Navigating Excel

The cells found in Excel, or any spreadsheet program, are very similar to a table in Word. You can add text or formulas to these cells, and you can manipulate their appearance as needed.

In order to effectively use a spreadsheet, you must be able to access the information and navigate through the cells.

Here are a few basics of spreadsheet cell and page navigation;

Basic Cell Navigation

Action Key Stroke option 1 or Key Stroke option 2
Right One Cell Tab or Right Arrow
Left One Cell Shift + Tab or Left Arrow
Down One Cell Enter or Down Arrow
Up One Cell Shift + Enter or Up Arrow

 Basic Page Navigation

Action Key Stroke
Beginning of the Worksheet Ctrl + Home (I use this a lot)
End of the Worksheet Ctrl + End (I use this a lot) 
Beginning of the Row Home or Ctrl + Left Arrow
End of the Row Ctrl + Right Arrow
Beginning of the Column Ctrl + Up Arrow
End of the Column Ctrl + Down Arrow

In addition to using key strokes to navigate through Excel, you can also use your mouse to move to or select individual cells and groups of cells.

Single clicking on a cell, selects the cell, creating a thick black boarder around the cell it’s self.

Select Cell

Double clicking a cell, causes the cell to go into ‘Edit Mode’, inserting an I beam in the cell and allowing for typing directly in the cell.

Edit Cell

Another way to navigate to a cell is by using the ‘Name Box’. This is located directly above the Column ‘A’ Heading, and it tells you the name of the cell that you currently have selected.

Name Box

Selecting multiple cells

Action Mouse Mouse & Key Stroke Name Box
Adjacent Cells Click in the 1st Cell and Drag to the last Cell Select 1st Cell,
Hold CTRL Key,
Select last Cell
Type Range in the Name Box separated by a Semi colon
Non Adjacent Cells N/A Select 1st Cell,
Hold SHIFT Key,
Select next Cell
Type Range, or specific cell, in the name box separated by a Comma
Entire Row Click on the Row Heading (i.e. 1, 2, 3, etc…) Click in the cell at the beginning of the Row
Hold CTRL + SHIFT + Right Arrow
Entire Column Click on the Column Heading (i.e. A, B, C, etc…) Click in the cell at the beginning of the Column
Hold CTRL + SHIFT + Down Arrow

Also keep in mind that each Workbook can have multiple Worksheets. These sheets are shown as ‘Tabs’ at the bottom of your Worksheet. These ‘Tabs’ are only visible if your Workbook is maximized (small Center button in the top right of your screen, to the left of the close button).

Hopefully this information was beneficial to you. If you need more guidance with Excel Spreadsheets, please contact Office Solutions ME!


Excel Formula Basics

Microsoft Excel is a very powerful program. It can be even more powerful when the formulas are used, and used correctly. In most cases, Excel formulas are not really that difficult… as long as you remember your 8th grade math class.

Here are the basics;

Process Arithmetic
Function Formula
Addition + SUM =__+__ or =SUM(__,__)
Subtraction IMSUB =__-__ or =IMSUB(__,__)
Multiplication * PRODUCT =__*__    or =PRODUCT(__,__)
Division / QUOTIENT =__/__   or =QUOTIENT(__,__)


The ‘Formulas’ above are typed directly into the cell that you wish to show your answer, of course replacing the ‘__’ with the information you wish to calculate. In addition, you can replace the ‘__’ with the actual cell reference that you wish to calculate.

Here’s an example of adding two values using cell references;

  A B C
1 100 50 =A1+B1
2 50 100 =SUM(A2,B2)


Column ‘C’ shows the formula that you would enter to get the answer of ‘150’. The benefit of using formulas is that if you change cell A2 to ‘150’, then your formula will automatically update the answer to ‘250’.

