Microsoft Excel Terminology (Glossary)

Whether you’re a novice Excel user or an Excel expert, there’s always something new to learn.

This Excel glossary will help you grasp the fundamental concepts and advanced features of Excel, enabling you to use this powerful tool more effectively.

From basic terms like “cell” and “formula” to more complex concepts like “pivot tables” and “VLOOKUP,” we’ve got you covered.

Understanding these terms not only helps in boosting your Excel proficiency but also in enhancing your overall productivity. So, let’s dive into the world of Excel and unravel the intricacies of this widely used spreadsheet software.

Table of Contents

Absolute Reference

When using Microsoft Excel, you often need to work with different types of cell references.

One such type is the absolute reference.

An absolute reference in Excel is a “locked” cell address that remains constant when a formula is copied or moved to another location in the worksheet.

Unlike a relative reference, which adjusts when formulas are copied around the sheet, an absolute reference always points to the same cell.

To create an absolute reference, add a dollar sign ($) before the row and column, like $A$1.

This way of referencing is particularly useful when you have a constant value that should not change as you copy the formula across different rows or columns. For example, if you want to calculate the sales tax for various items, you can use an absolute reference to make sure you’re always referencing the correct sales tax rate.

To switch between relative and absolute references, you can use the F4 key.

When you’re editing a formula, select the cell address you want to change and press F4 to cycle between the different reference types.

Active Cell

An active cell in Microsoft Excel is the single cell you are working with at any given moment.

When you open a new workbook or click on a cell, that specific cell becomes the active cell. You can identify the active cell by its thicker border and the highlighted row and column headers.

Working with the active cell is quite simple. When you start typing, the data you type goes right into the active cell.

Whenever you want to perform operations or apply a function, Excel will use the active cell as its base. For instance, if you apply a formula, the result will appear in the active cell.

Additionally, the active cell plays a crucial role when using features like Autofill, as it will take the data from the active cell to complete the sequence.


An Excel add-in is a supplemental feature or tool that you can use to extend the capabilities of Microsoft Excel.

Add-ins help make your work easier by providing additional options and automating repetitive tasks. With add-ins, you can customize Excel to better suit your needs and boost your productivity.

For example, you might use an add-in to quickly look up information online without leaving Excel, or to analyze data using advanced statistical functions. There are many add-ins available to help improve your Excel experience and save you time.

To get started with add-ins, you’ll need to install and activate them in Excel. Some add-ins are built-in, like Solver and Analysis ToolPak, while others can be downloaded from the Office Add-in store.


An array in Excel is a collection of values, organized in rows and columns.

You can think of it as a table where you can store and manipulate data. Arrays can be created by using array formulas or simply by selecting a range of cells.

An array formula is a special kind of formula that allows you to perform calculations on multiple items in the array.

In Excel, there are many functions that can help you work with arrays. Some of these functions include SUM, AVERAGE, and MAX, which allow you to perform calculations on your data.

Most of the new functions that are released in MS Excel (such as XLOOKUP or FILTER or TEXTSPLIT or TOCOL/TOROW) can all handle arrays.

Array Constant

An array constant in Microsoft Excel is a group of fixed values that do not change.

These values can be numbers, text, or characters, and are enclosed within curly braces { }.

For example, an array constant with three colors might look like this: {“red”, “blue”, “green”}. Arrays make it easier to handle and process groups of values in your calculations and formulas.

You can combine array constants with array formulas to perform multiple operations on a set of data, making tasks quicker and more efficient. For instance, if you have a list of grades and want to find the average, you can use an array constant to store the grades and an array formula to calculate the average.

To create an array constant, follow these simple steps:

  1. Begin by typing an equal sign = in a cell.
  2. Enter the values you want in the array, separated by commas for horizontal arrays or semicolons for vertical arrays.
  3. Enclose the values in curly braces { }.
  4. Press Enter to complete the array constant.

Array Formula

An array formula in Excel is a powerful tool that allows you to perform operations on multiple values at once instead of just a single value.

Think of it as handling a group of values (or an array) all at once and then giving you a single result or multiple results, depending on how the formula is set up.

When you use an array formula, it can help you save time and effort, especially when working with large sets of data. To create an array formula, you’ll need to use a combination of Excel functions and some special keystrokes.

