Basic Excel

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

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

Most of the useful Excel basics are covered by 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

The basic Excel task of populating a spreadsheet can be done in several different ways. These methods, which are described in the linked pages below, will help you to work more efficiently in Excel.

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 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:

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 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. 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

If other users input data to your spreadsheet, you may want to limit the types of data that can be 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 allows you produce a PDF version of your Excel spreadsheet. Click the link below for details.

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