JPL Computers | Some lesser known simple features in Word and Excel

JPL Computers – looking at some features in Word and Excel that you might not have known about

You’ve probably been using these two main line products for a long time but maybe didn’t know about the following features.

Try them out, they are really quite simple.

  1. Creating your own Tab and ribbon (in Word and Excel). Simply use the ‘Customise the Ribbon’ feature by right clicking on any ribbon and then you can create a new Tab and give it a name. You can then create your own groups for the favourite commands you often use. Its a great way of keeping all the commands you use a lot in one place.
  2. Creating Autotext in word. If you regularly misspell a word and use an unknown word to Microsoft’s dictionary why not try Autotext to create it. Its under Options, Proofing.
  3. Again in Word you can compare (Review Tab, Compare) two documents which may contain textual differences and see where they are automatically. Its an extension of Tracking Changes
  4. In Excel when I train on my Intermediate Excel course I show people Advanced Filtering and Data Sub Totals and from experience they are rarely used but should be. Both can save a lot of frustration and in some cases hours of extra work.
  5. In Excel 2013 a really useful fun button to use is the QA (Quick Analysis) button shown at the bottom of a range of data when it is selected. Its used to conditionally format data cells and create charts, as well as other options.
  6. Again In Excel, Evaluate Formula is really good at gently breaking down a formula’s arithmetic in to the sequence Excel performs the calculations. You can then see how a cell has been used in a formula or how other cells have been used to create it.
  7. I think probably the most powerful feature and well underutilised in Word is Styles. It’s the foundation for Table of Contents, multi levels, indexing and hyperlinking and other features too. Its found on the Home tab. Some styles that are particularly good are Heading 1,2,3 etc.

These are just a selection of lesser known features in Word and Excel from JPL computers. If you would like to know about more then contact us on or take a look at our Hints and Tips page for more.

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