TechTips & Tricks

Advanced Excel Step-by-Step Tutorial: 7 Easy Basics for Beginners to Master

Excel is a powerful tool to handle and analyze data. Data dominates today’s world. It is a basic skill that can help any professional succeed in their work, in any field. This is true from finance to marketing and from science to education. Excel allows working with large data in solving complex calculations and presentations. Mastering Advanced Excel Course in Pune boosts personal and professional growth. It lets you make informed choices, automate tasks, and present data well.

This tutorial is for beginners. It will help them master the basics of advanced Excel. The classes are in Pune. After this tutorial, you will know how to use Excel’s interface. You will also know how to use formulas, data entry, and formatting. You will learn about organizing worksheets, and sorting and filtering data. Finally, you will learn about creating charts and graphs. You will also learn about using PivotTables and PivotCharts.

Tutorial Structure and Objectives : 

This tutorial aims to give you, the end user, the basics of Excel skills. The tutorial has seven steps. They cover the main parts of Excel skill. The seven steps present a basic skill. It equips a new learner with Excel’s core ability. It also gives a good base for acquiring more skills. The Seven Steps are as follows:

  1. Navigating the Excel interface.
  2. Basic Formulae and Functions
  3. Data Entry and Formatting
  4. Worksheet and workbook management.
  5. Sorting and Filtering Data
  6. Charts and graphs.
  7. PivotTables and PivotCharts.

This will help you build confidence. It will also help you develop skills in using Excel in many situations.

Step 1: Navigating the Excel Interface

To start with Excel you need to understand the Excel interface. The Excel workspace is divided into some primary areas, namely the ribbon, toolbars, and menus and of course, the worksheet grid.

Excel Workspace : 

  • Ribbon: On the very top, the ribbon has most of the commands and features you’ll be using. It is designed with Home, Insert, Page Layout, Formulas, Data, Review, and View tabs, where each contains groups of many different but related commands.
  • Toolbars: Below the ribbon, you will find the toolbars, which represent a quick way to access common commands and features.
  • Menus : The File menu, or what was commonly referred to as the backstage view, where users can open, save, print, share your workbooks, and use Excel options to customize. 
  •  Worksheet Grid The actual area where you will be keying or entering your data and be formed with the help of cells structed by rows and columns .

 Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar : 

  • Adding Commands: One can add more frequently utilized commands to the Quick Access Toolbar to enable quick ways of executing them. A right click on any command from the ribbon would add the option to “Add to Quick Access Toolbar”
  • Customizing the Ribbon: One can add more tabs and groups to the ribbon by the methods of removing or adding the tabs already present. To do so, click on the File menu, then “Options,” and then “Customize Ribbon.” Followed by that just make the changes you want to make.

Step 2: Basic Formulas and Functions : 

Hence the key lies in understanding the differences that exist between a formula and a function. Again, one way of looking at it is like formulae are what you build, and formulas themselves are just already built by excel. 

  • Definitions : A formula is an expression which orchestrates mathematical or logical operators with values in a cell or range of cells. A function is defaultValue formula:auto-recreated by Excelortoolunix by Excelthat takes #NAME? certain values in a particular order.
  • Differences: Formulas can range from being very simple arithmetic operations to very complex calculations. In contrast, functions are typically more structured or devised mostly for a specific purpose.

Arithmetic Operations : 

  • Performing Basic Operations: A formula can be used to perform some of the basic arithmetic operations between two numbers such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. For instance, if we write =A1+B1, then we will be returned with the result of adding the values of cells A1 and B1.
  • Using Cell References: References to cells allow one to use its values in your numerical computations. For example, =SUM(A1:A10) sums all the values from A1 to A10.

Common Functions : 

Introduction to Functions Excel has many types of functions, which are designed for different purposes, like SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, MIN, and MAX.

Practical Examples

  • SUM function: =SUM(A1:A10) results in the total of all values in the range A1 to A10.
  • AVERAGE function: =AVERAGE(A1:A10) computes the average value of the range A1 to A10.
  • COUNT function: =COUNT(A1:A10) shows how many cells in the range A1 to A10 contain numbers.
  • MIN and MAX Functions: =MIN(A1:A10) and =MAX(A1:A10) give the smallest and largest numbers in the range A1 to A10, respectively.

