June 23, 2024

Intermediate Excel Skills, Tips, and Tricks Tutorial

Published May 23, 2023, 5:20 p.m. by Courtney

Are you looking to improve your Excel skills, but don't know where to start? If you're intermediate level, there are a few key things you can learn to take your skills to the next level. In this tutorial, we'll share some essential tips and tricks for intermediate Excel users.

Excel is a powerful tool that can be used for a variety of purposes. Whether you're using it for work, school, or personal projects, learning how to use Excel effectively can save you a lot of time and effort.

If you're an intermediate Excel user, there are a few key skills you should focus on. These include learning how to use formulas and functions, how to format data effectively, and how to create charts and graphs.

Formulas and functions are one of the most powerful features in Excel. If you know how to use them correctly, they can save you a lot of time and effort. There are a variety of resources available online that can help you learn how to use formulas and functions effectively.

Formatting data is another important skill for intermediate Excel users. Formatting data correctly can make it much easier to read and understand. It can also help you save time when you're working with large data sets.

Creating charts and graphs is a great way to visualize data. If you know how to create effective charts and graphs, you can make your data much easier to understand. There are a variety of resources available online that can help you learn how to create charts and graphs effectively.

These are just a few of the essential skills that intermediate Excel users should focus on. By mastering these skills, you'll be able to use Excel more effectively and efficiently.

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In this video tutorial we're going to take a look at the intermediate

Skills tips and tricks that you need to know in order to use excel

Properly and efficiently if you haven't already watched my other excel video. It's called the Beginner's guide to

Excel and I highly recommend that you start with that video before watching this one

so one of the last things that I showed in [that] beginners guide video was how to do some formatting how to

Change let's say the column widths how to do italics and things like that well in this video

We're going to start off [by] looking at a couple of advanced formatting options, then I'll show you a data entry

Shortcut that's fantastic called the autofill handle then we'll take a look at how to do formulas and functions in excel

And then we'll finish with a few more intermediate and advanced tips and tricks so here. I am in the spreadsheet

I started in the beginners tutorial

It's a list of movies that I own and I'm putting in [some] data about those movies well

I want to show you a couple of shortcuts as you're trying to format the data

That's in a spreadsheet

These tricks will save you a lot [of] time the first is called the format

Painter and you can find it here on the home tab home Ribbon in the clipboard group

And it looks like a paintbrush the format painter is what it is and the way

It works is let's say that part of your spreadsheet has a format that you wish other parts of your spreadsheet

Had all you have to do is click on the good example that [you] would like click [here] on the format painter and that

Copied it. It didn't copy the content rather it copied the format of this cell

So now all I need to do is move [my] mouse to [the] place where I want to copy that

Format to and I can click and if I release the mouse click it will copy the format

But Let's say you would like the entire range this range

Of 5 or 6 cells to have that layout you can just click and drag

Holding the click and then release and you can see now they've all been painted with that format in this case

That's not at all what I want so I'm going to undo it with this arrow up here in the upper left and it takes

Me [back] now another more advanced formatting option that is pretty exciting at least to me is what they call

Conditional formatting so it's up here at the top on the home tab home Ribbon here it is in the styles group

Conditional formatting and the way this works is you [select] a column or a row [either] way?

I'm going to select the column d. So I just click [on] it and the entire Column is selected [now]

[I] simply go up here to conditional formatting and click and

It gives me some options it mentions Rules several times basically

we're going to set up some rules for the content of these cells and

The formatting of these cells and the easiest example I can think of is color scales, so let's just look at that

But I want you to explore this in more detail if you're interested in conditional formatting because it's really an exciting tool

So I'm going to go into color scales

and I want the color of

Each cell to change to adjust depending on how valuable the movie is now to do this I would select

Probably this color scale here

It looks like it has green at the top and red at the bottom

So the idea the more green it [is] the more valuable it is the redder it is the more worthless

It is if you want [to] reverse that you can and there are all of these [other] options as well with different color schemes

But I'm going to go with that first one

I'll just click on it and what this does is it evaluates the entire column it looks for the highest numbers and

Gives them the greenest background and then the lowest numbers get the darkest red

