Learn Microsoft Excel

If you want to learn Microsoft Excel, you're in the right place. There is a lot to learn about Microsoft Excel, and not everything is in the manual. We've got a range of free online lessons on how to get the best out of Excel, starting from the basics right up to advanced subjects. We'll help you to do your job better - with the right Excel skills you could even get a raise or a better job! If you don't see what you want to learn, why not get in touch and suggest a lesson we should write.

If you want to learn Excel, this lesson covers ten important things that we think you need to know if you are going to use Excel effectively. Even if you've been using Excel for a while, check this lesson out to make sure you have the basics covered.

There are a variety of ways to add up the numbers found in two or more cells in Excel. This lesson shows you how to use the SUM function to add up cells, rows and columns of cells in Excel.

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This lesson shows you how to write formulas using INDEX and MATCH to let you perform lookups that VLOOKUP can't, and which run much faster on large lookup tables than VLOOKUP. This lesson explains how INDEX and MATCH work on their own, and then shows you how to write an INDEX MATCH formula that can look left as well as right, and performs much faster than VLOOKUP on large tables.

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VLOOKUP allows you to look for a specified value in a column of data inside a table, and then fetch a value from another column in the same row. An example might be where you need to find the sales for a specific salesperson from within a monthly sales report. In this lesson you'll learn how to use VLOOKUP in your spreadsheets by walking you through several simple examples. The lesson will also highlight some shortcomings of VLOOKUP, plus a solution to those shortcomings.

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Sometimes you'll find yourself working with dates in an Excel spreadsheet that have been pasted or imported into Excel from another datasource. When that happens, Excel can treat those dates as text - in other words, they look like dates but don't behave like dates. For example you can't sort by date properly. This lesson looks at several ways you can convert a date which Excel is treating as text into a proper date value in Excel.

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If you have a column of numbers and you want to calculate a running total of the numbers alongside, you can use the SUM() formula combined with a clever use of absolute and relative references.

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 If you're getting started with Excel, creating formulas is one of the first things you should learn. In this lesson you'll learn how to create simple formulas and calculations in Excel.

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The IF() function in Excel allows you to evaluate a situation which has two possible outcomes (e.g. sales are greater than $1000) and calculate a different value for each outcome. However, sometimes you need to work with situations where there are more than two possible outcomes. That's where multiple, or nested, IF functions come in handy. In this tutorial we'll cover how to use nested IF functions to calculate sales commission for a team of sales people, given a range of different commission rates.

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Excel's VLOOKUP function is excellent when you want to find a value in a table based on a lookup value. But if your table includes your lookup value multiple times, you'll find that VLOOKUP can't do it. This lesson shows you how to use the INDEX function (plus some other functions) to find all matching values in a list, and return a value from another column in the same row. It also looks at how to do this when you want to return all values which are a partial match (i.e. a wildcard search) to the values in your lookup table.

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When you create a formula in Excel that refers to other cells in the worksheet, Excel will store the information about those cells as relative references. Relative references and their counterpart, absolute references, are one of the things that make spreadsheets such a powerful tool.

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The SUM function in Excel allows you to add up the values in a range of cells. However, sometimes you only want to add up the cells that meet certain criteria. That's where the SUMIF function comes in handy, along with the more capable SUMIFS function.

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Entering the same formula or value into multiple cells can be time consuming and boring. Most people, if they want to enter the same formula into a row or column of data, will enter the formula in the first cell, then copy and paste it into the rest of the cells where they need the formula. This lesson shows you an even faster way to do it.

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Autofilter is one of the most powerful features of Excel if you need to work with data in tabulated (table) format. It lets you treat a range of cells as a table and then filter out certain rows based on different criteria. It is very powerful if you need to "mine" data in a list and find out specific information about the data in that list. This tutorial covers how to set up a data table in Excel to use with Autofilter, and also shows you how to enable Autofilter and use it for basic filtering. This lesson is applicable for all versions of Excel (including Excel for Mac) although the visual presentation of the options may change from version to version.

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There are many scenarios where you may need to use the current date and time in your spreadsheets. You may simply need to display the current date in a spreadsheet report. Or, you may need to perform a calculation that uses the current date or time. This lesson shows you how to enter a formula into a cell in Excel that outputs the current date and/or time, and updates automatically as time passes.

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This lesson introduces the LEN() function, which allows you to calculate the number of characters in a cell. This formula is useful on its own, or can be combined with other text functions such as RIGHT(), LEFT(), MID() and FIND().

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Excel Formulas

Do you need help with an Excel formula or function? We have lessons on a range of different Excel functions, and the list is growing all the time.

Click here to see the full list of Excel Formulas and Functions