If you've spent any time operating a computer, you've encountered Microsoft Excel. This quintessential program is practically everywhere, regularly making appearances on business computers thanks to its inclusion in Microsoft Office.

Excel has become synonymous with spreadsheets as a whole, the way Kleenex defined the facial tissue industry, and is truly the unicorn of the category. But unlike a unicorn, almost everyone has spent some time with Excel.

Being familiar with Excel is almost a requirement in business. And why not? It's a powerful tool that can help you organize data in a simple structure.

But just because it's as common as a donkey at the Grand Canyon, that doesn't mean it's easy to become proficient with this piece of software, making tips and tricks for navigating the program highly desirable. With Excel, there's always more to learn.

Getting the Most Out of Microsoft Excel

Excel is genuinely one of the most popular pieces of software on the market today, but so many professionals still don't fully understand its capabilities. Though the program masquerades in its simplicity, there are a lot of complex features and functions hiding just below the surface. You only have to know where to find them.

Many people dedicate a significant amount of time to learning Excel, hoping they can wrangle this majestic unicorn and make it do their bidding, which is no easy feat.

Failing to follow the rules can lead to a seemingly instant disaster, leading simple data to morph into something monstrous and unrecognizable. And, with features like advanced formulas, pivot tables, macros, mail merges with Microsoft Word, and conditional formatting, it's easy to get lost in the sea of menu options.

If you're like me, any tips that can help you get the most out of Excel are like gold; I can't get enough. So when I spotted this infographic by U.K. training company STL, I knew I had to pass it along.

In it, STL describes how to perform everyday tasks in just a few clicks and includes a variety of keyboard shortcuts that are sure to shave precious minutes off your time working with the program. All of the processes are simple, so even those who've just gotten their feet wet in Excel can master these quickly.

With that in mind, here are eight Excel shortcuts that are bound to help you work more efficiently:

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By harnessing the tips in the above infographic, you can increase your Excel proficiency, ending that feeling of dread many of us face when we open up that unicorn program. And, when used properly, Excel is astoundingly powerful, allowing you to make smarter business decisions and organize your data in a way that provides value.