Background and then everything else in between is adjusted accordingly so that easily I can just glance at this spreadsheet

And I can see where the most valuable movies are if you like that please investigate conditional formatting more

There's great ways to display the data in a conditional way you can use Data bars

You can say if the highlighted cell is greater than 10 then make the background

Green or put the text in bold if it's less than 5 then format it with a background of red

There's all of these if then statements that you can use with these highlight cells rules. There's top/bottom rules top 10%

bottom 10% icon sets

We can show arrows going up down left or right and just some really exciting

Formatting options that you [have] here okay before we leave formatting and move on to a few other things

I want to show you that because these numbers represent currency

I probably should format them a little differently so I can click here on D and everything in Column D

That's a number will get formatted differently right now everything in here is formatted in a general way

Which is to say that there's nothing special about the way

They're formatted at least the numbers themselves however if I go up here

I can change that from general to any one of these other things

And there's even more beyond that there's also some shortcuts like this. I just want to click on the dollar sign now

they all show up as

Accounting currency if you don't need it or want it to be accounting you can just go down and do regular

Currency all that changes is where the dollar sign is located

Okay, so this is awesome this spreadsheet is turning out great so far

Next let's look at formulas. This is where the true power of excel is found

I believe so far in our spreadsheet [all] we've done is enter text or numbers and then also in some cases

We've applied some formatting but other than that we haven't put anything special into the spreadsheet


Let's change that what I'd like to do next is put in some

Formulas that will help me know some things like what's the total value of my DVD collection?

What is the average value of the DVDs that [I] own and what's the most expensive?

Value and the least expensive stuff like that all right, so let's figure that out down here at the bottom [of] the spreadsheet

[I'm] going to create a formula now. It doesn't have to be here

I could put the formula anywhere on this spreadsheet or another spreadsheet, okay, wherever I want to put this formula

I can do it, but I'm going to do it here so I'll just click and whenever I do a formula in excel

[I] click on a cell and then I think to myself the phrase this cell so [I] click this cell

Equals and I want to find out the total amount that my collection is worth

So I need to somehow add up all of those numbers

[let] me show you the hard way first the hard way would be to say okay. We have a [five] so I'll type in five

Plus two plus five and I can just keep doing this plus six plus nine

I can just keep doing that basically creating a formula

And then all I have to do is tap return or enter and look it adds up those numbers the thing is that's way

Too tedious, so instead of doing that what I can do is type in the word sum

so this cell is equal to the sum of

And then you put a left

parenthesis and now I just need to describe the

Cell or in this case the range that I want it to add up that

I want it to sum fortunately as I showed in [the] beginners video

I can name a range every range in excel has a name and the name of this range is


Through D 22 so I'll just type D3 and if you remember from the beginners video the word through is

Denoted with a colon and then D

22 and then you're supposed to put another parenthesis the end parenthesis now

I'm going to not do that just to show you that even though you're supposed to you. Don't have to you now hit enter and

Look what it's done. It's added up all of those numbers [the] grand total worth of my DVD collection is

135 Dollars

[now] if you want to make sure that it worked you can double click [on] it and look what it did it

Highlighted all of the numbers that it got that it included in the formula

Now let me show you an alternate way the way. I [just] showed

You is one of the nicest quickest ways to do it

Especially if you have a giant spreadsheet, but there are a couple of other ways in addition to typing in the range

I could just move my mouse up to the top

click and drag with my mouse on the range that I would like it to add up and

Then just tap return and you get the same results now

There's also yet another even faster and easier way to do it

And I'm going to delete my formula in order to show you this properly what I would do is

I would just click on the cell but instead of typing equals

I can just go [up] here on the home Ribbon and go to the editing group and here

We have something called auto sum, it's this symbol here, and you can just click [on] it

And it will automatically look immediately above and it will add up

Everything in those cells so I can hit enter and I the same results

So that's the fastest. I will say that sometimes it gets it wrong sometimes it gets the wrong data

So just watch out for it

I usually use autosum

But just be a little bit skeptical

Sometimes it might include data that you don't want included okay speaking of including data that you don't want

