Microsoft (MS) Excel & Formulas Tutorial

Microsoft Excel, where the power of data comes alive at your fingertips. Excel isn’t just a tool; it’s a gateway to efficiency, a catalyst for insight, and a platform for innovation. This comprehensive guide is your ally, transforming you from an Excel novice to a confident user capable of harnessing its full potential.

MS Excel is a spreadsheet application made by Microsoft, available on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and iPadOS. It’s a go-to for organizing data, making it look good, crunching numbers, analyzing information, and more. If you’re on the hunt for a comprehensive guide to MS Excel and its formulas, this tutorial is tailored for both Excel newbies and seasoned users.

In this Excel guide, we tackle everything from the basics to the more complex aspects, helping you become an Excel whiz.

The tutorial is split into three parts:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced.

Within each section, you’ll dive into different topics that will boost your Excel abilities. You’ll get to grips with functions, data handling, sorting, analysis, advanced visuals like and graphs, and the many other benefits of Excel spreadsheets.

What is Microsoft Excel?

MS Excel is a robust spreadsheet tool that belongs to the Microsoft Office suite, tailored for business applications. It empowers users to store, sort, examine, and display data in tables.

Thanks to its intuitive interface, comprehensive features, and numerous formulas, MS Excel simplifies the management of large datasets. That’s why it’s a staple across diverse sectors such as finance, marketing, and education, among others. Its versatility and user-friendliness make it an indispensable tool for professionals worldwide.

Why to Learn Excel

Here are the benefits of this MS Excel:

  • Enhanced Data Analysis: Excel empowers users to analyze large datasets, identify trends, and draw meaningful insights with its powerful functions and tools.
  • Increased Efficiency: Excel’s automation features streamline repetitive tasks, saving time and reducing errors.
  • Improved Decision Making: Excel’s clear and visually appealing data organization enables users to make informed decisions in various contexts.
  • Advanced Financial Analysis: Excel’s financial functions and modelling capabilities are essential for complex calculations and evaluating investment opportunities.
  • Versatility and Integration: Excel seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft Office applications and external data sources, facilitating data sharing and analysis.
  • Career Advancement: Proficiency in Excel opens doors to job opportunities requiring data analysis, reporting, and financial management skills, enhancing professional value.

Advantages of Microsoft Excel

Easy Data Storage and Organization: Microsoft Excel lets you store and organize large amounts of data effortlessly.

Simple Data Recovery: Being a Microsoft product, Excel makes data recovery straightforward.

Straightforward Data Manipulation and Visualization: Excel enables the easy creation of charts for data visualization.

Direct Use of Math Formulas: With Excel, you can directly apply mathematical calculations to datasets, like calculating averages, standard deviations, and correlations.

Free Templates: Excel offers a variety of free templates.

Enhanced Security: Excel is more secure compared to other spreadsheet programs.

Clear Complex Data Handling: Excel stores data in a tabular format, making complex data easier to manage.

Microsoft Excel Features.

  • AutoFormat: Excel users can apply predefined table formatting with AutoFormat.
  • AutoSum: This feature automatically adds up numbers in a row or column.
  • List AutoFill: Automatically updates cell formatting when new items are added to a list.
  • AutoFill: Quickly fills cells with repetitive or sequential data, like dates or numbers, and can also copy functions. It allows for modifications to text and numbers.
  • AutoShapes: The AutoShapes tool lets you create geometric shapes, arrows, flowchart elements, stars, and more for graph creation.
  • Wizard: Offers helpful tips and shortcuts based on your current activity, with drag-and-drop for easy data repositioning.
  • Charts: Enables the graphical representation of data using various chart types like Pie, Bar, and Line.
  • PivotTable: Quickly summarizes and analyzes data, useful for creating financial statements, statistical reports, and visualizing complex data relationships.
  • Shortcut Menus: Provides quick access to commands that would otherwise require a longer process.

