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HR Dashboard Tip: Dealing with Charts, Pictures & Shapes in Excel


A good HR dashboard or Balanced Scorecard is clear and well presented conveying a snapshot of key data quickly. Charts are one way of doing this, and you may want to use pictures or objects to be consistent with corporate branding. And if you’re using lots of pictures, charts or other objects in Excel (and especially if you’re hiding them or they’re overlapping) things can get a bit fiddly.

Handling Lots of Objects
That’s why Excel have provided us with the Selection and Visibility pane. It lists each of these objects and allows you to quickly select them or hide / unhide them. It also works for grouped objects…


Grouping Objects
Say you had several objects that work together – a chart, surrounded by a background picture, with an explanatory text box and topped off with a word art title. Once they’re all positioned correctly in relation to each other, you can group them so that are easy to move around all at the same time. To do this, select the first one with your mouse, then keep holding down control and select all the other objects that you want to group together. Once you’ve selected them all you can let go of CTRL. Right click one of your selected objects and select Group then Group again.


A Handy Shortcut…
Remember that Selection and Visibility box we mentioned earlier that you can use to handle lots of pictures? To bring it up quickly the shortcut is Alt PAP. How do I remember this? Who takes lots of pictures? Paparazzi – also known as PAPs! So if you need pictures use Alt PAP (there’s plenty more Keyboard Shortcuts where that came from…).

Hopefully these tips will help save you time, but don’t forget you can get more tips on this site, or by liking XLCalibre on Facebook or following @XLCalibre on Twitter.

Excel Keyboard Shortcuts – Control with Symbols

Another selection of keyboard shortcuts. Press Control and the following symbols:


` – Toggles between displaying cell values and formulas in the current worksheet.

~ – Cell format is General.

! – Cell format is Number with two decimal places, commas, and minus symbol for negative values.

@ – Cell format is Time hour and minute, and AM or PM.

# – Cell format is Date (dd-mmm-yy).

$ – Cell format is Currency (with 2 decimal places and negatives in brackets).

% – Cell format is Percentage (with no decimal places).

^ – Cell format is Exponential with two decimal places.

& – Adds outline border on selected cells.

* – Selects the range of cells around the active cell.

( – Unhides all hidden rows in the selection.

) – Unhides all hidden columns in the selection.

– – Delete the selected cells.

_ – Removes outline border on selected cells.

+ – Insert cells.

; – Enters the current date.

: – Enters the current time.

‘ – Copies a formula from the cell above.

” – Copies the value from the cell above.