What is Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a software developed by Microsoft that allows you to analyze, process and store a large amount of data.

Excel is part of the Microsoft Office suite, Office 365 and its latest version is Excel 2019. Office 365 also includes other applications such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint.

How to get Microsoft Excel

Excel, like other Office applications, is available for both Windows and MacOS. In order to have Excel you have to create a Microsoft account, sign up a subscription (monthly or yearly), and then download and install Office 365 on your computer. If you are interested in Excel, you can visit the official Office 365 website for more details on the available subscriptions. You can choose to purchase a license or try Office for free for 30 days.

Microsoft Excel is even available online for free, and it’s available as app for mobile devices.

What can you do with Excel?

With Microsoft Excel you can:

  • Create a new spreadsheet, organized in rows and columns (new blank workbook)
  • Create a spreadsheet using one of the already preconfigured templates: calendar, invoice, personal monthly budget, project timeline, and many others
  • Data formatting: size, font, style, color, or more complex formatting like round up the data, etc.
  • Format the sheet: add rows and columns, hide columns, lock rows and columns, etc.
  • Use functions for mathematical calculations: sum, multiplication, etc.
  • Set macros
  • Create pivot tables and charts
  • Manage data
  • Review the document
  • Save documents wherever you want, even in OneDrive, and then use them on your computer, tablet or phone.
  • Share documents with other people, communicate via chat, and collaborate with others, wherever they are.

Main functions of Microsoft Excel

When you open an Excel document, you find a worksheet organized in columns and rows. The intersection of a column with a row makes a cell. The rows are identified by numbers, while the columns by the letters of the alphabet. The cell is identified by the row number and the column letter. (For example cell B3 is the cell created by the intersection of column B with row 3).

In the worksheet, above, you will find some tabs that allow you to access all the features and tools of Excel.

The most important tabs are:

  • File: It is used to create a new document or open an already created one. File is also used to save the document, print it and share it
  • Home: in the Home tab you find all the tools for formatting cells: font, size, style, color, and alignment. In the Numbers section, you can set the type of data: number, value date, text … You can set a conditional format, insert and delete cells, filters.
  • Insert: in the Insert tab, there are all the tools to insert the elements into the spreadsheet: functions, Pivot tables, images, graphs, links, and comments.
  • Data: you use this section when you need to import data from external sources into the spreadsheet
  • Review: the tools you find in the Review tab are used to check the spelling of the text, and to add, modify or delete comments.
  • View: you can change the display of the spreadsheet and set the document for printing.