This section explains the basics of Excel. Don't miss our sections on Functions and Data Analysis to discover the real power of Excel!

1 Ribbon: Excel selects the ribbon's Home tab when you open it. Learn how to use the ribbon.

2 Workbook: A workbook is another word for your Excel file. When you start Excel, click Blank workbook to create an Excel workbook from scratch.

3 Worksheets: A worksheet is a collection of cells where you keep and manipulate the data. Each Excel workbook can contain multiple worksheets.

4 Format Cells: When we format cells in Excel, we change the appearance of a number without changing the number itself.

5 Find & Select: Learn how to use Excel's Find, Replace and Go To Special feature.

6 Templates: Instead of creating an Excel workbook from scratch, you can create a workbook based on a template. There are many free templates available, waiting to be used.

7 Data Validation: Use data validation to make sure that users enter certain values into a cell.

8 Keyboard Shortcuts: Keyboard shortcuts allow you to do things with your keyboard instead of your mouse to increase your speed.

9 Print: This chapter teaches you how to print a worksheet and how to change print settings.

10 Share: Learn how to share Excel data with Word documents and other files.

11 Protect: Encrypt an Excel file with a password so that it requires a password to open it.



Become an Excel pro! You can find related examples and features on the right side of each chapterat the bottom of each chapter. Below you can find a complete overview.

1 Ribbon: Formula Bar | Quick Access Toolbar | Customize the Ribbon | Developer Tab | Status Bar | Checkbox

2 Workbook: Themes | View Multiple Workbooks | AutoRecover | Merge Excel Files | Save in 97-2003 Format

3 Worksheets: Zoom | Split | Freeze Panes | Group Worksheets | Consolidate | View Multiple Worksheets | Get Sheet Name | Comments | Spell Check | Unhide Sheets | Chart Sheet

4 Format Cells: Decimal Places | Fractions | Currency vs Accounting | Text to Numbers | Numbers to Text | Custom Number Format | Format Painter | Cell Styles | Wrap Text | Merge Cells | Strikethrough | Superscript and Subscript | Check Mark | Remove Leading Zeros

5 Find & Select: Find Features | Wildcards | Delete Blank Rows | Row Differences | Copy Visible Cells Only | Search Box

6 Templates: Budget | Calendar | Holidays | Meal Planner | Invoice | Automated Invoice | Default Templates | Time Sheet | BMI calculator

7 Data Validation: Reject Invalid Dates | Budget Limit | Prevent Duplicate Entries | Product Codes | Drop-down List | Dependent Drop-down Lists | Cm to inches | Kg to lbs

8 Keyboard Shortcuts: Function Keys | Insert Row | Save As | Delete Row | Formula to Value | Scroll Lock | Bullet Points | Line Break | Show Formulas | Paste Special

9 Print: Workbook Views | Page Breaks | Headers and Footers | Page Numbers | Print Titles | Center on Page | Print Gridlines & Headings | Print Area

10 Share: Embed | PDF | Share Workbooks | OneDrive | Online | Import Access Data | Microsoft Query | Import/Export Text Files | XML

11 Protect: Protect Workbook | Protect Sheet | Lock Cells | Read-only Workbook | Mark as Final

Best of Basics+


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1 Drop-down List: Drop-down lists in Excel are helpful if you want to be sure that users select an item from a list, instead of typing their own values.

2 Lock Cells: You can lock cells in Excel if you want to protect cells from being edited.

3 Budget: This example shows you how to create a budget in Excel.

4 Checkbox: Inserting a checkbox in Excel is easy. For example, use checkboxes to create a checklist or a dynamic chart.

5 Time Sheet: This example teaches you how to create a simple timesheet calculator in Excel.

6 Freeze Panes: If you have a large table of data in Excel, it can be useful to freeze rows or columns. This way you can keep rows or columns visible while scrolling through the rest of the worksheet.

7 Delete Blank Rows: This example teaches you how to delete blank rows or rows that contain blank cells.

8 Merge Cells: Merge cells into one large cell to make clear that a label in Excel applies to multiple columns. Use CONCATENATE, TEXTJOIN or Flash Fill to merge cells without losing data.

9 Wrap Text: Wrap text in Excel if you want to display long text on multiple lines in a single cell.

10 Bullet Points: This page illustrates 4 ways to insert bullet points in Excel.

11 Check Mark: To insert a check mark symbol in Excel, simply press SHIFT + P and use the Wingdings 2 font.

12 Strikethrough: This example teaches you how to apply strikethrough formatting in Excel.

13 Show Formulas: By default, Excel shows the results of formulas. To show the formulas instead of their results, press CTRL + ` (you can find this key above the tab key).

14 Read-only Workbook: This example shows you how to make your Excel workbook read-only.

15 Superscript and Subscript: It's easy to format a character as superscript (slightly above the baseline) or subscript (slightly below the baseline) in Excel.

16 Insert Row: To quickly insert a row in Excel, select a row and use the shortcut CTRL SHIFT +.

17 AutoRecover: Excel periodically saves a copy of your Excel file. Learn how to recover a file that was never saved and how to recover a file that has been saved at least once.

18 PDF: This page teaches you how to convert an Excel file to a PDF file.

19 Page Breaks: Insert a page break in Excel to specify where a new page will begin in the printed copy.

20 Calendar: This example describes how to create a calendar in Excel (2024 calendar, 2025 calendar, etc).

Check out all 300 examples.