Entering Date and Time in Excel

There are shortcuts to enter

  • the current Date Ctr + ;
  • the current Time Ctrl + Shift + :

There isn’t one to enter both.

You can use them in sequence to achieve a date and a time entry.

In sequence press

Ctrl + ;

Space bar

Ctrl + Shift + :

The space separates the date and time and Excel will recognise the entry as a date and time.

Creating a table of all combinations in Excel [Video]

Power Query solution

Let’s assume you have three state codes and four department codes and you want to create a table of all the possible 12 combinations (3 x 4). How do you do it so that it is flexible? i.e. if you add a new state or department it must be easy to update the combination table.

Filtering blanks made easy

In Excel the “Blanks” option is usually at the bottom of the list. This slows down selecting it.

If you have a lot of entries you need to scroll all the way down to bottom of the list to choose it – see image below.

But the word “Blanks” is searchable, so if you type b in the Search box – your work is done – no scrolling required – see image below.

If your column contains text you might need to type in bla.

Copying a Date Down a Long List in Excel

Two techniques make it quick and easy

There are a number of mouse and keyboard shortcuts for copying. But there is one type of copy that can be frustrating. Copying dates can be challenging because, in general, Excel wants to increment them, not copy them. There is a simple technique to instruct Excel to copy a date.

Handling DR and CR at the end of numbers in Excel

Sorting out debits and credits

Some systems add DR and CR to the end of numbers when they export into Excel. This renders the values useless for normal calculations. You can use data cleansing techniques to remove the characters using formulas or Power Query. There is one function however that can perform calculations on these types of entries.

Filtering Tip

Make your headings bold.

This tip applies to tables and to the structures you use for charts.

Excel looks for the bold format when it reviews tables and layouts to figure out if your table has a headings row.

You can use Ctrl + Shift + L to add or remove the filter icons to a data table. There is also an icon on Data ribbon tab.

This will work more reliably if the headings are bold.

I use the following keyboard combination on the top left corner of the table.

Ctrl + Shift + right arrow (this selects all the headings)

Ctrl + b (this applies bold to the headings)

Ctrl + Shift + L (to turn on filters)

This combination can be done very quickly.

You can just use Ctrl + Shift + L within the table, but sometimes this applies the filter to the wrong row.