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Microsoft Excel is the best spreadsheet program around. All those features can also be intimidating. These free tutorials and courses are for those who find the software overwhelming but want to still learn it.
We won’t go over the more famous Excel teachers who offer free courses, even though several of them are good for beginners. We are looking at even simpler tutorials here, which will help you learn the software in bite-sized lessons at your own pace.
Microsoft isn’t running away after it takes your cash. The Office suite is expensive, so if you’re putting down all that money, you better learn how to use it well. And the company is ready to teach you.
The new Office Basics training videos are the official tutorials for newcomers, covering everything you would need to know. I especially like how Microsoft has broken down each segment, like Quick Start, Intro to Excel, Add and Format Charts etc. All videos are free to stream as well as download, in case you want offline backups or to train teams.
Go through one video at a time, practice it, and only then move on to the next. And take your time with it, don’t rush through.
The Goodwill Community Foundation’s LearnFree online academy is an outstanding accompaniment to Microsoft’s official course. It is broken down into similar sections and videos, all of which are free on YouTube.
Again, it’s the careful break-up of learning Excel that is key here. GCF LearnFree turns it into a step-by-step process, with a total of 29 sections. Each section has a video, a long article, as well as recommended exercises.
Apart from Excel, there are many other such excellent software tutorials to check out on GCF LearnFree. In fact, it’s our recommended resource to learn Microsoft Access.
Microsoft has a free version of Excel that anyone can use through a browser. Excel Online (or Office Online, as the official name goes) only requires a free Microsoft account and an active internet connection. While it’s not as robust as Excel 2016, it’s still pretty good.
Our friends at Zapier, the premier if-this-then-that automation service, have an excellent guide to Excel online to get you started. Through this, you will learn every part of what you can and can’t do with Excel on the web. There’s a surprising amount of abilities, so go through it carefully.
At times, Zapier tries to push you to use its service to create automation with Excel Online. But you can ignore that and focus on the web app alone.
Anyone who tells you that you need several days of dedicated time to learn Excel is flat out lying, according to the creators of Spreadsheeto. Instead, all you need are 10 minutes daily to watch a video, and another five minutes to practice what you learned.
Spreadsheeto works on the principle of micro-learning, sending small lessons to your inbox daily. Watch the video, and then use the accompanying Excel file to practice it. The file actually includes a sheet to replicate what you just saw, so you know whether you’re doing it right or not.
The free version of Spreadsheeto is a great introduction to the basics and how you will learn in the full-version paid course that costs $200. The daily emails will take you from basics to intermediate to advanced uses for Excel.
But it never gets overwhelming because of the staggered approach. And you can’t skip ahead either, since tomorrow’s lesson has not yet been delivered to you. Spreadsheeto forces you to learn at a slower pace, absorbing more. With time, you’ll even master VLOOKUP, the most important function in Excel.
It makes no sense that Excel Easy is available for free on the internet. When you see the number of paid courses to learn Excel, it’s flabbergasting that such a great tutorial is available for free.
You start with the introduction, move on to the basics, learn how functions work, start analyzing data with Excel, and finally learn Excel VBA at the advanced stage. Each of those has the simplest explanation possible in the form of a single page, with screenshots and easy language.
As if that wasn’t enough, Excel Easy then gives you 300 examples of common tasks you can automate in Excel. Get ready to become an Excel macros ninja!
Why Is Excel Overwhelming?
Once you find out how many features exist in Microsoft Excel, it can feel overwhelming and daunting. I’ve felt that in the past, and especially when I saw others doing things that were way beyond the simple sums I was able to execute. The gap between what I could do and what they could do was too large, and that in itself made it seem too much effort to ever learn.