Summary: Want to excel at Microsoft Excel? Here are some of the best tips to help you use excel like a pro.

Want to be an analyst, marketer, accountant, CA, or entrepreneur who can keep track of almost everything? Well, excel is the key. Whether you want to merge two sheets, do simple math, or want to combine the information in multiple cells. Excel can do it! There are so many shortcuts, formulas, tips, and tricks that can help you simplify your work.

The best part is that you don`t need advanced Excel knowledge to master it. So let`s begin.

What is Excel?

Microsoft Excel is powerful data visualization and great software that can do analytics. This software uses spreadsheets to organize, store, and track data sets with formulas and functions. The software is used by many professionals working in distinct profiles and departments.

Though it is primarily used for creating financial documents, it is used to store, compile and analyze large amounts of data. It removes the need to spend hours counting cells and copying them from one sheet to another.

Basics of Excel

Now when you know the uses of Excel, let`s talk about the Excel basics. If you are just a beginner and using Excel for the first time, here are a few things that you must remember:

  1. Creating a new spreadsheet.
  2. Basic computations like adding, subtracting, dividing, and multiplying.
  3. Writing and formatting column texts.
  4. Using auto-fill features.
  5. Freezing columns and rows titles as you scroll past them.
  6. Sorting your data in alphabetical order.

Documents You Can Create in Excel

You must be wondering what kind of documents you can create in Excel. You can create income statements, balance sheets, and calendars.

If you are a marketer you can create documents like marketing budgets, reports tracking marketing budgets, as well as spending, using Excel. You can also create editorial calendars in an Excel sheet to keep track of your social posts and content in advance. Excel can be used for all sorts of calculators- including one for tracking leads and traffic.

Excel Formulas

Excel has plenty of formulas that can appear overwhelming to any beginner. But, fret not! If you are just a beginner, you can rely on the following formulas that are basic, simple, and easy to remember. You can use them even to carry out some complex functions.

  1. Equal Sign: Before writing any formula, you will have to type an equal sign (=) in the cell where you want the result to appear.
  2. Addition: If you want to add the value of two cells, use the ‘+’ sign. Example- =C4+E6.
  3. Subtraction: To subtract the values of two or more cells, use the ‘-‘sign. Example: =C6-H12.
  4. Multiplication: To multiply the values of two or more cells, use the * sign. Example: = D12*F4.
  5. Division: To divide the values of two or more cells, use the /sign. Example: =C5/D3.

Putting all the above-mentioned formulas together, you can create a formula that adds, subtracts, multiplies, and divides all in one cell. For e.g. (C5-D3)/((A5+B6)*7).

Excel Functions

After the formulas come Excel functions. These functions automate some of the tasks you would use in a typical formula. So instead of using the + sign, you will use the SUM function to add up a range of cells.  Here is a list of a few more functions that will help automate the calculation and tasks.

  1. SUM: To add up a range of cells or numbers you can use the SUM function. To complete a sum, you would input the starting cell and the final cell with a colon in between. Here’s what that looks like SUM(Cell1:Cell2). Example: =SUM(C7:C23).
  2. AVERAGE: The AVERAGE function averages out the values of a range of cells. The syntax is the same as the SUM function: AVERAGE(Cell1:Cell2). Example: =AVERAGE(C5:C30).
  3. IF: The IF function allows you to return values based on a logical test. The syntax is as follows: IF(logical_test, value_if_true, [value_if_false]). Example: =IF(A2>B2,"Over Budget","OK").
  4. VLOOKUP: The VLOOKUP function helps you search for anything on your sheet’s rows. The syntax is VLOOKUP(lookup value, table array, column number, Approximate match (TRUE), or Exact match (FALSE)). Example: =VLOOKUP([@Attorney],tbl_Attorneys,4,FALSE).
  5. INDEX: The INDEX function returns a value from within a range. The syntax is as follows: INDEX(array, row_num, [column_num]).
  6. MATCH: The MATCH function looks for a certain item in a range of cells and returns the position of that item. It can be used in tandem with the INDEX function. The syntax is: MATCH(lookup_value, lookup_array, [match_type]).
  7. COUNTIF: The COUNTIF function returns the number of cells that meet certain criteria or have a certain value. The syntax is COUNTIF(range, criteria). Example: =COUNTIF(A2:A5,"London").

We know these formulas might look complicated, but once you get the hang of these formulas, you can do a lot of calculations without needing to use a calculator. So, try these formulas and with regular practice, you can excel at Excel.

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