June 23, 2024

The Beginner's Guide to Excel - Excel Basics Tutorial



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


excel is a powerful spreadsheet application that can help you organize and analyze data. This tutorial will show you the basics of using excel so that you can get the most out of this powerful tool.

excel is a powerful spreadsheet application that can help you organize and analyze data. This tutorial will show you the basics of using excel so that you can get the most out of this powerful tool.

If you are new to using spreadsheets, then you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Spreadsheets can be used to track just about anything. For example, you can use a spreadsheet to track your expenses, inventory, or sales. You can also use a spreadsheet to track your goals and progress towards those goals.

The beauty of using a spreadsheet is that it can be customized to fit your needs. If you are not sure how to set up a spreadsheet, then there are many online tutorials that can walk you through the process. Once you have a basic understanding of how to use excel, then you can start to customize the program to fit your specific needs.

If you are not sure where to start, then a good place to begin is with the basics. In this tutorial, we will cover some of the basic features of excel so that you can get started using this powerful program. After you have a good understanding of the basics, then you can start to explore the more advanced features of excel.

One of the first things that you need to do when you open excel is to select a cell. A cell is the individual box that contains one piece of data. To select a cell, simply click on it with your mouse. Once you have selected a cell, then you can start to enter data into that cell.

To enter data into a cell, simply type the data into the cell and then press Enter. excel will automatically format the data so that it is easy to read. You can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard to move around the spreadsheet.

Once you have entered all of your data, then you can save your work by clicking on the File menu and then selecting Save As. You will need to choose a location to save your file and then give it a name. Once you have saved your work, then you can close excel and reopen it at any time by clicking on the File menu and then selecting Open.

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Welcome to this excel basics video tutorial in this tutorial

I'll be showing you most of the basics that you need to know in order to get started using Microsoft excel and

The version of excel that I'm going to be using in this tutorial is excel 2016

[for] Windows having said that if you're using a different version of excel

Maybe an older version or even a newer version or if you use excel on a mac there will be some slight differences

But for the most part I would say 95% of what I show in this tutorial will [be] very applicable to

You and your usage of excel

So I simply [clicked] the icon here to get started using excel and excel now would like me to make a choice

[it] wants to know if I would like to open up an excel template or simply open a blank workbook

[you] can see that there [are] lots of templates to choose from

This is [a] welcome to excel tour and it's a good way to kind of learn some of the basics of excel

But that's why you're watching my video, so I'm going to skip that one there's a cash flow analysis. There's email insights stock symbols

There's a sales invoice. There's a budget in here. Here it is: a family budget

There's all sorts of great excel spreadsheets that you can just open up and start changing the data start using it that way

So I would encourage you [to] browse and explore these

Templates that are [available] to you in addition to the 30 or so templates that you have here there is an option to search

Online templates, so I'm going to do a search for budget and you can see it comes up with even more

Budgets, you're not limited just to the one family budget

there's a whole bunch that you can choose from [over] here on the right there's

categories that you can sift through and you can select the specific kind of budget or

spreadsheet template that you would like to use if you find one that you do want to use you can just click on it and

Click create and it will make a copy of that as a spreadsheet that you can open and use in excel

So please do spend some time exploring

What's available and in many cases much of the work is already done for you? You can simply use somebody else's template and

Adjust it for what you need now templates are very useful but having said that I think in order to really

Learn to use excel fully and properly. It's best to start with a blank workbook

[so] I'm just going to double click [on] [that]

To select a blank workbook and open it up and the first thing we need to do is

Learn about the layout that we have in excel 2016 there are certain terms that you're going to need to know

First of all across the top we have some tabs, okay, we have the home tab

the insert tab page layout and more as you can see each of these tabs is pretty important and

When you click on a particular tab it opens up a ribbon, okay?

This is the Ribbon for the home tab [if] I click the page layout tab I get [the] page layout Ribbon

now each Ribbon is divided up into

Groups so you can see I have a themes group. I have a page setup

Group a scale to fit group and these are all on the page layout Ribbon

And I get to that Ribbon by clicking on the page layout tab

So those are some important terms that you'll need to know tab

Ribbon group and you'll notice in the corner of some of these groups

[there's] what I like to call a launch button, okay?

So the scale to fit group has a little launch button in the corner the sheet options group has a lunch button in the corner

The arrange group doesn't seem to have one now

What are these launch buttons basically you can click on those launch buttons to give you even more [options]?

