How to turn off automatic calculations in Excel

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Are you ready to keep your Excel skills fresh this Friday? I’ve got 3 great, easy to use tips below to get you started.

A quick win you can learn today -

I often find myself working with huge spreadsheets with thousands of calculations. This can massively slow down workbooks, recalculating each time a cell is updated.

Newer versions of Excel cope with this better but if you’re using Excel 2010 or 2007. There’s an option to turn off automatic calculations in Excel, to enable it go to the Options menu under File, and go to the formulas section. Scroll down to the questions about calculations, and select Manual. Now, if you want Excel to recalculate you just need to press the F9 key on your keyboard. Just don’t forget to turn it back on again before you use other spreadsheets - as the rule applies to your Excel window, not just the file.

A keyboard shortcut I'm adding to my list -

Over the past few months, I’ve covered some really unusual keyboard functions, but I keep coming back to the most common, most useful ones. To bring up the print menu, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + P!

A function I've found super useful this week -

Even as an experienced Excel user I often find new uses for Excel, or need to functions that I knew about but had never needed before. The function, REPT, allows you to repeat a character or word a given number of times. This could be used, for example, to insert a number of spaces, dashes or asterisks into a cell.

To use it, type =REPT( followed by the word or character you’d like to repeat, encloses in “quotes”, follow with a comma, and add the number of times to repeat it. It’s easy to use and saves time manually typing something out many times.

Check the article that describes the formula syntax and usage of the REPT  function in Microsoft Excel here!

As always, I hope you find these tips useful, and please do reply if you have any comments or questions!

- Martyn

Edinburgh, Scotland

January 2019

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