Excel Can Be Used For

  • Analysis
  • Data Entry
  • Data Validation
  • Accounting
  • Budgeting
  • Data analysis
  • Visuals and Graphs
  • Programming
  • Financial Modeling

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Getting started with MS Excel Tutorial the Overview

¡》Getting Started

Getting started with Excel is quite straightforward with Microsoft 365, which offers cloud-based access to Excel without the need for downloading or installing the software.

Let’s break down the key components of the Excel window that you’ll encounter:

Ribbon: This is the strip at the top of Excel that contains multiple tabs with groups of commands. It’s your main tool for accessing Excel’s features and functions.

Scroll Bars: Located on the right and bottom edges of the window, these allow you to scroll vertically and horizontally through your worksheet.

Formula Bar: This bar displays the data or formula contained in the active cell. It’s where you can edit the contents of a cell.

Name Box: Found to the left of the formula bar, this box shows the address of the selected cell or range of cells. You can also use it to name a cell or range for easier reference.

Worksheet Tabs: These tabs at the bottom of the window let you navigate between different worksheets within an Excel workbook.

Understanding these elements will help you navigate Excel more efficiently and make the most of its capabilities for data organization and analysis. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to polish your skills, familiarizing yourself with the Excel interface is a great first step.

¡¡》Diving into the Basics:

Excel’s grid of rows and columns is the canvas for your data masterpiece. Begin with the basics: learn to navigate the interface, enter data, and manage worksheets. Master the art of cell formatting to make your data not only informative but also visually compelling.

¡¡》Formulas and Functions: The Heartbeat of Excel:

Formulas are the essence of Excel’s functionality, allowing you to perform calculations with ease. Functions, the pre-built formulas, are your shortcuts to complex operations. From SUM to VLOOKUP, we’ll explore how these powerful tools can automate your tasks and bring precision to your analysis.

¡¡¡》Charting Your Success:

A picture is worth a thousand numbers. Excel’s charting capabilities turn your data into stories, revealing trends and patterns that numbers alone can’t tell. We’ll guide you through selecting the right chart for your data and customizing it to speak volumes.

¡V》Advanced Techniques for the Avid Learner:

Ready to level up? Dive into advanced topics like PivotTables, macros, and data validation. These features are the stepping stones to becoming an Excel power user, giving you the ability to manage large datasets and streamline repetitive tasks.

Complete Microsoft Excel Tutorial

1. What are Workbooks?

A workbook in Excel is simply a collection of worksheets. These workbooks are your Excel files. Starting to work with an Excel workbook can be done in a few different ways.

You can begin with a blank slate or opt for a ready-made template to kick-start your new workbook.

¡》Creating and Opening Workbooks

Here’s how to create a new blank workbook:

Step 1: Go to the File tab.

Step 2: Click on New.

Step 3: Select Blank Workbook.

Step 4: A fresh blank workbook will open up.

Templates are also an option. They’re basically spreadsheets that are already set up for you, often complete with custom formatting and built-in formulas, to help you get started quickly.

¡¡》Saving Your Workbook

It’s important to save your new Excel workbook after adding data to make sure you don’t lose anything. Just like in older Excel versions, you can save your files on your computer. You can also save to the cloud to share or collaborate with others.

  • Save: The first time you save, pick a file name and location. After that, just hit save to keep it under the same name and place.
  • Save As: Use this when you want to save a copy with a new name or in a different spot.

Excel’s got your back with automatic saves to a temp folder as you work. If you didn’t save manually or if Excel shuts down unexpectedly, AutoRecover will help you get your file back.

  • Retrieving Data from Folders and Workbooks with Different Sheet Names
  • Protecting Excel Worksheets and Workbooks

2. What are Worksheets in Excel?

A worksheet in Excel is indeed a collection of cells where you can input and work with data. Here’s a simplified explanation:

Worksheets: Think of them as pages in a book. Each worksheet is made up of cells, and it’s where you’ll do most of your work.

