There are many wonderful spreadsheet programs and applications out there. But Google Sheets irons out all of the wrinkles that every other application creates. Google Sheets can be found on the cloud and is a spreadsheet that does a lot of your work intuitively. It saves as you go, allows for easy collaboration, and is easy to use. This spreadsheet application can be used for home or business use and offers a secure way to keep your work private. It is easily integrated onto any mobile application, more easily than any other spreadsheet application. Google Sheets is becoming a must-know method of creating and sharing spreadsheets. Also check out How to Merge Cells in Google Sheets
But, like every spreadsheet application, Google Sheets can be intimidating. Within Google Sheets are a number of formulas and rules that you can create to make your spreadsheet sing magic to whomever you wish to impress. But getting there can be complicated. Google Sheets isn’t difficult to learn. In only a few minutes, you can add a few skills to your spreadsheet toolbox, and become a spreadsheet expert.
If you use Google Sheets more for personal or business, you’ll want a few tricks up your sleeve. Use this guide to master five easy Google Sheets features that you can and should start using today.
Table of Contents
1. Bring Conditional Formatting to the Table
Conditional formatting is among the top features of Google Sheets. Almost everything written or spoken about Google Sheets in tutorials and workshops will mention conditional formatting. Conditional formatting helps you to format cells in a spreadsheet so that you can highlight the most important sections of your data. This is more than just coloring or highlighting a cell with data in it. You can get really creative here.
Conditional formatting is about formatting specific data sets or cells to highlight the information. You can use rules in conditional formatting in Google Sheets to create different hues of colors to make a point. For example, you could go from light green to dark green on closely matched or connected data and analyze your data in seconds. This can save you hours of time from staring at numbers and trying to make sense of it all. In Google Sheets, go to Format, and select Conditional Formatting. You’ll get a toolbar opening up where you can create color rules and color scales. Have fun with this.
2. Freeze Sections for Data Analysis
If you have ever spent hours and hours scrolling and punching the cursor on your computer while analyzing a spreadsheet, you will love this feature. In Google Sheets, you can freeze sections of your sheets so that you can avoid scrolling. There are a few benefits to this. You will save time in scrolling minutes or hours, and you will also make fewer errors. That is the point of Google Sheets.
Use the freeze function in Google Sheets to freeze either a column or a row, or several, when you are working with big data sets. For columns, click on the drop-down arrow beside the letter of the column you are freezing. Here you can select View more column actions, and then select the Freeze up to option. You can also drag gray bars in Google Sheets to the right or down to freeze columns and rows.
3. Compare Data by Rows or Sheets
This is a fun one for avid spreadsheet users. Most people that use spreadsheets regularly become equipped with formulas and features knowledge so that they can compare and analyze data. This application offers an easy way to show you how to compare two columns in Google Sheets in just a few minutes. When you can compare columns in Google Sheets, you can analyze your data sets easier. Scan rows and columns in minutes instead of scouring numbers and data for the answers you are looking for.
Start by comparing cells. In Google Sheets, your formula for this would be =Cell number = Cell number. So, if you are comparing A5 with N4, the formula looks like =A5=N4. The result or outcome column will then say True or False. If they Match, you get a True, if they do not, you get a False. You can compare two columns from two different Google Sheets as well.
The formula is =Cell=ImportRange(Google Sheets link, Sheet1!Cell). In other words, if you are using A5 in one cell to compare to another Sheet, your formula looks like =A5=ImportRange(Google Sheets link), Sheet1!A5). You can also use the IF formula to accomplish the same goal when comparing columns. So the formula looks like, =IF(A5=N5, Match, Differ).
4. Filter Content in Google Sheets to Understand it Better
You can filter content in Google Sheets to save time in analysis and data reading. Here you can filter rows and columns to apply filters to. This helps when you are collaborating with other users and merging large bodies of data. Google Sheets offers a filter icon that helps you to do this. Here you can go to the Data tab, choose Filter, and then formulate your rules from here.
In this formatting section, you can filter by different values, colors, conditions, values, and so on. Here you can start feeling like a Google Sheets wizard. When you filter by color, you will be able to only see the cells with those colors. So if light green shows you all of the sales by the month for the year, you can filter by color and see that answer in seconds. When you filter by values, you can remove certain values from data sets to help you analyze data better as well. Say you want to remove all Spring months from your sales analysis. You filter by values to hide the Spring values and have that answer in minutes. Filtering in Google Sheets will help you to win every time.
5. Clean and Trim Your Sheets Quickly
Last, and but most certainly not the least, clean and trim features in Google Sheets always get rave reviews. This takes spellcheck and editing in other applications to a whole new level. Clean and Trim features in Sheets helps you to clean up all of those little proofreading things that you will miss if you don’t edit your work. It will help to remove duplicate content and data entries and trim cells where there is too much white space.
Go to the Data tab, select Data cleanup, and then choose what you want to clean and trim. Here you can Remove duplicates, Trim whitespace, and more. Google Sheets also offers you a way to get suggestions from cleanup options in your sheet so that you don’t miss a single thing. Again, another task was accomplished in minutes.
Learn Google Sheets Today!
If you want to become a spreadsheet master, learn Google Sheets today. These five features are a great starting point. You can learn each of these in less than an hour, and create an easier and faster spreadsheet in Google Sheets once you do. Try these features for yourself and let us know how that went.