6 Tips to Create a High Quality Spreadsheet on Excel or Google Sheets

There are dozens of reasons to create a spreadsheet, such as work presentations, school presentations, budgeting, habit tracking, book tracking, and managing children’s chores. But how do you make your spreadsheet stand out for that special meeting? How do you make Google Sheets or Excel work for Youand not the reverse ?

These programs are packed with useful features, as well as shortcuts for working smarter, not harder.

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Here are six tips to turn you into a spreadsheet pro, whether you use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets.

Sort your data alphabetically

You can customize your spreadsheet data in several ways, including alphabetical or reverse alphabetical order.

Here’s how to do it for Google Sheets:

1. Highlight a column or click the capital letter at the top of the column.
2. Click the down arrow to open the drop-down menu.
3. Choose Sort Sheet AZ Or Sorting sheet ZA. Note that the AZ sort will also order the numbers from lowest to highest, and the ZA sort will order them from the highest to the lowest.

Here’s how for Excel:

1. Highlight a column
2. Click on the Data tab
3. Click on A-Z for alphabetical order or ZA for reverse alphabetical order.

Add checkboxes

Who doesn’t love a to-do list? If you’re using a spreadsheet for task completion or habit tracking, checkboxes can be useful.

checkboxes in google sheets

Where to find checkboxes in Google Sheets

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Here’s how to do it for Google Sheets:

1. Highlight a column, cell, or row.
2. Click on Insert in the toolbar
3. Choose Check box

Here’s how for Excel:

1. Click Insert
2. Check the box under Form Controls
3. Click on the cell where you want to insert the checkbox and the box will appear for you to place when your cursor changes to a four-headed arrow.
4. Highlight the column with the checkbox and drag your cursor to the desired length.

Drop-down menus

For an extra polished spreadsheet, add drop-down menus.

For spreadsheets, do the following:

1. Highlight a column, cell, or row.
2. Click on Insert in the toolbar.
3. Click Drop-Down List.

The drop-down menu will default to two options, but you can customize more by clicking the edit icon.

Data Validation in Excel

Added drop-down menus in Excel.

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Here’s how to add for Excel:

1. Select the cells to which you want to add a drop-down menu.
2. Click on Data.
3. Choose Data validation.
When the Data Validation pop-up window appears, select Allow.
5. Choose List from the menu.
6. Enter the contents of your drop-down menu and separate each item with a comma.
7. Click OK.

Total a column

Data tracking usually involves minimal math, but skip that calculator because there’s an easier way to work out the numbers.

For spreadsheets, do the following:

1. Click in an empty cell.
2. Type =SUM(
3. Enter the data range you want to total.
4. Add a closing parenthesis.
5. The total sum will appear in the blank cell you originally chose.

You can also select a range of data and Sheets will give you a preview at the bottom right. From here you can change the sum, average, count, and other functions.

Here’s how to add for Excel:

1. Select the data range you want to sum.
2. Check the status bar at the bottom of the screen.
3. You should see the total next to SUM.

You can achieve the same result using AutoSum, which will keep your total in your chart.


Chart in Google Sheets

There are many ways to customize your chart in Google Sheets.

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A well-placed pie chart can really elevate a spreadsheet. And charts based on spreadsheet data will continuously update as you add data.

Here’s how to incorporate charts into your work in Google Sheets:

1. Enter the data you want to graph.
2. Highlight the columns.
3. Click Insert on the toolbar.
4. Click Chart from the drop-down menu.
5. A chart will appear and a side menu will open on the right side of your screen.

The customization menu lets you choose from options like different chart styles, colors, and legend details.

Here are the steps for Excel:

Build a Chart in Microsoft Excel

Build a Chart in Microsoft Excel

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1. Select the data you want in your chart.
2. Click Insert.
3. Choose Recommended Graphics.
4. Scroll through the options and click on a chart to see how it would display your data.
5. Click OK once you find the chart you want.

Explore chart elements, styles, and filters in the upper right corner to further customize your chart.

Freeze columns or rows

If you are working with a large data set with many matching options, the less you have to scroll the better. Freezing the data in your spreadsheet means the particular means that no matter how far you scroll, that first row or column won’t move. This is especially useful if your first row and column are titles for your x and y axes.

Here’s how to freeze certain columns and rows in Sheets:

Freeze columns in Sheets

How to Freeze Columns and Rows in Sheets.

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1. Click on the column you want to keep when scrolling through your data.
2. Click the down arrow in the corresponding column/row or right click.
3. Choose Show more column/row actions at the bottom of the menu.
4. Click on Freeze Until Column/Row [letter]. This will also freeze any columns or rows before the selected one.

Here are the steps in Excel:

1. Choose the row and column you want to freeze.
2. Click on See.
3. Click on Freeze panes.

You can also freeze multiple rows and columns in the same way.

For more information see how to get Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint for freeas well as how to turn photo into excel spreadsheet.

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