Excel for Beginners

DESCRIPTION: Microsoft Excel is a very powerful tool. It’s been used the world over for decades and for good reason. It is the oldest, most well-known and most affordable data processing software available. It works primarily about organising information into tables, but don’t think that’s the only way data is represented…no, no, no!! Once you develop even the basics of using this software, the possibilities are endless. You can go from analyzing simple data, to creating charts, to writing programs, to create art, to editing images and more!

In this bundle package, we have compiled the complete collection of beginner courses you’ll need to eventually reach the intermediate level. We make a strong assumption that you’ve never used the program before and as such will walk your through step-by-step. Most online training courses split up all the learning into parts which we have done similarly. However, we differ in that we’ve created the first course to be a quick start which gives a collection of the basics so that you can start using the program on your own straight away. The courses that follow will dig deeper.

The topics covered in this bundle include training in text and cell formatting, number formatting, AutoSum functions which will be your introduction into using formulas, arithmetic operations, use of equations, symbols, wordart and hyperlinks, organisation using sheets, images, shapes and SmartArt, data sorting, basic line charts and finally printing.

TARGET AUDIENCE: This course is for complete beginners who have limited or even no exposure to Microsoft Excel.

PROGRESS:    

DIFFICULTYBeginner

COURSE OUTCOMES:

  • Text and cell formatting
  • Number formatting
  • AutoSum and Count functions
  • Formulas – Arithmetic Operations and Insert Function
  • Equations, Symbols, WordArt and Hyperlinks
  • Organisation using sheets
  • Images
  • Shapes
  • SmartArt
  • Sorting tables
  • Inserting a basic line chart
  • Printing and PDF
Section 1: Getting Started with Excel for New Users

DESCRIPTIONYou’ve probably been told many times how amazing Microsoft Excel is. Only problem for beginners is how or where to get started. This course has been designed to teach the absolute basics and assumes you know nothing about the program. It also assumes you have minimal experience with computers and so I will take it really slow.

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Section 2: Text and Cell Formatting

DESCRIPTIONOnce you’ve learned how to type data in, it’s time to learn how to style it. Formatting begins as a learnable skill and evolves into an art form. To maximize your effectiveness in communicate data-based information, the formatting and appearance of your spreadsheet is absolutely critical for readability. There is nothing more frustrating than meticulously analysed data that cannot be read. So in this course, you’ll learn how to change the cell and text colour as well as create your own variety of colours, you’ll also learn border design, text justification, wrap texting and merging as well as several other formatting techniques.

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Section 3: Number Formatting

DESCRIPTIONWhen presenting information, you do not want to give any more or any less than the reader needs. Don’t show a number with 10 decimal places when 1 will do. Don’t provide time stamps and year in your dates when you only need the day and month. These slight modifications will not only reduce the amount of visual data that your audience needs to process, but also compresses the appearance of your information. This makes it easier to absorb by the audience and increases the effectiveness of your presentation.

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Section 4: AutoSum and Count Functions

DESCRIPTIONWhen first starting with formulas, they can be quite daunting. This is why I recommend beginning with the Excel AuToSum functions. These functions based on the data you select will automatically create the formula and sum up the values so you don’t have to. From here you’ll begin to understand how formulas and functions work in Excel and this will build your confidence so that you can use the more advance formulas later on. In this course I’ll teach the 5 AutoSum functions available; Sum, Count, Maximum, Minimum and Average.

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Section 5: Formulas - Arithmetic Operations and Insert Function

DESCRIPTION: The power of Excel comes from its ability to carry out complex equations and lay it out in a neat format. It can also do many calculations at once and duplicate ones you’ve already made. Once the connections between cells are established, any updates to the raw information used for your formulas will automatically update your final result. This will eventually allow you to create dynamic tables which can analyse based off changing raw data, and that’s just the beginning. In this course, you’ll learn how to get started with formulas by first telling Excel that you want to create one. We’ll then go through the different arithmetic functions available such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. We’ll add a little bit of complexity to this by introducing brackets and finally I’ll show you how to extend formulas using either cell copying or the fill handle.

