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How To Use Microsoft Excel

Key Takeaway:

  • Start by creating a new workbook and customizing its appearance. Format the cells and create styles that are easy to read and understand.
  • Learn basic functions and formulas to perform calculations easily on numerical data. Utilize cell references to enhance productivity.
  • Use advanced data analysis techniques to sort and filter data for better presentation. Create effective charts and graphs to visualize information. Analyze data with pivot tables, pivot charts, and slicers.
  • Automate tasks in Excel with macros, data validation, and conditional formatting. Macros can automate repetitive tasks and save time. Data validation lists improve data accuracy, and conditional formatting highlights key data points.
  • Collaborate with others by sharing workbooks and co-authoring with colleagues. Protect sensitive data and information on worksheets by tracking changes and revisions to Excel workbooks.

Are you stuck trying to make sense of your data? Microsoft Excel can be a powerful tool to help you bring structure and organisation to your data so you can make informed decisions. You can learn to use Excel efficiently and effectively with these helpful tips.

How to Set Up and Customize a Microsoft Excel Worksheet

Creating an efficient Microsoft Excel worksheet? Let’s dive into it! Here are some tips:

  1. Start by making a new workbook.
  2. Then customise it to your needs.
  3. Enter your data into cells.
  4. Finally, format them for improved readability.

With a bit of practice and patience, you can make your worksheet an effective and efficient tool.

How to Set Up and Customize a Microsoft Excel Worksheet-How to Use Microsoft Excel,

Image credits: by Adam Arnold

Creating a New Workbook and Customizing Its Appearance

You can make creating a new workbook easier by following a few steps. Open Microsoft Excel and select “New Workbook” to create a blank spreadsheet. Then, customize the appearance by changing the font type, size, and color on the “Home” tab.

Add borders and shading to cells by selecting them and clicking “Borders” on the “Home” tab. To add headers and footers appearing at the top or bottom of each page, go to “Insert” tab and select “Header & Footer“. Here you can enter text or images.

Save your customized workbook as a template by going to “File“, then “Save As” and choosing “Excel Template” from the dropdown menu. Doing this will create a professional-looking document that is both eye-catching and functional.

Now that you know how to customize a workbook, start entering data into cells and format it appropriately. Make an impression with an outstanding workbook!

Entering and Formatting Data into Cells

Entering and formatting in Excel cells is essential. Here’s how:

  1. Click the cell you want to enter data into.
  2. Type the value or text.
  3. Press Enter or Tab to move to the next cell, or use arrow keys to navigate.
  4. To format, select the cell(s) and click “Format Cells” from the Home tab.
  5. Options include font size, style, color, borders, and shading. Plus, number formats, like currency symbols or percentages.

Adjust column widths and row heights too, for better readability. Do this by dragging the lines between column letters and row numbers.

Remember that formatting isn’t permanent. So, if you make a mistake or change your mind, you can always undo changes.

Customizing cells to improve readability is the next step. We’ll cover this in the upcoming section.

Customizing Cell Formats and Styles for Improved Readability

Customizing cell styles and formats is an important part of Microsoft Excel. It helps to make data more readable, highlights important data, and improves presentation. To make the worksheet easy to read, focus on text-related features, like font size and ‘Wrap Text’, as well as formatting numbers with currency signs or decimals.

Colors can also be used to enhance readability. Choose shades that create contrast between different cells, and assign logical colors to each field or category. You can even create custom cell styles that match your brand, to ensure consistency throughout all worksheets.

Finally, mastering basic functions and formulas in Excel is very useful. These include SUM, AVERAGE, MAX/MIN, and COUNTIF. These can help you manipulate data easily and make calculations easier to understand.

Mastering Basic Functions and Formulas in Excel

I’m an Excel user and I know how vital it is to get the basics right. In this tutorial, we’ll look at basic functions and formulas. Firstly, we’ll see why understanding them is vital. Then, we’ll use formulas to do difficult calculations. Finally, we’ll check how cell references can help when working with huge data sets. Let’s begin!

Mastering Basic Functions and Formulas in Excel-How to Use Microsoft Excel,

Image credits: by James Washington

Understanding Basic Functions and Their Relevance

Follow these 3 simple steps to understand basic functions and their importance:

  1. Find the function you need
  2. Put in the data you want the function to work on (arguments)
  3. Hit Enter and view the results.

