What are some more advanced features of spreadsheets

Let’s dive into some advanced features of spreadsheets that can help you streamline and automate your workflows! 

Pivot Tables: Pivot tables are a powerful tool for summarizing and analyzing data. For example, imagine you have a sales dataset with information like date, product, salesperson, and revenue. If you want to find the total revenue per product or per salesperson, a pivot table can do that quickly and easily.  

Here’s how: 

  1. Select your data range. 
  2. Insert a pivot table. 
  3. Drag the fields to their respective areas (e.g., ‘Product’ or ‘Salesperson’ as rows and ‘Revenue’ as values). 
  4. You’ll get a summary table that can be easily manipulated or filtered. 


Macros: Macros are sets of instructions that automate repetitive tasks. Let’s say you receive a weekly report, and you need to perform the same formatting and calculations every time. A macro can save you time by automating those steps. 

Here’s a simple way to create and run a macro: 

  1. Go to the ‘Developer‘ tab (you may need to enable it in your spreadsheet program). 
  2. Click ‘Record Macro‘. 
  3. Perform the tasks you want to automate (e.g., formatting, calculations). 
  4. Click ‘Stop Recording‘. 
  5. Now, you can run the macro whenever needed by going to the ‘Developer‘ tab and clicking ‘Macros.’ Select the macro you recorded and click ‘Run.’


Conditional Formatting: Conditional formatting allows you to apply specific formatting to cells based on their values. For instance, you might want to highlight cells with values above a certain threshold, like overdue payments or high-performing employees.  

Here’s how you can apply conditional formatting: 

  1. Select the cells you want to format. 
  2. Go to the ‘Home‘ tab and click ‘Conditional Formatting‘. 
  3. Choose the desired rule (e.g., ‘Greater Than,’ ‘Top 10%‘, or ‘Text that Contains‘). 
  4. Set the criteria and formatting style. 
  5. The formatting will be automatically applied based on the rule you set.


These advanced features, when combined, can significantly enhance your ability to process, analyze, and present data in spreadsheets, ultimately streamlining and automating your workflows.