Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet developed by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. 

Excel is an incredibly powerful tool for making huge data meaningful. But it also works really well for simple calculations and tracking almost any kind of information. 

Excel organizes data in columns and rows and allows to do mathematical functions. 
It features include calculations, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications.

Excel is typically used for:
Data entry, Data management, Analysis, Accounting, Budgeting, Data analysis, Visuals and graphs, Programming, Financial modeling

Why use Excel?

Excel is a versatile and powerful tool, it's important to note that for very large datasets or highly complex analyses, more specialized software like databases, statistical packages, or data visualization tools may be more appropriate. However, for almost all the everyday tasks and smaller-scale data management and analysis needs, Excel remains a valuable and accessible choice.

Microsoft Excel is a widely used spreadsheet software application that offers numerous benefits across various industries and professions. The following are some of the reasons everyone uses Excel.

1. Data Organization: 
Excel is excellent for organizing and structuring data. It allows users to input data into cells and arrange it in rows and columns, making it easy to view, manipulate, and analyze.

2. Calculations and Formulas: 
Excel is equipped with powerful mathematical functions and formulas. Users can perform complex calculations, such as mathematical, financial, statistical, and logical operations, with ease.

3. Data Analysis: 
Excel provides tools for data analysis, including pivot tables, charts, and data filtering. These features enable users to visualize data trends and patterns, making it easier to draw insights and make informed decisions.

4. Graphs and Charts: 
Users can create a wide variety of charts and graphs to represent data visually. Excel's charting capabilities help in presenting information in a more understandable and persuasive way.

5. Budgeting and Financial Planning: 
Excel is commonly used for budgeting, financial forecasting, and expense tracking. It allows individuals and businesses to manage their finances effectively.

6. Project Management: 
Excel can be used for project planning and tracking tasks, timelines, and dependencies. It's a versatile tool for project managers and teams.

7. Inventory Management: 
Businesses often use Excel to keep track of inventory levels, manage stock, and reorder products when needed.

8. Reporting and Dashboards: 
Excel enables the creation of customized reports and dashboards, providing a snapshot of key metrics and performance indicators.

9. Data Validation: 
Excel allows you to set rules and validations to ensure data accuracy and consistency, reducing errors in data entry.

10. Data Import and Export: 
You can import data from various sources into Excel and export it to different formats, making it a valuable tool for data integration and exchange.

11. Time Tracking and Scheduling: 
Excel can be used for time tracking, creating schedules, and managing appointments and deadlines.

12. Educational and Academic Use: 
Students and educators often use Excel for various academic purposes, such as analyzing scientific data, conducting experiments, and solving mathematical problems.

13. Human Resources: 
HR departments use Excel for tasks like employee data management, payroll calculations, and tracking employee performance.

14. Sales and Marketing: 
Sales professionals and marketers use Excel for lead tracking, sales forecasts, and marketing campaign analysis.

15. Personal Finance: 
Many individuals use Excel to manage personal budgets, track expenses, and plan for savings and investments.

16. Data Storage: 
Excel can be used as a simple database for storing information, especially when the data volume is relatively small.

17. Customization: 
Excel is highly customizable. Users can create templates, macros, and add-ins to tailor it to their specific needs.

18. Compatibility: 
Excel is widely supported and can work seamlessly with other Microsoft Office applications and third-party software.

What is a primary function of Microsoft Excel?

Word Processing
Data Analysis and Calculation
Graphic Design
Video Editing


A spreadsheet is a software application or program used for organizing, storing, manipulating, and analyzing data in a tabular form. 

  • The data in a spreadsheet is typically arranged in rows and columns, forming a grid of cells. 
  • The key for unlocking all that potential is the grid of cells.
  • Each cell can contain text, numbers, formulas, or functions, allowing users to perform various calculations, data analysis, and data visualization tasks.
  • That allows us to add up our data, sort and filter it, put it in tables, and build good-looking and useful charts.

Spreadsheet is a concept or a process / software and MS Excel is one of the most popular Spreadsheet, which is widely used.


A workbook is a spreadsheet program file to be created in Excel by the user. A workbook contains one or more worksheets. In simple terms, an Excel File is also referred to as a workbook.
worksheet consists of cells which is used to enter and calculate data. The cells are organized into columns and rows. A worksheet is a part of a workbook. We may also refer it as just 'Sheets'.
A workbook can contain many work sheets. Think of it as a book. The book (workbook / file) usually have many pages (worksheet). The Sheets are also called as Tabs.

See the image below to know how an excel spreadsheet looks like. It is made up of Columns (A,B,C..) and Rows (1,2,3...) and the intersection every row and column make a Cell, like A1 is the active cell.

Just below the quick access toolbar, you can see File, Home, Insert and many more menu buttons as well.

Create a workbook

  1. Open MS-Excel.
  2. Select Blank workbook Or press Ctrl + N.

Ctrl stands for Control and N stands for New. Most of the key board shortcuts in Excel works with Ctrl or Alt.

Save a workbook

Every time one works in an excel file, it must be saved to ensure that your work is saved and protected.

Press Ctrl+S to save an existing workbook in its current location.

We can use Save As to save the workbook in a different location, or to create a copy of the workbook in the same or another location.

1. Click File > Save As.

2. Under Save As, pick the place where to save workbook. For example, to save to  desktop or in a folder on computer, click Computer.

3. Click Browse to find the location in Documents folder.
To pick another location on computer, click Desktop, and then pick the exact place where to save workbook.

4. In the File name box, enter a name for a new workbook. Enter a different name if creating a copy of an existing workbook.

5. To save workbook in a different file format (like .xls or .txt), in the Save as type list (under the File name box), pick the format as required. Usually .xls is used.

6. Click Save.

What is an Excel workbook?

A single spreadsheet
A collection of multiple formulas
A file that contains one or more worksheets
A chart or graph in Excel