Arrow keys come to the one you want, press Enter, and so on. And as you add names to the list, this list will grow and here, and there you are going to say, well, it's gotten too big, so it might as soon as you reach 8 here. You will see a scroll bar as well. Again, it's Alt+Down Arrow to activate the list, then the arrow keys to come to the one you want. If you are putting in a series of numbers, maybe a different setting than the data here suggests, maybe it's an ID number or maybe it's a transaction number.
It could be one of those situations where you won't care what the number is. You just want to make them different somehow. So imagine in that kind of a situation. You might start with a number like this, 1001, and every time you put in a new number, just the next number, next number, next number. If you drag the lower right-hand corner of the active cell when it has a value, it simply repeats the entry. That's disappointing to a lot of people. They would like to see a change. A lot of you hold down the Ctrl key, it will. It will change by 1. Now as you do this though, make sure you let go with the mouse before the keyboard.
So as far as you drag this, I am holding down the Ctrl key here. As soon as I let go, these have all grown by 1. If you try and you create a series with a particular interval, there is no reason to write formulas. If you wanted to for example put in 5, 10, 15 or whatever, that sort of thing, put in two of the entries, highlight both of them and then drag from the corner to get your series. So whatever that interval happens to be, this will happen over and over and over again. In a different setting here too, if we happened to be using this, this way, if we highlight the 2 and drag upward, it goes backward in time.
You can create these series in a row too. If you drag rightward, just as you would downward, the series will grow. If you drag upward or leftward, it goes in reverse order. I think most of the time we are talking about dragging down a column, but it works in all four directions. Just be sensitive as to the way it moves. So these tips will help you in filling in certain kinds of data. One other slight tip here, and I say slight because it's not major, but it's handy at times. It reminds us the second or two we save here and there sometimes makes a difference. In this worksheet imagine that we are about to create formula here for New Salary.
Maybe it's based on this percent or maybe it's just a simple formula based on this. Looking ahead, we would want to be copying the formula down this column. So what if I were to write a formula here. Equal this current salary times this rate. I am going to press F4 to make it an absolute address, because we want to be able to copy it down the column and then simply add on the original salary. Now what happens when I press Enter? The active cell moves down. That's the default setting in Excel. Let me go back up here and imagine I am still typing this.
If I know that I am about to copy this down the column, because I don't want to have to reposition this, I am going to press Ctrl+Enter instead the active cell doesn't move; it stays in place. Then I can either drag or double- click depending upon which shortcut I know, 7.17] double-clicking is going to be best here, but I don't have to reposition the active cell. And any time you are about to copy a formula as you are writing it and you can sense it ahead of time, just press Ctrl+Enter. Now occasionally you might find yourself in this situation where it's more convenient if you are typing data to have the active cell move to the right, and you probably know that you can press the Tab key or the Right Arrow as you finish an entry.
But if you wanted to be a little bit more mechanical, let's say, or automatic, you can, and probably temporarily, click the File tab, go to Options and then choose the Advanced category in the left-hand side, and the very first choice says After pressing Enter, move selection. Probably this says Down, and you probably want to leave it that way, but if you don't want the active cell move anywhere as you press Enter, you might Uncheck this, or if you have a situation work for a file, you want the automatic reaction to move right, well then pick that choice.
I think few people need this or use this, but at least recognize that it's there. Occasionally maybe someone has been playing with it and has set this, and it's on their computer, and you are using their computer you might have some surprises there. Just recognize that it's there. But the value of the tip mainly is to just save that second or two, so that you don't have to reposition the active cell after writing a formula.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.