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How to Master Excel in 11 Steps


Microsoft Excel is one of the world's most popular business software packages. It is incredibly powerful, with more features added to it continuously.

You may, therefore, have a desire to learn how to master Excel so that you can work quicker, simpler and with more ability.


Read More : 11 Best Excel Presentation Tips in 2020


Now we discuss here how to master Excel quickly in 11 steps :


1. How to navigate the interface :


A good start is to be decisive at navigating the Excel interface. Let’s start with the basics. 

When typing data into Excel you can utilize the Tab key to move to the next cell in the column to the right.

The Enter key can be utilized to move to the cell in the next row down. If you have been utilizing tab to move through the columns, pressing Enter will take you one row down and back to the cell in the column you started in.


Pressing the Ctrl key and the Up, Down, Left or Right directional arrow keys together will take you to the last utilized cell in that direction.

This is very profitable to navigate large lists.

Pressing the Ctrl and the Home key together will take you to the first cell in your data range.


2. Learn some useful shortcuts :


The best method to speed up your day-to-day Excel work is to learn some profitable shortcuts both with the keyboard and your mouse or touchpad.

If you are a starter, then begin by learning the general keyboard shortcuts. Good ones to learn include Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V to copy and paste. And Ctrl + Z to undo the last action.

As you start to utilize these shortcuts in your regular work, push yourself to learn more.

Two of my favorite shortcuts are Ctrl + ; to enter today's date in a cell. And double-clicking the fill handle to copy to the bottom of the list.

Although you would not require them all, learning some to make your Excel work simpler is a considerable idea.


3. Freeze panes :


This wonderful feature keeps your headings and other labels visible at all times as you scroll around the spreadsheet. It is a crucial Excel skill to know.

The headings for a spreadsheet are commonly just in the top row. So to freeze this area, click View > Freeze Panes > Freeze Top Row.

You can freeze as many rows, and columns, as you required.



4. Learn how to master Excel formulas :


One of the main methods to master Excel is to be accomplished at writing formulas. These are the muscles of Excel.

From performing basic calculations in cells to utilizing more advanced formulas - you will stand head and shoulders above the rest if you have this skill.

If you are new to formulas, start with creating basic calculations that add, subtract, multiply and divide values.

Then start to learn some of the more basically utilized functions. These consists of SUM, IF, VLOOKUP, COUNTIF, and CONCATENATE.

When you are comfortable writing formulas, you can do almost anything. You can even utilize formulas within Conditional Formatting rules, charts and other Excel features to make them more powerful.


5. Create a simple drop-down list :


A simple drop-down list on a spreadsheet can make entering text much simpler, and more significantly ensure it is appropriate.

To create a drop-down list;

  1. Select the range of cells you want the list to appear in.
  2. Click Data > Data Validation.
  3. Select List from the Allow list.
  4. Then either type the list items into the source box separating every one with a comma. Or select a range of cells that contain the list items.

6. Visualize key data with conditional formatting :


Conditional Formatting is one of the most famous features of Excel. It helps the user get a quick understanding of the data they are looking at.

You can create simple conditions to automatically format cells if a target is reached, a deadline has passed or maybe sales have decreased below a certain threshold.

For a quick example, if a value is larger than 300 we want to change the cell color to green.

  1. Select the range of cells that you want to apply Conditional Formatting to.
  2. Click Home > Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cells Rules > Greater Than.
  3. Enter 300 and select the formatting you want to apply.


A green fill and font color are utilized here, but there are lots of formatting options accessible.

With conditional formatting, there is also the capability to apply data bars and icon sets. These visuals can be very adequately. 


7. Flash fill :


Flash Fill is an awesome feature that quickly manipulates data. This feature can considerably reduce the time taken doing regular data cleansing tasks, that previously we relied on formulas and macros to do.


8. Summarize data with PivotTables :


PivotTables are one of the most amazing tools in Excel. They make summarising large datasets as simple as 1, 2, 3.

A PivotTable could be utilized to break down a large list of sales to see the sales by region or even sales of particular products in every region.

They are extremely powerful, but also simple to utilize. A PivotTable is a tool to make creating reports more straightforward and does not need to write any complex formulae.

To create a PivotTable;

  1. Click in the list of data you want to summarize.
  2. Click Insert > PivotTable.
  3. In the Create PivotTable dialog, ensure the range being utilized is correct and analyze if you want the PivotTable or a new or existing worksheet.


  1. Drag and Drop fields from the field list into the four areas to create your PivotTable.

The Values area is where the calculations like sum, count and average are performed.

The calculation can be changed by right-clicking a PivotTable value, selecting Summarize Values By and selecting the function you want to utilize.

With PivotTables, I encourage you to grab some spreadsheet data, insert a PivotTable and start to drag fields into the areas and explore the options accessible. 


9. Protect Excel data :


Excel features like PivotTables, formulas and Conditional Formatting will only work if the data is appropriate.

A few of the tips in this article demonstrate methods to manage this accuracy consists of creating drop-down lists and utilizing Flash Fill. Protecting your Excel data is another significant step to take.

Excel has a few different types of protection that can be applied, but the most leading one is to protect the sheet.

Protecting a sheet is performed in two stages. Firstly you identify which cells on the worksheet, you do not want to lock. This assures that users can still edit these cells. Then you apply the protection.

  1. Select the range of cells that you want to unlock.
  2. Press Ctrl + 1 to open the Format Cells dialog.
  3. Click the Protection tab, uncheck the Locked box and click Ok.
  4. Click Review > Protect Sheet.
  5. You can enter a pas.
    1. 10 . Power up with Power Query and Power Pivot :

Having knowledge of these two Power tools will take you beyond the regular user.

Power Query is a tool utilized to import and shape data ready for analysis. It is found on the Data tab of the Ribbon.

With Power Query, you can import data simply from a collection of places consists of CSV, the web and from a folder.

The Power Query Editor then provides a user-friendly environment to perform a number of cleaning and shaping operations like splitting columns, formatting, removing duplicates and unpivoting data.sword for extra security, but it is optional. Check the boxes of any functionality users will require to perform and click Ok.

The unlocked cells can still be changed, but with limited functionality. If you try and edit a locked cell, a message will appear telling you that the sheet is protected.

Power Query uses a language called M. This is challenging to master and fortunately not required for 99% of Excel users. The editor gives everything that a user would require.

Every edit that is made is stored as a step and can be refreshed in the future with the click of a button.

Power Pivot is a tool that enables the storage of huge volumes of data. Storing data in Power Pivot enables us to go beyond the physical limitations of Excel.

In Power Pivot you can also create relationships between various tables of data and write functions known as DAX function.

The capability to create these models and utilize DAX gives far more power than you can get more a spreadsheet.

This is a significant tool to understand for anyone involved in identifying huge quantities of data or requires to perform complex analysis.


11. Create Macros with VBA :


Macros enable you to automate repetitive tasks to supercharge your productivity.

These tasks can be complex, but for most users, they are reasonably simple tasks that are repeated general. Macros give a method to perform the tasks quicker and more reliably.

You can get started with macros by recording yourself performing Excel tasks. This will generate the VBA code and produce a macro.

You can find the macro recorder on the View tab of the Ribbon. It is the last button.

Recording macros can save you and your colleagues a considerable deal of time.

If you want to take things further, you can learn Excel VBA and edit your macros.

With VBA you can make your macros do things way beyond recording and create functionality that Excel does not provide itself.

To see the VBA code created by a recording;

Click View > Macros, select the macro in the list and click Edit.


Want to master Excel today?


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