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Section 6: Inserting Equations, Symbols, WordArt and Hyperlinks

DESCRIPTION: In addition to text and cell formatting, there are additional effects and functionality that you can add which include Equations, WordArt, Symbols and Hyperlinks. For equations, writing them as single line text is fine for simple equations but once complexity occurs it is difficult to read. Therefore, the equation editor structures the formula to look exactly like mathematical text books. WordArt is an effective way of creating headings with pre-set formatting but I’ll also show you how to adjust the formatting yourself. Next we’ll go through the thousands of available symbols available and it’s so easy you simple click and add. Lastly, we’ll go through Hyperlinks which allow you to travel to a different area within your spreadsheet or to another spreadsheet or even to a website.

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Section 7: Increase your Organisation using Sheets

DESCRIPTION: Sheets are the equivalent of pages in a book. Therefore, sheets should also tell a story of your data. Too many times I see users simply place random assortments of data in multiple sheets resulting in a complete mess and completely unreadable by anyone other than the creator which makes for non-transferable data. In addition to this issue, I also see links from one sheet go into a multitude of others which makes tracing and validating the analysis difficult or impossible. Instead, sheets should be there to help you organise your data in a logical order; one set of results building on the previous and flowing in only one direction. This makes tracing and following results much easier. In this course I’ll teach you the basic functions of sheets as well as best practices.

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Section 8: Images for Beginners

DESCRIPTION: A picture tells a thousand words! Images in Excel are usually underutilized or done very poorly. This is because most people don’t think of Excel as an image processor but think of it instead as purely a data processor. What they forget is that images are data!! Images can enhance the effect of your data as well as establish the feeling of the spreadsheet. Data is usually quite boring in comparison to an image and therefore the image becomes a focal point. The image will create an emotion in the reader and prepare them for the data. This is reason why images are so important in Excel and why everyone should know how to use them effectively.

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Section 9: Shapes for Beginners

DESCRIPTION: Besides simply using tables all the time, Excel provides a wide range of object shapes you can use to guide the users eyes so that they can focus on specific areas. This gives a whole new dynamic to your spreadsheet as object shapes appear very differently to data tables, thus making them stand out more. In this course I’ll teach you the basics of using shapes. We’ll go through a number of different ones including textboxes, arrows, banners, callouts, flowcharts and much more.

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Section 10: SmartArt for Beginners

DESCRIPTION: SmartArt is a fantastic way to present information in a graphical way. It allows you to create lists, process maps, life-cycle diagrams, hierarchies, relationship models, matrices and pyramids. The beauty of this function is that it’s available in all Microsoft Office products and thus this skill is transferrable. It’s so easy to do. Simply create bullet points and create hierarchies from that. SmartArt will automatically generate the image for you so you don’t have to do a thing.

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Section 11: Data Sorting and Filtering

DESCRIPTION: Tables in Excel can become quite large over time. Eventually, manual searching and reorganisation is inefficient. Luckily Excel has built-in sorting and filtering functions that allow you to reorganise based off certain parameters such as date or letter and even filter if a particular field matches a criteria you set. In order to elevate yourself to the next level of Microsoft Excel, sorting functions are a must as they will open the door to more advanced filtering functions and possibly if you’re so inclined, database development.

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Section 12: Inserting a Basic Line Chart

DESCRIPTION: Humans are visual creatures. Therefore, we should use Excel in a visual manner at every opportunity. In a table of data, especially large ones, it is difficult to see trends or patterns in data. Data analysis in particular is all about seeing events such as spikes, valleys and correlations in the data. By using charts we can visualize this very easily and Excel makes it very easy to do just that. In this course you’ll learn how to start at the very beginning of chart creation which is data preparation. Excel needs to read data in a particular way. Once prepared, the chart itself can be customized in an infinite number of ways, your imagination is the only limitation.

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Section 13: Printing and PDF

DESCRIPTION: This is where a lot of people struggle or don’t bother to put in the proper effort to get right. They spend days, weeks or even months performing an analysis but when it comes to printing it, the tables are not placed on the paper correctly, graphs are distorted, labels are cut off from the page all resulting in loss of impact. Don’t fall into this trap. One of the most important things to consider when printing is the person who will be reading it. Does it make sense? Is the font big enough to read? Is relevant information all contained on the same page? These are all important elements to consider so that the reader can absorb the information as quickly as possible. In this course you’ll learn all the setup required to get the scaling right which includes learning about page breaks, page layout views, scaling, orientations, paper size, margins and much more. We’ll finish by learning about the Portable Document Format (PDF) which will allow you to share your data very easily.

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