Using basic functions not only speeds up tasks, but also lets you work with larger data sets in less time. SUM, AVERAGE, MAX and MIN are essential for big data sets.

IF statements and conditional formatting formulas create smart reports which can interpret criteria from other spreadsheets easily. This helps you quickly create spreadsheets that save time by calculating cells based on user-defined logic.

Since Excel was first released in 1985, the need to comprehend basic Excel functions has been clear. It’s still one of the best programs to manage large data sets. Mastering these operations and formulas helps you to present raw materials better and faster.

Now that we understand basic functions and their relevance, let’s move on to using formulas to make calculations on numerical data.

Using Formulas to Perform Calculations on Numerical Data

Microsoft Excel is amazing! It has a feature that enables you to do calculations on numerical data using formulas. This saves so much time compared to doing it manually. Excel also has many mathematical functions which can be used in cells.

Follow these three steps to use formulas for calculations on numerical data in Excel:

  1. Choose the cell where the formula result will show.
  2. Type an equal sign (=) to show Excel that the formula is coming.
  3. Type the formula, with cell references or values separated by an operator (+, -, *, /).

Formulas and functions in Excel help minimize errors and save time. Excel has functions like SUM, AVERAGE, MAX, MIN, and COUNT to help you with basic calculations. You can also use these tools to analyze expenses or budget trends over time.

I can recall having to manually calculate my departmental expenses for my supervisor each month. It was very time-consuming and I had to check multiple spreadsheets. But then I learned to use formulas and functions in Excel and now it only takes me a few minutes!

Next, let’s learn how cell referencing can increase productivity when using Excel. This is the title of our next section.

Creating and Utilizing Cell References for Enhanced Productivity

Creating and utilizing cell references in Excel is essential for improved productivity. If you work with large amounts of data, it can be hard to make sense of it. Cell references can help you manage the data quickly and effectively.

To use cell references, follow these 3 steps:

  1. Click on the cell you want to input data into.
  2. Look for the formula bar at the top of your Excel window.
  3. Type in the formula or function to ref other cells.

Cell references make complex formulas that automate calculations. This saves time and errors in large data sets.

Keep in mind that cell references are case-insensitive and max 255 characters. You can also use relative, absolute or mixed referencing based on what works for your situation.

An accountant used cell references to reconcile financial statements for a big company each month. She used to spend tedious hours manually doing calculations. After discovering the power of cell references, she could finish her tasks much faster and accurately.

In our next section, we’ll explore advanced data analysis techniques in Excel which build on the basics of creating and utilizing cell references.

Advanced Data Analysis Techniques in Microsoft Excel

Level-up your Microsoft Excel skills! Check out this section on data analysis techniques. Learn cool features in Excel to sort, filter, and analyze data quickly. Visualize the data with charts and graphs. Plus, use pivot tables, charts, and slicers for valuable insights! Ready to learn some incredible Excel techniques for your data analysis journey? Let’s go!

Advanced Data Analysis Techniques in Microsoft Excel-How to Use Microsoft Excel,

Image credits: by James Arnold

Sorting and Filtering Data for Better Presentation

Sort and filter your data the right way with Microsoft Excel! It offers powerful tools to help you show your data accurately. Let’s take a look at an example table of sales data for three regions:

Product Region 1 Sales ($) Region 2 Sales ($) Region 3 Sales ($)
A 10,000 15,000 20,000
B 5,000 8,000 12,000
C 7,500 11,000 16,500

You can sort by any column by selecting the entire table and then clicking “Sort” in the “Data” tab. For example, to sort by Region 1 Sales in descending order, pick the “Region 1 Sales ($)” column and choose “Descending”.

To narrow down your data using certain criteria, apply a filter. Select the entire table and then click “Filter” in the “Data” tab. You’ll see drop-down menus in each header cell.

Let’s say you only want to see products that sold more than $10,000 in Region 2. Open the filter drop-down menu for “Region 2 Sales ($)”. Choose “Number Filters” > “Greater Than or Equal To” > enter “10000.” This will display products B and C.

In a hurry? Use keyboard shortcuts for sorting (Alt + A + S) and filtering (Ctrl + Shift + L). Now you’re ready to create effective charts and graphs to visualize your information!

