How to Learn Excel Online

By Ty Arthur

The Excel program is one facet of the Microsoft Office software suite. Excel is a spreadsheet solution that allows you to group lists of data together, such as client lists or product costs, and then modify that data using various mathematical formulas. The many different settings and options in Excel can be hard to understand on your own, so you may want to use an online tutorial to help you figure out the basics.

Step 1

Follow one of the links in the Resources section to an online Excel tutorial. Read through the first few examples to understand how to create a new spreadsheet and use the toolbar options.

Step 2

Open a new Excel spreadsheet. Follow along with the examples by typing the formulas and numbers into the spreadsheet that are explained on the tutorials.

Step 3

Use the Microsoft video tutorials website if you need visual assistance to see exactly where and what to type (see Resources). Continue following the examples until you have a basic understanding of how the formulas work and the proper order of operations to use in each formula.

Step 4

Locate the section of the tutorial that deals with keyboard shortcuts. Read through the section to find out how to quickly add or remove columns or complete other simple tasks without navigating through the menu.

Step 5

Try typing your own formulas and headings into the spreadsheet to make sure you fully understand how to use what you've learned so far. Navigate your web browser to an Excel help forum if you can't get a formula to work or are unable to format a cell the way you want to (see Resources).

Step 6

Sign up for the forum and post your questions. Wait for someone with more comprehensive knowledge of Excel to help you find the answer to your question.

Step 7

Check through the online tutorials to find a specific formula or formatting type that you want to use but aren't sure how to implement. Find an example that is close to what you want and attempt to modify it to work for your specific needs.

Step 8

Navigate to the section of a tutorial that deals with Excel macros. Click on the "View" tab in your spreadsheet and then click on "Record Macro." Follow the steps in the Macro tutorial to learn how to make automated macros for repetitive Excel tasks.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider purchasing an Excel tutorial book to supplement your online lessons, such as "Excel Bible" or "Excel For Dummies." A physical book will list all of the formulas and operations in organized tables and may include examples that your online lessons don't mention.
  • Different versions of Excel may have their menus located in different areas. Some formulas also work differently in different versions. Always check the tutorial you are currently using to make sure it is compatible with the version of the Excel software you have.