How to Use Excel

Microsoft Office Excel is a software program that is used by many to create professional Charts and Spreadsheets. This article will show you how to maneuver this program so that you can utilize some of its most basic functions. This can be especially helpful for a person who has never used this program before.

Things you will need

  • A computer system
  • Microsoft Office (Disc)


  1. Order or borrow a copy of Microsoft Office. This disc has a list of softwares; you can choose to either install all of them or just MS Excel. When the installation is completed the MS Excel icon can be found on the desktop and or by going to ‘Start’, ‘Programs’, ‘Microsoft Office’ and Microsoft Excel.
  2. When the program is open, click one of the cells (the box) and enter the information you want. This may be formulas which you want to calculate, or you may need to organize a list of names or items.
  3. Create formula- input the numbers you want to calculate (horizontally or vertically). At the end of the numbers to be calculated place an equal (=) sign and click the function button on the main menu, select the formula you would like to use. The formulas that you can choose from include division, addition and subtraction etc. Follow the rest of proceedings until you have received a result for the calculation.
  4. If you want to add borders and/or shades to any selection of the cells in Excel, you have to make the formatting toolbar visible. Go to the main menu and click ‘View’, ‘Toolbars’ and then ‘Formatting’. Left click and highlight a cell or group of cells that you wish to format, and then click the ‘Paint’ icon button to shade the cell. Click the borders icon to put a border around the selected area.
  5. Another great feature of MS Excel is creating charts, this works well when making presentations at a seminar. Input the information that you would like to use to create the chart, the criterion depend of the topic.
  6. Go to the main menu and click ‘Insert’ and then ‘Chart’, this is where you will select the type of chart you would like to use. That is column, bar, line or pie chart. There are a few options on the right side of the box displaying the different chart designs.
  7. After this you can adjust or modify the contents of the chart. When you are certain of your result follow through with the proceedings by clicking ‘Next’ and then ‘Finish’
  8. When you have completed all your task in Excel, go to the main menu, click ‘File’ or the Windows Icon (depending on the version of Microsoft Office) and click either ‘Save’ or ‘Save as’. Name the file and save it in the required format at a convenient location. To start a new project go to ‘File’ and click ‘New’.


  • While you are using Microsoft Excel always save your work, if not you risk losing the file.

More Tips on Using Microsoft Excel