3 powerful Excel features that barely anybody knows about
Hold on to your spreadsheets, I’m about to blow your mind
Excel is packed with interesting features that rarely get noticed. I’m going to give you 3 of my favorites.
- Layer controls
- Dynamic dashboards
- Accessibility Checks
Bonus feature: 3D Dinosaurs!?
If you’re building a report with a lot of shapes, images and charts then it can be easy to lose track of all your layers. Luckily Excel has a layer management tool that makes it easy to see all your layers at the same time and adjust them.
Just select a shape, open up the ‘Shape Format’ tab and select ‘Reorder Objects’
This is actually a range of features but they’re not as complex as you might expect. Excel has a great set of visual design features that can be used to make your data way more visually engaging — start by exploring everything under the ‘Insert’ tab and the ‘Shape Format’ tab. I wrote an in-depth series on this if you want more how-to guides: https://datastudio.medium.com/how-to-make-excel-look-less-like-excel-8eb91b75ab8f
You can even make dashboards that are filterable, plug in to external data, and link your dashboards into PowerPoint. Excel has a ton of powerful features that people just don’t know about.
Did you know that around 1-in-10 people have some form of color blindness or other visual impairments? That makes it super important to check how easily viewable your reports are for almost 10% of the population.
Under the ‘Review’ tab you have a ‘Check Accessibility’ option that will give you clear and concise instructions for improving your reports accessibility.
Bonus: what about the 3D dinosaurs!
Okay okay okay, yes you can insert 3D dinosaurs (and many other 3D models) into your Excel sheets. Under the ‘Insert’ tab, select ‘3D Models’ and search through some of the options.
If you like these tips and want to learn more about Excel then check out my newsletter and toolkit:
1— I send out free sample templates every month in my newsletter: https://exceldashboardtemplate.com/newsletter
2 — I have a very detailed toolkit with 125 designs (25 charts in 5 different color palettes) and more: https://exceldashboardtemplate.com/