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Microsoft Excel 2013

Excel Basics

Getting to know Excel

Excel 2013 is a spreadsheet program that allows you to store, organize, and analyze information. While you may think that Excel is only used by certain people to process complicated data, anyone can learn how to take advantage of Excel's powerful features. Whether you're keeping a budget, organizing a training log, or creating an invoice, Excel makes it easy to work with different kinds of data.




Excel 2013: Creating and Opening Workbooks

Excel files are called workbooks. Whenever you start a new project in Excel, you'll need to create a new workbook. There are several ways to start working with a workbook in Excel 2013. You can choose to create a new workbook—either with a blank workbook or a pre-designed template—or open an existing workbook.



Cell Basics

Whenever you work with Excel, you'll enter information, or content, into cells. Cells are the basic building blocks of a worksheet. You'll need to learn the basics of cells and cell content to calculate, analyze, and organize data in Excel.



Saving and Sharing Workbooks

Whenever you create a new workbook in Excel, you'll need to know how to save it in order to access and edit it later. As in previous versions of Excel, you can save files locally to your computer. But unlike older versions, Excel 2013 also lets you save a workbook to the cloud using SkyDrive. You can also export and share workbooks with others directly from Excel.




Modifying Columns, Cells & Rows

By default, every row and column of a new workbook is always set to the same height and width. Excel allows you to modify column width and row height in a variety of different ways, including wrapping text and merging cells.




Formatting Cells

All cell content uses the same formatting by default, which can make it difficult to read a workbook with a lot of information. Formatting can customize the look and feel of your workbook, allowing you to draw attention to specific sections and making your content easier to view and understand.



Worksheet Basics

Every workbook contains at least one worksheet by default. When working with a large amount of data, you can create multiple worksheets to help organize your workbook and make it easier to find content. You can also group worksheets to quickly add information to multiple worksheets at the same time.




Page Layout

Many of the commands you'll use to prepare your workbook for printing and PDF export can be found on the Page Layout tab. These commands let you control the way your content will appear on a printed page, including the page orientation, margin size, and more. Other page layout options, such as print titles and page breaks, can help make your workbook easier to read.



Printing Workbooks

There may be times when you want to print a workbook to view and share your data offline. Once you've chosen your page layout settings, it's easy to preview and print a workbook from Excel using the Print pane.



Formulas and Functions

Simple Formulas

One of the most powerful features in Excel is the ability to calculate numerical information using formulas. Just like a calculator, Excel can add, subtract, multiply, and divide. In this lesson, we'll show you how to use cell references to create simple formulas.



Complex Formulas

A simple formula is a mathematical expression with one operator, such as 7+9. A complex formula has more than one mathematical operator, such as 5+2*8. When there is more than one operation in a formula, the order of operations tells Excel which operation to calculate first. In order to use Excel to calculate complex formulas, you will need to understand the order of operations.

Cell References

There are two types of cell references: relative and absolute. Relative and absolute references behave differently when copied and filled to other cells. Relative references change when a formula is copied to another cell. Absolute references, on the other hand, remain constant, no matter where they are copied.



A function is a predefined formula that performs calculations using specific values in a particular order. Excel includes many common functions that can be useful for quickly finding the sum, average, count, maximum value, and minimum value for a range of cells. In order to use functions correctly, you'll need to understand the different parts of a function and how to create arguments to calculate values and cell references.


Working with Data

Freezing Panes and View Options

Whenever you're working with a lot of data, it can be difficult to compare information in your workbook. Fortunately, Excel includes several tools that make it easier to view content from different parts of your workbook at the same time, such as the ability to freeze panes and split your worksheet.



Sorting Data

As you add more content to a worksheet, organizing that information becomes especially important. You can quickly reorganize a worksheet by sorting your data. For example, you could organize a list of contact information by last name. Content can be sorted alphabetically, numerically, and in many other ways.




Filtering Data

If your worksheet contains a lot of content, it can be difficult to find information quickly. Filters can be used to narrow down the data in your worksheet, allowing you to view only the information that you need.




Groups and Subtotals

Worksheets with a lot of content can sometimes feel overwhelming and even become difficult to read. Fortunately, Excel can organize data in groups, allowing you to easily show and hide different sections of your worksheet. You can also summarize different groups using the Subtotal command and create an outline for your worksheet.




Once you've entered information into a worksheet, you may want to format your data as a table. Just like regular formatting, tables can improve the look and feel of your workbook, but they'll also help to organize your content and make your data easier to use. Excel includes several tools and pre-defined table styles, allowing you to create tables quickly and easily.




It can often be difficult to interpret Excel workbooks that contain a lot of data. Charts allow you to illustrate your workbook data graphically, which makes it easy to visualize comparisons and trends.





Sometimes, you might want to analyze and view trends in your data without creating an entire chart. Sparklines are miniature charts that fit into a single cell. Since they're so compact, it's easy to include lots of sparklines in a workbook.


Doing More with Excel

Track Changes and Comments

Suppose someone asked you to proofread or collaborate on a workbook. If you had a printed copy, you might use a red pen to edit cell data, mark spelling errors, or add comments in the margins. Excel allows you to do all of these things electronically using the Track Changes and Comments features.




Finalizing and Protecting Workbooks

Before sharing a workbook, you'll want to make sure that it doesn't include any spelling errors or information that you wish to keep private. Fortunately, Excel includes several tools to help finalize and protect your workbook, such as Spell Check and the Document Inspector.




Conditional Formatting

Imagine that you have a worksheet with thousands of rows of data. It would be extremely difficult to see patterns and trends just from examining the raw information. Similar to charts and sparklines, conditional formatting provides another way to visualize data and make worksheets easier to understand.



PivotTables Part 1

When you have a lot of data, it can sometimes be difficult to analyze all of the information in your worksheet. PivotTables can help make your worksheets more manageable by summarizing data and allowing you to manipulate it in different ways.

In this video (Part 1 of 2), we will show you how to insert and edit a PivotTable.



PivotTables Part 2

When you have a lot of data, it can sometimes be difficult to analyze all of the information in your worksheet. PivotTables can help make your worksheets more manageable by summarizing data and allowing you to manipulate it in different ways.

In this video (Part 2 of 2), we will discuss Filters, Slicers, and PivotCharts—three more features that can help you enhance your PivotTable.



What-if Analysis

Excel includes many powerful tools to perform complex mathematical calculations, such as what-if analysis. This feature can help you experiment and answer questions with your data, even when the data is incomplete. In this lesson, you will learn how to use a what-if analysis tool called Goal Seek.

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