Notice what it did to my conditional formatting now

This is the only green value and everything else is small compared to it, right

So I need to fix that with my conditional formatting I'll go in and highlight that entire Column and I'm going to clear the rules

Okay, so it gets it completely out

and I just

want to [do] conditional formatting with

Just those numbers not the total so now I go in conditional formatting color scales and look that's back to being useful

Okay, now I should go in and type total and maybe put these in bold just to show that this number is different

It's special it's different than those other numbers, okay next

I'd like to do an average formula, and it's similar [I] would just say to myself this cell is equal to the average

Left Parenthesis, and then I can click and drag or I can type in the range or notice that there is an auto

Average which again, you should use it. It's great, but just be a little skeptical of the results

I'm going to double click between those cells to make it so you can see the word average

Next I want to do one of what's the highest value and the lowest [value]

For these the formula is a little

Different for highest the formula is this this cell is equal to the [max] or just max?

Left parenthesis click and drag on the range or type in the range

It's up to you hit return so what it did is it?

Looked through that range [found] the maximum number the highest number and printed it here

Next I'll do lowest for lowest

We do this cell is equal to min left

parenthesis and the range I'll type it in this time D3 through D [22] d 3

through D 22 hit enter

And there's the lowest so you can see these formula are pretty useful

You can get some really good numbers out of them

So those are probably the four most common ones that I use some average Max and min

But just know that there are many many more

functions that you [can] use if you want to see pretty much an exhaustive list of all [of] the

Functions that you [can] use just type in equals, and then look up here. This is the formula bar is what we have here and

It's an alternative to typing your formula right here [in] the cell

You [could] just go up to the formula bar and start typing and notice as you type you get some suggestions

So it's recommending because I typed in [Avril] it's recommending average average a average if there's four different average

Functions that I could draw from okay, so it will give suggestions

That's one thing to know about but also over here on the left. Look what it does. There's a click drop-down

Where you get some pretty good suggestions about the functions that you [might] want there's also a formulas tab

Where you can go and a whole function library?

Where you can get math, and trig formulas lookup and reference formulas [texts] logical these are great recently used

financial formulas and if you really don't know which one you want to do just go here to

Insert function, and you can get it on most of these dropdowns

And then just type a brief description of what you want to do. Let's say. I want to count the number of

DVDs that I have so I'll do a search for count and it brings up some

Options that I have and it tells me what exactly it's going to do so use these tools that you have

Use the formula bar use the formulas tab and if you need to use the insert function button

That gives you some additional options, so you can also click here insert function

So have fun playing around with formulas and functions. So they're very powerful

Next we're going to take a look at a few intermediate and maybe some advanced tips and tricks that you should know [about]

One that is pretty well known is called the autofill handle

And this is where you'll find it when you click on a cell look in the lower, right corner

There's a green square and if you put your mouse on that square it will become a plus sign now

It's already a plus sign

But it becomes a black

Plus sign once you see that you know that you've got the autofill handle

And what you can do with this is you [can] click and drag to copy. What's in the cell?

So if I want to copy 2015, I just click and drag it's 2015 again 2015 again

and I can just keep doing that I can even just click and drag and get a whole column of

2015 so [that's] the autofill handle I'm going to undo that

now that also works with text not just

With numbers so I can copy what's in a cell by using the autofill handle and clicking and dragging now

What's really cool is you can copy a pattern so right here?

I just clicked and dragged to highlight 2016 2015 now

If I use the autofill handle look what it does it figures out the pattern the pattern is minus [one]

subtract one

And it just repeated that pattern so if you will show the autofill handle

The Pattern that you would like for it to copy it will copy that pattern you can also

Use the autofill handle to copy a formula now in this case the formula doesn't work too. Well, this is the sum formula

It's trying to add up all of these numbers when I use the autofill handle dragged it over look what it did now

It's trying to sum up this column and so because those aren't [numbers]. It's not working real well, but let me do it this direction

You can see it is now adding up the years it thinks [that] it's currency, but that's okay

It's adding up all of these years and coming up with a total so I just love the autofill handle

It's especially good for anything related to time so for example dates. Let's say

