Navigating the Excel Basics for Beginners

Hello there! Let’s speak about Microsoft Excel’s interesting tabs and how to make use of Excel for Beginner.Are you ready for the Excel journey? Let’s get started!

Excel is a digital superhero with cool communities called tabs. File, Home, Insert, Page Design, Formulas, Data, Evaluation, and View are all available. Unless you’ve worked with your handy toolbar (more on that later), this is the image that appears by definition when you first open Excel.

How to Use Excel for Beginners:

File Tab

The File tab in Excel is like the control center. It’s where you manage your workbook. You can add a password to keep others from messing with your work, and check if your font size is good for everyone.

When you want to start fresh, hit NEW to create a new workbook. Just press Ctrl+N for a quick shortcut. OPEN lets you access an old workbook. It opens a window for you to choose the file you want.

SAVE is like a superhero, saving your work and updating it whenever you hit Ctrl+S. You can also print, share, export, or close, but you might not need those right away. Easy, right? 😊

Home Tab

Sure thing! Let’s break down the Home Tab and its ribbons in simpler terms:

  • Clipboard 📋
    Imagine Clipboard as your digital notepad. Here, you can copy (Ctrl+C), cut (Ctrl+X), and paste (Ctrl+V) stuff. There’s also a cool tool called the format painter that makes your charts and data look fancy with just a couple of clicks. It’s like a temporary storage space until you decide where to put your copied or cut stuff - you can move things between workbooks, sheets, or even different programs like Word or PowerPoint.
  • Font 🖋️
    The typeface is where your can add flair to your text! You have the option of making it bold, italic, or underlined. Adjust the colour and fill in the content as well. It’s similar to selecting multiple colours for the text and background.
  • Alignment 🔄
    Alignment helps you position your text and numbers. You can make them left, right, center, up, or down. Do narrow columns? No worries, you can tilt your text diagonally or vertically. There are also cool options like ‘Wrap Text’ and ‘Merge & Center’ that we’ll explore later.
  • Number 🔢
    The number is all about formatting your numbers. Whether it’s money, time, or just plain numbers, you can make them look snazzy. Ever wanted to turn ‘345’ into a currency with a currency symbol in front? Or change ‘0.23’ into a percentage (like 23%)? Number Ribbon’s got you covered. You can also control how many decimal places your numbers have.
  • Styles 🎨
    Styles are like magic for your text. You can set conditions like coloring values over fifty or adding arrows for profit or loss. Want your data to look like a neat table? There’s a shortcut for that (Ctrl+T)! You can also play with colors, italics, and headings to style your cells.
  • Cell 🧊
    Cell is where you tweak your spreadsheet. Insert lets you add a new cell between existing ones. Delete removes the cells you’ve highlighted, and Format helps you change the height or width of rows or columns.
  • Editing 🧮
    Editing is like your quick math toolbox. AutoSum adds up numbers in a row or column. Clear deletes selected values. Sort and Filter help you organize your data, and Find (Ctrl+F) and Replace (Ctrl+H) are like your search and replace buddies.

I explained this part because, especially if you’re just starting or know a bit about Excel, you’ll likely use the Home tab the most. After that, you might explore the Insert and Data tabs. While the Formulas tab is essential like the Home tab, I’ll cover how to write formulas in cells later.


The Insert tab is like the creative corner of Excel. It’s where you can make your data look cool with pictures, charts, or even 3D maps. If you’re just starting, you might only need the Pivot Table tool in the Insert tab. Let’s move on to the Data tab for now.


I left out the Page Layout and Formulas tabs on purpose. We’ll get into formulas later in a hands-on session. Unless you’re printing your workbook, you don’t need the Page Layout tab when you’re just starting. Easy! 🚀

Guess what? I haven’t really used the Page Layout tab for the past three years or so. It just hasn’t been my thing! 🤷‍♂️

Starting with Microsoft Office 2013, the Data tab in Excel became even more important. It’s like the cool tool area where Power Query and Pivot features became a regular part of Excel, not just add-ons.

  • Get External Data:
    Remember that article I wrote about web scraping with Power BI? Well, that same concept applies here. This part helps us bring in data from the Web, Text, Access, SQL, and more. There’s a nifty tool called ‘New Query’ that lets us tweak this data to fit our needs. Data Analysts find this tab super useful!
  • Data Tools:
    The Data Tools section is like a cleaning crew for your Excel data. It has tools such as ‘Text to Columns’, ‘Data Validation’, ‘Remove Duplicates’, and ‘Flash Fill’. Perfect for tidying up your data space.
  • Forecast:
    This part is like a crystal ball for Data Analysts. The Forecast ribbon lets them quickly predict stuff using a cool feature called What-If Analysis. 🚀💡

Formula Bar & Name Box:
Ever noticed that long bar at the top of your Excel sheet? That’s the formula bar! When you type stuff in a cell, it shows up there. Think of it like a helpful reminder board.

On the left of this bar is the function box. It’s where you pick what kind of math you want to do. Want an average, the smallest (MIN), or the biggest (MAX) number in a bunch? This box has your back! And on the far left is the name box. It tells you where you are in your Excel world, like B4. Handy, right?

Other parts of the Excel interface will be covered in the practical session of this series.

Wrap-up time! I covered the basics of the Excel interface, focusing on the essential tools. In the next part, we’ll dig into Data Entry and formatting to make things crystal clear. Stay tuned for more Excel adventures! 🚀✨

If you have more questions or need help with anything else, just let me know! 🌟 Enjoy using Excel! 🚀📊🎈

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