This Excel 2013 tutorial includes everything you need to know to get started with Microsoft Excel.
Excel 2013 is a spreadsheet program that allows you to store, organize, and analyze information. While you may believe Excel is only used by certain people to process complicated data, anyone can learn how to take advantage of the program's powerful features. Whether you're keeping a budget, organizing a training log, or creating an invoice, Excel makes it easy to work with different types of data.
Excel 2013 is similar to Excel 2010. If you've previously used Excel 2010, Excel 2013 should feel familiar. If you are new to Excel or have more experience with older versions, you should first take some time to become familiar with the Excel 2013 interface.
When you open Excel 2013 for the first time, the Excel Start Screen will appear. From here, you'll be able to create a new workbook, choose a template, and access your recently edited workbooks.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to become familiar with the Excel 2013 interface.
Each group contains a series of different commands. Simply click any command to apply it. Some groups also have an arrow in the bottom-right corner, which you can click to see even more commands.
The Ribbon contains all the commands you will need to perform common tasks in Excel. It has multiple tabs, each with several groups of commands.
From here, you can access your Microsoft account information, view your profile, and switch accounts.
In the formula bar, you can enter or edit data, a formula, or a function that will appear in a specific cell.
In the image below, cell C1 is selected and 1984 is entered into the formula bar. Note how the data appears in both the formula bar and in cell C1.
The Quick Access Toolbar lets you access common commands no matter which tab is selected.
By default, it includes the Save, Undo, and Redo commands. You can add other commands depending on your preference.
A row is a group of cells that runs from the left of the page to the right. In Excel, rows are identified by numbers. Row 10 is selected in the image below.
A column is a group of cells that runs from the top of the page to the bottom. In Excel, columns are identified by letters. Column H is selected in the image below.
The Name box displays the location, or "name" of a selected cell.
In the image below, cell B4 is selected. Note that cell B4 is where column B and row 4 intersect.
Your spreadsheet may frequently have more data than you can see on the screen at once. Click, hold and drag the vertical or horizontal scroll bar depending on what part of the page you want to see.
Click and drag the slider to use the Zoom control. The number to the right of the slider reflects the zoom percentage.
There are three ways to view a worksheet. Simply click to select the desired view:
• Normal view is selected by default, and shows you an unlimited number of cells and columns.
• Page Layout view divides your spreadsheet into pages.
• Page Break view lets you see an overview of your worksheet, which is especially helpful when adding page breaks.
Excel files are called workbooks. Each workbook holds one or more worksheets (also known as "spreadsheets").
One worksheet will appear by default when you open an Excel workbook. It's easy to rename, add and delete worksheets.
Each rectangle in a workbook is called a cell.
A cell is the intersection of a row and a column.
Simply click to select a cell. Cell B3 is selected in this example.
If you've previously used Excel 2010 or 2007, Excel 2013 will feel familiar. It continues to use features like the Ribbon and Quick Access toolbar, where you will find commands to perform common tasks in Excel, as well as Backstage view.
Excel 2013 uses a tabbed Ribbon system instead of traditional menus. The Ribbon contains multiple tabs, each with several groups of commands. You will use these tabs to perform the most common tasks in Excel.
Click the arrows in the slideshow below to learn more about the different commands available within each tab on the Ribbon.
The Home tab gives you access to some of the most commonly used commands for working with data in Excel 2013, including copying and pasting, formatting, and number styles. The Home tab is selected by default whenever you open Excel.
The Insert tab allows you to insert charts, tables, sparklines, filters, and more, which can help you visualize and communicate your workbook data graphically.
The Page Layout tab allows you to change the print formatting of your workbook, including margin width, page orientation, and themes. These commands will be especially helpful when preparing to print a workbook.
The Formulas tab gives you access to the most commonly used functions and formulas in Excel. These commands will help you calculate and analyze numerical data, such as averages and percentages.
The Data tab makes it easy to sort and filter information in your workbook, which can be especially helpful if your project contains a large amount of data.
You can use the Review tab to access Excel's powerful editing features, including comments and track changes. These features make it easy to share and collaborate on workbooks.
The View tab allows you to switch between different views for your workbook and freeze panes for easy viewing. These commands will also be helpful when preparing to print a workbook.
Contextual tabs will appear on the Ribbon when working with certain items, like tables and pictures. These tabs contain special command groups that can help you format these items as needed.
Certain programs, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, may install additional tabs to the Ribbon. These tabs are called add-ins.
The Ribbon is designed to respond to your current task, but you can choose to minimize it if you find that it takes up too much screen space.
To learn how to add custom tabs and commands to the Ribbon, review our Extra on Customizing the Ribbon.
To learn how to use the Ribbon with touch-screen devices, review our Extra on Enabling Touch Mode.
Located just above the Ribbon, the Quick Access toolbar lets you access common commands no matter which tab is selected. By default, it includes the Save, Undo, and Repeat commands. You can add other commands depending on your preference.
Backstage view gives you various options for saving, opening a file, printing, and sharing your workbooks.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn more about using Backstage view.
The Info pane will appear whenever you access Backstage view.
It contains information about the current workbook. You can also inspect the workbook and set protection controls.
From here, you can create a new, blank workbook, or choose from a large selection of templates.
From here, you can open recent workbooks, as well as workbooks saved to your OneDrive or on your computer.
Use Save and Save As to save your workbook to your computer or to your OneDrive.
From the Print pane, you can change the print settings and print your workbook. You can also see a preview of your workbook.
From here, you can invite people to view and collaborate on your workbook. You can also share your workbook by emailing it as an attachment.
You can choose to export your workbook in another format, such as PDF/XPS or Excel 1997-2003.
Click here to close the current workbook.
From the Account pane, you can access your Microsoft account information, modify your theme and background, and sign out of your account.
Here you can change various Excel options. For example, you can control the Quick Analysis preferences, AutoRecover settings, or Language preferences.
You can use the arrow to close Backstage view and return to Excel.
Excel 2013 has a variety of viewing options that change how your workbook is displayed. You can choose to view any workbook in Normal view, Page Layout view, or Page Break view. These views can be useful for various tasks, especially if you're planning to print the spreadsheet.
Click the arrows in the slideshow below to review the different worksheet view options.
Normal view: This is the default view for all worksheets in Excel.
Page Layout view: This view can help you visualize how your worksheet will appear when printed. You can also add headers and footers from this view.
Page Break view: This view makes it easy to change the location of page breaks in your workbook, which is especially helpful when printing a lot of data from Excel.