  • Grouping Worksheets: If you need to enter the same data on multiple sheets, you can group them to make the process faster and more efficient.
  • Managing Worksheets: Adding, renaming, and deleting worksheets is straightforward in Excel, giving you flexibility in how you organize your data.

¡》Working with Worksheets Simplified:

Default Sheets: When you start a new workbook, Excel typically gives you three sheets named Sheet1, Sheet2, and Sheet3,you can change the name. You can perform multiple functions in Worksheets such as;

  • View: Just like flipping through pages, you can switch between worksheets to view different sets of data.
  • Select: Click on a worksheet tab to select it and start working on that particular sheet.
  • Insert: Add a new worksheet if you need more space for your data.
  • Rename: Give your worksheet a name that reflects its content for easy identification.
  • Delete: Remove a worksheet that you no longer need.

Remember, organizing your worksheets effectively can make managing your data much easier and help you maintain a clear overview of your information.

  • Introduction to Excel Spreadsheet
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¡¡》Modifying Columns, Rows, and Cells

Every row and column in a new workbook starts off with identical height and width. Excel lets you change the width of columns and the height of rows in various ways, such as by wrapping text and combining cells.

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  • ROWS and COLUMNS Functions in Excel With Examples

¡¡i》Inserting, Deleting, Moving, and Hiding

After using a workbook for some time, you might need to insert new columns or rows, remove specific rows and columns, relocate them within the worksheet, or choose to conceal them.

  • How to Delete Blank Columns in Excel?
  • Import Export of Data in Excel
  • How to Delete All Rows Below Certain Row or Active Cell in Excel?
  • How to Hide and Unhide Columns in Excel?
  • How to Compare Two Columns and Delete Duplicates in Excel?
  • How to Copy Cells on a Diagonal?
  • Hide Error Values and Indicators in Cells in Excel

In Excel, you can swiftly search through your workbook with the Find function, and make changes using the Replace function.

Excel also comes with a Spell-check feature to verify that all words in your workbook are spelled correctly.

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  • How to Insert, Move, or Delete Page Breaks in Excel Worksheet?

3. What is Data Formatting?

By default, all cell content in Excel is formatted uniformly, which can make a workbook full of data challenging to read. Data Formatting allows you to alter the font size, switch the font style, modify the font color, among other adjustments.

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  • Richer Data Labels in MS Excel

4. MS Excel Formulas

The most valuable and practical aspect of Microsoft Excel is its ability to calculate numerical data using formulas. Excel is capable of executing various calculations with mathematical operators like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. You have the option to insert a formula, craft a formula, and adjust a formula. Additionally, you can change values according to cell references.

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  • How to Calculate Conditional Probability in Excel?
  • How to Calculate Partial Correlation in Excel?
  • How to Calculate a Percentage of a Number in Excel?
  • How to Calculate the Sum of Digits in a Number Using Non-Array Formulas in Excel?
  • How to Apply a Percent Increase or Decrease to Values in Excel?
  • How to Calculate Point-Biserial Correlation in Excel?
  • How to Fix Excel Formulas that are Not Working properly?
  • How to Use ChatGPT to Write Excel Formulas?
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  • How to Calculate Fleiss’ Kappa in Excel?

5. Basic Tips For Working with Data

Excel Workbooks are built to hold vast amounts of data, whether you’re dealing with 10 cells or 10,000 cells. Excel offers numerous features to assist you in organizing your data and locating what you need.

At times, you may wish to keep certain rows and columns visible at all times in your worksheet, especially the header cells. By freezing rows and columns in place, you can scroll through your content while keeping these areas stationary.

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  • How to Count Duplicate Values in a Column in Excel?
  • How to Compare Two Lists or Datasets in Excel?
  • How to Automate Data Entry In Excel?
  • How to average a range of data ignoring zero in Excel?
  • How to Separate Text and Numbers from One Cell Into Two Columns?
  • How to Remove Text Before or After a Specific Character in Excel?
  • How to Add or Subtract Dates in Excel?
  • How to Convert Weekday Name to Number in Excel?
  • How to Hide the Zero Values in Excel?
  • How to average a range of data ignoring zero in Excel?
  • How to Normalize Data in Excel?
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  • How to Create a Custom Date Format in Excel?
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¡》Sorting Data

You can swiftly rearrange your data in the order you prefer on your worksheet by sorting your data. You have the option to sort your data alphabetically, numerically, and through various other methods.