For example, let’s say you have a list of numbers in cells A1 to A5 and you want to calculate the total of all the numbers in that range multiplied by 2. Instead of creating a separate formula for each cell and then summing them, you can use an array formula like this:


Remember, array formulas can be a bit trickier to work with than regular formulas, but don’t worry, with some practice and patience, you’ll get the hang of it and become an Excel pro in no time!


In Microsoft Excel, ASCII refers to the American Standard Code for Information Interchange, a set of numeric codes representing various characters and symbols.

When you work with text and numbers in Excel, it’s helpful to know some basics about ASCII.

The ASCII system assigns numbers ranging from 0 to 127 to different characters.

You can use these codes to insert special characters or symbols in your Excel worksheets. For instance, the ASCII code for the letter ‘A’ is 65, while the code for ‘a’ is 97.

You might wonder how to use ASCII codes in your Excel projects. Excel offers a function called CHAR that helps you to convert these numbers into corresponding characters. For example, if you use the formula =CHAR(65), Excel will display the character ‘A’ in the cell.

Let’s take a quick look at some common ASCII codes:

  • 65 represents ‘A’
  • 97 represents ‘a’
  • 48 represents ‘0’
  • 32 represents ‘Space’

Moreover, there’s another function called CODE that does the reverse, converting characters into their ASCII codes. If you write =CODE(“A”), the output will be 65.

By understanding the concept of ASCII and using Excel functions like CHAR and CODE, you can perform various tasks and manipulations with text and numbers in your worksheets.


AutoFill is a fantastic feature in Microsoft Excel that makes entering data in your spreadsheet much simpler.

When you have a series of data, like dates or numbers, AutoFill can quickly fill the cells with the same pattern, saving you time and effort.

To use AutoFill, you just need to select the cells that contain the pattern you want to extend.

For example, if you have the numbers 1, 2, and 3 in cells A1, A2, and A3, you can select these cells and drag the fill handle (the small square at the bottom-right corner of the last selected cell) down or across to extend the pattern. Excel will fill in the cells with the numbers 4, 5, 6, and so on.

This also works with other patterns, like days of the week or months of the year.

Remember that AutoFill is a powerful tool for making data entry easier, but it’s important to double-check your work. Excel might not always recognize the pattern you’re trying to extend, so always review the filled cells to ensure accuracy.

Also read: How to Turn Off AutoFill in Excel?


AutoSum is a helpful function in Microsoft Excel that allows you to quickly calculate the total of a set of numbers.

By using the AutoSum feature, you can save time and effort when working with large datasets.

To use AutoSum, first select a cell next to the numbers you want to sum. For example, if you’re summing a column of numbers, select the cell immediately below the last value in the column.

If you’re summing a row, pick the cell to the right of the last number in the row. After selecting the appropriate cell, click the AutoSum button located on the Home or Formulas tab.

Alternatively, you can use the auto sum shortcut ALT = (hold the ALT key and press the equal to key)

Excel will automatically create a formula using the SUM function to calculate the total of the selected numbers.

Simply press Enter to complete the process, and the sum of your selected numbers will appear in the cell.

Remember that AutoSum can also work horizontally if you select an empty cell to the right of the cells to be summed.

Excel’s AutoSum feature is designed to sense the range to be summed but always double-check to avoid potential errors.

Boolean Logic

Boolean logic is an essential concept in Microsoft Excel that helps you create more powerful and flexible formulas.

In Excel, Boolean logic consists of TRUE and FALSE values, which can be represented as 1 and 0, respectively. Let’s dive into how you can use Boolean logic in your formulas to make your work in Excel more efficient!

First, you’ll come across Excel functions that work with Boolean values, such as IF, AND, and OR.

These functions help you create conditions in formulas and return specific results based on whether the conditions are met or not.

For example, using the IF function, you can create a formula that checks if a cell’s value is greater than 10. If the condition is true, the formula could return “Yes,” otherwise, it would return “No.”

In addition to using functions, you can also use Boolean operators directly in your formulas.

These operators include > (greater than), < (less than), = (equal to), <> (not equal to), and others.

Combining these operators with cells’ values allows you to create complex conditions, enabling Excel to perform advanced calculations based on your criteria.


In Microsoft Excel, borders are an essential formatting tool that can help you highlight and organize your data.

