Computing Group – The Basics Of Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel Microsoft Excel was developed by Microsoft in 1982 and made part of the Microsoft Office Suite. Under the Microsoft banner it has become the best selling software for building professional spreadsheets.

A bit of history… Microsoft originally marketed a spreadsheet program called Multiplan in 1982. Multiplan became very popular on CP/M systems, but on MS-DOS systems it lost popularity to Lotus 1-2-3. Microsoft released the first version of Excel for the Macintosh on September 30, 1985, and the first Windows version was 2.05 (to synchronise with the Macintosh version 2.2) in November 1987.   Lotus was slow to bring 1-2-3 to Windows and by the early 1990s Excel had started to outsell 1-2-3 and helped Microsoft achieve its position as a leading PC software developer for spreadsheet software. This accomplishment solidified Microsoft as a valid competitor and showed its future of developing GUI software. Microsoft has maintained its advantage with regular new releases, every two years or so. (The link below is a Wikipedia page which opens up in either a new window or tab, depending how you have your browser set up. This link gives much more information on Excel and its history.)


IMPORTANT NOTE: It doesn't matter what type of computer you use. The YouTube video links work in the same way across ALL operating systems.


Source of the videos: We have used video links from the Goodwill Community Foundation Learn Free website. To see the Excel videos, and other software training in their portfolio, you can access it via the link below.

The videos in this series will give you excellent training on using Microsoft Excel. With practice it's easy enough to master, though it's a comprehensive program that requires time to learn it properly. This is especially so if you are to master the way to use functions and more complex features like the advanced formulas and Pivot Tables. In all there are 26 training videos; each one varies in length from a short three or four minutes to ones that are around seventeen minutes. You can replay them, or come back to them, as often as you like.

YouTube & Advertising
This is a Google owned business. They make their money through advertising. When some videos start to play there may be an advert appearing. Usually there is an option to click the advert ribbon off by clicking on the X in the top right hand corner and it should disappear.

At the end of each video there will be a reminder of who produced the video (in this case it's but you can stop the video at anytime and go to the next one. Lots of businesses use YouTube to promote their services so it's not unreasonable if they promote their stuff! 

Practice makes perfect…
If you have Microsoft Excel on your computer it may be useful to have the program open so you can practice what you learn.
By using the square symbol in the bottom right hand corner of the video you can make it play in full screen mode.

A suggestion… Work through the video training as your time allows. The running time for all of the training is around one hour and forty five minutes approx. By scheduling to watch them over several days you will soon be competent with this software.

Getting Started With Microsoft Excel 2016

Part 1

Getting Started with Excel 

Running Time: 4.21

Part 2

Create & Open Workbooks 

Running Time: 2.34


About One Drive:

This 'cloud' based platform is owned by Microsoft Corp.

There are alternatives;

(owned byApple)

Google Drive
(Yes, owned by Google!)

Part 3

Saving & Sharing

Running Time: 3.50

Cell Basics - Excel 2016

Part 4

Cell Basics

Running Time: 4.28

Part 5

Columns, Rows & Cells

Running Time: 4.48

Part 6

Formatting Cells

Running Time: 3.54

Part 7

Number Formats

Running Time: 5.43

Part 8

Using Multiple Worksheets

Running Time: 3.54

Part 9

Using Find & Replace

Running Time: 1.55

Within Excel, like the other components of the Microsoft Office Suite, Word and Powerpoint, it's possible to spell check the document. There isn't a video to show you how to do this but the link on the right will take you through the process.

Part 10

Page Layout & Printing

Running Time: 5.37

Formulas & Functions - Excel 2016

Part 11

Intro To Formulas

Running Time: 3.38

Part 12

Creating More Complex Formulas

Running Time: 5.11

Part 13


Relative & Absolute Cell References

Running Time: 5.25

Part 14


Running Time: 5.16

Working With Data - Excel 2016

Excel workbooks are designed to store a lot of information. Whether you're working with 20 cells or 20,000, Excel has several features to help you organise your data and find what you need. You can see some of the most useful features below. And be sure to check out the other lessons in this tutorial to get step-by-step instructions for each of these features.

Part 15

Freeze Panes & View Options

Running Time: 4.22


Part 16

How To Sort Your Data

Running Time: 4.30


Part 17


Running Time: 4.46


Part 18

Groups & Subtotals

Running Time: 4.23


Part 19


Running Time: 3.20


Part 20

Using Charts

Running Time: 4.31

Part 21

Conditional Formatting

Running Time: 3.45

Doing More With Excel 2016

Part 22

Track Changes & Comments

Running Time: 5.32

Part 23

Inspecting & Protecting Workbooks

Running Time: 3.13

Part 24

Introduction To PivotTables

Running Time: 4.34

Part 25

What-If Analysis

Running Time: 3.29