A few more Functions that can be helpful include;

  • Count – simply counts the number of occurrences in a range of cells
  • CountIf – counts the number of occurrences of a specific value in a range of cells
  • Max – returns the maximum value in a range of cells
  • Min – returns the minimum value in a range of cells
  • Average – returns the average value in a range of cells

These (and much more) are all found on the ‘Formulas’ Tab à ‘More Functions’ button à ‘Statistical’ menu

The help feature (located in the top right, below the close button) and the advanced screen tips (appear if you hover over an item in the toolbar) are both very useful when searching for the appropriate formulas for creating and optimizing your spreadsheets.

Bonus Tip:
When you select a cell, the formula will appear in the Address Bar.
To view all of the formulas in a spreadsheet, instead of the results, press Ctrl+` (press it again to revert back to the results view)

For more helpful tips and help with Excel Formulas, please contact Office Solutions ME!

Independent Contractor vs. Employee… The Basics

There has been a lot of talk this year around the classification of independent contractor versus employee. While independent contractors can have some financial benefits to businesses, misclassifying can have some very large disadvantages.

Here are some websites and articles to help better define the difference between an independent contractor and an employee;

The Basics…
Independent contractors are responsible for their own taxes and are not protected by employment laws. They have many clients and their work flow and tasks are not managed by any one client in particular.

As a virtual assistant with multiple clients, Office Solutions ME is considered an independent contractor. We complete 95% of our work off-site, at our own office. And we have the skill and expertise in our field to complete majority of our work without the guidance of our clients.

For more information about independent contracting or virtual assisting, please feel free to contact us or post a comment!

Twitter Basics

What is Twitter? 

Twitter is an online social media site. It’s a place to share information. It’s a way to find information. Twitter is a place to ‘meet’ and connect with people of similar interests and potential clients. It’s a way to ‘listen’ and ask what people think. And best of all, it’s FREE! 


Twitter Home on the Web


A Tweet is a message typed and sent out on Twitter. Tweets are seen by everyone who is following you. Tweets can only be 140 characters, and should be shorter for easy ReTweeting. Tweets can be about anything you find interesting or informational.   

Tweeting on the Web

Tweeting on the Web


Followers are people on Twitter who see your Tweets, they have chosen to follow you. A list of your followers is on your profile. It is usually a good practice to follow people who follow you. 

Twitter Followers

Twitter Followers


Following someone on Twitter allows you to see their Tweets and Direct Message them. A list of who you are following is on your profile. 

Twitter Following

Twitter Following


A Direct Message is a Tweet that is only seen by the recipient. Someone has to be following you in order to Direct Message them. Direct messages are a great way to ask someone a specific question or personally thank them for following you. 

Twitter Direct Messages

Twitter Direct Messages


A ReTweet, is when you forward someone else’s Tweet to all of your followers. A ReTweet contains RT and original senders name (or handle) shown with an ‘@’ symbol (i.e. RT @OfficeSME). This is a great way to increase the number of people that see your Tweets. This is also a great way to share information that you find interesting with your followers. 

Twitter ReTweets

Twitter ReTweets


Hash tags help to organize Tweets of similar content. Hash Tags are shown as a number (#) sign followed by the topic (i.e. #Maine, #Cars, etc.). Hash Tags are helpful in getting Tweets to appear in search results.   

Twitter Hash Tags

Twitter Hash Tags


There are many different 2nd party sites that allow users to Tweet and organize Tweets and followers. Tweets include a ‘from’ line at the end, this indicates the platform used (i.e. web, Tweetdeck, etc.). Each site has its own advantages and disadvantages.   

Twitter Platforms

Twitter Platforms


You can organize who you are following into categories called lists. You can set up custom categories to organize your following. People that are following you can add you to a list that they have created. People can see the lists that you are added to. People can follow entire lists.  

Symbol/Abbreviation Recap
Because Tweets are limited to 140 characters, symbols and abbreviations are important. 

  • @ – Seen before a Twitter user name or handle
  • # – Hash Tag
  • RT – ReTweet
  • DM – Direct Message

Get started on Twitter,

  1. Choose a user name and password
  2. Create a profile that tells about you and/or your business
  3. Upload a picture or logo
  4. Start Tweeting and Following

Follow me on Twitter by going to or search for @OfficeSME.
Happy Tweeting! 

Need a personal tutorial and/or help with set-up?