From Basic to Advanced Excel in Microsoft 2023

What is Excel? Excel is a powerful spreadsheet software widely used in businesses, schools, and organisations to analyse, report, and organise data. Excel is a straightforward tool with a simple interface; even a beginner can use it. You can sign up for an online course like Microsoft Excel Masterclass to learn about the advanced features of Excel.

The power of Excel is often underestimated; you can use it for anything from storing data to automation. This article will cover everything from basic to advanced Excel skills. We will also explain some interesting features of Excel, like Macros and VBA programming.

Table of Contents

  1. Basic skills in Excel
  2. Intermediate-level Excel Skills
  3. What are the Advanced skills in Excel?
  4. Conclusion

Basic skills in Excel

Before diving into the more advanced features, learning the basics of Excel is essential. In this section, we will cover some of the basic skills in Excel:

Explanation of Excel interface and basic navigation

Excel has a user-friendly interface that is easy to navigate. It consists of a grid of cells organised into rows and columns. The Ribbon is the main menu bar that provides access to all the commands and features in Excel. The Quick Access Toolbar is a customizable toolbar allowing you to access frequently used commands quickly. Understanding the Excel interface is crucial to make the most out of the software.

Entering data and formatting cells

Entering data is the fundamental feature of Excel. You can enter text, numbers, and dates into cells. Formatting cells allows you to change the appearance of data, such as font size, colour, and alignment. You can also apply borders and shade to cells. Formatting cells is essential to make data easier to read and presentable. Some of the basic functions in Excel are listed below: 

  • SUM
  • COUNT and IF statements

Excel provides various built-in functions that can perform complex calculations quickly and accurately. Basic functions such as SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, and IF statements are commonly used in Excel. The SUM function adds up a range of numbers, the AVERAGE function calculates the average of a range of numbers, the COUNT function counts the number of cells in a range, and the IF statement evaluates a condition and returns a value based on the result.

Sorting and filtering data

Excel provides tools to sort and filter data quickly. Sorting arranges data in a specific order, such as alphabetically, numerically, or chronologically. Filtering allows you to show or hide data based on specific criteria, such as values or dates. Sorting and filtering data makes it easier to analyse and present data.

Creating simple charts

Excel provides various chart types to represent data graphically. Creating simple charts such as bar, column, and pie charts is easy and help visualise data. Charts provide a quick overview of data trends, patterns, and comparisons. Excel provides various options for customising charts, such as chart titles, legends, axis labels, and formatting.

Intermediate-level Excel Skills

Intermediate-level Excel skills are essential for efficient data analysis and management. These skills include conditional formatting, PivotTables, PivotCharts, advanced functions like VLOOKUP and INDEX, creating and working with named ranges, and using data validation to control data entry. Excel is a powerful tool that can help users manage and analyse data, and mastering these skills can make one more productive and efficient in their work.

These intermediate skills can simplify your workload and allow you to work with data efficiently. To create a PivotTable, all you have to do is to go to the “Insert” tab, choose the PivotTable option and then select the data range you want to analyse. Likewise, you can use these intermediate-level skills for data management and analysis. 

What are the Advanced skills in Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a versatile tool that can be used for complex data analysis and management. We will discuss some advanced Excel skills useful for data analysis and management.

Macros and VBA programming:

Macros and VBA programming allow users to automate repetitive tasks in Excel. Macros are a series of commands and functions that can be recorded and played back to perform a specific task. 

VBA programming is used to create macros and automate more complex tasks. With macros and VBA programming, users can automate repetitive tasks, such as data entry and formatting, and perform complex calculations with incredible speed and accuracy.

Advanced charting techniques:

Excel provides advanced charting techniques that allow users to present data more engaging and informatively. These techniques include creating dynamic charts, combining different chart types, and using custom formatting. Advanced charting techniques can help users better understand and present their data, making it easier to communicate insights to others.

Advanced data analysis tools such as Solver and Goal Seek:

Excel provides advanced data analysis tools such as Solver and Goal Seek. Solver is a tool to find optimal solutions to complex problems by changing multiple variables. Goal Seek is a tool to find the input required to reach a specific goal. These tools can solve complex problems, such as optimising production or minimising costs.

Protecting and securing workbooks:

Excel provides various options for protecting and securing workbooks. Users can restrict access to workbooks, password-protect specific cells or sheets, and prevent users from changing certain workbook areas. These options can help users protect sensitive information and prevent unauthorised access or changes to important data.

Collaboration and sharing options:

Excel provides various options for collaborating and sharing workbooks with others. Users can share workbooks with others and control their access level, such as read-only or edit access. They can also use features such as comments and track changes to collaborate more effectively with others.


We hope you enjoyed reading this article and learnt about basic to advanced Excel skills and how to use them to simplify your workload. You would have also learnt about some interesting Excel features like Macros, Goal seeks, and VBA programming.