I want to put in each of the months of the year

With dates and times you don't even have to establish a pattern you can just type in the [first]

Thing that's related to date or time

And then just go to the corner click and drag and look it automatically knows what comes next same with days of the week

same with full dates


It's also the same with times

So this autofill handle is just a lifesaver [a] time-saver for sure so I'm going to select all of that

Just by clicking on the column letters across the top clicking and holding and then I'll right-click and choose clear

Contents, and that clears it out, but I wanted you to see that autofill handle

Okay, next up just three fast

Rapid-fire tips that I think everyone needs to know if you're using excel [more] than just at a beginning level [and] the first one is

How to sort so I put my movies in just in random order, but I would like to sort them alphabetically

So what I'll do is

I'll click on the first cell of the first record so star wars I clicked on that cell

Now either on the home tab or on the data Tab either one

You should be able to find sort and filter

I'm going to go to the data tab here's sort and I would like it to sort

Alphabetically a to z so I click on it and look what it did now all of the movies are alphabetized

From a to z now the first time you do this you're going to be worried that you'll lose the integrity of your spreadsheet

[that] [maybe] the dates won't match up now, but if you notice they do

Okay, go back rewind the video if you want, but this used to say 2007 now

It says 2003 so sorting is a really great feature in excel. What about filtering?

What is filtering well filtering is a way to eliminate parts of your spreadsheet?

Temporarily so that you can see the data you want to see to turn on filtering what I like to do is click and drag

Across the Column headings that I've created

so location Genre value ETc once I've highlighted all of them I go up to the top and I click filter and

Notice they all now have a little [drop-down] arrow

And so what I'm going to use this to do is I want to eliminate all of [the] PG-13 movies

Let's say we're going to have a birthday party for a small child. I don't want to show a movie

That would be too scary, I would go into ratings and click and right now

It's showing everything okay, so I want to deselect all and go down, and I just want to choose

Pg. That's the only one. I want selected now if I had g movies I could select those too

But I'll just stick with that click ok and you can see it looks like it got rid of those additional records

It really didn't get rid of them. You can see here on the left

It jumps from [one] two jumps to five and in excel

You just cannot eliminate row numbers or column headings. They always exist. They can be hidden, and that's what's happened here

Is they're hidden but they still exist [all] right? So isn't that pretty useful

I love filtering even more really than sorting now to get the data all showing again

I can just click here on what looks like a funnel. Okay? It used to be the drop-down arrow now. It's a funnel

I just click on it and

Go to select all click [ok] and that takes the filter off

I could do the same kind of filter for Genre

And I could say I only want to see comedy or children's movies things like that

So filters are very powerful now the last more advanced tip that I want to share with you is called Freeze Panes

This spreadsheet really is not that big let's say I go buy a hundred more DVDS

[then] it's really going to be a bigger spreadsheet

and it's going to be harder to

Put in my data and even to look at it as your spreadsheet gets more vertical

You can kind of lose track of what your column titles are

So that's where freeze panes comes in what you do with Freeze panes is you click?

Underneath the row that you would like to freeze so I'm going to click on three because that's underneath my column titles

then I'm going to go to the view tab the view Ribbon and notice there's an option in the window group called Freeze Panes and

Watch what happens when I click freeze panes, [okay]?

It first pops up with three options, and I'm just going to click freeze panes

[so] now as I browse down the page as I enter more records

[look] what happens those first two Rows stay visible to me

and that's because I froze everything above [Row] 3 so that's where I'm going to stop in Reality a

Comprehensive excel tutorial would be 15 20 25 [hours] long and this is already too long of a video

But I really believe that if you watch my beginners guide to excel video and this intermediate

Video that you will have what you need to get started using excel effectively as you continue using and learning excel

I'd recommend that you this resource here at the top. Tell me what you want to do

you can [just] type in something that you're trying to do and it will give you some help and

Some Guidance on how to do it

Thanks for [watching] [this] tutorial and please consider subscribing to my Youtube channel for more videos

[about] technology for teachers and students and please consider following me on social Media platforms such as twitter and Facebook

So that we can continue learning together


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