Fast Excel with the Quick Access Toolbar
Excel is still the lingua franca of Corporate Finance and is blazing fast for quick, ad-hoc analyses. I learned early on to use excel without a mouse, and with the Quick Access Toolbar and some macros, you can even make Excel feel like a video game!
Here’s how my quick access toolbar is set up. I primarily work with pro forma Profit and Loss statements from our various business units, so my workflow is tailored for quick 5 minute analyses that gets presented to managers as a formatted PnL or data table in an email to go along with a short writeup.
- Paste Values – I use this constantly to avoid pasting formulas
- Format Painter
- Center – fast formatting for column headers
- Border Settings – fast formatting
- Autofit Column Width
- Autofit Row Height
- Text to Columns – useful for cleaning data
- Macro to custom format selected cell(s)
- Macro to custom format all cells in the selected pivot table
- Manage COM add-ins – my company uses a lot of excel add-ins that aren’t compatible with each other, so I need to toggle between various add-ins depending on the task at hand
The macros are there to convert the value in the cell to a specific $ format with no decimals and red parenthesis for negative values. I use this pattern constantly as a profit and loss analyst to present your analyses quickly to the executive waiting for your insights.
Sub Spends_Format() ' ' Spends_Format Macro ' Format Spends in $ format with negative values in red parentheses ' ' Selection.NumberFormat = "$#,##0_);[Red]($#,##0)" End Sub
Sub Format_Pivot() ' ' Format_Pivot Macro ' Formats a column of a pivot in $ ' ' On Error Resume Next Set pt = ActiveCell.PivotCell.PivotTable On Error GoTo 0 If pt Is Nothing Then MsgBox "No PivotTable selected", vbInformation, "Oops..." Exit Sub End If For Each df In pt.DataFields df.NumberFormat = "$#,##0_);[Red]($#,##0)" Next df End Sub
Sub Color_Format() ' ' Color_Format Macro ' Automatically formats the numbers to show blue if it's a constant, black if it's a formula, or green if it's a linked formula ' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+C ' Dim cell As Range, constantCells As Range, formulaCells As Range Dim cellFormula As String With Selection On Error Resume Next Set constantCells = .SpecialCells(xlCellTypeConstants, xlNumbers) Set formulaCells = .SpecialCells(xlCellTypeFormulas, 21) On Error GoTo 0 End With If Not constantCells Is Nothing Then constantCells.Font.ThemeColor = xlThemeColorAccent1 constantCells.Font.TintAndShade = 0 End If If Not formulaCells Is Nothing Then For Each cell In formulaCells cellFormula = cell.Formula If cellFormula Like "*.xls*]*!*" Then cell.Font.ColorIndex = 3 ElseIf cellFormula Like "*!*" And Not cellFormula Like "*\**" And Not cellFormula Like "*+*" And Not cellFormula Like "*-*" And Not cellFormula Like "*/*" And Not cellFormula Like "*%*" And Not cellFormula Like "*^*" And Not cellFormula Like "*>*" And Not cellFormula Like "*<*" And Not cellFormula Like "*>=*" And Not cellFormula Like "*<=*" And Not cellFormula Like "*<>*" And Not cellFormula Like "*&*" Then cell.Font.Color = -11489280 cell.Font.TintAndShade = 0 Else cell.Font.ColorIndex = 0 End If Next cell End If End Sub