Google Spreadsheet Basics: A (Free) Introduction

Learn Google Spreadsheets Step by Step, and Ditch Excel for the More Powerful Google Docs!
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  • Lectures 18
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 5/2015 English

Course Description

Become a master Google Docs user with this course on using Google Spreadsheets. You'll learn:

  • How to use Google Spreadsheets just like you use Microsoft Excel
  • 3 amazing tools only available in Google Spreadsheets
  • How to write your own scripts and use Google addons to get more done
  • How to create charts, tables, graphs and format data

This course will give you you everything you need to know about Google Spreadsheets.

From the fundamentals, to the most advanced features, after taking this class you will be able to use Spreadsheets like a MASTER. Pretty soon, you'll be using Spreadsheets better than most people can use Excel... and be able to take advantage of the super useful features that only Google Spreadsheets has to offer.

In this course, you will learn all of the following about Google Spreadsheets:

  • Learn how to navigate around Spreadsheets
  • Learn how to adjust the way data and information are displayed
  • Learn how to write formulas quickly and easily with the point-and-click method
  • Learn how to create powerful calculations
  • Learn how to visually represent your data with charts and graphs
  • Learn how to use data tools like sorting, subtotaling, and filtering
  • Learn how to automate tasks with time-saving scripts and addons
  • Learn Spreadsheets secrets and shortcuts

As bonus material, you will also learn two very incredible, and super valuable, skills:

  • how to harvest data from the web
  • how to create online forms which allow you to gather data from individuals

As an additional bonus, you can follow along and complete challenges and quizzes as you learn the material. You will also be shown how to find and download free Spreadsheet templates that will allow you to do all kinds of things.

Another great aspect of this course is that, at the end of this class, you will be given a CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION.

This class is guaranteed to teach you Google Spreadsheets. Once enrolled, you will have access to this course for the rest of your life. You will always be able to come back to this class to review material or to learn new material. Try this course for yourself and see how quickly and easily you too can learn to use Google Spreadsheets.

What are the requirements?

  • Access to Google Spreadsheets

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Use Google Spreadsheets like they can use Excel
  • Understand and be able to create charts and graphs in Spreadsheets
  • Create their own formulas
  • Format, filter and manipulate data in Google Spreadsheets

Who is the target audience?

  • Anyone who works regularly with Excel and wants to experience the power of Google Docs
  • Anyone who wants to get up and running with Google Spreadsheets

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction
Introduction & Why Google Spreadsheets are Awesome
Section 2: Spreadsheet Basics

In this lecture, we cover the basics of creating a Google Spreadsheet, naming it, and sharing it with others.

Please, if you are already familiar with Excel, feel free to skip down to the next section on manipulating data. Many of the things covered in this section (formatting data and rows/columns) are done the same way they're done in Excel.


This lecture covers the basics of formatting:

  • how to format each cell individually
  • how to change background and font colors
  • how to add or remove borders
  • how to format large groups of cells at once

In this lecture, we cover how to freeze rows and columns for easier viewing when scrolling through large amounts of data or a really big spreadsheet.


Conditional formatting is amazing. It allows you to filter out and change the format of only data that meets certain conditions or criteria.

In this lecture, we cover how to use conditional formatting to display only the data you care about, and to gain insight at-a-glance. This is a very useful tool when dealing with large amounts of data.

3 questions

Just like grade school, we'll be using this quiz to test your knowledge of formatting with Google Spreadsheets!

Section 3: Manipulating Data like a Boss

In this lecture we cover how to sort data using the filter and sort functionality in Google Spreadsheets.


This lecture covers how to use Google Spreadsheet's filter views. This is a really useful tool to quickly filter what data you see and how it's displayed within your document.


Find and replace is a useful tool to find any data on a spreadsheet. With replace, you can also automatically replace any data (misspellings, grammatical errors, spacing problems) by having Spreadsheets do the searching and replacing for you!


One neat thing about Spreadsheets is the revision history tool. This feature (which Excel doesn't have) allows you to see a history of revisions that have been made on your spreadsheet.

It also allows you to roll back any changes that may have happened accidentally, which means you'll never need to save multiple versions of a document again!

Data Manipulation Quiz!
3 questions
Learning More about Data Manipulation
Section 4: Creating Charts and Formulas

In this video, we cover the essential elements of a formula or function, and show you how to build one.

Every formula follows this setup:

  1. Begins with an equals sign "="
  2. Followed by the name of the function you're using - "SUM", for example
  3. Followed by parentheses "()"
  4. Which are filled by the arguments you're evaluating.

For example, if we wanted to add two cells together, A1 and A2, we would use the following formula: =SUM(A1,A2). Or, we could add the range of the two cells like so: =SUM(A1:A2)

Lastly, we cover absolute vs. relative positioning in this lecture. When writing a formula, if you want the formula to continuously reference a single cell, you can make it an absolute reference using "$" before the column letter and row number. For example, if you wanted a formula to reference a value in cell A1, you'd type $A$1 to make sure your formula always referenced cell A1, regardless of where you copied the formula to.


In this lecture, we cover the kinds of formulas you can use:

  • Array functions
  • Database functions
  • Date functions
  • Engineering functions
  • Filtering functions
  • Financial functions
  • Google-specific functions
  • Info functions
  • Logical functions
  • Lookup functions
  • Math functions
  • Operator functions
  • Parsers
  • Statistical functions
  • Text functions

The ones we'll be focusing on in this course will be the Array, Google-specific, Logical, Math, Lookup and Text functions. Please leave a comment if there are other functions you'd like me to explore further!


In this section, we cover the most common logic functions:

AND - Returns true if all of the provided arguments are logically true, and false if any of the provided arguments are logically false.

OR - Returns true if any of the provided arguments are logically true, and false if all of the provided arguments are logically false.

IF - Returns one value if a logical expression is `TRUE` and another if it is `FALSE`.

Assignment: Create Your Own Formulas

In this lecture we introduce how to use charts and graphs in Google spreadsheets. If you're proficient at creating charts and graphs in Excel, feel free to skip this section. We'll cover things like Pivot charts in the advanced section of this course.


In this lecture we cover how to create our first chart. Simply go to Insert -> Chart and select from the variety of chart options!

In this lecture, I'll show you how to create all different kinds of charts using Gold medal data from our Olympic dataset.


In this lecture, I show you how to create a scatterplot to identify the relationship between an Olympic athlete's age and the number of medals he or she has won.

Bonus Lecture: Discounted Access to Full-Featured Course

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Instructor Biography

Justin Mares, Traction Book author, growth at Airbrake/Exceptional

Hi! My name is Justin Mares. I formerly ran growth at developer tools company Exceptional (acquired by Rackspace in March of 2013).

While there, I taught myself how to become a technical marketer and use tools like SQL to run important analyses on our customer data. Along with learning the basics of HTML, CSS and Python, I've found learning to become a more technical marketer has been one of the most valuable investments in myself I've ever made.

In addition, I'm the co-author of Traction Book, a book about how startups can get traction. For the book, we interviewed Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia), Paul English (founder of Kayak), Dharmesh Shah (HubSpot founder) and pulled together an actionable framework for how startups should think about getting traction and distribution.

I also founded an ecommerce company, Kettle & Fire, that's on a multi-million dollar run rate in just a few months.

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