What is Microsoft Excel? New Beginner's Guide for 2023 (2023)

MS Office Spreadsheet is Microsoft Excel, created by Microsoft Corporation. Data analysis, budgeting, financial modeling, and project management are just a few of the many ways people and businesses use them. Excel's many features and functions allow you to perform complex calculations quickly and easily, visualize data in the form of graphs, and visualize large amounts of data. The popularity and relevance of Excel in the modern workplace is a testament to the ease with which it can be learned and used.

Part 1: What is Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet created by Microsoft and used in homes, schools, and businesses. It is used for data management and analysis and is included with Microsoft Office or sold separately. It has many valuable features such as data entry, formulas/functions, graphs/diagrams and analysis tools. Microsoft Excel is now available in many countries. Microsoft Excel cannot paste data into the clipboard, which is a temporary storage area for data that has been copied or cut. To resolve this issue, clear the clipboard or restart Excel to apply the changes.

Value and importance of Microsoft Excelform for data management and analysis:

  • Analysis and data management are two areas where Microsoft Excel shines. These are some of the most important functions that serve the following areas:

  • Excel storage and organization make it easy to manage and retrieve even large amounts of data.

  • Excel's spreadsheet format makes it easy to add, change, and update information without compromising its integrity.

  • Excel's rich set of features and capabilities allow you to perform complex calculations, explore data patterns, and visualize results in the form of graphs and tables.

  • Financial modeling, forecasting and trend analysis are truly impossible without these capabilities. Sharing and collaboration: Excel's multi-user access and editing capabilities make it a powerful collaboration tool.

  • Excel's export and sharing capabilities also make it easy to share data and results. Automation and custom preferences in Excel allow users to save time and work more efficiently. Users can automate tedious tasks with macros to save time and make fewer mistakes.

  • Excel users are better equipped to make important business decisions because the software provides them with clear, well-organized data.

  • Excel's powerful analytical tools allow organizations to see patterns in their data and act on those results.

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Part 2: Overview of Microsoft Excel functions and formulas

Microsoft Excel is an important tool for analyzing, managing and visualizing data. It consists of an extensive library of functions and formulas, which are predefined types that can be used to perform predefined calculations, such as adding a series of numbers, calculating the average value of data, or performing a logic test. Excel's formula bar provides quick access to hundreds of preinstalled program functions, while other program forms are user-created expressions that perform calculations requested by the user by combining predefined functions, operators, and cell references.

1. Basic functions of Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a powerful data management and analysis tool, but you'll need a good understanding of the program's basics to get the most out of it. Basic Excel functions such as data entry, formatting and sorting will be covered in this article along with some time-saving keyboard shortcuts.

Data input

The first step in working with Excel is to enter data. You can manually enter values ​​or automatically enter data from an external source. To enter data manually, select the cell you want to make changes to and start typing. The formula bar at the top of the screen can also be used to enter or modify data.


Well-formatted data is easy to read and understand. Change the font, add borders and apply cell colors to arrange your data the way you want. select the cells you want to format, and then go to the Home tab on the formatting toolbar on the ribbon. Font, color and alignment settings are available in this menu.


The ability to sort data is a valuable tool for organizing information in a specific way. You can use one or more columns to sort the data. Click the Sort button under the Data tab after selecting the column by which you want to sort your data. From now on, sorting can be done in ascending or descending order.

2. What are the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts in Microsoft Excel?

You can greatly increase your productivity in Excel by learning and using keyboard shortcuts.

Here are some common abbreviations:

Control + A:Select all

Control + B:Daring

Control + C:copy

Control + U:Underline

Control + V:Pasta


Control + Z:Dispose of

Ctrl + ja: Italicize

F2:cell editing

F4:repeat the last step

F11:create a chart

3. Microsoft Excel functions and formulas

Microsoft Excel is an advanced tool for organizing, analyzing and presenting data. One of the key elements that make this tool adaptive is its extensive library of functions and formulas.

Here are some of the most commonly used functions and formulas in Excel:

ADDITION:This function adds a range of numbers to a cell. For example, =SUM(A1:A5) will sum the values ​​in cells A1 through A5.