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  • How to Sort by Date in Excel?
  • How to Sort Data by Color in Excel?
  • How to Perform Multi-Level Data Sorting in Excel?
  • Sorting and Adding Subtotals to Excel

¡¡》Filtering Data

Applying filters to your worksheet data enables you to display only the details you require. Formatting your data as a table can enhance the appearance of your workbook and assist in arranging your content, making your data more user-friendly.

  • How to Filter Data in Excel?
  • How to add Filters in MS Excel?
  • How to Count Duplicate Values in a Column in Excel?
  • How to Delete Rows Not Showed in Filter?
  • Dynamic Excel Filter Search Box

¡¡》Groups and Subtotals

In Excel, when worksheets become cluttered with extensive content, the feature of organizing data into Groups can be quite helpful. It simplifies the process of displaying or concealing different parts of your worksheet. Additionally, the Subtotal command is a convenient tool for swiftly summarizing data.

Here are some functions related to Groups and subtotal that you might find useful:

  • To group rows or columns: This function allows you to combine multiple rows or columns under a single heading, making it easier to manage and view related data.
  • To hide and show groups: With this function, you can quickly collapse or expand the grouped rows or columns, which helps in focusing on specific sections of your data without distraction from other parts.

These functions enhance your ability to manage large sets of data and maintain a clear and organized worksheet.

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6. Tables

Once you’ve entered your data into the worksheet, you might consider formatting it as a table. This will aid in structuring your data and making it simpler to utilize and comprehend. Excel offers a variety of predesigned table styles, which enable you to set up tables swiftly and with ease.

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¡》Formatting Data as a Table

Step 1: Select the Cells you want to format as a table

Step 2: Click the Format as Table in the styles group from the Home tab

Step 3: Now select Table Style from the drop-down menu

Step 4: Confirm the cell range for the table

Step 5: Click OK if your table has headers

Step 6: The cell range will be formatted in the selected table style.

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¡¡》Modifying Tables

After you’ve added a table to your worksheet, it’s straightforward to change its appearance. Excel provides multiple choices for personalizing a table, such as adding rows or , altering the table style, adjusting the table style options, and deleting a table.

7. What are Charts?

Analyzing Excel workbooks filled with extensive data can be challenging. Charts are useful for graphically representing your workbook data, simplifying the examination and comparison process, and aiding in more informed decision-making.

You can discover how to insert and modify Excel Charts to graphically represent comparisons in your data. Excel provides numerous choices for altering the chart type and its layout style.

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  • Formatting Charts in Excel
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  • How to Create an X-Y Scatter Plot in Excel?
  • How to Make a Bar Graph in Excel?
  • How to Create a Column Chart in Excel?
  • How to Create Line Charts in Excel?
  • How to Create a Waterfall Chart in Excel?
  • How to Make a Comparison Chart in Excel?
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  • How to Update, Change and Manage the Data in a Chart in Excel?
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  • Dynamic Organizational Chart in Excel
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  • How to Create Advanced Charts and Graphs in Excel?
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  • How to make Overlapping Bar Chart in Excel?
  • How to Make a Dynamic Gantt Chart in Excel?
  • How to Create a Rolling Chart in Excel?
  • Scatter and Bubble Chart Visualization in Excel
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  • How to Plot Bivariate Data in Excel?
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8. Understanding Conditional Formatting

Just like charts, Conditional Formatting offers a method to visually represent data, making worksheets simpler to interpret. It enables the automatic application of various formatting styles, such as colors and data bars, to single or multiple cells. Here’s how you can use Conditional Formatting:

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How to use Conditional Formatting in Excel

Step 1: Select desired cells

Step 2: Click on the Conditional formatting command from the Home Tab

Step 3: Select the desired rule from the menu that appears

Step 4: Enter the desired values in the dialog box

Step 5: Select Formatting styles.

