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How to master Excel

The best way to master Excel is by practicing it! We can divide it into 7 main parts –

  1. Master the keyboard shortcuts
  2. Mastering the navigation
  3. Learn all the functions
  4. Practice building formulas
  5. Using drop-down list
  6. Using Freeze panes
  7. Take a free Excel crash course
  8. Download templates and practice

Master the keyboard shortcuts – 

It is always easy to use the shortcuts. The machine learns the commands via different methods and shortcuts are too good for it. Learning excel by yourself could be a bigger task for some learners but that would not be a problem because there are advanced excel course available online to master all the tricks of excel. 

Here are some of the examples of Excel shortcuts-

Description Excel Shortcuts 
To create a new workbook Ctrl + N
To open an existing workbook Ctrl + O
To save a workbook/spreadsheet Ctrl + S
To close the current workbook Ctrl + W
To close Excel Ctrl + F4
To move to the next sheet Ctrl + PageDown
To move to the previous sheet Ctrl + PageUp
To go to the Data tab Alt + A
To go to the View tab Alt + W
To go the Formula tab Alt + M
To edit a cell F2
To copy and paste cells Ctrl + C, Ctrl + V
To italicize and make the font bold Ctrl + I, Ctrl + B
To center align cell contents Alt + H + A + C
To fill color Alt + H + H
To add a border Alt + H + B
To remove outline border Ctrl + Shift + _
To add an outline to the select cells Ctrl + Shift + &
To move to the next cell Tab
To move to the previous cell Shift + Tab
To select all the cells on the right Ctrl + Shift + Right arrow
To select all the cells on the left Ctrl + Shift + Left Arrow
To select the column from the selected cell to the end of the table Ctrl + Shift + Down Arrow
To select all the cells above the selected cell Ctrl + Shift + Up Arrow
To select all the cells below the selected cell Ctrl + Shift + Down Arrow

Mastering the navigation –

Excel may look complicated at first but once you master its navigation your work will be a lot easier. Let’s begin with the basics –

Moving to the next cell in the column can be done – Tab key

Moving down in the next row can be done by – Enter key

Going to the last used cell in a specific direction can be done by – Ctrl + Up or Down or Left or Right (according to your need)

Going to the first cell in your sheet can be done by – Ctrl + Home

This basic navigation knowledge can be very useful to navigate in large data sheets and even if there is no large data, you can save a lot of time by this.

Learn all the functions – 

You need to learn all the functions that Excel has to provide to the users. EXCEL can be very helpful in performing the below functions-






Practice building formulas –  

It is sometimes just like mathematics. However, kids don’t like math a lot. Do they? So… Practice makes a man perfect and so go on practicing as many formulas as you can. 

You must try the following steps to try build your formulas in Excel –

  1. You can select a cell or type the address in the selected cell
  2. Enter the operator
  3. You can select the next cell or you can  type its address in the selected cell.
  4. Now, you can press Enter.

Using drop-down list –

If you face issues in entering lots of data or repeated data then using drop-down list can be very useful and accurate way to enter text in a spreadsheet.

Here’s how to create a drop-down list –

Select the range of the cells you want 

Click on data and select data validation

Select List from the Allow section

Then type the list items into the source box by separating each one with a comma or select a range of cells that contain the list items

That’s it now you will have a drop down list which will make entries a lot easier.

Using Freeze panes –

By using Freeze Panes, you can keep your heading and other labels visible while you scroll around.

To freeze any area just click on View and select under Freeze Planes menu among Freeze Panes, Freeze Top Row and Freeze First Column according to your need.

Take a free Excel crash course –

As the world evolve, the more crash courses you may witness.

There are many free crash courses available for Excel.

There are a lot of benefits of crash courses as it helps you in achieving your target in a very less period of time. It utilise time at its best.

Download templates and practice –

Template is a document that can be used to create documents quickly without formatting. You can practice and it will be easy for you to learn Excel.


This article gave us a glimpse of the uses of Excel and how it can be helpful for us. Excel is surely very popular among people because of the fact that it is very user friendly and easy.

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