How to Use Excel
Welcome to HowToUseExcelTutorial.com! We bring you the most current research and show you how to use Excel to
accomplish almost anything you need in your career.
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Microsoft Excel is an advanced spreadsheet analysis tool which allows you to perform complex analysis and
manipulation of a variety of types of data. Excel can be used by beginners who just need some basic functionality
as well as advanced users looking to access highly sophisticated automation tools and functions for analyzing large
sets of data.
Finding Your Way Around the Excel Interface
As of the 2007 addition, Excel no longer uses the menu and toolbar system – instead the commands are grouped
within tabs on the "ribbon." The ribbon is a horizontal menu bar which expands across the top of the screen.
Depending on which tab you have selected on the ribbon, you will see a variety of menu commands which are organized
by functional groups. (For example if you select the "Page Layout" tab of the ribbon you will see commands related
to margin settings, page breaks and printable area.)
To reduce the amount of clutter on the screen, some commands are only shown when they are needed. For example,
there are a number of commands related to formatting pivot tables or charts – these commands will only be visible
when a pivot table or chart is currently selected.
Most beginning and intermediate users of Excel will focus mainly on the basic numerical and text functions
available in the software. Excel’s numerical functions allow you to perform basic mathematical operations on the
cells in your work sheet, such as summing them, finding an average, or counting the number of entries in a given
Text functions that may be useful to the beginner would include the "CONCATENATE" function which allows you to
join the text values of two or more cells and combine them into a single cell. (This might be useful for example if
you wanted to combine a cell containing a first name with a cell containing a last name, to arrive at the full name
in a single cell.) Other text based functions will allow you to trim unnecessary characters such as extra spaces
and generally manipulate the character values of your data as your needs require.
More Advanced Excel Uses
Advanced users of excel will certainly find that there is limitless potential for business applications. Excel
contains some very sophisticated tools to manipulate and analyze data, such as pivot tables and advanced modeling
techniques such as the Monte Carlo simulation and solver functionality.
In addition to the inherent toolset available to advanced users, there is a robust programming language included
in Excel (Visual Basic for Applications) which will allow you to perform operations of almost limitless complexity.
VBA allows knowledgeable users to write standalone applications that are built on top of the Excel platform.
As you can see, learning how to use Excel does not have to be overly complicated. A basic overview of the
interface and functionality will help the beginner user get up to speed quickly, while advanced training will
unlock the full potential for experienced spreadsheet jockeys.