How to Use Google Sheets: 8 Tricks you Didn’t Know

Google Sheets isn’t Excel, But it’s more powerful and functional than you think. Google sheet is an online spreadsheet app that helps you format, create, and utilize spreadsheets while working (alone or with people). With Google Sheets, you can create, edit, and collaborate wherever you are, it makes working together easier and has added security and control for work teams. Format flexibility is a huge advantage as it works well with Excel and you don’t have to bother about changing the formats of your spreadsheet. 

How to use Google Sheets

Google sheets automatically save all changes so you never lose progress, they are designed to be easier, make work less tedious with templates that serve as a guide. With its built-in formulas, pivot tables, and a range of formatting options you can create customized colourful charts which are easier to understand. You can also edit, create, and access your files anytime, anywhere. Use Chrome extensions on your computer, apps on your phone, or tablets too, it works on any device.

8 things Google Sheets can do

Apart from the regular, popular functions of google sheets, here are some things google sheets can do that you didn’t know yesterday, number 6 is definitely the coolest. 

Translate Text:

Need to convert data from one language to another?

Here’s how to go about it

Enter: 

=GOOGLETRANSLATE(“A2″,”en”,”ar”)

This will translate the words in cell “A2” from English to Arabic. From (“source language”, “target language”)

Replace “en” with “auto” and Sheets will identify the source language automatically. This is especially helpful while working with a new language, trying to create data for a region, or while learning a new language. You however need to know the two-letter codes of languages to use this. A simple google search can help with this.

Explore:

It is an online app so it enables you to gather informative data from the web using the explore panel located at the bottom right. 

Need to do some number crunching or chart analysis on data you are working with? Let Google’s AI do the work for you. Using Google’s AI, explore gathers the information on what you are working on, analyses it and turns the data into charts, graphs, or analysis. 

Start by:

  • Highlight the range of data.
  • Move your cursor to the starburst-shaped icon in the bottom right corner.
  • Click “Explore” – Complex charts, analytics, & detailed info. generated automatically.

Sparklines:

Easily visualize data trends by adding sparklines to your sheet.  Sparkline allows you to create mini charts within a selected single cell. This provides an attractive visual representation of data and trends.

To add a basic “mini-graph” inside a cell,

 it’s as simple as inputting:

=SPARKLINE (A1:F1) – (Where A1:F1 represents your range of data.)

Auto-email when commenting:

One of my favourite things about Google Sheets is the ease of collaboration within Google docs 

Need to assign a task to a coworker? And want to make sure they actually see it?

Automatically send an email to coworkers using comments within cells.

This is another cool add-on feature google has on its apps. It enables you to send personalized emails right from your spreadsheet 

Heat Maps:

With conditional formatting, you can turn your data into a heat map to give a better visual of analysis, this helps point to where the most important information in the data set is by easily identifying trends & patterns. 

To this,

  • Select the data range in the Google Sheet
  • Format->Conditional Formatting
  • Click “Color Scale”
  • Select colors to represent: ––Min, Mid, & Max (using color intensity gradients). 

Timesavers:

This function is definitely my favourite. While working on a spreadsheet, saving time, formatting, and ease of use makes work easier. So assuming you’re signed in to your Google account, head on up to your browser’s address bar:

From there type: “sheets.new”

Boom!  A new Google sheet is created for you on the fly from anywhere on the web. (Works for docs too)

Pretty cool! 

Make your charts stand out:

Google Sheets has the combo, line, area column bar, pie, scatter, area, histogram, organizational, and treemap charts and graphs. 

To make a section of a chart stand out, First, let’s make a chart… 

  1. Highlight cells then click:
  2. “Insert -> Chart -> Chart Type -> Pie”
  3. Now, double-click one section of the chart and select the “distance from center” option.
  4. Increase the percentage % to make that section stand out from the rest!

 8. Finance:

Using GoogleFinance, you can research investment opportunities and other finance-related things. It allows you to create your own stock portfolio and monitor it in real-time. How cool is that? You can also track information about securities, currency rates, and so on all in one place. This dedicated function of google sheets helps you import data from other sources especially google finance using it to visualize data, dashboard building, or generally manipulate it to suit you. Monitor stock prices, spot trends, & quickly review historical data using =GOOGLEFINANCE.

For example: 

Want to see the last 60 days of closing prices for a specific ticker symbol? Paste the formula below & voila!

=GOOGLEFINANCE(“NASDAQ:TSLA”,”price”,TODAY()-60,TODAY()) 

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