Free Visual Excel Lesson

1 Mar

Over the years I’ve seen quite a few basic errors while helping students and even office administrators with the Excel and I thought I would put together a visual guide that would help beginners. Perhaps I will make it a series.

One thing to realize is that while Excel is very powerful, it is very easy to do simple calculations just by typing the proper values, cell references and mathematical operators (like the +, -, * and / operators – add, subtract, multiply and divide). A simple example is shown below.

Shows basic use of mathematical operators in Excel.


The cells in column B are simple labels that show how the calculation is written. Equations or formulas in Excel must start with an equal sign (=). The results in column E show the result of each of the equations on the same row in column B. For example, the equation from B14 has been entered as the cell contents in E14 and you see the results as the displayed value.

Also notice that E15 has been selected. It is called the Active Cell and has a dark outline around it. The small square in its lower right corner is called the Auto Fill Handle.

If you have any questions about this image, please leave me a comment below and I can see if I can help. I love helping people learn more about spreadsheets.

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