You can also use Conditional Formatting pre-set and Remove the Conditional Formatting.

9. What are Pivot Tables?

If your workbook is packed with data, it can be tough to sift through all the details in your worksheet. PivotTables can simplify your worksheets by condensing data and giving you the flexibility to work with it in various ways.

How to Create Pivot Tables

Step1: Select the Create or cells

Step 2: From the Insert tab click on the PivotTable

Step 3: Choose your settings in the Create PivotTable Dialog box and click ok

Step 4: A blank PivotTable and Field List will appear in a new worksheet.

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  • How to Hide Zero Values in Pivot Table in Excel?
  • How to Remove Old Row and Column Items from the Pivot Table in Excel?
  • Exploring Data with PivotTables in Excel
  • Sorting Pivot Table in Excel
  • How to Flatten Data in Excel Pivot Table?
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  • How to Add and Use an Excel Pivot Table Calculated Field?

10. What are Macros?

Macros in Microsoft Excel are designed to automate tasks that are done over and over again. When you have to repeat the same actions multiple times, it can take a lot of time. That’s where Macros come in handy for automating these repetitive tasks. A Macro is a collection of actions that you can execute as often as needed to complete a specific job. Once a Macro is created, it records all the mouse clicks and keystrokes.

You can explore how to turn on a Macro, record a Macro, and execute a Macro in various ways.

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11. What is VBA?

VBA, which stands for Visual Basic for Applications, is a type of code that’s easy to read and edit. It’s created when you record a Macro in Excel. Nowadays, VBA is used with various Microsoft Office applications like MS Excel, MS Word, and MS Access. With VBA, you can interact with Excel Objects and utilize their properties, methods, and events.

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  • VBA Constants in Excel
  • VBA Arithmetic Operators in Excel
  • VBA Arrays in Excel
  • VBA Print Statement in Excel
  • VBA Find Function in Excel
  • VBA Date and Time Functions in Excel
  • VBA Collections in Excel
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  • VBA Subroutine in Excel – How to Call Sub in VBA?
  • Sub Procedure in Excel VBA
  • Excel VBA Error Handling
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  • Debugging VBA Code in Excel
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  • How to Add a Comment in a VBA in Excel?
  • Multidimensional Arrays in Excel VBA
  • How to Convert VBA Collections to Array in Excel?
  • How to Round With Doubles in Excel VBA?
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  • How to Get a List of User Defined Functions in Excel VBA?
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  • How to Create Charts in Excel Using Worksheet Data and VBA?
  • Programming Charts in Excel VBA

12. Some Extra Features of Excel

¡》Comments and Co-authoring

The features of Comments and Co-authoring are incredibly useful when you need to collaborate with others on the same spreadsheet. They become particularly important when you’re working on a workbook and require assistance from your team.

The Track Changes  feature is also beneficial for reviewing modifications before they are finalized. While it’s still part of Office 365, it has been made less prominent and is hidden by default.

¡¡》Inspecting and Protecting Workbooks

When you’re ready to share an Excel workbook, it’s important to ensure it’s free of spelling mistakes and doesn’t contain any private information you wish to keep confidential. Excel provides several tools to help you complete and secure your workbook, such as the Document Inspector and the Protect Workbook feature.

