February 21, 2018

Excel Shortcuts

I admit it.  I get a little too giddy when I see something, ANYTHING, that I can make into a spreadsheet 🙂

  • Social Media/Email statistics updated – Spreadsheet!
  • Husband and I keeping stats during Insanity fit tests – Spreadsheet!
  • Getting ready for the Fantasy Baseball Draft – Spreadsheet!
  • Family Budget – Spreadsheet!
  • Deciding our children’s names – Spreadsheet!  And no, I am not kidding here 🙂

And, oh yes!  Charts and graphs are a must!

Excel, in particular, and I have a long-term relationship that began several years ago.  We have evolved our relationship through upgrades, new computers, and even viruses.  But through it all, we remain close because one thing is clear: Consistency is part of Excel.  Though you may need to look in a new tab every once in a while, almost all shortcuts remain and are incredibly helpful in your spreadsheet needs.  (For the purpose of this article, we are working with PCs – I know, I know…  One day I will go to an Apple, but for now, my Gateway is just fine!)

Literally hundreds of shortcuts exist for your use.  You can Ctrl+Alt your way to some fun if you simply know where to look. ASAP Utilities has put together a full list of Excel shortcuts.  Click here and enjoy 🙂

Fonts, fonts, and (you guessed it) MORE fonts!!!

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Here is a list of some fun sites where you can get lost for hours find amazing free fonts for your use. Have fun!!!

I may have gotten lost in these sites just by pulling the URLs – I think I have a little bit of an obsession.  It’s OK though as I am aware of this addiction 🙂

Now, go!  I have enabled your addiction as well.  Enjoy!

OK – so now that you have downloaded 893 fonts, let’s review the proper ways to use them in marketing 🙂  Click here!

Fonts that pack a punch

Fonts have amazing super powers. They can take something from Eh? to Oh Yea! in the matter of seconds. Used correctly, you can do a lot with the simple use of fonts alone. There are some key things to keep in mind when using fonts in your marketing, so be careful. Once you unlock this door, you need to be responsible or you could overwhelm your audience.

Here are some key tips when using fonts in marketing that I have found to be very useful:

    1. Know your audience.

      • If your target is college professors, more often than not, comic sans is not appropriate.  Use fonts that  feel professional.  The same is true when targeting marketing professionals.  You can be more whimsical here and have fun, but make certain that it makes sense and maintains a professional appearance.  You have just a couple of seconds to engage your audience with a visual… make it worthwhile!  Take the opportunity to ensure that they are reading what YOU select for them to read.
        combo
    2. Don’t overdo it.

      • Just because you have 459 fonts in your library does not mean that you have to use them all in one graphic.  Personally, I like to use no more than three fonts in any marketing piece.  {One serif, one sans serif, and one accent font.} It offers a sense of consistency while emphasizing the few pieces of information that I select for the readers.no-no
    3. Make it readable.

      • There are some very fun fonts out there – believe me, I know!  That said, some are just not legible.  Period.  I’m not suggesting NEVER using these fonts, but these should be reserved for emphasizing key words and phrases rather than scaring your audience away by over-use.
        1942-typewriter
    4. Have fun with it.

        This is your art.  You do need to be happy with the product you design!  There is always a happy medium between you and your audience.  Take your time and enjoy the creative process.

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Want more?  Click here for a list of my favorite free font sites where you can download literally thousands!  Make sure you have a good hour before walking down this path as it is quite scenic 🙂

 

Excel tricks to make your life easier

I am a HUGE fan of Excel.  Spreadsheets are a wonderful thing that allow you to bring information to life in various forms – charts, graphs, mail merges… If you are fighting the use of spreadsheet software, I’m here to tell you that it really is not as scary as you may think.  Sure, going in, it doesn’t look pretty – that just means that you haven’t put Excel to work FOR you.

There are several tricks that help make using Excel easy.  The problem is, most people don’t know what they don’t know.

I have compiled some key tips that, once learned, will help make any spreadsheet task much easier. Here are just a few tips to get us started.

Separating names

Many times, people insert full names of individuals into the spreadsheet.  This is problematic when using in mail merges as no one really wants to say “Good afternoon, John Doe” – you want to say, “Good afternoon, John.”  Follow  these quick steps to personalize your communications further by creating the ability to drop the last name (and other information later).

How to separate the name column into First Name and Last Name, or taking a column stating Name: John Doe and making it two columns, one saying John and another saying Doe.

  1. Insert column after Name column (preferably two columns to be safe)
  2. Highlight column needing to be separated
  3. Go to Data, Text to Column

a.    Delimited, Next
b.    Select both Tab and Comma, Next
c.    Select either General or Text, Finish

And, there you go!

To change ALL CAP names to Title Case

When working with a form that other people have access to (such as your customer), you may come across the people who like to talk in ALL CAPS.  This can be aggravating as (again) when working with mail merges, you end up screaming at your customer in your greeting.  Follow the steps below to provide consistency throughout your writing, without the messy ALL CAPS.

  1. Insert a column in which to fill the corrected text.
  2. In the new, empty column, enter the formula =proper(a2) and click ENTER.
    NOTE: does not have to be a2, but rather whichever cell is appropriate.
  3. Click the cell you just created (in this case, b2) and drag the bottom-right part of the cell down the column to copy the formula.

All your “CLIENTS” should now be your more adaptable “clients.”

De-Duplicate (De-Dupe)

I haven’t heard of a database yet that people don’t fight with.  One common annoyance is duplicates.  There is an answer to this problem (if you have the ability to export into Excel).

  1. Click on the Email column as this will be the most specific (or whichever is most appropriate for your needs).
  2. Go to Data, Filter, Advanced Filter
  3. Check “Unique Records Only”
  4. Click OK
    NOTE: This HIDES the row, it does not delete it. 

No more duplicates!

I hope you find these tips useful in your upcoming projects.

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