Learn Useful Skills From Lazy Engineers
From so many industries, software engineers and programmers can be regarded as a group of people who work hard to type on the keyboard every day, and perhaps even the most frequent group of people. Living with such a life, some of them develop unique tips or complaints.
“Why do I spend so much time dealing with this small action every day? Isn’t there a faster way?” Some studies have even pointed out that the action that engineers spend the most time every day is to roll the wheel to find the specified paragraph.
The talent that engineers are given is to find problems and solve them. So how do they solve the above problems?
Usually, engineers have their favorite program editor. The essence of the program is text, so the editor is like a plain text document in Windows or Word, but it has more functions. With the function of the editor, the efficiency of typing can be improved significantly. For many engineers, the best editor is an editor that does not require a mouse, because it is faster!
Therefore, this article will adopt this style. If you can work with the keyboard, then don’t move your mouse; if you can work with shortcuts, then don’t use the menu.
Before We Start
I will list shortcuts for both Windows and Mac systems, separating them with a slash(/). The shortcut is the same if I don’t use a slash. Straightforward!
Shortcuts Make You Operate Like A Ghost
1. Select Text
Shift + arrow keys
No matter in Windows or Mac, just “press Shift + arrow keys” can use the keyboard to select the text, no matter what software it is.
If you use a mouse to do the same thing, you may accidentally over-select, especially the mouse of a public computer is difficult to use; or you are using a laptop without a mouse, pressing the touchpad and feel pain.
2. Fast Moving
Ctrl + arrow keys / Cmd + arrow keys
In Excel, the most common thing to do is to view data and select cells. This shortcut key can quickly move within a single table, as shown in the following image.
If you have a very large table, you can use this technique to quickly view the number of columns and rows. However, please note that if there are empty cells in the table, our fast-moving will be stuck in this place, and you need to press it once or twice.
3. Quickly Select Cells
Ctrl + Shift + arrow keys / Cmd + Shift + arrow keys
This hotkey is derived from the first and second tips. The first tip can be selected quickly, and the second can be quickly moved. You can “Quick Move + Select” by combing these two tips.
4. Select All
Ctrl + A / Cmd + A
This is also a shortcut that applies to any software. Press it once to select the entire table, and hold Ctrl/Cmd, then press A again to select all the ranges in this worksheet, as shown below, so that you can quickly delete all content.
Here is a trivia. Like the above image, when all cells are selected, only one cell remains blank. This cell is the cell we clicked before selecting all.
In addition, we can get another advanced tip here. Many people prefer “Merge and Center”, as Form 1 and Form 2 are shown in the image below. It looks great, but I like to add a blank line between the title and the table, such as the table on the right.
Why do we do that? It is relevant with another common function, Filter. Every time we press the filter button, it can be imagined that Excel silently helps us to do a select all action before proceeding with the filter. In Table 1, because the content of the selection includes the title, it will look like the following image.
On the contrary, the selection way of Form 2 is the format we need. If we don’t do that, we must manually select the range each time before the selection and then press the filter button. It’s super slow!
Some people dislike the blank in the middle, so you can try to reduce the height of the column or simply hiding it.
5. Delete/Insert Columns or Rows
Ctrl + / Ctrl –
Cmd + / Cmd –
Delete and insert are super commonly used functions in Excel, but this shortcut key is not listed in the shortcut menu of the right mouse button. You must learn it!
6. Edit Content Of Cell
When others are still looking for the mouse, you have finished editing, concise and neat. If you have a Windows computer, you can also use F2 to rename the folder or file.
7. Jump To Row
Ctrl + G
In Excel, there are many ways to indicate a cell. One of them is like “A50” and “B100”. This shortcut key can quickly jump to the specified cell.
It’s a bit different from the second tip, you can jump to the middle of the table with this shortcut and don’t worried about over-skipping.
Click the left mouse button twice on the black cross
Everyone knows that drag the black cross in the lower right corner of the cell can autofill. However, many people don’t know you can autofill to the last row by left-clicking twice. This shortcut is useful when you have hundreds or thousands of rows of data in a worksheet.
The default setting of autofill is to copy the contents of the first cell, which can be changed through options after filling.
It must be noted that the autofill mechanism is a bit similar to Tip 2. Fast Moving. If there is a blank in the column, the filling action will only proceed to the blank.
9. Quickly Switch Between Worksheets
Win: Ctrl + PageUp / PageDown
Mac: Option + ← / Option + →
If you have multiple worksheets, use this shortcut key to quickly switch between different worksheets. This shortcut is also suitable for web browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox. If you usually open a lot of tabs like me, then this shortcut key is perfect for you, but you need to change it as follows in Mac:
Option + Cmd + ← / Option + Cmd + →
And IE, forget it.
10. Reorder Fields
After selecting the entire column with your mouse, hold down shift and drag.
This is a shortcut that is often used, but many people don’t know. Remember to hold down Shift before dragging, otherwise, it will replace rather than reorder.
Ctrl + Z / Cmd + Z
Ctrl + Y / Cmd + Y
This set of shortcuts work perfectly is most operating system and software! But it should be noted that in some software, the redo is Ctrl + Shift + Z / Cmd + Shift + Z, for example, Adobe series software, like Photoshop.
This feature can also be used in web browsers such as Google Chrome and Firefox. I guess you had the same experience: You spent 20 minutes typing a long post on social media, picking every word carefully, then you deleted it accidentally! It doesn’t matter, just Ctrl + Z.
Ctrl + Shift + L
The importance of filter is doesn’t need to argue. Remember it!
How To Learn Shortcut
The most stupid way to learn English vocabulary is to find a dictionary and remember all of them. I bet many people have tried this before and finally gave up. The better method is to read the content you are interested in, such as novels, magazines, and check the words you don’t know. The more you look up for a word, the more important the word is.
You can learn Excel shortcuts in the same way, searching for them when you need them. Some shortcuts can be found in Excel, and some can be answered on the Internet.
As for the formulas in Excel that frustrate many people, it can be learned in the same way, of course. Microsoft provides official documentation, Excel functions (alphabetical) and Excel functions (by category) , which list all Excel formulas. Don’t memorize them all foolishly. It is no different from memorizing a dictionary. As long as you know how to define the problem and catch the keywords, most of the questions can be answered. Thousands of people are using Excel, and you are usually not the first person to encounter this problem.