Many people have heard of Microsoft Excel. After all, it’s a staple computer program on most machines.
Microsoft launched Excel in 1985. Over time, they’ve added more features to help users.
Yet, many still find the program confusing. Inputting data is simple, but users don’t always know how to use the program to get the best results.
Wondering how to use Microsoft Excel? Read on for this Microsoft Excel guide to the essentials!
What is Microsoft Excel?
It’s often considered a spreadsheet tool used to organize and process data. Many financial settings use Excel due to its computational prowess. Those in marketing or education can use Microsoft Office Excel to track or filter data.
You can create spreadsheets from most data, including programming languages. For example, you can set up a C# export to Excel if needed.
Many users don’t get the most out of the software since it’s so complex. Even easy tasks get missed, even though you can learn Microsoft Excel.
What can Excel do?
Basic but Essential Formulas
You can use formulas to add, subtract, multiply, and divide these cells. Choose the cell where the answer will sit. Type = into the cell to tell Excel you’re writing a formula.
Want to add two or more cells? List the cell numbers separated by a +. e.g. =D3+F5
Replace the + with a – sign to subtract. e.g. =D3-F5
Use a * sign to multiply cells. e.g. =D3*F5
Finally, use the / sign to divide cells. e.g., D3/F5
You can also add regular numbers to your formulas.
You can also handle a range of cells at once. The SUM function just needs the first and last cell in the range. Type =SUM(D3:D10). Replace the cell numbers with the ones you need.
To find an average, use a similar formula, but replace SUM with AVERAGE. e.g. =AVERAGE(D3:D10).
Adding and Deleting Columns and Rows
You can add single columns and rows, or you can add several at once.
Adding and deleting one is easy. To add a column, click on the column to the left of where you need a new column.
Right-click and choose Insert from the dropdown menu. It will add a column to the right of the one you selected.
To add a single row, highlight the row above where you want a new row.
Right-click and choose Insert from the dropdown menu. It will add a row below the one you selected.
Adding several is a similar process. Highlight as many existing rows or columns as you need to add. When you right-click and hit insert, it will add that many blank rows or columns.
Freeze Panes and Filter Data
If you have a large spreadsheet, you will lose the headers as you scroll down or across the sheet. To avoid this, use the Freeze Pane feature.
To keep the first row or column locked as you scroll, go to View > Freeze Panes. Then choose which you want to lock.
Using filters means you only need to see the data you need. They work on columns and are based on the data within the cells.
Go to Data and choose Filter. You’ll see arrows beside each column header. Click on the arrow to see the options pane.
From here, organize your data in descending or ascending data. Or choose a specific term to filter out rows you don’t need to see.
Master the Basics With this Brief Microsoft Excel Guide
As you can see, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what you can do with Excel. Yet, this Microsoft Excel guide has given you enough of the basics to handle your data with confidence.
Use formulas to perform tasks for you. Filter data to make sense of what you have. Use columns and rows to provide structure to the information.
Keen to keep improving your tech know-how? Check out our other technology articles for more tips.