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Tutorial: Managing large spreadsheets in Excel

Some Excel files can be huge. Discover how to make spreadsheets easier to navigate and easier to manage in this how-to guide by Sean McManus, from the book 100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel

There are several techniques that can help you to manage large spreadsheets.

  1. On the View tab, click New Window to see your worksheet in another window at the same time. You can scroll around in the windows independently, but it's just two views of the same document. Any changes you make will be visible in both windows. Use Arrange All on the View tab to organize your windows side by side.

  2. Keep column and/ or row headings in view when you scroll. Also on the View tab, Freeze Panes can keep the top row or first column in view. You can freeze both by selecting the cell that is underneath the column heading and to the right of the row heading that you want to keep, and then choosing Freeze Panes. Using this approach, you can freeze several rows or columns.

    screenshot of Excel showing the Freeze Panes options

  3. Focus on what's important by hiding rows and columns you don't need right now. Select the rows or columns (click and drag on their letters or numbers in the margin), and choose Hide Rows or Hide Columns. These options are on the Home tab, in the Editing group, under the Format menu.

    screenshot of Excel showing the Hide and Unhide options

Where next?

About 100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel

This tutorial is from 100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel. The powerful pocketbook helps you to learn more from your data, be more productive with Excel, and improve the accuracy of your spreadsheets. It's packed with shortcuts, tips, and hacks for Excel that solve everyday business problems. Find out more and download a free PDF sampler here, and order the book online here.

Book cover: 100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel

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