Three Excel menus you may have overlooked
By David H. Ringstrom, CPA
Everyone is familiar with using the arrow buttons in the lower left-hand corner of the Excel screen to push worksheet tabs back and forth across the screen. However, try right-clicking on these buttons instead, and you'll see a menu similar to Figure 1. Simply click on a sheet name to instantly activate that worksheet.
Figure 1: Many Excel users don't know that you can right-click on the navigation arrows.
Move Rows or Columns
Sometimes you need to rearrange columns or rows on your worksheet. Many users resort to inserting new, blank columns or rows, cutting the data to be moved, and then pasting it into the new location. Instead, there are two faster ways rearrange your worksheet:
- Select the columns or rows you wish to move
- Use your right mouse button to grab the border of your selection, and then move the columns or rows to the new location.
- When you release your mouse, the menu shown in Figure 2 will appear. If you forget and use your left mouse button, you'll encounter a different prompt. Press Escape and then try again.
Figure 2: This hidden menu appears when you use the right-mouse button to drag a selection of cells.
Of course if you're just repositioning rows, you can bypass this menu entirely: simply hold down the Shift key while you move the columns or rows into their new position.
Hide and Unhide Worksheets
Most Excel 2007 users know that it's possible to hide or unhide worksheets:
- Choose the Format icon in the Cells section of the Home menu
- Choose Hide & Unhide
- Choose Hide Sheet or Unhide Sheet.
However, there's an even easier way: As shown in Figure 3, right-click on a worksheet tab, and then choose Hide. You can also right-click on any worksheet tab and choose Unhide to display the Unhide Sheet dialog box. Although you can hide multiple worksheets at once — hold down the Ctrl key as you click on each worksheet, and then issue the Hide command — you must still unhide sheets one at a time. Anyone using Excel 2003 or earlier won't have this option and instead must choose Format, Sheet, and Hide or Unhide. In addition, you'll notice a new Protect Sheet command, which toggles to Unprotect Sheet when the worksheet is protected.
Figure 3: Excel 2007 has Hide, Unhide, and Protect Sheet commands on the worksheet menu.
David Ringstrom, CPA heads up Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based software and database consulting firm. Contact David at email@example.com.