Creating Effective Charts and Graphs to Visualize Information

To make effective charts and graphs to visualize information, there are 3 important steps:

  1. Figure out what it’s for. Are you comparing variables, showing trends, or highlighting outliers? This will decide the design.
  2. Pick the right kind of chart. There are bar charts, line graphs, scatter plots and pie charts to choose from. This will make sure your data is shown the best way.
  3. Design it clearly. Use clear labels and axis titles. Pick apt colors and fonts. Eliminate unnecessary elements. So that your audience can understand your data without trouble. Using color well can make some parts of the chart stand out and show the differences between groups. Titles and labels should be succinct and descriptive. So readers know what they’re seeing right away.

Analyzing Data with Pivot Tables, Pivot Charts, and Slicers

Analyzing Data with Pivot Tables, Pivot Charts and Slicers is a powerful tool for quickly summarizing and analyzing large amounts of data in Excel. They allow you to break down data into categories and subcategories and identify patterns or trends that might be hidden in the raw data.

Pivot tables are great for analyzing vast amounts of numerical statistical data. With these, you can condense and visualize your data for better insights. Pivot charts complement pivot tables, enabling users to visualize the data using charts or graphs. They can customize their charts and link it to the pivot table so that whenever they change filters or options, the graph updates automatically.

Slicers provide an interactive filtering tool and let users filter through data without changing any settings. This feature provides real-time insights into complex datasets.

However, according to Forbes magazine, 90 percent of Excel users never use PivotTables. If you’re part of this group, we suggest taking advantage of free online resources such as tutorials provided by Microsoft Support or free courses offered by academic organizations.

Automating Tasks in Excel with Macros, Data Validation, and Conditional Formatting

Stuck on a time-consuming Excel task? It’s daunting when cells need to be arranged exactly the same way. But did you know that Excel can save time by automating tasks? In this section, we explore three features:

  1. Macros
  2. Data Validation
  3. Conditional Formatting

Here’s a guide to dive into the details of each one. Learn how they can help work smarter, not harder!

Automating Tasks in Excel with Macros, Data Validation, and Conditional Formatting-How to Use Microsoft Excel,

Image credits: by James Arnold

Using Macros to Automate Repetitive Tasks and Save Time

Macros in Microsoft Excel can save you time by automating repetitive tasks. You can record a sequence of commands with one keystroke or button press. Here’s how to use macros:

  1. Open the workbook.
  2. Click the Developer tab.
  3. Click Record Macro.
  4. Name your macro and assign it a shortcut key, if desired.
  5. Perform the commands or actions you want to include.
  6. Stop Recording when done.

Now, you can quickly repeat those commands with one click. Macros can be used for various tasks, such as formatting and data entry, increasing productivity and reducing errors.

Fun Fact: “Macro” comes from the Greek word “makros,” meaning “large” or “long.”

Next, we will discuss creating a Data Validation List to Improve Data Accuracy in Microsoft Excel.

Creating a Data Validation List to Improve Data Accuracy

Tired of manually searching through long reports for relevant info? You can now boost data accuracy and reduce errors by setting up a data validation list in Excel. Do it like this:

  1. Pick the cell or range for the validation list.
  2. Go to the “Data” tab and click on “Data Validation.”
  3. In the “Settings” tab, select “List” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Type the items for the validation list, separating with commas or selecting a cell range.
  5. Enable “In-cell dropdown” so users can select from the list.

A validation list helps avoid errors due to human mistakes like typos and incorrect entries. It also simplifies the input process, allowing users to quickly select categories.

Managing data needs preparation before moving ahead with value chain strategies. Doing this before optimizing can make the difference between successful streamlining and chaos afterwards.

An advertising firm is a real-life example. With multiple client accounts asking for different ads across different channels, the company used validation lists. This allowed employees to record customer info accurately and quickly without errors- reducing turnaround times.

Coming next: Using Conditional Formatting to Highlight Key Data Points.

Utilizing Conditional Formatting to Highlight Key Data Points


Select the cells you want to apply conditional formatting to. Go to the “Home” tab and select “Conditional Formatting.” Pick a type of formatting from the drop-down menu. Set the criteria for formatted cells. Click “OK” to finish. Adjust formatting if needed.

Using Conditional Formatting is useful for large data sets. It helps spot trends and patterns. For example, highlight sales > certain amount in green and sales < certain amount in red. Budgeting use too: highlight cells above budgeted amounts or below goals. Different types of data suit different formatting options. Numerical data: color scales. Text-based: icon sets.

Collaborating with Others in Microsoft Excel

Collaborating in Microsoft Excel can be hard. Let’s learn tips and tricks to make it easier.

