How to Learn Excel

by Matthew Kuo on January 16, 2013

in Excel

To learn more about Excel, go to the organized listing of all my Excel tutorial posts or review the

Instructor with Students in Computer Lab

The majority of people who are really good at Microsoft Excel will tell you that they gained their knowledge simply through experience.  When I was a management consulting analyst, I’d frequently be given tasks that I thought were impossible with a spreadsheet; the process of coming up with an Excel solution was what really established the foundation of my Excel knowledge as well as my overall confidence in spreadsheets.  The problem with this fact is that it is impossible for me to transfer those experiences to another person.  Those that are new to Excel and want to learn really quickly face a steep learning curve.

The purpose of this post is to summarize all of my tips, tricks, and tutorials for Excel from a capability perspective.  For example, if you learn , you’re really learning Database Theory, which represents the first section of this list.  Few people who use Excel ever think about the actual capabilities they are developing, but I personally feel that this is the most effective way to learn Excel.

Books like are comprehensive and really great from that perspective, but the organization of the book reads like a dictionary and it acts more as a reference guide than an actual lesson plan.  My advice to anyone who is learning Excel is to think about your learning within a skills based context.  Doing so will allow you to see where your gaps are and balance out your learning of the tool.

Below I’ve listed the capabilities that I feel are most important to being good at Excel.  Under each capability are a set of tutorials (most of which, as of this writing, have not been created yet).  As I build out this blog, I’ll update the list periodically to link to created tutorials and incorporate new content.

Database Theory

Visual Design

Model Building

Formula Writing

Excel Analysis

  • Distribution Analysis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Optimization Analysis: How to Use Excel Solver
  • Simulation Analysis: How to Run a Simulation in Excel
  • Sensitivity Analysis

Error Checking


File Administration

  • How to work on a file together
  • How to Lock Cells


  • How to Learn VBA for Excel


  • Most Useful Excel Arrays

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

April 5, 2013 at 4:58 am

my name is punit but i do not like sumit


May 16, 2013 at 10:31 pm

Everything is very open with a really clear description of the challenges.
It was truly informative. Your website is extremely helpful.
Thanks for sharing!


R V Firoz October 23, 2013 at 2:38 am

Thanks a ton for this clear and Professional Tutorial on Index Match!!!
Your initiative is highly appreciated!!!

R V Firoz


Vikas March 10, 2014 at 4:00 am

Thanks a lot .With Index match, I save four hours.


April 18, 2015 at 4:45 am

Iam quite thrilled at the way you have simplified my understanding and application of excel formulae.
Assist if you can; How can i use information on my data base of workers say totalling 100 to create daily reports say on the absenteesm, resignations, sick off, material usage etc.



Lalith Peiris August 1, 2015 at 4:46 am

I learn index matach formulas easily


May 9, 2016 at 8:25 pm

It makes sense that experience is the best way to gain your knowledge. My son has to work with excel at his new job, and he isn’t very familiar with it. Maybe I will find an excel training course he can take to help him out. I’m sure it will take some time to get used to it. Thanks for sharing!


November 9, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Had a question – which one is the most useful?


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