Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a main part of Microsoft Office. It is the primary data system for small databases. Larger databases often use Microsoft Access or SQLServer. This document has the following parts:

  1. Introduction
  2. Ribbon
  3. File (Backstage View)
  4. Home
  5. Insert
  6. Page Layout
  7. Formulas
    1. Basic Formulas
    2. Financial Formulas
    3. String Manipulation
    4. The Conditional Functions (<command>if)
  8. Data
  9. Review
  10. View



Just like all other Microsoft Office tools, Excel has a Ribbon across its top. The ribbon is used to divide up the commands into tabs and command groups. The Tabs are listed in the Table of Contents listed above. The Ribbon appearance is:

Microsoft Office 2019 Excel Ribbon

Excel uses a Green theme. Across the top green bar is information and the Quick Access Tool Bar. It starts with a way to turn off or on AutoSave, a useful feature if you sometimes forget to save the file. Next is the Quick Access Toolbar. by default it has a quick save, undo, and redo. On the right is a down arrow that allows you to add additional items to the QAT. I usually add Print Preview and Mail. Next is the name of the File and its status (here Saved). You can Search the worksheets for particular items. Then comes the owner of the license for the tool and a flag for hiding the Ribbon. The standard three windows icons follow.

The main part of the Ribbon is under the title bar. I will describe each of the tabs on the ribbon in the appropriate section.


Formulas are the key part of Excel. To be a good user of Excel, you need to know how to locate and use Formulas. There are two methods of using Formulas, either typing them into a cell or selecting the Formula from the Formula tab and filling in the entries in a dialog box for that Formula. I show both in the two following videos.

Basic Formulas

This is an introduction to some basic Excel formulas, especially the LOGIC and VLOOKUP formulas. This include IF and AND for logic.

Financial Formulas

Everyone has to buy something more expensive than our current funds will allow us to purchase. Excel has a way to start exploring the cost of purchases. It allows the user to specify items like Cost, Down Payment, Purchase Price, Years of Loan, and Interest Rate and then calculate the Monthly Payments. It also helps with create a Table to determine the best rate and length for a loan for your budget. Data Tables are quite helpful in helping to determine best options. To help make decisions, a brief introduction to Conditional Formatting is given.

String Manipulation

Excel allows extensive string manipulation, from combining contents of cells to taking portions of the content of cells and creating new information in new cells. Like all formulas, you can create a string manipulation formula in one cell and then copy it to other appropriate cells.

The Conditional Functions (The <command>if functions)

Excel can do simple functions with some condition attached. For example, Excel can go through the entries in one column and find matches to specific entry and do something with the cells in a second column in the same row. A few examples are in the following video.