[so] [what] Microsoft has done here?

is they've tried to fit all [of] the page layout options on this ribbon, but of course there's limited amount of

Geography there's a limited amount of space that they have to work with and so sometimes they can fit everything in that little group

sometimes they can't and if they can't there's a launch button that you can click to get even more so that's

Why some have a launch button some don't [ok]? I think it's important to start with that terminology

[because] I'm going to be using it [throughout] this tutorial [all] right a couple of other

Layout terms that you're going to need to know in the spreadsheet itself. This is the spreadsheet and spreadsheets are made up of

Columns and Rows

[ok] so you can see we have an a column a b column C

Column ETC, and if I browse to the right, okay, you can see that

[there's] even more than that, and if needed it'll just keep going to the right adding more and more columns

Okay

Once it gets to z it goes to a a column a a and so lots and lots of columns in this spreadsheet

Now what about rose? [I] have row number one row number two row number three okay, so

spreadsheets are made up of columns and rows now the

[intersection] of a column and a row is what produces a cell, so this is a cell and

Every cell in excel

Has a name okay this particular cell is named

C2 and you can imagine how I got that name

it's just the intersection of the column and the [row] this particular cell here has a name it's

M9 and this is

[I-16] now that may seem obvious and unimportant

But it's actually [very] exciting and powerful that every cell in excel

Has a name because [it] has a name you can describe it and you can have excel do certain things

With the content in each cell we'll get to that a little bit later all right?

now in addition to Columns rows and cells

There's another part of a spreadsheet that you need to know about and that is a range

Okay

Now a range is a group of cells that are together a range could be this

It could be this it [could] be this it could be any number of things

It's basically a group of cells that are next to each other that are together and guess what?

Ranges can also be named just like cells can so just like this is named

L7 I can also name this

Okay, now the way you name a range is you start in the upper left and you name the cell in the [upper] left?

so this is

L7 and then you say the word through so L7 through and then you say the name of the cell in the lower right n

12

So L 7 through n. 12 that is the name of this range?

Now in the back of your mind

Just tuck this piece of information the way you would write the name of this range is you would write L

7 through the symbol for through is a colon and then you would put n 12 so that is

How you would write the name of the range that you see here?

Okay, I'm going to tap escape to get out of that because I don't really want [to] type that in the cell so that was

Some background information that you're going to need in order to really

use excel properly now that we've talked about the layout of the ribbon and the tabs and the groups and things and

also

the spreadsheet itself

With the columns the rows the cells and the ranges and actually I should add a couple more you can see that

This is all on a sheet sheet one and I can add a sheet 2 sheet 3 ETc

each of these sheets added together is what creates a workbook so sheets or worksheets add up to a

Workbook ok so now that we've got all that as a foundation

For our excel use let's now start actually creating and working on an excel spreadsheet

Now to make this a little bit more interesting for you to look at I'm going to zoom in a little bit

So I'm going to use this slider in the lower right corner, [and] I'll just click and drag to zoom in on my spreadsheet

ok so that should be a little bit easier for you to see and now I'm going to click on a one and

Enter some data in this a one cell and just as an example

Let's say I want [to] use excel to create an inventory of my movie collection

[ok] now this could be anything if you're a teacher

Maybe this is the supplies that you

have that you loan out to the students or if you're a secretary at a school let's say you're in charge of keeping track of

The supplies at the school whatever it might be but let's say I want [to] do an inventory of the movies that [I] own

First thing I want to do is maybe put a little title in there

So I'm going to type in a 1 and I'll type movie

inventory and

You'll notice that my text is bigger than the cell itself it goes too far to the right

But you know what don't worry about that just [hit] enter or return on the keyboard

And I've successfully entered my first data into this spreadsheet now

it looks like these words movie inventory are spilling over from A1

Into b 1 but in actuality that's not true

It's an illusion both of these words are stored in A1 if I click on B1

[I] could type in B1 and hit return or enter and you'll notice that movie inventory is still

stored in A1 [ok] so they don't interact they don't interfere with each other, so

No need to worry if your text is too wide to fit in a 1 but having said that

Sometimes making your spreadsheet. Look nice actually helps you use it better. So let's talk about how I could maybe fix this

It's not really a problem, but how could I fix it if I want to make it look a little nicer?