Step 3: Data Entry and Formatting : 

Swift and clean data entry coupled with proper formatting is always a necessity of a good spreadsheet.

Efficient Data Entry : 

Various Approaches of Quick Data Entry:

  • Auto Fill: The Auto Fill feature facilitates filling in data series (like dates, numbers, or patterns of text).
  • Flash Fill: Excel can intelligently fill in data based on examples you provide. For example, if you type a couple of examples of how you want to split a name into first and last names, Excel can fill in the rest of it.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts: This could save you a lot of time in data entry. For instance, `Ctrl + D` will copy the value above the cell and `Ctrl + R` will copy the value to the left of a cell.

Cell Formatting : 

Applying and Customizing Fonts, Colors and Borders:

  • Fonts: You can change the style, size, and color of your fonts; this is very useful for better readability or to draw attention to some data.
  • Colors: Add backgrounds in the cells to classify or emphasize the data.
  • Borders: Outline cells in case you need to have visual separations, or when the information is very important.

Applying Cell Styles and Themes: 

  • Cell Styles: Excel comes with a huge range of different styles that have been pre-formatted so that you can apply them real quick in the cells.
  • Themes: You can apply a theme to provide the look of a consistent professional look to your spreadsheet.

Conditional Formatting : 

  • Conditional Formatting Rules: Introduction
  • Highlighting Rules: Under this, there are rules to highlight cells that are used in meeting certain conditions, be it greater than or less than or between two values.
  • Data Bars, Color Scales, and Icon Sets: Graphic representations enable users to point to any trends and patterns within data very easily.
  • Highlighting Top/Bottom Values: Highlighting top 10 or bottom 10 values in a range.
  • Duplicate Values: Quickly identify duplicate values in a range.

Step 4: Working with Worksheets and Workbooks : 

As your work in Excel becomes more elaborate, eventually handling several worksheets and workbooks in a single application becomes necessary.

Working with Worksheets ( Inserting, Deleting, Renaming, and Moving Worksheets ) :

  • Insert Worksheets: Place the cursor on the sheet tab, right-click, and select “Insert.”
  • Delete Worksheets: Point to a sheet tab, right-click, and select “Delete.”
  • Rename a Worksheet: Point to a sheet tab, double-click it, and then type the new name.
  • Move Worksheets: Click the sheet tab and drag to move the worksheet either within the same workbook or to another open workbook.

Group Worksheets:

  • Group: Click the first sheet tab, hold `Ctrl`, and click other sheet tabs you want to group. You can now work on those multiple sheets simultaneously.

Moving Around Multiple Workbooks ( Open, close, and switch between Workbooks ) :

  • Opening Workbooks: Use the “Open” option in the File menu to open existing workbooks.
  •  Closing Workbooks: There is a “X” in the title bar of the workbook, click it.
  •  Switching Between Workbooks: Click the title bar of the workbook, or `Ctrl + Tab` can be used to move between the open workbooks.

Organising Data Across Worksheets ( Methods of Linking Data Between Worksheets ) :

  • Cell References: The data in worksheets can be linked together using cell references such that the formula in a worksheet refers to cells of different worksheets. An example is the formula =Sheet1!A1. This returns the contents of cell A1 in the first sheet. This enables one to create dynamic formulas from data across several different sheets.
  • 3D References: 3D references refer to the same cell or a range of cells on multiple worksheets. For example, `=SUM(Sheet1:Sheet3!A1)` will sum the cell A1 of Sheet1, Sheet2, and Sheet3 values.

Step 5: Sorting and Filtering Data : 

Sorting and filtering data is a very crucial thing to do while doing any analysis and handling big data in Excel.

Sorting Data ( Sorting on One or More Columns ) :

  • Single Column Sorting: Use the “Sort A to Z” or “Sort Z to A” buttons in the Data tab in order to sort data based only on a single column.
  •  Multiple Column Sorting: Use the “Sort” dialog box to sort data based on multiple columns. For example, you might want it sorted by last name first, then by first name.

Custom Sorting:

  • Sort by Color or Icon: values can be sorted according to the colors of the cells or icons that have been used when applying Conditional Formatting.

