Basic Excel

This page introduces some of the Basic Excel skills that will help, when you are using functions and formulas in Excel.

A quick list has been provided on the right, or there are further details listed below.

Many useful Excel basics are described in the links below, but if you are a complete beginner, you might find more useful tips on the Microsoft Office Basic Excel page.

Excel Data Input

Although it may be considered to be one of the most basic Excel tasks, there are actually several different ways of entering data into a spreadsheet. Many of these methods are shortcuts that will help you to save time and therefore work more efficiently.

Click on the links below for details.

Keyboard Shortcuts

It is worth spending a little time learning the Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for the actions that you perform most frequently in 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 Excel cells. Click on the links 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:

Converting Between Excel Data Types

In order to prevent problems, you may need to convert between the different Excel data types before using values in Excel functions and formulas.

Excel View

Excel allows you to change the view of your spreadsheet by zooming in or out, showing formulas, etc. Some of the more popular options are explained in the following links.


There is much more to Excel Formatting than just making spreadsheets look good.

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 Subtotals

You can quickly and easily display subtotals in your data table using the built-in Excel subtotal command.

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 links below for details.

Excel Filtering

One of the basic Excel requirements for anyone working with large amounts of data is the Excel filter. Excel has two main filtering types, which are described in the links below.

Pivot Tables

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

Data Validation

To prevent errors, you may find it useful to limit the types of data that can be entered into specific cells of your spreadsheet. 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 allows you produce a PDF version of your Excel spreadsheet. Click the link below for details.