Getting Started with Excel

What is Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet tool used to store and examine numerical and statistical data. Excel has several capabilities that can be used to carry out different tasks, such as computations, pivot tables, graphing tools, macro programming, etc. It works with several operating systems (Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS).

Basics of Excel

Spreadsheets that you will see in Excel are basically a collection of columns and rows that come together to form a table. Here numbers are often given to rows, and alphabetical letters are typically assigned to columns. A cell is the intersection of a column and a row. The letter denoting the column and the number denoting the row together form the address of a cell.

What is Excel used for?

Excel’s powerful computational capabilities make it a popular choice for preparing financial documents. Due to the software’s ability to automatically display sums, averages, and totals, accounting offices and teams frequently use it. 

Excel is primarily known as an accounting program. Still, workers in any industry can benefit from using its features and formulae, especially marketers, as it can track any data. In addition, it eliminates spending endless time copying and pasting performance numbers or counting cells. Instead, Excel helps you get things done faster, which you can learn through the MS excel course that will help you streamline many of your tasks.

How to open Microsoft Excel?

Operating Excel is the same as operating any other Windows program. You can also access it from there if it has been added to the start menu. If you have made a desktop shortcut, you can access it there too. If not, there’s another way through the “Start” menu. Follow these instructions if you use a GUI-based version of Windows, such as Windows XP, Vista, or 7.

  • Click on the “Start” menu
  • Then click on “Program”.
  • Along the long list, scroll down for Excel, and then click on “Microsoft Excel”.

Ribbon on Excel: Explained

Ribbon offers a dashboard experience for all the commands present in Excel. A command is a user-performed activity. For example, a command might be to make a new document, print a document, etc. The below-shown image is the ribbon of Excel from the Microsoft Excel 2013 version. 

Ribbon components

Ribbon Start Button 

It is used to access commands, such as creating new documents, saving completed work, printing, and accessing Excel customization options.

Ribbon Tabs

It is used to organize similar commands into groups. Basic operations, including formatting data to make it more readable, sorting, and searching for specific data within the spreadsheet, are performed using the home tab.

Ribbon Bars 

They are used to bundle together similar commands. The instructions used to align data are gathered together in the Alignment ribbon bar, for instance.

Understanding the Excel Worksheet

As we discussed earlier, a collection of rows and columns is called a Worksheet. A cell is created when a row and a column intersect. Data are recorded in these cells. A cell address is used to identify each cell specifically. Typically, rows are labeled with numbers and columns with letters.

Workbooks are simply a collection of the above-discussed worksheets. In Excel, a workbook, by default, has three cells. To suit your needs, you can remove sheets or add more. The names of the sheets by default are Sheet1, Sheet2, and so on. The sheet labels can be changed to more descriptive terms, such as Daily Expenses, Monthly Budget, etc.

Excel Features

Some of the operations you might perform businesstodaysnews in a conventional formula are automated by Excel functions. For instance, you would use the SUM function to add up a range of cells rather than the + sign. Next, look closely at a few additional tools for automating computations and processes.

SUM: A range of cells or numbers automatically adds up using the SUM function. You would enter the starting and ending cells with a colon in between to finish a sum. This is how that appears: SUM(Cell1:Cell2). Example: =SUM(C5:C30)

AVERAGE: A range of cell values is averaged using the AVERAGE function. AVERAGE has the same syntax as the SUM function, AVERAGE(Cell1:Cell2). Example: =AVERAGE(C5:C30).

IF: You can use the IF function to return values in response to a logical test. The syntax goes like this; IF(logical_test, value_if_true, [value_if_false]). Example: =IF(A2>B2, “Over Budget,” “OK”).

VLOOKUP: You can search for anything on the rows of your sheet with the VLOOKUP function. VLOOKUP(lookup value, table array, column number, Approximate match (TRUE) or Exact match (FALSE)). Example: =VLOOKUP([@Attorney],tbl_Attorneys,4, FALSE).

INDEX: This function extracts a value from a range and returns it. The following syntax is INDEX(array, row_num, [column_num]).

MATCH: The MATCH function searches a set of cells for a specific item and returns the item’s location. Together with the INDEX function, it can be used. MATCH(lookup_value, lookup_array, [match_type]).

COUNTIF: This function counts the number of cells that satisfy requirements or possess a specific value. This is the syntax: COUNTIF(range, criteria). Example: =COUNTIF(A2:A5,”London”).

Key Excel shortcuts

  • To open the print famousmagazinenow dialogue box, use Ctrl + P.
  • A new worksheet is made with Ctrl + N.
  • The current worksheet is saved using Ctrl + S.
  • Ctrl + C copies the current selection. 
  • Paste data from the clipboard with Ctrl + V.
  • The function insert dialogue box is displayed by pressing SHIFT + F3.
  • SHIFT + F11 creates a fresh worksheet
  • F2 verifies the formula and the cell range covered.


Microsoft Excel is a robust spreadsheet tool that can be tailored to your tastes and used to capture, manipulate, and save numerical data. You can access numerous Excel commands using the ribbon. This is the introduction article on Excel. Stay tuned for more knowcarupdate.

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