AVERAGE:This function calculates the average of a range of numbers. For example, =AVERAGE(A1:A5) will display the average of the values ​​in cells A1 through A5.

MAX MIN.:These functions return the maximum or minimum value in a range of cells. For example, =MAX(A1:A5) will return the largest value in cells A1 through A5.

TO MEASURE:This function counts the number of cells in a range containing numbers. For example, =POINT(A1:A5) will count the number of cells from A1 to A5 that contain numbers.

AND:This formula checks whether a condition is False or False and returns a value based on the result. For example, =IF(A1>10, "Yes", "No") will return "Yes" if the value in cell A1 is greater than 10, and "No" otherwise.

VERTICAL SEARCH:This formula looks up a value in an array and returns the corresponding value in the specified column. For example, =VLOOKUP(A1,B1:C5,2,FALSE) will look up the value in cell A1 in table cells B1 through C5 and return the corresponding value in the second column.

Part 3: How to download a Microsoft Excel document? Windows or Mac

There are several ways to download an Excel document, depending on your requirements. An alternative is to download Microsoft Office from the official Microsoft website, which includes Microsoft Excel as part of the Office suite. After installing Microsoft Office, you can open and edit Excel files directly in the software.

Alternatively, you can download Excel files from other websites or sources. However, be careful when downloading files from unknown sources as they may be infected with malware or viruses.

WPS Spreadsheet, a free and professional data analysis tool.

The use of free alternative software such as e.gwps office, which includes a spreadsheet program that can access and edit Excel documents, is an additional option. On its official website or from other sources you candownload WPS Office.Download WPS Office as an alternative to Microsoft Excel if you already have an Excel document and want to modify it. With no Microsoft Office subscription required, WPS Office is free software that can open and edit Microsoft Office documents, including Excel spreadsheets. WPS Office can be downloaded from its official website or from a trusted third party.

Part 4: Benchmarking Excel Tables on the Market

Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets and WPS Office comparison chart:


Microsoft Excel

Google Sheets

wps office


Subscription based, with a variety of plans to choose from

Free with a Google Account

Free or with a subscription


Available on Windows and Mac computers

Accessible through any web browser

Available for Windows and Android devices

offline access

Yes, if it is installed on your device

Limited offline access with Google Drive offline

Yes, if it is installed on your device


Familiar and easy to use with ribbon interface

Clean and simple with basic formatting options

Similar to Microsoft Office, with a ribbon interface


Limited, co-authored and commented.

Collaboration and real-time feedback are available

Collaboration and real-time feedback are available

types and functions

Robust and powerful, with more than 400 built-in functions

Basic types and functions are available, but some advanced functions are missing

Good selection of formulas and functions, but not as extensive as Excel

Add-ons and integrations

A wide range of add-ins and integrations are available in the Microsoft Office Store

Limited add-ons available in the Google Workspace Marketplace

Add-ins and integrations available, but not as extensive as Excel

Data analysis

Powerful data analysis tools, including pivot tables and graphs

Basic data analysis tools available, including pivot tables and graphs

Basic data analysis tools available, including pivot tables and graphs


Strong security features such as password protection and encryption

Google security features, including two-factor authentication

Basic security features including password protection

mobile application

Available for iOS and Android devices, with limited functionality

Available for iOS and Android devices, with basic functionality

Available for Android devices, with basic functionality

1. Google Drive Sheets

As part of Google Workspace, Google Sheets offers users a free online alternative to traditional spreadsheet programs. Data entry, formulas and functions, charts and graphs, and data analysis capabilities are all there, just like in Microsoft Excel. Because Google Sheets can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection, it's a great teamwork tool.

2. Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is an advanced spreadsheet for data analysis, financial modeling and other purposes.

Advantages of Microsoft Excel:

  • It provides a number of advanced functions and formulas for complex calculations and data analysis.

  • It offers advanced data visualization tools such as charts, tables and pivot tables.

  • Integrates with other Microsoft Office applications such as Word and PowerPoint for seamless workflow and data sharing.

  • Available as a desktop app and an online version for easy collaboration and file sharing. It contains various plug-ins and plugins to extend other functions. Microsoft Excel supports many data formats, including CSV, TXT, and XML.

