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Need to combine information in multiple cells? If you encounter a situation where you need to manually update your data, you're probably missing out on a formula that can do it for you. Before spending hours and hours counting cells or copying and pasting data, look for a quick fix on Excel -- you'll likely find one. In the spirit of working more efficiently and avoiding tedious, manual work, here are a few Excel tricks to get you started with how to use Excel.

And to all the Harry Potter fans out there If you're just starting out with Excel, there are a few basic commands that we suggest you become familiar with. These are things like:. For a deep dive on these basics, check out our comprehensive guide on How to Use Excel. Pivot Tables are used to reorganize data in a spreadsheet.

They won't change the data that you have, but they can sum up values and compare different information in your spreadsheet, depending on what you'd like them to do. Let's take a look at an example. Let's say I want to take a look at how many people are in each house at Hogwarts. You may be thinking that I don't have too much data, but for longer data sets, this will come in handy.

Excel will automatically populate your Pivot Table, but you can always change around the order of the data. Then, you have four options to choose from. Since I want to count the number of students in each house, I'll go to the Pivot Table and drag the House column to both the Row Labels and the Values.

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This will sum up the number of students associated with each house. As you play around with your data, you might find you're constantly needing to add more rows and columns. Sometimes, you may even need to add hundreds of rows. Doing this one-by-one would be super tedious.

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Luckily, there's always an easier way. To add multiple rows or columns in a spreadsheet, highlight the same number of preexisting rows or columns that you want to add. Then, right-click and select "Insert. In the example below, I want to add an additional three rows. By highlighting three rows and then clicking insert, I'm able to add an additional three blank rows into my spreadsheet quickly and easily.

When you're looking at very large data sets, you don't usually need to be looking at every single row at the same time. Sometimes, you only want to look at data that fit into certain criteria. That's where filters come in. Filters allow you to pare down your data to only look at certain rows at one time.

In Excel, a filter can be added to each column in your data -- and from there, you can then choose which cells you want to view at once. Let's take a look at the example below. Add a filter by clicking the Data tab and selecting "Filter. In my Harry Potter example, let's say I only want to see the students in Gryffindor. By selecting the Gryffindor filter, the other rows disappear. Pro Tip: Copy and paste the values in the spreadsheet when a Filter is on to do additional analysis in another spreadsheet.

Larger data sets tend to have duplicate content. You may have a list of multiple contacts in a company and only want to see the number of companies you have. In situations like this, removing the duplicates comes in quite handy. To remove your duplicates, highlight the row or column that you want to remove duplicates of.

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  4. Then, go to the Data tab, and select "Remove Duplicates" under Tools. A pop-up will appear to confirm which data you want to work with. Select "Remove Duplicates," and you're good to go. You can also use this feature to remove an entire row based on a duplicate column value. So if you have three rows with Harry Potter's information and you only need to see one, then you can select the whole dataset and then remove duplicates based on email.

    Your resulting list will have only unique names without any duplicates. When you have low rows of data in your spreadsheet, you might decide you actually want to transform the items in one of those rows into columns or vice versa. It would take a lot of time to copy and paste each individual header -- but what the transpose feature allows you to do is simply move your row data into columns, or the other way around.

    Start by highlighting the column that you want to transpose into rows. Right-click it, and then select "Copy. Right-click on the cell, and then select "Paste Special. Check that box and select OK. Your column will now be transferred to a row or vice-versa. What if you want to split out information that's in one cell into two different cells? For example, maybe you want to pull out someone's company name through their email address.

    Or perhaps you want to separate someone's full name into a first and last name for your email marketing templates.

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    Thanks to Excel, both are possible. First, highlight the column that you want to split up. Next, go to the Data tab and select "Text to Columns. In the example case below, let's select "Delimited" so we can separate the full name into first name and last name. Then, it's time to choose the Delimiters. This could be a tab, semi-colon, comma, space, or something else. In our example, let's choose the space.

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    Excel will then show you a preview of what your new columns will look like. When you're happy with the preview, press "Next. When you're done, click "Finish. In addition to doing pretty complex calculations, Excel can help you do simple arithmetic like adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing any of your data. You can also use parenthesis to ensure certain calculations are done first. Conditional formatting allows you to change a cell's color based on the information within the cell.

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    If you want to color code commonalities between different rows in Excel, you can do that. This will help you quickly see information the is important to you. To get started, highlight the group of cells you want to use conditional formatting on. Then, choose "Conditional Formatting" from the Home menu and select your logic from the dropdown. You can also create your own rule if you want something different.

    A window will pop up that prompts you to provide more information about your formatting rule. Select "OK" when you're done, and you should see your results automatically appear. Sometimes, we don't want to count the number of times a value appears. Instead, we want to input different information into a cell if there is a corresponding cell with that information. For example, in the situation below, I want to award ten points to everyone who belongs in the Gryffindor house.