Interactive: Excel Skills

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Getting started with a basic formula

Time required: 10m
Lesson URL:
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Making the most of Excel

Most people get started with Excel as a place to make lists. The next step up from that is basic calculator functionality followed by more complex models and ultimately basic software programs.

The goal of this module is to give you a solid grounding in the building blocks of Excel models. We will cover the most useful core functions as well as basic best practices. We have a guide covering more of the uses of Excel for SEO which is a great place to get started with tables, pivot tables and other crucial Excel skills. We recommend that you start with the Microsoft Developer Center if you would like to learn the Visual Basic programming language.

In this module, we will cover:

  • Basic math functionality
  • Best practices: naming your references
  • String manipulation (length, substrings, finding characters)
  • Basic Boolean logic
  • Reference handling and lookups
  • Error handling
  • Working with columns of data

The intention is that this module will give you a solid enough grounding that, when combined with the extensive help will allow you to create any formula you need.

We are going to start with simple calculator-type functions:

You enter a formula in Excel by starting with an equals sign (=). Cells are referenced by their row and column - so C2 is the cell three along and two down.

You can construct mathematical formulae using cell references and the basic mathematical operators: + (addition), - (subtraction), * (multiplication) and / (division).

The formula below adds cells A1 and B1. Modify it to divide A1 by B1.



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 If A1 and B1 were numbers, how would you divide A1 by B1?

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For example, if you were dividing 4 by 2 in excel, you would write = 4 / 2

Not yet completed

Copying formulae

Time required: 15m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Best practices: naming your references

Time required: 5m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Introduction to text manipulation - string length

Time required: 10m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Finding text in a string

Time required: 15m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Slicing and dicing strings

Time required: 20m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Basic logic

Time required: 10m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Error handling

Time required: 10m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Basics of arrays

Time required: 15m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Conditional columns

Time required: 20m
Teacher: Will Critchlow

Lookups and matches

Time required: 20m
Teacher: Will Critchlow