  1. Ways to share workbooks and co-author with colleagues.
  2. Protecting information when working on worksheets.
  3. Tracking changes and revisions in Excel workbooks.

By mastering these skills, we can collaborate smoothly in Excel with our team.

Collaborating with Others in Microsoft Excel-How to Use Microsoft Excel,

Image credits: by Joel Duncun

Sharing a Workbook and Co-Authoring with Colleagues

Save your workbook online in OneDrive, SharePoint or Teams. Open it and click ‘Share’ from the top-right corner. Enter the email addresses of people you want to collaborate with. Select ‘Can edit’ or ‘Can view’. Add a message to give context. Press ‘send’ and wait for them to join.

You can see who else is editing it, and their changes as they happen. You can work at different times without worrying about which version is up-to-date.

For protecting sensitive info: make certain cells locked or hidden from collaborators. Ensure only authorized personnel can view data while sharing workbooks.

Protecting Sensitive Data and Information on Worksheets

Secure your sensitive data with Microsoft Excel! Lock your worksheet by going to the Review tab, clicking Protect Sheet and selecting password protection. You can also restrict certain users from editing certain cells or ranges in the sheet.

Cell-level protection can help you assign different passwords for different users. You can also encrypt the data in your workbook – password encryption and file-level encryption are two types of encryption available.

Digital certificates can be used to authenticate trusted individuals before granting them access to protected worksheets. When someone attempts to open the file, they must have the digital certificate installed on their computer.

Don’t forget – strong passwords, role-based permissions and document security are key to protecting valuable information!

Tracking Changes and Revisions to Excel Workbooks

Utilizing Tracking Changes and Revisions in Excel Workbooks efficiently requires learning how to customize markup options. For instance, Highlight Changes lets users identify their changes with red, for easier review.

The Track Changes While Editing function helps one person make edits at a time. If two users attempt to edit simultaneously, a message requests an override.

Creating custom views enhances collaboration between teams. Custom views make personalized workspaces for specific tasks in larger projects, without other teams editing these sections.

Tracking options have many benefits. Reviewing large documents with collective effort, and collaborating remotely while tracking changes in real-time, are two of them. Mastering this skill makes teamwork more efficient and saves time, while keeping everyone on the same page.

In today’s fast-paced business world, embracing technological advancements like Excel features gives an edge when collaborating remotely. Failure to use these skills may lead to errors or data loss, and harm reputation or productivity when building Excel workbooks together, even in an office environment.

Some Facts About How to Use Microsoft Excel:

  • ✅ Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet software used for organizing, analyzing, and manipulating data. (Source: Lifewire)
  • ✅ Excel allows users to create charts, graphs, and tables to represent data visually. (Source: Microsoft)
  • ✅ Advanced features of Excel include pivot tables, macros, and data analysis tools. (Source: HubSpot)
  • ✅ Excel offers keyboard shortcuts and quick access toolbar for efficient data entry and analysis. (Source: Excel Campus)
  • ✅ Excel has a large user community and offers resources like online tutorials, forums, and support from Microsoft. (Source: Excel Easy)

FAQs about How To Use Microsoft Excel

What is Microsoft Excel and how do I use it?

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet software that allows users to organize, analyze, and store data. To use it, simply open the program, input data into cells, format the cells as needed, and use formulas and functions to perform calculations.

What are the basic functions of Microsoft Excel?

Some basic functions of Microsoft Excel include creating and manipulating spreadsheets, sorting and filtering data, performing calculations with formulas and functions, and creating charts and graphs to visualize data.

How do I format data in Microsoft Excel?

To format data in Microsoft Excel, simply select the cells or range you wish to format, right-click, and choose “Format Cells.” From there, you can adjust the font, number format, alignment, and other formatting options.

What are some useful formulas and functions in Microsoft Excel?

Some useful formulas and functions in Microsoft Excel include SUM, AVERAGE, MAX, MIN, COUNTIF, IF/THEN, VLOOKUP, and INDEX/MATCH.

How do I create charts and graphs in Microsoft Excel?

To create charts and graphs in Microsoft Excel, select the data you wish to represent graphically, click on the “Insert” tab, and choose the desired chart or graph type. From there, you can customize the chart or graph as needed.

Is there any shortcut key to save my work quickly in Microsoft Excel?

Yes, the shortcut key to save your work quickly in Microsoft Excel is “Ctrl” + “S” or “Command” + “S” in Mac.