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Free Microsoft Excel Tutorial For Beginners

Jun 11, 2022

Learning how to use Excel functions can be highly frustrating when you don't know where to start. All you want is to analyze data, but every Excel tutorial is hidden behind a paywall.

Well, not anymore!

Here at Simple Sheets, we want to make sure that everyone has Excel exposure and has the chance to learn how to execute business analytics in Microsoft excel.

This article will show you some of the basics you need to learn about Excel, which will set you up to learn more advanced formulas in the future.

Before you know it, you will be creating line charts, formatting cells, and crafting pivot charts to impress your colleagues!

What is Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a program you can use that contains several individual cells. Within these cells, you can create tables, graphs, formulas, and functions. If used correctly, spreadsheets are excellent for organizing and analyzing data and information.

Excel works in a similar way to a database, split into rows and columns. Within these columns and rows, you can input formulas, functions, and information to execute complex calculations.

Why Do People Use Microsoft Excel?

In simple terms, Microsoft Excel is one of the best programs for organizing and managing financial information, analyzing data, filtering data, creating charts, sales reporting, and so many other benefits.

Microsoft Excel offers customization and flexibility, and it is perfect for business analytics. Learning how to use Excel is essential for almost any career, as it is frequently used for analysis and data validation.

Microsoft Excel is also highly accessible. You can use Excel without any experience or training.

Top Five Reasons for Using Excel

Data analysis of financial data.

Organize contact information.

Organize personalized information.

Organize employee information.

As a calculator. 

What are the Most Important Functions?

Within Excel, there are hundreds of different formulas that you can use for your sales reporting or analyzing data.

However, as this is a beginner's guide to help you learn Excel, we will focus on the most important functions and the ones that are the easiest to use as an introduction to formulas. For more advanced formulas, you may need to consider taking other courses for intermediate or expert users.

The most important basic functions include:

=AVERAGE() – works out the average of a series of cells

=MAX() – shows the maximum value in a series

=IF() – checks if a condition is met and shows a value if YES and a value if NO

=SUM() – adds a series of cells

=MIN() – shows the minimum value in a series

=COUNT() – tallies up the number of cells in a range that contains numbers

=SMALL() – returns the smallest value in a series

=LARGE() – returns the largest value in a series

=VLOOKUP() – looks for a value in the leftmost column of a table and returns in the same row from a column you specify

What are the Most Important Shortcuts?

If you plan on using Excel frequently, perhaps in a new role or new job, you need to know how to work as fast as possible. Excel shortcuts are fantastic for working faster in Excel and gathering values and statistics quickly and efficiently.

Here are some of the most important Excel shortcuts:

  • CTRL + 1 Format Cells

  • CTRL + D Fill down

  • F2 Edit active cell

  • ALT + = Auto Sum

  • CTRL + C Copy

  • ALT, I, C Insert column

  • CTRL + R Fill right

  • F4 Toggle references

  • CTRL + V Paste

  • ALT, I, R Insert row

Microsoft Excel Tutorial: Summary and Key Takeaways

Hopefully, this Excel introduction has helped offer you valuable examples and insights into how to get the most out of Excel. Some tutorials are not complete as they don't cover some of the essential basics like shortcuts and formulas, but now you have the information, you are in a great position to start to learn other more advanced skills like Excel VBA.

You don't need a data science degree to learn about conditional formatting in Microsoft Excel, and it's amazing how much more you can do with some basic Excel skills.

Frequently Asked Questions about Free Excel Training

How can I learn Excel quickly?

The Simple Sheets blog is packed with vital information on how you can quickly improve your excel skills, such as how to use pivot tables, analyze data, excel functions, and other advanced functions.

What are the most common statistical functions in Excel?

=AVERAGE() – works out the average of a series of cells

=MAX() – shows the maximum value in a series

=IF() – checks if a condition is met and shows a value if YES and a value if NO

=SUM() – adds a series of cells

=MIN() – shows the minimum value in a series

Can I teach myself Microsoft Excel?

Absolutely! No matter how much experience you have with the Microsoft Office Suite or how much Excel exposure you have had, Simple Sheets can help you transform any blank excel sheet into a stunning sheet full of advanced formulas and pivot charts.

We will help teach you the Excel basics, keep you up to date with any changes, and make Excel easy.

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