Basic Excel

Unless you have a firm understanding of Basic Excel, you will not get the maximum benefit from Excel's wide and varied array of functions and formulas.

Therefore, this section of the website has been set up equip you with the basic Excel 'know-how' that you may need to draw upon when using Excel functions and formulas.

Click on the links below or select one of the options from the "Quick Selection" menu on the right.

This page attempts to cover most of the useful Excel basics, but if you are a complete beginner, you might benefit from this free Basic Excel Tutorial by Brad James.

Excel Data Input

It may seem the most basic Excel imaginable, but there are several ways to populate an Excel spreadsheet and a knowledge of these methods will help you to work much more efficiently.

Keyboard Shortcuts

It really is worth spending a little time learning the Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for the actions that you perform most frequently Excel. You will find that the time invested in learning these shortcuts will be repaid many times over.

Cell References

An understanding of absolute and relative cell references is essential when you are copying formulas between cells. Click on the link below for details.

Excel Dates and Times

Did you know that Excel stores Dates & Times as numbers? An understanding of how this works will help you to work much more effectively when using Dates & Times in Excel. Click below for more details:

Excel View

You are able to change your view of your spreadsheet, by zooming in or out, showing formulas, etc. Some of the more popular options are listed below.


Although it may initially appear to be only useful for making spreadsheets look pretty, Excel formatting is actually much more important than this.

In addition to making your spreadsheet look professional and smart, the formatting of data in Excel can also change the way the data is interpreted. The wrong formatting can sometimes result in results being read incorrectly and may give the impression that your function has failed to evaluate correctly. Click on the links below for more details.

Excel Hyperlinks

The correct use of hyperlinks can turn a simple worksheet into a complete record-keeping system, which looks professional and is easy to use. Click on the headings below for details.

Excel Filtering

One of the basic Excel requirements for anyone working with large amounts of data is the Excel filter. In fact, once you learn how to use Filters in Excel, you will wonder how you ever coped without them.

Pivot Tables

Learn how to use Excel Pivot Tables to quickly and easily analyse large amounts of data.

Data Validation

If other users input data to your spreadsheet, you may want to limit the types of data that are entered into specific cells. One way to do this is to present a drop-down menu to the user, so that they can select one of a list of possible values. Click on the following link for instructions on how to implement this in your spreadsheet.

Saving To Other File Formats

Excel 2007 allows you produce a PDF version of your Excel spreadsheet, using a free add-in. Click the link below for details.

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