Free Online Microsoft Training

Free tips and tricks for using Microsoft Office and Windows

Free Online Microsoft Training

Free tips and tricks for using Microsoft Office and Windows

Microsoft Excel

Without a doubt, the most popular data analysis tool on the planet! Check out these articles designed to provide you with tips and tricks on how to use the amazing features of Microsoft Excel.

Want to learn a new Excel formula, or need to know how to use conditional formatting? Look no further and browse through the range of articles below.

How to create appointments in your Outlook Calendar from dates in Excel

How to create appointments in your Outlook Calendar from dates in Excel

Recently I was asked about how to automatically create calendar appointments in Outlook using dates in an Excel workbook. This was something I'd not been asked before and it peaked my curiousity. I did some research online around the idea ...
How to use XLOOKUP in Excel

How to use XLOOKUP in Excel

Many users of Excel will be familiar with the lookup functions called Vlookup and Hlookup. Many Excel users however, have not yet explored how to use Xlookup. Xlookup is an extension of the original VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP functions but removes ...
How to use Flash Fill in Excel

How to use Flash Fill in Excel

Flash Fill in Excel is by far one of my favourite Excel features. Learning how to use Flash Fill in Excel should be on everyone's to do list. It is one of those features which stuns during any of my ...
How to sort data in Excel

How to sort data in Excel

One of the first features that many users begin using is the ability to sort data in Excel. Being able to automatically have your data displayed in a specific order, whether that be number, alphabetical or date order, is a ...
How to create a Pivot Table in Excel

How to create a Pivot Table in Excel

For those that are new to Pivot Tables, or PivotTables in Excel, a pivot table allows you to summarise, analyse, sort, group, sum, count, total, and calculate data all with a few simple steps. Pivot tables can seem quite daunting ...
How to convert text to date format in Excel

How to convert text to date format in Excel

Last week I received an SOS from a good friend. She had data that was exported from an LMS and being used for analysis within Excel. A particular column contained a date and time in each cell that needed to ...
How to print data on one page in Excel

How to print data on one page in Excel

I've run a lot of Excel training. One of the most common questions is "How do I print onto one page in Excel?". The idea sounds simple, doesn't it? I have seen some truly imaginative ways that users will sit ...
How to create a drop down list in Excel

How to create an Excel drop down list

When you are entering data in Excel you may want to ensure your data is entered in a consistent way. Maybe you have multiple people working on the same file and you are constantly having to correct entries due to ...
How to use Countif in Excel

How to use Countif in Excel

When working with a large amount of data in Excel, you may find yourself needing to count the number of records which meet a specific criteria. This is when the Excel Countif function is going to save you a lot ...
How to apply conditional formatting to an entire row based on dates older than today

How to apply conditional formatting to an entire row based on dates older than today

It seems my conditional formatting posts have become quite popular and with that, I've had some amazing questions asked about variations of how to use conditional formatting. One such question was how to apply conditional formatting to an entire row ...
Use conditional formatting to identify dates within a specific range

Use conditional formatting to identify dates within a specific range

My conditional formatting to identify dates earlier than today post has proven to be extremely popular. This post talks about how to use conditional formatting for dates which occur in the past. I have had lots of questions and comments ...
BIDMAS and Excel

Excel giving you the wrong answer? Discover BIDMAS and Excel

An important part of understanding how Excel calculates formulas and functions is understanding BIDMAS. Let's think back to math class. I remember the teacher talking about BIDMAS and vividly thinking that I'd never need to use it. Attend any Excel ...
How to create a custom list for sorting and filtering in Excel

How to create a custom list for sorting and filtering in Excel

Do you have a list of data you use frequently in Excel? Sick of repeatedly typing them in, or having to copy and paste from another workbook? What if I told you that you could save these entries in Excel ...
Save time! Pin a file to the Open list in Microsoft Office

Save time! Pin a file to the Open list in Microsoft Office

At the start of every training course, I show participants through a few really useful features of the Microsoft 365 programs. These features help save you time during a busy workday. One such feature is AutoCorrect, another is the ability ...
Use conditional formatting to identify dates older than today

Use conditional formatting to identify dates older than today

During a Microsoft Excel training session a few week's ago, I had a great question about using conditional formatting to highlight dates earlier than the current one, in other words, how can we highlight dates that occur in the past? ...
Embed Excel in a Word document

Embed Excel in a Word document

Did you know that you can insert Excel into Word? That's right, you can have the functionality of an Excel worksheet sitting inside your Word document. This is one of the many functions that I find people aren't aware of ...
The best keyboard shortcuts in Excel

The best keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Excel

Want to become more efficient using Excel? Let me show you the best keyboard shortcuts in Excel. Anyone who has ever attended training with me, or even anyone who has read my other “shortcut key” posts, should know that I ...
How to disable the Start Screen at startup in Office programs

How to disable the Start Screen at startup in Office programs

In recent versions of the Microsoft Office programs, users now see a Start screen appear when any of the programs are launched. This Start Screen gives you quick access to various functions such as any recent files you have opened ...
How to open any Microsoft 365 program

