Excel Tutorials for Beginners

Get started with these tips for beginners

These Excel tutorials for beginners include screenshots and examples with detailed step-by-step instructions. Follow the links below to learn everything you need to get up and running with Microsoft's popular spreadsheet software.

This article applies to Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Excel for Mac, and Excel for Android.

Understand the Excel Screen Elements

Excel screen elements

Understand the Basic Excel Screen Elements covers the main elements of an Excel worksheet. These elements include:

  • Cells and active cells
  • Add sheet icon
  • Column letters
  • Row numbers
  • Status bar
  • Formula bar
  • Name box
  • Ribbon and ribbon tabs
  • File tab

Explore a Basic Excel Spreadsheet

Basic Excel spreadsheet

Excel Step by Step Basic Tutorial covers the basics of creating and formatting a basic spreadsheet in Excel. You'll learn how to:

Create Formulas With Excel Math

Basic math in Excel

To learn how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in Excel, see How to Use Basic Math Formulas Like Addition and Subtraction in Excel. This tutorial also covers exponents and changing the order of operations in formulas. Each topic includes a step-by-step example of how to create a formula that carries out one or more of the four basic math operations in Excel.

Add Numbers With the SUM Function

Using the SUM function in Excel

Adding rows and columns of numbers is one of the most common operations in Excel. To make this job easier, use the SUM function. Quickly Sum Columns or Rows of Numbers in Excel shows you how to:

  • Understand the SUM function syntax and arguments
  • Enter the SUM function
  • Add numbers quickly with AutoSUM
  • Use the SUM function dialog box

Move or Copy Data

Copy and paste in Excel

When you want to duplicate or move data to a new location, see Shortcut Keys to Cut, Copy, and Paste Data in Excel. It shows you how to:

  • Copy data
  • Paste data with the clipboard
  • Copy and paste using shortcut keys
  • Copy data using the context menu
  • Copy data using menu options on the Home tab
  • Move data with shortcut keys
  • Move data with the context menu and using the Home tab

Add and Remove Columns and Rows

Add or remove columns and rows in Excel

Need to adjust the layout of your data? How to Add and Delete Rows and Columns in Excel explains how to expand or shrink the work area as needed. You'll learn the best ways to add or remove singular or multiple columns and rows using a keyboard shortcut or the context menu.

Hide and Unhide Columns and Rows

Hiding and unhiding columns in Excel

How to Hide and Unhide Columns, Rows, and Cells in Excel teaches you how to hide sections of the worksheet to make it easier to focus on important data. It's easy to bring them back when you need to see the hidden data again.

Enter the Date

Entering a date in Excel

To learn how to use a simple keyboard shortcut to set the date and time, see Use Shortcut Keys to Add the Current Date/Time in Excel. If you prefer to have the date automatically update every time the worksheet is opened, see Use Today's Date within Worksheet Calculations in Excel.

Enter Data in Excel

Entering data in Excel

Dos and Dont's of Entering Data in Excel covers best practices for data entry and shows you how to:

  • Plan the worksheet
  • Lay out the data
  • Enter headings and data units
  • Protect worksheet formulas
  • Use cell references in formulas
  • Sort data

Build a Column Chart

Column chart in Excel

How to Use Charts and Graphs in Excel explains how to use bar graphs to show comparisons between items of data. Each column in the chart represents a different data value from the worksheet.

Create a Line Graph

Line graph in Excel

How to Make and Format a Line Graph in Excel in 5 Steps shows you how to track trends over time. Each line in the graph shows the changes in the value for one data value from the worksheet.

Visualize Data With a Pie Chart

Pie chart in Excel

Understanding Excel Chart Data Series, Data Points, and Data Labels covers how to use pie charts to visualize percentages. A single data series is plotted and each slice of the pie represents a single data value from the worksheet.

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