Well what I can do

I can stretch out any column or even any row if I want to by just putting my mouse

Between any two Column letters, so this is Column a Column b

Put my mouse between the two right on the line or very close to it and you'll notice that my mouse cursor

Changed into a double sided arrow, that's a good sign

So now I can click and drag to stretch that out to make it wider now

You may have noticed when I entered movie inventory into that cell and I hit enter or return it

Automatically moved me down in excel when you tap [enter] or return

You move down the spreadsheet if you want to move up the spreadsheet

You can hold shift and hit enter or return and it will move up, [okay]?

So shift enter or shift return moves up enter or return moves down now

What if you want to move to the right maybe I want to type something in B1? What I would do is

I would tap tab tab moves you to the right so I could enter more text there

And then tap tab and enter more text there and just keep tabbing over what if you want to move left?

[I] bet you can guess what it is

you would hold shift and tap tab so shift is basically used to do the opposite of

Whatever it would be otherwise, so enter return is normally down

Shift-enter return is up tab is to the right shift tab is to the left

Another way you can navigate throughout the spreadsheet is by using the arrows on your keyboard [if] you find the [up/down] [left/right]

Arrows you can just use those to move up down left or right?

It's a little bit more awkward than using enter or shift enter

But that's another option and of course you can also use your mouse to click on where you want to go?

But I'll tell you if you can learn to [use] excel simply with the keyboard without using your mouse very much

It's really going to go a lot better for you. So [I've] got my title in there now

I'm going to click on a two and I'm going [to] type in the word title. That's where I'll put the movie title now

I'll tap tab to move over to the right and I'll put in date purchased

Tab again

rating Tab again

value Tab again

Genre and

Tab again

Location and that will store quite a bit of information for me about my movie

Inventory [all] right with that last one when I hit enter it moved me down, and it moved to the left

Expecting me to put in the first record is what they call it and the first record would be the first movie

So let's say I put in Star [wars] again

I could tap tab to move over to the right [I] could say okay. I purchased it 2007. It's rated PG

It's worth maybe $5 and it's science fiction and it's located in the [living] room

Okay

So that's an example of data Entry

How you can enter [data] into a spreadsheet by [clicking] on a cell or somehow getting on a cell?

Typing and then hitting either tab to move to the right or enter to move down now as another example

I'm going to type in another record, and I'll put in some other information here and at this point

Let's say I notice a misspelled word, and I would like to fix that okay

You'll notice that I misspelled empire if I click on cell a4 to try to fix that misspelling watch

What will happen as soon as I type it erases? What was there? Okay? The reason why is because?

When I clicked on that cell when you click on a cell anything that you type replaces?

What is there already it deletes? What's there and then replaces it with whatever you type. So there's a distinction

I need to tell you about there's a difference between being on a cell and being in a cell

To get in a cell you have to double click on it

[ok] notice what [happens] when I double clicked on [that] cell. It actually jumped me inside the cell and now I have a cursor

That's flashing and I can click or I can use the arrow keys to move that cursor

where I want it to be so there is a big difference between being on a cell and

Being in a cell in this case, I don't want to be on the cell

I don't want to replace all of the text in this cell. I want to click twice quickly now

I've jumped inside it and I have this cursor

And I can move it where I want it to be fix the misspelling hit return again that may seem like a very

small insignificant thing

But excel is all about details and all of these little details will really enhance your use of excel

So please stick with me and pay [attention] to these details

And I promise your use of excel will be much more satisfying and effective now

Give me a few minutes to put in a few more records, and then I'll resume the tutorial

Ok so I've finished putting in some movies [here]

And some records is what they're called each of these rows contains a record and to help you see this a little bit better

I'm going to zoom back out a little bit so you can see I've [put] in quite a few movies here now

what we need to do next is

Dress this up a little bit make it look a little better it

Just doesn't look quite right to our eye at this point

So what are some things that we can do to make this look nicer?

