# Top 6 Vital Excel Functions Everyone Must Be Proficient In

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Excel e­xpertise is essential across various industries and job roles. Whether you’re a professional, student, data analyst, or simply managing personal finances, Excel offers powerful tools at your disposal. At its core are functions such as the Excel left function. The functions can be used to perform a broad range of tasks from basic calculations to complex data analysis.

In this article, we delve into the world of Exce­l to uncover the top 6 functions that are crucial for maximizing the potential of this spreadshee­t software. These functions serve as the cornerstones for effective data administration, analysis, and decision-making. They are not only fundamental but also very adaptable.

### Paste Special

One of Excel’s most fundamental and commonly used features is copying and pasting. However, it happens frequently for unintended formatting to be copied over or for formulas to be copied when a value is requested. The Paste Special function steps in to help ease these little annoyances. It gives you the ability to pick and choose which characteristics of the duplicated cell to transfer. Press Ctrl+Alt+V to open the Paste Special menu after copying your cell (Ctrl+C), or choose Edit > Paste Special from the Home ribbon’s Clipboard section. The shortcut for pasting only values is Alt+E+S+V, which is perhaps the most common use of Paste Special.

### Insert Multiple Rows

There is frequently a need to tuck new rows between older ones. Since you may toggle the “+” symbol to add many rows at once, the convenient shortcut (Ctrl+Shift++) proves to be pretty useful. It can be quicker to right-click+insert the desired number of rows (for example, five) when adding rows in bulk because it will automatically insert the stated number of rows corresponding to your selection.

### INDEX/MATCH

Aside from the commonly used VLOOKUP function, two highly effective lookup functions in Excel are INDEX and MATCH. Individually, these functions offer significant value, but when combined, their potential is maximized. By using INDEX and MATCH together, you can accurately extract the required data from large database­s. Mastering these capabilities not only establishes your experience in Excel among your coworkers and supervisors but also expedite­s tedious and monotonous tasks.

### Eliminate Duplicates

This process is simple and quick. The Remove Duplicates function does exactly what the name implies—removes duplicate entries in a specified data path. The recommended approach is to isolate the goals you want to duplicate and move them to a separate worksheet. This function resides in the Data tab, under the Data Tools section of the ribbon. If you just want to take stock without removing duplicates, conditional formatting serves this purpose. You can access it via the shortcut Alt+H+L or find it in the Styles section of the Home ribbon.

### Freeze Panes

Have you ever been browsing through a large table of data and found yourself losing track of which columns belong to which categories? This conundrum has a solution thanks to Freeze Panes. The first column, the top row, or any combination of them can all be frozen. Determine the columns and rows you want to freeze first. Select the cell that is immediately to the right of the desired rows and beneath the target columns. Access Freeze Panes in the Window section by going to the View tab. This process is sped up using the keyboard shortcut Alt+W+F.

### F4

Two functions in Excel’s F4 are particularly satisfying. First of all, it helps you navigate through options while creating an Absolute Reference. Second, F4 has a less well-known but extremely effective use. It permits you to repeat your most recent action, as necessary. F4, for instance, enables the quick application of the same border to further cells if you’ve already applied one to a cell.