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Excel Basics– the Ultimate Beginner’s Course

Learn Microsoft Excel at your own Pace - includes all the Workbooks used and is taught by a Microsoft Certified Trainer
5.0 (1 rating)
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8 students enrolled
Created by David Millard
Last updated 5/2016
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  • 3.5 hours on-demand video
  • 38 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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Learn the basic concepts of spreadsheet design, formulas and functions that will enable you to build fully working models using the world’s most popular spreadsheet software.

Build a strong foundation in spreadsheet software with this Excel beginner’s course taught by a Microsoft Certified Trainer

  • ·         Workbooks and Worksheets
  • ·         Formulas and Functions
  • ·         Sorting, Filtering and Tables
  • ·         Charts and Graphs
  • ·         Page Layout, Formatting and Printing

A Powerful Skill Employers Want

Learning to use Excel puts you in a very strong position in the workplace. Employers in many different fields need people who are skilled at using the immense power of Excel to manipulate data.

When you understand the basics you can move on to more advanced topics like data analysis, using Excel for forecasting, building financial models and summarizing business activity via a dashboard.

Content and Overview

I designed this Excel course to be easily understood by absolute beginners. Even if you are self-taught, in this comprehensive course we will cover together the right ways to use a spreadsheet efficiently and quickly.

We start with the basics of the Excel workbook and learn how to become confident in moving around quickly. We continue with Inserting, Hiding and Deleting and then look at the right method of performing Calculations.

Ever wonder why your formulas are not consistent? We’ll learn how to make them reliable and work every time – you’ll be amazed at just how easy it is. You will be able to choose how much you see by using Filters, and impress your peers by adding a Chart in a couple of clicks.

We finish up with a clear method of ensuring you only print what you want. By the end of the course you will be confident in using any version of Excel and capable of harnessing the power of this amazing software. You will be able to make Excel do what YOU want, not be a slave to what IT wants!

Complete with the actual working files I use, you'll be able to work alongside me and will receive a verifiable certificate of completion upon finishing the course.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is perfect for absolute beginners but is also suitable for self-taught Excel users. No prior knowledge is required and the techniques taught will work in any version of Excel. It is probably not for you if you want to learn more advanced and complex functionality.
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What Will I Learn?
Learn the basic concepts of spreadsheet design, formulas and functions that will enable you to build fully working models using the world’s most popular spreadsheet software.
View Curriculum
  • You should have access to a working copy of Microsoft Excel before starting this course.
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 43 Lectures Collapse All 43 Lectures 03:34:30
Welcome to Excel Basics - The Ultimate Beginner's course
2 Lectures 04:15

Get up to speed fast with our easy-to-follow Excel training!

This course does exactly what it says on the tin - teaches Excel Basics.

If you use Excel in your job, you probably know everything you need to know in order to get the job done. Most of us only learn what we need - that's human nature.

BUT - when I am out training on a client's site I often hear “You don’t know what you don’t know!”. That's because many people who use Excel have only ever had “on the job” training, and as a result may find that their skills are out of date.

Improve your Skills

Refreshing your skill set is an important part of continuous professional development and a critical factor when you are applying for a new position.

Give yourself a head start when looking for a new job or seeking promotion at work by getting up to speed with the latest versions of Excel.

Things have moved on quite a bit in recent years, and by leveraging the new features of Excel you will find that you work quicker and more efficiently - and that will impress your peers and your boss!

Tutorials in Plain English

All the tutorials are all recorded by me - David Millard - and I don't record waffle or jargon.

I attend training courses myself, so I guess the things that drive me mad will probably drive you mad too.

My Excel tutorial videos are designed for self-study, so I keep them brief and focussed on a specific topic.

They all come with a practice file too so you can download and have a go yourself.

Pause, Stop, Rewind

And of course, you have lifetime access to all the material so you can watch as many times as you want, pause and rewind, take notes or try the techniques out for yourself.

Preview 02:20
Excel Basics
13 Lectures 56:00

This first tutorial explores the Excel interface and demonstrates a quick way of navigation. Use a blank workbook for practice.

Preview 03:55

In this tutorial we look at the File tab and discover how to open a workbook based on a template and a blank workbook... Use a blank workbook for practice.

Creating a New Workbook

The shape of the mouse pointer is a visual clue to the action Excel will take, so this is an important basic concept to understand. Use a blank workbook for practice.

Pointer Shapes

In this tutorial I show you how to open and close workbooks and how to add a link to a file or a folder by pinning it to the backstage view.
Opening and Closing Workbooks

This tutorial examines moving around the worksheet with the keyboard and mouse for navigation.
Moving around with Keyboard and Mouse

In this tutorial we look at opening more than one workbook at a time so that you can see how easy it is to switch between them - a very common activity in Excel.

Preview 05:51

Here we look at renaming sheets in a workbook by giving them meaningful titles.

Renaming Sheets

In this tutorial we look at copying an moving sheets, and how we can maintain all the existing formatting while we do it.

Copying and Moving Sheets

Today's tutorial shows you how to insert new sheets into a workbook, and what to do if you no longer need a sheet.

Inserting and Deleting Sheets

In this tutorial we change the colours of some sheet tabs to make them easily identifiable.

Changing Sheet Tab Colours

Copying and moving data is one of the most common tasks in Excel, or indeed,, the workplace. Here we use the cut and copy buttons to replace and copy data from one place to another.
Copying and Moving Cells

As an alternative to using cut, copy and paste, many people prefer to use the mouse and drag cells to perform the same actions.

