In-Depth Course Overview
When looking to improve your abilities in Excel, our Excel for Business Fundamentals course is a great place to start. This course offers foundational knowledge in Excel that helps to map out the amazing capabilities that Excel possesses. Not only do you learn about Excel’s incredible potential, but you also gain a logical understanding of how all of these individual skills are connected.
Lesson 1 begins with a brief tour of the Excel interface. There is a lot of hidden functionality right in front of your eyes, and our goal here is to identify this. We then segway into Data Entry, with an exercise that allows you to practice various methods of entering data: manually typing, copy/paste, and drag & drop. Here we also witness Excel’s Intellisense—which is Excel’s ability to predict patterns in your keystrokes. This is a theme that we will witness several times throughout the course and can greatly cut down on the amount of time and effort needed when entering data.
Lesson 2 deals with formulas, which are a staple of Excel. We first discuss Excel’s Autofill ability, which is the process of Excel decoding a pattern and applying that pattern to as many cells as we designate. Autofill works not just for calculations, but also for value and time period labels. Next are Calculations, or basic mathematical expressions using the basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. From calculations, we transition to the AutoSum Functions, which is an umbrella term for the 5 basic functions in Excel (SUM, AVERAGE, MAX, MIN, COUNT). True/False is a basic property in Excel in which a simple “test” is created and the result of that test will be listed as either “TRUE” or “FALSE”.
Functions are further explored in the Text Functions exercise, which focuses on a collection of functions (PROPER, UPPER, LOWER, TRIM) that help to modify the “case” of text in Excel. Multi-Input Functions introduces and reinforces slightly more complex functions that require more than a single input. Absolute Cell References is the last exercise in Lesson 2 and this discusses specific instances where we need to “lock” cell ranges at times, in order to make those cells/cell ranges constants. We close out Lesson 2 with a brief review Project to aid in student retention, that you work on independently.
Lesson 3 Formatting consists of a series of mini-drills that teach you about the most effective ways to format data. A practice exercise to apply these skills is provided. This is followed by Conditional Formatting, which involves the selection of a particular rule (“highlight cells with a value greater than 100”, for example) and formatting that you decide upon in advance.
Lesson 4 covers one of Excel’s most popular features which are Charts and Tables. Through the series of Line Chart, Column Chart, and Pie Chart exercises, you will be exposed to the simplicity in creating charts, as well as the ease in formatting them. Tables cover the “why” and “how” involved with formatting data as a database table.
Lesson 5 begins with a series of practical exercises in Printing. Here we practice with the Page Layout view, the Page Break Preview, and the Print menu. Worksheets will expose you to various techniques that can make you more efficient overall, such as inserting, deleting, and grouping worksheet tabs, columns, and rows. We also cover freezing panes. Worksheets are followed by Excel Tricks, which is a small collection of skills such as inserting comments or hyperlinks. Lesson 5 closes out with a second Project, which aims to improve your retention of topics that have been covered earlier in the course.