Without a question, Excel is the greatest program for making and maintaining spreadsheets. It is included in the Microsoft Office package along with other productivity programs. Everyone can discover a convenient way to access Excel. Perpetual licenses are available to household and business customers that buy the software license upfront and keep it permanently. Office 365 provides a number of payment options for subscription-based services that are ideal for both people and businesses.
This cheat sheet was created to assist you in getting started with Excel and to provide you with some helpful advice even before you buy the program.
Choosing between a subscription license and a permanent license
As previously indicated, there are two ways to obtain Excel. However, each of these variations has unique advantages and disadvantages that are better suited for certain audiences.
A particularly economical option is the perpetual license, which requires only one payment and gives you ownership of the program indefinitely. Because of this, Microsoft doesn’t provide any upgrades going forward; if you buy Excel, you’ll possess the version that was available at the time and be needed to buy subsequent versions.
However, purchasing an Office 365 subscription offers advantages. Even though it can cost more, you gain quick access to next upgrades and extra, special features. A membership is unquestionably the best option if you want features like cloud sharing and concurrent team collaboration.
Learn about the Ribbon user interface.
Since it was first included in an earlier version of the program, the Ribbon has been a significant component of Excel for a number of years. It was designed to make work easier and faster than traversing convoluted and antiquated menus, sub-menus, sub-sub menus, and so on. With the Ribbon, you can navigate with ease and quickly access the tools you know and love thanks to a mostly visual interface.
The Ribbon in modern iterations of Excel, such Excel 2016 and Excel 2019, has a flatter style to allow for less clutter on your screen. This is in contrast to prior Excel editions. Excel stands apart from rivals because to its simple design, which gives it a contemporary and fashionable appearance.
The top portion of your Ribbon may be changed to white, gray, or black, despite the fact that Excel’s distinguishing color is green. To select your preferred theme, simply go to the File Options General menu and select “Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office“.
The majority of Excel’s commands and capabilities are still in the same places as in prior iterations, but owing to labels and groupings, even novice users can discover tools with ease. Unable to locate something Use the “Tell me what you want to do” function on Microsoft. If you don’t want to go forward, we’ll talk about that in more detail later.
Simply press Ctrl + F1 on your keyboard to quickly conceal the Ribbon whenever you need to. Press the same two keys again to make it appear once more.
The Ribbon may present itself in a variety of ways and with a variety of settings. An icon labeled “Ribbon Display Options” may be found at the upper right of your screen, and clicking it brings up a drop-down menu with three choices:
- Ribbon auto-hide: This setting automatically conceals all of the Ribbon’s tabs and commands. When option is checked, clicking on the top portion of the Excel screen is the sole method to bring up the Ribbon and its contents.
- Show Tabs: This choice preserves the Ribbon’s tabs but conceals all instructions beneath them. By clicking a tab, executing the Ctrl + F1 keyboard shortcut, or choosing the “Show Tabs and Commands” option, you may display commands.
- Show Tabs and Commands: By selecting this option, you can view the whole Ribbon at all times, including all of its tabs and commands.
File menu, the dressing room
Excel’s File menu can bring you to what Microsoft refers to as “backstage.” You receive a full-page view of fundamental features like opening or saving files, printing, and sharing here rather than a tab with commands. As you can save locally, use cloud-based services you’re linked to (like SharePoint and OneDrive), distribute through email, and even print directly from Excel, sub-menus in File concentrate on exporting your work.
You may also view details about your current worksheet using the File option. This entails seeing the creation and modification dates, the owner, the file size, and many other details. Additionally, you may add password security, check for accessibility problems, and as the owner, modify your co-editors’ access rights.
What would you like to do?
Excel doesn’t have a reputation for being one of the user-friendly programs for beginners, but Microsoft has made changes to improve that. Because Excel has so many features and capabilities, it can be challenging to use it to its maximum potential without investing a lot of effort in learning and remembering new functions.
Let’s take the scenario where you have a collection of data and wish to display it as a pie chart. When you type “make pie chart,” a menu with numerous options will appear. In this case, inserting a pie chart is made possible without having to search the Ribbon for the appropriate choice by just clicking on the first result.
Other outcomes might be helpful as well and offer potential fixes for your issue. You always have a link to gain more information on the issue or utilize the Smart Lookup tool to do web searches with each task you enter.
In conclusion, you may do jobs more quickly and look for solutions inside of Excel by using the Tell Me tool. You can always find methods to speed up your job, even if you think of the program as second nature. Tell Me keeps track of the tasks you’ve already looked for, making them more easier to find later.
Smart Lookup allows internet searches.
You now have a simple method for finding for information online thanks to this new function. Simply choose Smart Lookup from the context menu by performing a right-click on a cell that contains one or more words. When you do this, a window on the side of Excel will open, allowing you to search the web using the word(s) in your selected cell using the Microsoft Bing search engine.
Note: In order to utilize Smart Lookup, you might need to activate Microsoft’s intelligent services. This implies that Microsoft will gather your search phrases as well as some of the information from your spreadsheets and documents in order to supply these services with training materials. You should reevaluate if it is worthwhile to search the web directly from Excel if you prefer not to face privacy risks.
You will see definitions, associated Wikipedia entries, and other helpful Internet results. You may further explore websites and get more information by clicking on any of the results.
Smart Lookup can be useful when you need to define a word or grasp a phrase, even though it isn’t ideal for particular inquiries like finding up the inflation rate in Germany for the year 2016.
Charts may help you see your data.
Despite having a strong and instructive collection of facts, it may become difficult to grasp when presented to an audience or when more information is added. By allowing you to visually show portions of your spreadsheet, charting improves spreadsheets by adding additional information. This enables you to swiftly examine situations with a fast scan and uncover data trends and patterns.
You must first choose the data you wish to visualize before you can create a chart. You may choose a collection of data or additional individual cells by clicking on a cell and holding the Shift or Alt keys, respectively. Pick all of the necessary cells, then select the Insert tab from the Ribbon and the appropriate chart style from the list.
Over 15 distinct charts and several chart-type choices are available in Excel’s 2019 edition, allowing you to personalize the appearance and feel of your documents. Additionally, you may change the font and style, as well as the colors, of your charts.
Effective Excel shortcuts
Excel consistently receives the praise it merits for offering a broad range of features and functionalities to its customers. Excel keyboard shortcuts may help you work even faster, avoid having to sift through several menus and make pointless clicks, and help you become a true master in the program.
You should be familiar with the following Excel shortcuts in order to improve your skills straight away:
Choose a complete row or column.
Simply click on a cell in that column and press Ctrl + Space to select the entire column. By hitting Shift + Space in its place, you may do the same with a whole row.
In the same cell, begin a new line.
Making a new line within a cell in Excel is one of the most time-consuming tasks since you have to input the text in another program, such as Word or Notepad, and then copy it into Excel. By starting a new line of text by pressing Alt + Enter, you may skip this process.
Put the time and date now.
By hitting Ctrl + Shift + Colon, you may add the current time to your spreadsheet. Press Ctrl + Colon alone to do the same action with the current date.
Hide a row or a column
There are times when there is another row or column in the middle of the data you wish to compare. By choosing a cell in a column and hitting Ctrl + 0, you may temporarily conceal that column. Pressing Ctrl + 9 will do the same for a row.
Display or omit formulae
Pressing Ctrl + on your keyboard will give you a fast summary of all the formulae you’ve used in a spreadsheet. You may also conceal the formulae by using the same hotkey combination. You can also view our Excel comparison chart here.