Using Microsoft Excel: The Complete Beginner’s Guide

Using Microsoft Excel: The Complete Beginner’s Guide

Do you want to learn how to use Microsoft Excel, but aren’t quite sure how to get started?

Microsoft Excel is a very beneficial program to learn, as it can help you excel (no pun intended) in both your personal and professional life. Microsoft Excel can help you organize massive amounts of data, create professional charts, perform calculations, and create tracking systems for different workflow processes.

Learning Microsoft Excel can make you a more valuable team member, and it can make your job a lot easier.

Check out this guide to learn everything you need to know about using Microsoft Excel as a beginner.

What is Microsoft Excel?

Before we talk about how to use Microsoft Excel, let’s first talk about what exactly this program is. Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program that allows you to record and analyze numerous data points (You can check out to learn how to convert numbers to Excel).

A spreadsheet is essentially a collection of columns and rows that form a table. Numbers are typically assigned to each row and alphabetical numbers are usually assigned to each column. The point where a row and a column meet is referred to as a cell.

As we mentioned earlier, Microsoft Excel is a useful tool for both professional and personal endeavors. Here are some of the benefits this program offers:

  • Provides security so you can keep your files safe
  • Adds sophistication to your data presentations
  • Mathematical formulas allow for fewer errors in your calculations
  • Allows you to analyze and store data
  • Allows for easy data recovery
  • Keeps all of your data combined in one location
  • Allows you to manage your expenses
  • Allows you to track future business development strategies
  • Allows you to track inventory
  • Allows you to create calendars and schedules
  • Allows you to create seating charts and goal planning worksheets
  • Allows you to create timesheets and time logs

With Microsoft Excel, you can also quizzes, forms, mailing lists, historical logs, sudoku puzzles, trip itineraries, and even art and animation.

Top Tips for Using Microsoft Excel

To get the most use out of Microsoft Excel, you need to understand how the program operates. Here are some of the top tips for using Microsoft Excel:

Understand the Ribbon

The ribbon allows you to use Microsoft Excel more efficiently, as it creates shortcuts to commands. A command is an action that is performed by a user (you). For example, you may click on a command to create a new document or print a document.

The ribbon consists of different components, which include the:

  • Start button: This is used to access commands, such as saving existing work, creating new documents, printing, etc.
  • Tabs: These allow you to group together similar commands. You can use the home tab for basic commands such as formatting, sorting, and finding specific data
  • Bar: Ribbon bars are also used to group similar commands together. For example, you can use the Alignment ribbon to group together all of the commands with similar data

While understanding the Ribbon won’t make you a Microsoft Excel expert, it is a very important starting point.

Understand the Worksheet

In addition to understanding the Ribbon, you also need to make sure you understand the Worksheet. A worksheet is a collection of columns and rows.

As we mentioned earlier, when these two meet, it forms a cell. When you have a collection of worksheets, it’s referred to as a workbook. By default, a workbook consists of three cells, but you can add and delete more sheets as you see fit. The sheets are named Sheet1, Sheet2, and so forth, but you can rename them if you wish.

Customize Ribbons

If you don’t want to see some of the tabs on a ribbon, or you want to add some missing tabs, you have the option to customize your ribbon. You can do this by clicking on the ribbon start button and then selecting an option from the dropdown menu.

Then, you can select the custom ribbon option that you want from the left-hand panel. Then, remove the checkmarks from the right-hand side on the tabs that you don’t want to see on the ribbon. When you’re done, click on the “OK” button.

Add Custom Tabs to Ribbons

You can also add custom tabs to ribbons by right-clicking on the ribbon and then selecting “Customize the Ribbon”. A dialogue window will pop up, and from there you can click on a new tab.

You’ll then want to select the rename button and give it a new name. Then, select a new group under the tab. Next, click on the Rename button and give it a new name. You can then add commands to the ribbon bar, which are listed in the middle panel.

Then, click on the “All Chart Types” command and then click “Add Button”. Finally, click “OK”.

Set Up a Different Color Scheme

You can also set up a different color scheme in Microsoft Excel by first going to the Excel ribbon and then clicking on a file option. A new window will open, and you’ll be given instructions on how to change the color scheme.

You can look under General Options for a color scheme, and you can click on a specific color scheme from the drop-down list. When you’re finished, click OK.

Using Microsoft Excel: Are You Ready to Try?

Now that you have these tips for using Microsoft Excel, it’s time to give it a try. Before you know it, you’ll be a Microsoft Excel expert.

For more Microsoft-related tips and tricks, be sure to check back in with our blog.