7 free resources for learning MS excel
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I am a financial analyst with more than five years of experience in various credit rating agencies, banks, and fintechs. Based on my professional experience, I think I can afford to say that I know a bit of Microsoft Excel. I usually use it to build cash flow models, valuation models, stress testing scenario, etc. However, I have to confess that I am not the brightest of excel users given that there are times when my limited excel skills are found wanting. In those situations, the best resources that come to my mind are either my colleagues or the omniscient “Google”. But trust me, most of my colleagues are also the disciples of “Google guru”. So, since anyways I am at the mercy of “google”,  I started to scout the internet for the best online resources for learning Excel. To my utter surprise, I realized that there are a plethora of free online resources available while I was wasting my time asking those disciples of the guru. Since searching the internet is a time-consuming activity, I have prepared a list of such free resources which you can use to learn various excel skills, right from the basics to the advanced ones. So, have a look at the resources below and do remember to bookmark them for future reference.


Have you heard the phrase “straight from the horse’s mouth”? The phrase can be aptly used for this resource because no one is expected to know Excel better than the people at Microsoft. Yes, it is true that Microsoft offers you an array of free tutorials, videos, and guides to help you learn older and latest versions of Excel. By using it, you can easily learn everything from how to add data to the pivot tables to the dreaded macros. You just need to select the topic of your interest and then explore them to get the full breadth of what Excel can do. The Excel Help Centre also provides you hands-on experience by letting you try the techniques right in the browser itself.


Let us now move outside Microsoft’s premises and have a look at another comprehensive free resource – GFCLearnFree.org. This website covers all the excel skills that you can imagine of, in the form of 29 amazing tutorials along with five extras that include learning basic excel techniques of creating and saving workbooks to the advanced techniques of conditional formatting. Not only that, but it also allows you to test your knowledge by taking quizzes in the end. Further, it guides you even with the oldest versions of excel (as old as Excel 2000).


        If you are a lazybones just like me who would rather prefer watching tutorial videos than to read guides, then Excel Exposure is the best resource for you to learn excel. The website offers you free access to a series of written and video-based courses intended to help you learn excel. There are as many as 40 lessons of around 20 minutes each, which are categorized into three broad segments – Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The lessons are broken down into easily comprehensible units such that even the dreaded VBA will seem less intimidating to the students.


Mr. Purna Chandoo Duggirala founded Chandoo.org in 2007 with the noble objective to make everyone awesome at excel and charting. Today, Chandoo.org houses more than 450 articles and tutorials that teach you how to use excel to make better charts. Another striking feature of this website is that it is very helpful for those students for whom English is not the first language. Most of the learning at the website comes from forums where people ask questions pertaining to various excel topics such as, how to build or use a pivot table, how to create trend line in a chart etc., and anyone with the required knowledge can reply at the forum.


Debra Dalgliesh, the owner of the site “Contextures”, also shares similar idea like Chandoo – to make everybody an Excel master. This website offers you free excel instructions in the form of quick tips, blog posts, and newsletters that you can use to learn a variety of lessons. In fact, the website has hundreds of downloadable spreadsheets that can be opened in Excel, which then provide step-by-step guidance to perform many excel techniques like adding filters to rows and columns, data validation, designing charts, etc.


If you know somebody who is literally an excel illiterate and has never opened an excel spreadsheet, then refer this website to him/her because “Excel easy” really makes it easy for such beginners. The site offers a well-structured content such that each topic is then sub-divided into sub-topics which lets you access other advanced topics under the main category. Further, Excel Easy presents each chapter in the form of written guides supported by visual aids, such as screenshots, to help you understand the concept better. After you are done with the tutorials, the website lets you access several examples that show you how to apply each concept in real life scenarios. The various topics covered by the website include basic functions and formulas, how to create multiple worksheets, how to format cells etc.


You must have noticed that some of your friends or colleagues seem so well versed with excel shortcuts that they almost don’t need the mouse and can perform all the functions using the keyboard itself. Well, if you wish to emulate a similar ability, then “Excel-Jet” is the website for you that can help you to master the excel shortcuts. This is a website that lets you learn the cool excel tricks for free, helping you in building the in-demand skills at your own convenience. The website has hundreds of videos and blog posts that can train you based on your requirement.


So, are you ready to become the next “Excel guru” of your office? That too free of cost. Nevertheless, if you follow any of the above-mentioned websites, I am quite sure that in no time you will be using excel like spreading butter on a toast. If you practice each concept until you master them, then soon you will be using the Excel functions and commands inadvertently. Hope this article will help you to access free resources to learn to excel.

Please click here to read more: “EXCEL SHORTCUTS THAT REDUCE WORK IN HALF”