Excel Training for Beginners

By Sarah Rigg

Spreadsheets are powerful tools that allow businesses and individuals to track and manipulate information. Excel is one of the most commonly used spreadsheets, and knowing how to use it may make you a better hiring prospect for certain jobs. Read on to learn more about Excel's basic functions and how to find training for beginners.

Identification

Excel is a software program created by Microsoft that allows users to create spreadsheets of information.

Function

A spreadsheet is a computer program that allows a user to enter numbers and text in rows and columns. That information can be manipulated to create pivot tables, graphs and charts.

Significance

The ability to use Excel is often a requirement in office and administrative jobs. Excel may be used to track sales or inventory for a business or grades and assignments in a classroom.

Resources

Resources for finding free Excel training for beginners include libraries and temp agencies. Low-cost or subsidized classes may be found through community colleges, city or township continuing education programs or seminars sponsored by local business organizations.

Time Frame

Learning the most basic functions of Excel may take only a single two-hour session. Most beginner level Excel classes consist of several sessions for a total of 6 to 8 hours of classroom time.

Features

Learning to enter data, format numbers, add and delete rows and columns, and create formulas are usually among the first lessons taught to beginners. More complicated manipulation of data--such as creating graphs and tables or learning how to use the "mail merge" function--is usually saved for intermediate or advanced training sessions.

Expert Insight

If you can't find an Excel class for beginners in your area, you can download a free 60-day trial of Excel from the Microsoft website and explore the site's demos and tutorials.