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  • Protecting Excel WorkBook using Automation Anywhere

¡¡¡》What-if Analysis

The What-If Analysis feature in Excel is a powerful tool that allows you to experiment with your data and find answers, even if some of the data is missing or hypothetical. To get started with What-If Analysis, you can use a specific tool called Goal Seek. Here’s how you can use Goal Seek:

1. Go to the Data tab on the Excel ribbon.

2. In the Forecast group, click on What-If Analysis.

3. Choose Goal Seek from the dropdown menu.

4. Set the cell that you want to change (the Set cell).

5. Enter the value you want the cell to have (the To value).

6. Specify which cell Excel should modify to reach the goal (the By changing cell).

7. Click OK, and Excel will calculate the necessary input to achieve your desired result.

  • Instant Data Analysis in Advanced Excel

iV》New Features in Office 2019

That’s correct! Office 2019, which was released in September 2018, offers a user experience that is quite similar to its predecessors like Office 2016. If you’re accustomed to the earlier versions, you’ll find the transition smooth. The interface and most functionalities remain consistent, with the addition of some new features. Notably, Excel has been enhanced with new chart types, including Map charts and Funnel charts, expanding the ways you can visualize and present your data.

Goal Seek is particularly useful when you know the outcome you want but are not sure what input value will achieve that result. It iteratively searches for the correct value that will make the formula in the set cell match the goal you’ve specified.

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13. What are Reference Styles?

Every Excel sheet is made up of rows and columns. Usually, columns are labelled with letters (A, B, C) and rows with numbers (1, 2, 3). This method of identifying cells is called the A1 reference style.

No matter if you’re using a digital pen, a touchscreen, or a mouse, the drawing tool in Office can assist you in adding notes, making shapes, editing text, and more.

Should you require graphics for your project, you can make use of a feature known as icons. Icons are a collection of stylish, professional images that come with Office 365 and 2019, and they can be tailored to suit your project’s needs.

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14. Power View

Power View is a tool for visualizing data that allows you to craft interactive charts, graphs, maps, and a variety of visuals. It supports dynamic data exploration, promoting easy and spontaneous reporting.

Power View operates entirely on the data model present in your workbook. Below, you’ll find a range of functions and operations available in Power View.

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  • Data Visualizations in Power View
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  • Table Visualization in Excel Power View
  • Card Visualization in Excel Power View
  • Bar Chart Visualization with Excel Power View
  • Matrix Visualization in Excel Power View
  • Multiple Visualizations in Excel Power View
  • Line Chart Visualization in Excel Power View
  • Tiles Visualization with Excel Power View
  • Exploring Data with Power View Maps in Excel
  • Exploring Data with Power View in Excel

15. Advanced Excel

Advanced Excel offers a clear understanding of the newest and enhanced capabilities within Microsoft Excel.

  • Instant Data Analysis in Advanced Excel
  • Dynamic Map with Drop-Down in Excel
  • Handling Integers in Advanced Excel
  • Managing External Data Connection in Advanced Excel
  • Advanced Excel – Chart Design

16. Power Query

This feature in Excel assists you in bringing in data from various sources, then cleaning, altering, and reorganizing it as needed. You only need to establish a query once and can then run it again with an easy refresh. This query has the capacity to bring in millions of rows into the data model for examination.

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  • How to Import, Edit, Load and Consolidate Data in Excel Power Query?
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  • Text Modifications with Power Query in Excel
  • Date Modifications with Power Query in Excel
  • How To Get Current Date in Power Query?
  • Excel – Types of Merging of Queries in Power Query
  • Power BI – Tools and Functionalities
  • Power BI – Data Sources and its type

17. Microsoft Excel Keyboard Shortcuts

Knowing keyboard shortcuts can significantly speed up your Excel workflow. Here are a few commonly used shortcuts:

  • Ctrl + C: Copy selected cells
  • Ctrl + V: Paste copied cells
  • Ctrl + Z: Undo the last action
  • Ctrl + S: Save the workbook
  • Ctrl + F: Open the Find dialog box
  • Ctrl + B: Apply bold formatting
  • Ctrl + Shift + L: Apply filters to a table

More MS Excel Keybord Shortcuts – Excel Keybord Shortcuts.

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Conclusion:

Excel is more than a spreadsheet application; it’s a skill that can elevate your career and personal projects. With the knowledge from this tutorial, you’re well on your way to becoming an Excel aficionado. Embrace the journey, and watch as the doors to data-driven opportunities swing wide open for you.

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