Copying and Moving by Dragging

Here we use the techniques covered so far to create a basic spreadsheet, and illustrate hoe useful the Fill handle can be. Use a blank workbook for practice.
Using the Fill Handle

Test your knowledge so far with this quick quiz...
Quick Quiz
5 questions
7 Lectures 40:21
A short and simple tutorial that explains how rows and columns can be inserted into a worksheet.
Inserting Rows and Columns

In this tutorial we describe the risks involved in deleting rows and columns.

Deleting Rows and Columns

Sometimes a better alternative to deleting rows or columns is simply to hide them – this tutorial explains how.

Hiding Rows and Columns

Changing the width of a column or the height of a row is an everyday task that should be easy - and it is! We look at ways of doing this in this tutorial...

Adjusting Column Widths

Row heights are changed in the same ways as column widths, but the height of the font used can also play a part in determining how tall a row should be.

Adjusting Row Height

When you want to copy something down a column the Fill handle can be invaluable. We saw in a previous video how this can be used in a basic way and in this tutorial we explore some less well-known methods.
Copying by Using the Fill Handle

In this tutorial I look at an alternative method of copying.
Copying Using the Shortcut Menus

OK, so what do you remember about worksheets? Test yourself with this quick quiz...

Worksheets Quiz
5 questions
7 Lectures 36:21
Selecting cells accurately is essential if Excel is to perform calculations correctly, so this short tutorial shows you some of the ways you can select cells with the mouse and the keyboard. Use a blank workbook for practice.
Preview 06:32

Aligning cells is done automatically depending on the type of data they contain, but there are many occasions when you want to change the default behaviour.

Cell Alignment

The Format Painter is an incredibly useful feature in Excel and a massive time-saver as well. This tutorial looks at how to get the most from it.

The Format Painter

Formatting is easy and makes all the difference to how people interact with a spreadsheet. It is a part of the user interface and as such should follow best practice guidelines.
Simple Formatting

A quick look at changing Fonts, their colours, weight and sizes.
Fonts, Font Size and Font Colour

Adding a border to a cell can make it stand out, or indicate where a value should be entered, a calculation performed or an outcome placed - there are lots of reasons for doing so and this tutorial explains how.
Cell Borders

Sometimes adding a subtle pattern to a cell can be a substitute for colour - useful for printing in black and white.

Cell Patterns

See how much you have learned from this section by taking this short quiz...

Formatting Quiz
5 questions
6 Lectures 36:18

We kick off with a very simple subtraction, but it allows me to show you the best practice for constructing a formula.

Introduction to Formulas and Functions

The invoice exercise is one for you to complete yourself, but this walkthrough can be useful to check your results.

Invoice Walkthrough

One of the most basic principles in Excel is locking a cell reference so that it can be copied to other cells. This is called making the reference absolute, as opposed to relative which is the default behaviour.
Absolute Cell References

There are almost 500 functions in Excel 2013, many of which are specific to certain areas, industries or careers. We look at the most common and see how they differ from formulas.


Moving on, we look at multiplication and the order of calculation.

Named Ranges

Financial workbooks often refer to standard time periods such as quarters and half years. Excel has a built-in functionality that will automatically create an index when the worksheet is laid out in a specific way, making it very easy to create executive summaries - this video explains how to use it.


Formulas and functions can be tricky to get the hang of, but practice makes perfect. This short quiz will let you test your knowledge - and knowledge is power!

Calculations Quiz
5 questions
Sorting and Filtering Data
3 Lectures 19:09

Sorting can be helpful when you want to see the data arranged in a particular order. The order can be alphabetical, numerical or in arranged in date order and Excel is smart enough to recognise the type of data and give you the appropriate choice.


Filtering data allows the information that is not required to be hidden, so you only see what you need. The filter tabs were previously called Autofilter, but in later versions of Excel they have become easier to use and a lot more flexible.


Tables were introduced in Excel 2007 and have rapidly become an essential feature of my use of the software. This tutorial guides you through creating a table and then shows you some of the amazing things that are possible once the data is in a tabular format.


Sorting and Filtering Quiz
5 questions
3 Lectures 13:21

This tutorial shows two methods of inserting a chart and formatting options including adding data labels, changing text colour and adding percentage points,

Inserting Charts in Excel 2010

In this tutorial the exercise used last time is repeated but using Excel 2013. The differences in the two versions can be seen and the alternative formatting options appreciated.

Adding Charts in Excel 2013

Sparklines are simply small charts that fit into a single cell. Introduced in Excel 2010, sparklines are even easier to insert in later versions - this tutorial shows you how.


Chart Quiz
5 questions
2 Lectures 08:45
It is easy to tell Excel exactly what to print, but if you don't it will assume you want to print everything - not always a good idea. In this tutorial I explain how to do it...
Setting and Clearing a Print Area

Ever print a worksheet only to find critical columns cut off and put on their own sheet? Sadly, it is all too common but after watching this tutorial you need never suffer from that nuisance again...

Page Breaks and Column Headers

Test your knowledge of printing only what you want with this short quiz...

Printing Quiz
5 questions
About the Instructor
4.7 Average rating
30 Reviews
294 Students
3 Courses
Microsoft Certified Trainer


I was born and brought up in Liverpool, England and moved to the south of the country in the 1970’s. I am a published photographer with my images appearing in publications in both the USA and Australia and the author of several books on Amazon Kindle store.


I have qualifications in Computing and Software Engineering and a Post-Compulsory Education degree. After becoming a Microsoft Master Instructor in the 1980’s I was granted Microsoft Certified Trainer status in 2009.


As a former college lecturer I spent years in the classroom teaching people how to use software packages. . I still train several software packages, including the Microsoft Office suite, Visio, Project and Adobe Photoshop and am a big fan of open-source software. I use and train WordPress and Camtasia Studio.

I am still based in the United Kingdom where I live with my family.

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