First of all here at the top my title basically of this spreadsheet

It's kind of off to the side, and it doesn't have anything that makes it stand out and look different

so I'm going to click [on] it on the cell and

I'm going to click up [here] at the top on the home tab in the home Ribbon

I can click on bold to give it a bold look so that will help it stand out

Notice that I can also use the paint bucket tool to paint the background of that cell

I may or may [not] want to do that in this case

I don't necessarily want that so I'm going to click the arrow next to it and I'm going to go to no fill I

Could also change the color of the text itself

Okay, so that is also an option. I'm going [to] go back to black in this case in addition. I could italicize or underline

Those are all good options to have but that will help the text stand out a little bit

Another thing I can do is click on cell A1 and drag

I'm still holding the mouse click, and I'm going [to] drag until I've covered all of the

Content of my spreadsheet so the content of this spreadsheet ends at Column F

I don't have anything beyond that so I just clicked and dragged to get all the way across

Now watch what I can do on the home tab home Ribbon

There's a button here [in] the alignment [group] called merge and center and if I click on that

See what it did it merged all of those cells together

So this is now one big cell and it [centered] it, okay?

so merchant Center is very helpful to do what I [just] did to basically break [down] the walls between

These cells and make it one big cell and then to center it that looks a lot better the other thing like I said before

The text not quite fitting in the cell kind of bothers me

So I could go up here to the top like I showed earlier and click and drag to make sure everything fits

But I want you to see a shortcut

there's a shortcut to doing this all you have to do is go up here at the top and

Just go between any two [of] the column letters and double click and if you do that look what happens it

automatically will perfectly sized the column so that all of [the] text will fit I could do that also for date purchased and

For rating now notice in that case the rating Column actually got narrower

It's because it doesn't need to be longer than what it is now, [okay]?

So I can do that with value and so forth now. Let me show you yet another trick

That's a little bit of a time-saver instead of [double-clicking] between every single Column one [it]

time look what I can do click and drag on the Column letters all the way across to the

End of my data and then double click between any two of these it doesn't matter which

[double-Click] and notice now it automatically resized every column every

Column that I had [selected] was affected by that double click and now is

Perfectly sized to [fit] the content that's in those cells, and if I browse back to the left using this slider

You can see everything is perfectly sized so I used a phrase there

I said everything that was selected every column that was selected was affected by what I did [in] excel

That's a nice phrase to maybe think about select to [affect] if you want to affect it. You must select it first

One more little Shortcut little trick when you click and drag on those column headings

Yes, the fastest way to resize is to then double click between any two Column letters

But you could alternatively just click and drag and watch what [happens]. I'm going to resize this

Column let go and look every single Column was affected because I had selected each they're all

affected by that

And they're all exactly the same width so hopefully those little tricks will help you to be able to

Resize your columns the way that makes the most sense for you and the idea is to make your data

Look nice because when it looks good

it's often easier to

Read easier to understand and comprehend ok now there are good reasons sometimes to keep columns narrow even if all the text doesn't fit

So you don't have to always make [sure] everything is always visible

But I want you to be able to do that when you need to [ok] next up

I guess I do want to click here on movie

Inventory and Underline it to set that apart as the title and then down here

I would like to make all of these column names different

So I'll highlight them and I'll go up and make them bold and let's say italicized now the way

I did that so fast you may not have noticed I simply clicked on the row number

And it highlighted the entire row all the way to the right and so that's selected it and to effect it

I just chose bold and

Italicize and it affected everything that's selected so at this point

I hope that you are familiar now with the different names of the layout in excel

We know what to call the different things like the tabs the groups the ribbons things like that we also know about

Columns Rows cells and ranges sheets and Workbooks

and we know how to enter data and then how to

Select it to affect it and to change how it looks on the screen

And we also know how to adjust the column widths and I didn't show this explicitly so let me just quickly do that

Notice that you can affect the rows as well

So I can make rows

Taller than they would have otherwise been I can double click between them to perfectly

Resize I can affect more than one at a time by selecting more than one row so all of those same techniques that I showed

About the Columns can also be used with the rows so all of this in my opinion gives you a good foundation

It helps you understand the basics of using excel in a future video

I'll show you some

Intermediate excel tips and tricks' ways that you can save time and effort as you're building your spreadsheets

[we'll] also get into formulas and functions

And that's really where much of the power of excel is found and I'll also throw in a couple of advanced

Excel tips and tricks, so please watch for that future video. Thanks for watching this excel basics video

I hope you enjoyed it and [please] consider subscribing to my Youtube channel for more videos about

Technology for teachers and students and watch for a new video at least every Monday also

I hope that you'll follow me on Twitter Facebook Tumblr and other social Media

So I hope that you'll follow me on these social media platforms and that we can keep learning together

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