Tag Archives: Excel

Use Ctrl+F to Search Webpages and Documents

If you are searching for something on a webpage, in a PDF, a Word document, a PowerPoint presentation, or many other digital formats, this is a really quick way to make your task easier:

CTRL+F

Hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and press the F key. This activates the Find function.

Different programs behave differently in exactly how this is displayed but, after you have pressed Ctrl+F, look around the top, sides or bottom of the program window and you will usually see a box in which you type in the word or phrase you are searching for. (You don’t have to click into the box, just press Ctrl+F and start typing your word or phrase, and then press Enter).

Next to the Search box is then usually displayed the number of times the result has been found. Often, each occurrence of the word or phrase is highlighted too. You can then tap the Enter key to move through each result one by one, or click the next or previous arrows which are often a feature of a Search box. In some programs such as Word and Acrobat the entire sentence is displayed and you can click the sentence to be taken to that page.

Thanks again to Shannon Miller for this Tech Tip suggestion.
If you have one, please let me know.


For great time-saving tips, look up our Archive of Tech Tips or look through the the Technology Information for Staff website.

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Computer or Device Misbehaving? Restart!

Yes, it’s boring advice, I know. But more and more these days I find that the solution to weird things happening on my computer or phone or tablet – things just not working right – is to restart.

Switch it off, count to 20*, and switch it back on.

(*Some devices hold their memory for a few seconds, so count to 20 while it’s switched off, and practice some mindfulness while you’re at it.)

Thanks to Shannon Miller for this Tech Tip suggestion!
If you have one, please let me know.


For great time-saving tips, look up our Archive of Tech Tips or look through the the Technology Information for Staff website.

Was this tip helpful to you? Anything else you want to know? Please leave a comment below.

You’ll find more learning at Learning and Development.

Excel – Add Cells While Ignoring Hidden Cells

This is a way to add up the contents of cells, while ignoring hidden cells, eg, if you’ve filtered a list, and need to add up the contents of a column of visible cells. (Because just using SUM would not work because it would also include the hidden cells.)

 So, to do this…

Say that you want to add the numbers in cells A1, A2, A3 and A4. You can do so with the formula =sum (A1:A4). However, you only want to use that formula if those cells are not hidden (to hide and unhide rows and columns, go to Home | Cells | Format | Hide & Unhide).

Instead, (in this example) use the formula =SUBTOTAL(109, A1:A4).

The SUBTOTAL function can add, subtract or average numbers, among other calculations. The first argument tells SUBTOTAL what kind of calculation to perform. 9 means sum. 109 means “sum, but ignore hidden cells”. The following arguments are the cells, ranges or numbers to sum. So this formula is like =sum (A1:A4), but any hidden cells in that range are ignored.

Thanks to Able Owl Excel tips for this one.


For great time-saving tips, look up our Archive of Tech Tips or look through the the Technology Information for Staff website.

Was this tip helpful to you? Anything else you want to know? Please leave a comment below.

You’ll find more learning at Learning and Development.

Excel – Quickly Find the Last Entry in a Column

If you need to find the last entry in a column of data in Excel, you can spend a lot of time scrolling – especially if there are hundreds or thousands of rows.

Good news – there is a shortcut.

Ctrl+Down Arrow

Click any cell in the column you wish to get to the bottom of, press Ctrl+Down arrow, and Excel will scroll down the column until it finds a blank cell, then stops just above it, displaying that cell as the Active cell.


For great time-saving tips, look up our Archive of Tech Tips or look through the Technology Information for Staff website.

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You’ll find more learning at Learning and Development.

Copy Excel Column Width From Another Cell

If you are working in Excel and would like to match the width of a column to exactly that of another column (e.g., for consistency and clear communication), here’s how to do it.

Spoiler alert:
it’s all about using the Paste Special dialogue box.

In this example, let’s say you wish to adjust column B to have the same width as column A….

1. Select a cell in column A, and copy it with Ctrl+C

2. Select a cell in column B, and choose Home tab >Paste drop-down arrow >Paste Special… (Alt H V S)
– the Paste Special dialogue box displays

3. In the Paste Special dialogue box, choose Column widths (the third option from the top on the right), and click the OK button.

Note: You can paste multiple column widths at once, which is very useful when you want to set up a new worksheet with the same layout as an existing worksheet.

Thanks to Able Owl Excel tips for this one.


For great time-saving tips, look up our Archive of Tech Tips or look through the the Technology Information for Staff website.

Was this tip helpful to you? Anything else you want to know? Please leave a comment below.

You’ll find more learning at Learning and Development.