Time saver tip – Custom Views in Excel

Time saver tip – Custom Views in Excel

There is a nagging challenge that my team and I have encountered for a long time, and I’m sure all HR and Compensation pros have faced the same.

You see, we build files with confidential information about all our employees, such as their package, performance ratings, promotion potential etc.

We then share partial views of these files with different stakeholders, and spend a lot of time returning to the master file and sorting, filtering, hiding columns and rows to show or give a printout to one manager and then undo and redo another customised view for another one.

If the first manager wants to view the file another time, we had to recreate the customised view all over again… We were wasting time, again and again, and always having to double-check if we were recreating the initial view and having to tweak the printing settings.

But this time is all gone now, thanks to my friend and colleague Aroop who found this great, time-saving feature in Excel : Custom Views.

As Microsoft puts it, “Save a set of display and print settings as a custom view. Once you have saved the current view, you can apply it to the document by selecting it from the list of available custom views”.

This is super simple to implement. In View (at the top ribbon), click on Custom Views, then in the pop-up, click Add and create the name of the view. Make sure to check print settings and hidden rows, columns and filter settings.

And you’re done ! You can switch between views by selecting the one you want to show.

One simple tip : I recommend to always create a “general” view to easily return to your initial master /working file with all rows and columns.

How can you use this tip for Compensation & Benefits purposes ? Here are 3 examples :

  1. Prepare the master file for participating to a compensation survey, then attend multiple meetings with managers in different Divisions to validate job matching.
  2. Prepare a master file with internal equity analysis, present it to Directors, rework on it based on feedback then go present final results to them – no need to reformat your file.
  3. Prepare salary review suggestions for review with the CEO, and prepare in advance the views for the different cuts of employee population that she will want to check (for example : top management, high performers, proposed promotions, UAE Nationals…) – going back and forth will be a breeze.
  4. And I’m sure you’ll find more…

I have created a very simple Powerpoint for my readers who prefer visuals (email readers may have to click-through).



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  1. Tracy Stafford says

    Excellent tip about using ‘Custom views” in Excel. Thank you!

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