Today’s world is not so much about hard work but about ‘smart work’; success is often attributed to working smartly rather than slogging or working hard. Excel is a powerful everyday data analysis tool that simplifies working for professionals across domains and industries.

With only 24 hours in a day and hundreds of tasks to be accomplished, Excel comes to your rescue with innumerable features on data visualization, styling, presentation, etc.

Here are a few not so known features in Excel that will make you more productive at work and help achieve your goals:-

The “&” Advantage

Use of ‘’&’ can help you do away with a lot unnecessary complicated formulae. This feature will help you connect / combine text in different columns.

Text in A1, B1 and C1 to be combined in a single text could be done by using ‘&’ =A1&B1&C1 and the complete text seen in the selected column D1.

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This formula helps in getting rid of any extra spaces in the cell content except the ones between the words. Extra spaces in cell often pose a difficulty while using VLOOKUP and other such formulae’s. The extra space in the screenshot between ‘sales’ and ‘in’ is removed by using TRIM is used.



This Formula helps import a lot of data into Excel it joins / merges the contents of two or more fields/cells into one.  Example, if the day month and year data is mentioned in 3 different cells, the same can be merged into one using concatenate; =CONCATENATE plus (day,”space”, month,”comma space”, year)


Conditional Formatting for highlighting duplicate content               

Conditional formatting helps identify duplicate content in cells. This can be done by first selecting the range of cells that needs to be formatted and then selecting Excel Conditional Formatting drop-down menu from the Home tab at the top of Excel workbook (see print shot); within this menu select the Highlight Cells Rules option and from the secondary menu select the Duplicate Values… option. A ‘Duplicate Values’ window will pop up, on clicking OK all duplicate values in the selected range with get highlighted in the color selected.

Also Read>>Basic Excel Formulas You should Learn

Conditional Formatting

‘Delimit’ or ‘Fixed Width’ for Separating Data

We saw the ‘&’ advantage of combining data present in different columns, but what if we want to separate data / number / name present in a single column.  ‘Delimit’ or ‘Fixed Width’ help us separate values or data present in a column. The screenshots below explains the process, this feature is present in the Data Tab > Text to Columns> Fixed Width or Delimit.

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Some handy shortcuts you must remember

F2—starts to edit the current cell, no double-click required

Ctrl+5 – strikethrough the text present in a cell

Shift+F10—open the right click menu of the current cell


Also Read>>Why a course in Excel is worth it!!

This is just the tip of the ice berg. There are plethora of online sources that you could further explore and add to your skill set.  Naukri Learning has multitude of courses on MS Excel, both Basic and Advanced. You could enrol in whichever fits your current skill level and develop further expertise to advance in your career.