How to open any Microsoft 365 program

For those starting out using Microsoft Office and even for those familiar with the programs, our computers can sometimes be a treasure trove full of so many programs that it's impossible to find the one we want. Being able to ...
How to copy formatting using Format Painter

How to copy formatting using Format Painter

Each of the Microsoft programs includes some basic clipboard options which incorporate the Cut, Copy and Paste functions. Generally users are pretty familiar with these tools. What many users have not utilised is the fourth function in the group called ...
How to use the AutoFill tool in Excel

How to use the AutoFill tool in Excel

Of all the features available within Microsoft Excel, the AutoFill tool has to be high up on the list of those used most frequently. Often though the AutoFill feature is underutilised and users do not know the full potential of ...
Convert workbooks to the latest file format in Excel

Convert workbooks to the latest file format in Excel

A common question I see during training is “Why do my files say [Compatibility Mode] in the title bar area?” and this is a good question. Today I want to explain Compatibility Mode and file formats in relation to Microsoft ...
Customise a Sparkline in Excel

Customise a Sparkline in Excel

So you've discovered Sparklines in Microsoft Excel and now you want to jazz them up? You've come to the right place. In my previous post (link here) I outlined what a Sparkline was and how to insert one into your ...
Create a Sparkline to show data trends in Excel

Create a Sparkline to show data trends in Excel

I can hear you asking it now, what is a Sparkline? It's a very good question which I'm going to answer for you now. Sparklines were introduced in Excel 2010 and are a great feature for those who prefer a ...
How to create a Vlookup in Excel

How to create a Vlookup in Excel

Do you know how to create a Vlookup in Excel? The Vlookup function in Excel is a very popular function but sometimes can be a little tricky to work out. The Excel Vlookup function is a fantastic time-saver as it ...
How to create a screenshot using Office or Windows

How to create a screenshot using Office

For years I have been creating screenshots for various reasons; for use in training courseware; to illustrate to a remote user a button I want them to press; to relay information about a technical problem or error, and the list ...
Create an Excel graph or chart in under 30 seconds

Create an Excel graph or chart in under 30 sec

Microsoft Excel provides a great way to summarise and analyse data using charts. The terminology used can differ between referring to them as charts or an Excel graph. Either way it is the charting feature within Excel which will create ...
Introduction to Functions in Microsoft Excel

Introduction to Functions in Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a fantastic program allowing you to collate, analyse and sort data in various formats. Gone are the days of needing a calculator beside you to manually work out results from your data analysis. Microsoft Excel has the ...
The Office Clipboard - a hidden treasure

The Office Clipboard – a hidden treasure

One feature that MOST users are familiar with is the Cut, Copy and Paste function. The ability to cut, copy and paste within any of the Microsoft applications or third-party apps provides a user with a high level of productivity ...
Customise the Quick Access Toolbar

Customise the Quick Access Toolbar

At the start of almost every Microsoft course I teach, I discuss the options you have to customise any of the Microsoft Office products. The Quick Access toolbar (QAT) is right up there on my list of favourite ways to ...
How to use Concatenate in Excel

How to use Concatenate in Excel

This week I had a request to show how to join text together from different columns in Excel. For this example, the Concatenate function in Excel works perfectly as it allows you to join strings of information together dynamically. The ...
Using Formulas in Excel

Formula Basics in Excel

For anyone who is completely new to Excel or is wanting to venture into the world of formulas and functions, this post is here to give you some basic tips and tricks to get started with formulas in Excel. Many ...
Create PDF file using any Microsoft Office program

Create a PDF file using any Microsoft Office program

Any of the Microsoft Office programs includes the ability to create a PDF file for you. I’m always surprised at how many people are still unaware that this function is now built-in. Quite often people are not aware of this ...
How to use auto correct in Office

How to use AutoCorrect in Microsoft Office

The Microsoft 365 programs include a powerful feature called Autocorrect. Autocorrect helps to reduce typing errors whilst you work and is set up by default to correct common spelling and punctuation errors. Typing errors such as irregular capitalisation, or commonly ...
Navigate an Excel workbook

Navigate an Excel Workbook

When working in Microsoft Excel there are several references or names which will appear on a regular basis, as well as different methods for navigating within the program. Which navigation option users choose mainly depends on personal preference however it ...
Terminology in the Excel window

Terminology in the Excel window

Let's take a look now at the terminology and names of the various areas within the Microsoft Excel 2016 window. Even if you have been an avid user of Excel for a long period, it's always a good idea to ...
How to use conditional formatting in Excel

How to use conditional formatting in Excel

Conditional formatting in Excel is one of my favourite features to use. I am a very visual person and would much rather look at colour charts or visual representations of data to give me a sense of what I'm looking ...
Create a custom number format to display phone numbers in Excel

Create a custom number format to display phone numbers in Excel

Microsoft Excel provides various number formatting options which allows you to easily format numbers as currency, dates, percentages, time and even fractions. Occasionally you may run into a situation where the predefined number formats do not suit your needs for ...