Borders provide visual separation between cells, making it easier for you to read and understand the information in your worksheet.

Let’s dive into how borders work and how you can apply them effectively in Excel.

First, you’ll want to select the cells you wish to format. To apply a predefined border, go to the Home tab, and look for the “Font” group. Here, you can access the “Borders” dropdown menu to choose from a variety of border styles.

You can select options like “All Borders” for a full border around all the selected cells or “Outside Borders” to outline the outer edges of your selection.

Once you pick a border style, it will automatically apply to the selected cells.

So, whether you’re working on a simple table or a complex spreadsheet, borders can help you visually organize your data.


A breakpoint is a useful tool in Microsoft Excel, especially when working with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) code.

It allows you to pause the execution of your code at a specific point, so you can check if the code is working correctly and detect any errors.

To set a breakpoint, you just need to click in the margin area next to the line of code where you want the execution to pause.

A red dot will appear, indicating that there’s a breakpoint set on that line. Once you run the code, Excel will stop executing it when it reaches the breakpoint, enabling you to analyze the current state of your program.

When you want to continue running the rest of the code after reaching a breakpoint, you can either use the “Step” feature to move through the code line by line or click the “Run” button to execute the remaining lines at once.

You can also remove a breakpoint at any time by clicking on the red dot again or by selecting “Toggle Breakpoint” (F9) from the Debug menu.

Remember to remove all breakpoints when you’re done debugging, as they cannot be saved with your workbook. This way, your code will run smoothly without any interruptions.

Calculation Mode

In Microsoft Excel, the calculation mode refers to how the software updates cell values when there are changes in its contents or formulas.

You have a few options for controlling when Excel recalculates the worksheet:

  1. Automatic: Excel updates the cell values automatically when you make changes to the data or formulas. Most of the time, this mode is handy as it ensures that your data is always up-to-date.
  2. Partial: This mode works similarly to the automatic mode, but it does not recalculate data tables. This option can be useful when you’re working with large data tables that take a long time to update.
  3. Manual: In this mode, Excel won’t recalculate the cell values automatically. You need to manually update the calculations by pressing F9 or clicking “Calculate Now” in the Formulas tab.

To change the calculation mode, go to the Formulas tab, click on the “Calculation Options” dropdown, and select your preferred mode.

Remember, choosing the right calculation mode can save you time and improve the performance of your Excel workbook, especially when working with large data sets.


Cells are the basic building blocks in Excel, where you enter and store your data. Each cell has its own address and can hold information such as text, numbers, and formulas.

For example, imagine a grid with column letters and row numbers – a cell would be the box formed by the intersection of a column and a row, like A1 or B2.

When you work in Excel, you’ll usually see an active cell with a bold outline around it. This is the cell that you’re currently working on. To make a cell active, simply click on it with your mouse or navigate with the arrow keys.

You can format cells in multiple ways to improve the organization and readability of your worksheet. Formatting options include:

  • Bold, italic, or underlined text
  • Font type, size, and color
  • Number formatting (currency, decimals, percentages, etc.)
  • Cell shading or fill color

Center Across Selection

Center Across Selection is a useful formatting tool in Microsoft Excel that allows you to easily center the content of multiple cells without merging them.

This feature is particularly handy for creating headers or titles across several columns, giving your spreadsheet a clean and organized appearance.

To center your text across a selected range of cells, start by highlighting the cells you want to center across. Next, press “Ctrl + 1” on your keyboard to open the Format Cells dialog box.

Click on the “Alignment” tab, and under the “Horizontal” drop-down menu, choose “Center Across Selection.” Finally, click “OK” to apply the changes to your selection.

Now, your text will be seamlessly centered across the chosen cells, providing a polished look to your spreadsheet.

Remember that if there is text in the cells to the right of the original selection, you’ll need to manually remove it for Center Across Selection to work accurately.


A chart in Microsoft Excel is a visual representation of your data. It helps you understand and analyze the information more easily.

In Excel, there are several types of charts available for various purposes, such as bar charts, line graphs, pie charts, and more.

To create a chart, you first need to select the data you want to represent visually. You can choose from numerous chart types depending on the message you want to convey to your audience.

For example, if you want to show how sales have changed over time, a line chart would be suitable. On the other hand, if you want to compare the sales of different products, a bar chart would work better.

