More Excel Tips with Gail Perry

More Excel Tips!
Presented by: Gail Perry, CPA,
Managing Editor of AccountingWEB and author of Excel 2000 Answers!
January 11, 2001

Visit the AccountingWEB Workshop Calendar for upcoming workshop sessions.


Here are some of the tips discussed in Gail's Excel workshop on January 12, 2001. Look for more of these tips in future stories on AccountingWEB. You can view a complete library of AccountingWEB's Excel tips at:

Excel's complimentary buttons

Some toolbar buttons work in reverse if you hold down the Shift key.

For example, The Print button acts as a Print Preview button when Shift is depressed, and Print Preview turns into the Print button with the help of Shift. The alignment buttons are complimentary too. Left turns into Right when you hold down Shift, and Right turns into Left. Center turns into Merge and Center, and vice versa.

The A-Z and Z-A sort buttons are reversible. My personal favorite is the Increase and Decrease Decimal buttons - I'm forever clicking the wrong one and it's just quicker to hold down Shift and click the same button instead of switching over to the other button. The Open File and Save File buttons are interchangeable as well.

But the real advantage to having complimentary buttons is that you can remove the opposing buttons from your toolbar and make room for other buttons, or even condense the toolbar buttons on the formatting and standard toolbar so perhaps you only need one toolbar and can increase your viewable worksheet area.

If you only use the A-Z and Z-A sort buttons occasionally, why not remove one and use the other as a complimentary button with the Shift key? (By the way, you can remove a button by choosing View, Toolbars, Customize, then dragging the unwanted button off the toolbar. If you later decide to go back to the standard, you can click the Toolbars tab of the Customize window, click the name of the toolbar you want to restore, and click the Reset button.)

Improve Scroll Speed

Scroll REALLY quickly through your worksheet when you hold down the Shift key while dragging either the vertical or horizontal scroll box.

Underlining cells

If there are several cells to which you want to apply a format, such as underlining, bold, border, background shading, or number format, select all the cells first. Even if the cells aren't adjacent, you can select many cells by holding down the Ctrl key while you make your selection. Then you only have to apply the formatting once.

Quick-Draw tips

Don't forget the Shift key when using the drawing tools. If you hold down the Shift key while drawing a line, ellipse, or rectangle, you will get a straight line that falls on exact 10 degree angles, a perfect circle, or a perfect square.

Session sponsored by National Payment Corporation


Gail A. Perry
Managing Editor, AccountingWEB

Gail Perry is a CPA, tax specialist, author, speaker and instructor. Her weekly newspaper column, "Fun With Taxes," which appears in the Indianapolis Star, provides readers with practical tax insights and advice presented in plain English with a touch of humor.

Perry is a former senior tax consultant with the international firm of Deloitte and Touche, where she provided tax planning services and advice to individuals and small businesses. An accomplished free-lance writer, Perry is the author of over a dozen books, including "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Doing Your Income Taxes," "Using QuickBooks," "Excel 2000 Answers!" and "TurboTax for Dummies." In addition, she has written several computer training books and is co-author of a book for trainers, "The Computer Trainer's Personal Training Guide."

Perry is a regular guest on America Online's Money Whiz Q&A program, and she has been featured on Fox television's "Good Morning New York," Bloomberg Business News's "Bloomberg Forum," WOR Radio's syndicated program, "Manage Your Money with the Dolans," as well as dozens of radio shows across the country.

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