Disadvantages of Microsoft Excel:

  • This can be expensive, especially for companies or organizations that need multiple licenses.

  • The program can also be complex and difficult for new users to learn. large data sets can cause slow performance or errors Limited ability to handle unstructured data or plain text. Some applications, especially non-Microsoft or open source alternatives, may not be compatible.

3. Google Sheets

It is an online spreadsheet application comparable to the ubiquitous Microsoft Excel. This app is part of the Drive suite and can be used on any device connected to the internet.

Advantages of Google Sheets:

  • With a Google Account, users can access Google's free software, making it affordable for individuals and small organizations. This inexpensive replacement has many similarities to Excel (functions, formulas, data visualization capabilities), but also has some advantages that Excel lacks.

  • Available online and accessible from any device with a web browser

  • It provides many optional features to improve usability.

Cons of Google Sheets:

  • Excel can load and run more slowly than desktop spreadsheet applications, requiring more advanced features and tools for complex data management and analysis. Also, not all spreadsheet applications support all file types and data formats.

  • Some databases may limit the number of rows or columns that can be accessed.

4. WPS office

wps officeIt's free, a good choice if you're looking for an affordable and flexible alternative to Microsoft Office. Here are three main reasons to download WPS Office: Get it for freeword processor, presentation software and amovementfrom the WPS office. Word, Excel, PowerPoint and many other files are fully supported.

WPS Office free:WPS Office is free, unlike Microsoft Office, which can be expensive. This can be a big advantage for individuals or small businesses operating on a shoestring budget.

Compatibility with all Office components:If you need to work with files using other Office software packages, WPS Office is the perfect choice as you can open, edit and save documents in all popular file formats, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

WPS Office is a well-known and trusted document processing option with wps Office currently having more than 500 million active users worldwide. Knowing that it will continue to be maintained and updated gives you peace of mind.

Advantages of WPS Office

  • WPS Office is free and affordable. This makes it accessible to individuals and businesses on a tight budget.

  • WPS Office is compatible with all Office components, including Word, Excel and PowerPoint, as well as various file formats. Microsoft Excel has many key features such as functions, formulas and data visualization tools with its counterpart.

  • It offers a selection of pre-built spreadsheets and templates to get users up and running quickly. Use cloud storage for seamless collaboration and file sharing capabilities.

5. Smart sheet

Smartsheet is an online application that makes it easy to work in teams and organize tasks. By providing a unified platform for teamwork, communication and data management, it hopes to streamline all types of work.

Advantages of the smart sheet:

  • Smartsheet's live-updating project plans, schedules, and Gantt charts give you added flexibility in project management.

  • With Smartsheet's deep integration with other popular tools, you can easily import and export data to and from Excel, Google Drive, Salesforce, and more.


  • Smartsheet offers project management and collaboration features, but may require more depth than other available project management tools.

  • Difficult learning curve: The complexity of Smartsheet can be overwhelming for first-time users, especially those who have never worked with a project management tool.

Part 5: Frequently asked questions about Excel

Q1: Is Google Sheets the same as Excel?

While you can use Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel to create spreadsheets, there are significant differences between the two. There are some similarities, but there are also notable differences.

Q2: What is the difference between Excel and a spreadsheet?

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet tool for managing, formatting, and analyzing tabular data. Excel's powerful capabilities, including advanced calculations, data analysis, and visualization, have made it an essential tool in the workplace.

Q3: How to activate Excel for free?

Testing Excel on Microsoft's website as a trial version is free. However, there may be limitations to the features and functionality of the web version.

Q4: Is there a free alternative to Microsoft Excel?

Google Sheets, LibreOffice Calc, WPS Office Spreadsheets, and OpenOffice Calc are some of the free alternatives to Microsoft Excel. These applications are comparable to Excel in terms of functionality and features.


Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet program that offers a variety of features and capabilities for organizing, analyzing, and visualizing data. Free alternatives like Google Sheets, WPS Office, and Smartsheet provide similar functionality and features at no cost. By learning basic Excel features, shortcuts, functions, and formulas, users can improve efficiency and productivity when working with data. After solving the most common problems, users can feel confident using Excel and other alternatives for their specific data processing tasks.

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