Once you have selected the appropriate chart type, Excel will generate the chart for you. You can customize the appearance of your chart by changing colors, adding a title, or adjusting the axes. This way, you can make the chart more appealing and easier to read for your audience.

Remember that a well-designed chart can make your data more accessible and help you convey your message effectively. So, take your time to choose the right chart type and customize it to fit your audience’s needs.

Also read: How to Create Bar of Pie Chart in Excel?

Chart Sheet

A chart sheet is a special type of worksheet in Microsoft Excel that displays a chart or graph.

To create a chart sheet, you can select the data you want to represent and then choose the desired chart type, such as a column chart or a line chart.

When you create a chart, Excel automatically places it on the same worksheet as your data by default.

However, you can move the chart to a separate chart sheet for better visibility and organization. To do that, simply right-click the chart and choose “Move Chart,” then select “New Sheet.”

Once your chart is on a chart sheet, you can easily customize its appearance by using the Chart Tools in the Excel toolbar.

You can change the chart type, adjust the legend and labels, or apply different styles and colors. It’s essential to experiment with these options to find the best way to represent your data visually.

Circular References

A circular reference in Excel is when a cell references itself in a formula, either directly or through a chain of other cells. This can create an error because it causes Excel to get stuck in an endless loop, trying to calculate the value of the cell that’s referencing itself.

Imagine you’re trying to use a calculator to figure out how many apples you can buy with your money, but instead of giving it a set number, you tell it to use the result of its own calculation—it wouldn’t know where to start, right? That’s basically what happens with a circular reference.

When Excel detects a circular reference, it typically shows an alert letting you know there’s a problem.

Your worksheet might not calculate correctly until this circular reference is fixed. You may see a zero or the last value that was calculated before the issue arose.

To resolve this, you’ll need to break the loop by changing the formula or the cell references it uses. It’s like giving clear instructions to the calculator so it can give you the answer you’re looking for.

Understanding circular references is important because they can impede the accuracy of your spreadsheets and the efficiency of your work.

Excel is a powerful tool for organizing and analyzing your data, but like any tool, it requires a proper understanding to use it effectively. If you’re aware of how circular references occur, you’ll be better equipped to prevent and remedy them, keeping your calculations precise and useful.


In Microsoft Excel, the Clipboard is a useful feature that allows you to temporarily store and manage copied or cut items, such as text, numbers, and graphics.

This makes it easy for you to paste these items into other parts of your spreadsheet or even another Office document, like Word or PowerPoint.

When you’re working in Excel, you can access the Clipboard by clicking the small arrow in the bottom right corner of the “Clipboard” group on the “Home” tab.

This opens up the Office Clipboard, which can store up to 24 items at a time. Items you copy or cut will be added to the list in the order you copied them.

To paste items from the Clipboard, you simply click on the desired item in the Clipboard list, and it will be inserted into your Excel sheet at the current cell location.

Additionally, you can paste all items in the list at once by clicking the “Paste All” button.


In Microsoft Excel, a column is a vertical arrangement of cells. When you look at an Excel sheet, you’ll see gridlines that separate each column and make the sheet easy to read.

The columns are labeled with letters at the top, which are called column headings.

Each cell in a column is part of the same grid, so they line up nicely. You can think of a column as a list of information that goes from top to bottom. For example, if you have a list of names, you could put each name in a separate cell, one below the other in a single column.

Working with columns in Excel is straightforward. If you want to select an entire column, just click on the column heading. This highlights the column and lets you apply different types of formatting or sort the cells within it.


In Microsoft Excel, a comment is a helpful feature that allows you to add extra information or notes to a specific cell without altering its contents.

Imagine you are working on a school project, and you want to share your thoughts or ask a question about a particular data point with your classmates. You can use the comment feature to do just that.

To insert a comment in Excel, simply right-click on the cell where you’d like to add the comment, then select “Insert Comment” from the context menu.

A small text box will appear, allowing you to type your message. Once you’ve entered your comment, click outside the text box to save it. You’ll notice a small triangle in the top-right corner of the cell, indicating that a comment is attached to it. To view the comment, hover your mouse over the cell and the text box will appear.

Using comments in Excel is similar to adding comments in Microsoft Word, where you can enter your remarks or questions related to the document. This feature helps in making your work more organized and can be especially useful when you’re collaborating with others on a project.

Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting is a useful feature in Excel that allows you to quickly visualize data by automatically applying unique formatting, such as colors, bold text, or borders, to cells based on their contents.

This is particularly helpful when you want to highlight important information, trends, or patterns in your data.

To apply conditional formatting, first select the cells where you want the formatting to be applied.

Then, go to the “Home” tab and click on the “Conditional Formatting” button. From there, you can choose from a variety of predetermined rules or create your own custom rule.

For example, imagine you have a list of test scores and you want to highlight the cells containing scores above 90. You can easily do this by selecting the appropriate cells, clicking on “Conditional Formatting,” and choosing a rule like “Highlight Cell Rules” > “Greater Than.” Enter the value 90 and choose a desired format, such as bold text or a colored background.

CSE (Control Shift Enter)

CSE, or Control Shift Enter, is a key combination used in Microsoft Excel for applying array formulas. Array formulas help you perform complex calculations and generate single or multiple results at once.

To use CSE in Excel, first type the desired array formula in a cell, and instead of simply pressing Enter, hold down Control and Shift, and then press Enter.

This will apply the array formula to the cell or range of cells you’ve selected. Excel will automatically wrap the formula in curly braces {} to indicate it’s an array formula.

For example, let’s say you wanted to multiply the values in column A by the values in column B and add them for rows 1-5. You would type =SUM(A1:A5B1:B5) in a cell and then press Control, Shift, and Enter at the same time. Excel would show the formula as {=SUM(A1:A5B1:B5)} and display the result in the cell.

CSE enables you to perform calculations that would be impossible or more time-consuming with regular formulas. Make sure to use this powerful feature when you need to process large amounts of data or carry out advanced calculations in your spreadsheets.


CSV stands for Comma Separated Values. It’s a simple file format used to store data in a structured way, similar to a table in Excel. CSV files can be easily imported and exported by many applications, including Microsoft Excel.

A CSV file is made up of rows and columns just like an Excel spreadsheet, but instead uses a character called a delimiter to separate the values. The most common delimiter is the comma (,). However, other delimiters like the tab, space, or semicolon (;) can also be used.

Data Label

In Microsoft Excel, a data label provides additional information about a specific data point in a chart.

Usually, it represents a single data point that comes from a worksheet cell. Let’s break down what this means for you.

When creating a chart in Excel, you might want to display more details about certain data points to make understanding the chart easier.

This is where data labels come into play. They help give context to the data presented in the chart, like showing exact values or percentages.

To add a data label to your chart, simply click on the data series or the individual data point you want to label.

From there, you can access the “Add Chart Element” option and choose “Data Labels” from the list. This will apply the chosen label type to your data point or entire series.

Data Type

A data type in Microsoft Excel is a category that tells the program what kind of information to expect in a specific cell.

This helps the program to understand and process your data correctly. Let’s take a closer look at some common data types in Excel and how they work.

When you input numbers, Excel can identify if they are whole numbers like 1, 2, 3, or decimal numbers such as 1.5, 2.75, and 3.25. Whole numbers and decimal numbers are essential in calculations, and Excel is equipped to handle these types of data.

Another common data type is text. Text includes letters, numbers, and symbols that do not hold any numerical value. For instance, your name, a word, or a phrase is considered text. When Excel recognizes text, it understands you don’t want to perform any calculations with this data.

Excel is also familiar with dates and times as data types. When you input a date or time, Excel can store, format, and calculate durations or differences between dates and times. This comes in handy when you’re managing schedules, deadlines, or time-sensitive data.

In some cases, you may come across special kinds of data called linked data types like Stocks, Geography, and Currency. These data types are connected to an online data source and provide additional information related to the topic. For example, a linked data type for a specific country can show you the population, capital city, and more.

As you work with Excel, understanding data types is essential. With proper data types, Excel can process your information accurately and help you accomplish your tasks more efficiently.

Data Validation

Data validation in Excel is a handy feature that allows you to set rules and restrictions on the type of data that can be entered into a cell. By using data validation, you can ensure your data is accurate and consistent.

When setting up data validation, you have several options to choose from. Some common validation options include:

  • Whole Number: Accept only whole numbers in a cell.
  • Decimal: Allow only decimal numbers.
  • List: Provide a drop-down list for users to pick from.