Filters : 

  • Filter Specific Data : Press the “Filter” in the Data tab. Filter arrows are added to the headers of the columns. You can then click these arrows to filter the data according to a certain criteria.
  • Advanced Filters: When a more advanced level of filters is required, use the “Advanced Filter” feature. This allows for the filtering of data using more than one criterion and then copies the filtered information to another location.

Clearing Filters and Sorts:

  • Clearing Filters: Click the “Filter” button again to clear the filter arrows.
  • Clear Sorting: This is done with the “Clear” button, which resides in the Sort & Filter group on the Data tab.

Step 6: Charts and Graphs

Charts and graphs are most easily used to display information, as they present data in graphical form. Excel’s many types of charts help to address the specific needs of analyses.

Creating Simple Charts ( Create a Chart ) :

  • Select Data: Select the range of data for the data you want to appear in your chart.
  • Add Chart: Under the Add Chart menu on the Insert tab, select if you want to add a bar, pie, or line chart.
  • Type of Charts: Use the type of chart that best shows what is happening in your data. For example, a bar chart for comparing categories, a line chart to show trends over time, etc. or a pie chart to show proportions

Chart Elements Customization ( Chart Titles, Legends, Axes, and Data Label Modification ) : 

  • Chart Title: You can click on the chart title and change the chart title to a more descriptive one in case there is a need to do so.
  • Legend: One may reposition the legend or increase its size to be a bit more visible. Also, you can change the legend entries and data series names above to your preferred ones.
  • Axes: You would most certainly want to change the title of the axes and their scale using values that make sense in your presentation. You can add a title for both the x and y-axes to describe what they are measuring.
  • Data Labels: Make the visualization of the chart real in the audience’s eyes by applying data labels on to the chart; many times, this helps the audience see the exact data points.

Using Charts to Analyze Data (  Determining Trends and Patterns ) :

  • Trend Lines: Apply a trend line onto your line chart to see whether a trend or pattern could be determined from your data.
  • Comparisons: Use bar charts whenever comparisons between different categories or groups of data need to be compared.

Presenting the Data Clearly:

  • Key Data Highlighting: By applying the differentiation of color and shape, key data points could be highlighted.
  • Simplification of Difficult Data: Charts allow the person to make sense of the data, which could not be easy in the ordinary course of understanding.

Step 7: PivotTables and PivotCharts : 

PivotTables and PivotCharts are very powerful tools to sum up and modify an enormous volume of data).

Introduction of PivotTables

  • What is a PivotTable? A PivotTable is a summarizing tool that groups data, applies filters to it, and sorts it to derive insights from the data.
  • Benefits: Using this process, PivotTables can save perspicuity and time for summarizing the data.

PivotTable Fields Customization : 

  • Drag and Drop Fields: You can drag fields from the ‘PivotTable Fields’ list into areas of the PivotTable—for example, rows, columns, or values.
  • Calculated Fields: It creates calculated fields so that any customized calculation can be made within the PivotTable.

Applying Filters, Sorting and Formatting : 

  • Filters: It allows using the filter pane to filter data in the PivotTable.
  • Sort: Organize data in the PivotTable for meaning.
  •  Apply Formatting: Apply cell formatting on the PivotTable for better readability.

PivotCharts (Insert PivotCharts ) :

  • From PivotTables: Click on any cell in your PivotTable, go to the Insert tab, and select PivotChart.
  •  Chart Elements: Modify the title of the chart, legend, axis titles, and the data label to make it more presentable.


Congratulations. You have successfully completed this tutorial on advanced Excel classes in Pune. You should now have a good working understanding of Excel basics: the Excel interface, formulas and functions, data entry techniques and editing, worksheet management, data sorting, filtering, charts/graphs, and PivotTables and PivotCharts. Mastering Excel calls for rigorous practice and learning of advanced features.

The essentials of learning Excel bloomed from doing it repetitively and being curious about exploring what it has to offer. This can be furthered by doing online courses, going through tutorials, or joining online community forums. In your progression of continued practice and learning, you will discover that Excel is a tool that will benefit you greatly in life in both general use and at work.


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