To apply data validation to a cell, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select the cell or range of cells you want to set rules for.
  2. Click Data on the top menu, and then click Data Validation.
  3. In the Settings tab, under Allow, choose the desired validation rule.

Once you set the validation rule, any entry that doesn’t fit the rule will trigger an error message. You can also create custom error messages to help users enter the correct data.

Functions in Excel can also be used with data validation, allowing more complex validation rules. For example, you can use the IF function to check if a cell’s value is within a specific range.

Remember, data validation is crucial for maintaining accuracy and consistency in your spreadsheets. So, don’t forget to use it while working on your Excel projects!


In Microsoft Excel, a delimiter is a character that separates individual fields or values in your data.

Delimiters help you to organize and split your data into columns, rows, or other formats. In this section, you’ll learn how delimiters work and how they can help you manage your data in Excel.

Popular delimiter characters include commas, spaces, and semicolons. When working with data in a CSV (comma-separated values) file, Excel uses the comma as the default delimiter.

This means that any data separated by commas will be split into individual fields, making it easy for you to work with your data.

To split data in Excel, you can use the TEXTSPLIT function or the ‘Text to Columns’ tool. Both methods allow you to use a specific delimiter like a comma or space to separate fields in your data.

Dropdown List

A dropdown list in Excel is an excellent feature to help you organize your data. With a dropdown list, you can provide a set of predefined options for the users, making data entry more efficient and reducing errors.

You can create dropdown lists using the data validation functionality.

To create a dropdown list, first, select a cell where you want the list to appear.

Then, go to the “Data” tab and click “Data Validation”. In the “Allow” field, choose “List” and then enter the items you want in the list in the “Source” box. Separate each item with a comma.

Dropdown lists are useful for organizing data and making selections easier. They can also make your spreadsheet look cleaner and more professional.

Functions can be used in conjunction with dropdown lists to perform calculations or display information based on the selection made.

For example, if you have a spreadsheet with sales data, you can use a dropdown list to let the user choose a specific product or region.

Once the user selects an option, you can use functions like SUM or AVERAGE to calculate and display the total sales or the average sales price for the chosen item.

Also read: How to Select Multiple Items from a Drop Down in Excel?

Dynamic Array

A dynamic array is an advanced feature in Microsoft Excel that allows you to work with and manipulate sets of data.

Essentially, a dynamic array is a resizable array that calculates automatically and returns values into multiple cells based on a formula entered in a single cell.

Imagine you have a list of numbers and you want to sort them. Instead of manually sorting each number, you can use the SORT function in Excel.

To do this, enter the formula =SORT(A1:A10) where A1 is the range of cells containing your numbers. Excel will automatically calculate and display the sorted numbers in a “spilled” range of cells next to the original data.

Array formulas allow you to perform calculations across an array of cells. For example, if you have a list of sales by month and you want to find the total across all months, you can use the SUM function in an array formula like this =SUM(A1:A12). You simply enter the formula in a single cell, and Excel will calculate and display the results in neighboring cells.

Dynamic Named Range

A dynamic named range in Excel is a special type of range that automatically expands and adjusts according to the data it contains.

This helps you to work more efficiently with your workbook as your data changes. In a dynamic named range, you’ll commonly utilize the Offset and CountA functions to create and manage them.

Using the Name Manager, you can create and edit named ranges within your workbook.

This handy tool can be found in the Formulas tab on the main Excel toolbar. When you want to create a dynamic named range, go to the Name Manager, click on ‘New’, and use a formula like the following:


In this formula, first_cell is the top-left cell of your range, and column is an absolute reference like $A:$A. For example, let’s say you have a list of products in column A, starting from cell A2. Your dynamic named range formula would be:


Now you’ve got a dynamic named range, you’ll see it automatically grows as you add more products to your list.

If you want to use this range in a formula, you can reference it using its name, making it easier to remember and use within your workbook.

You can also view and select your dynamic named range using the Name Box, located on the left side of the formula bar. Simply click on the Name Box dropdown, choose your dynamic range, and Excel will highlight the relevant cells for you.

Edit Mode

In Microsoft Excel, Edit Mode is a feature that allows you to make changes to the content of a cell in a worksheet.

When you’re working with Excel, you’ll often use functions, which are predefined formulas, to perform calculations on your data.

To start using Edit mode, double-click a cell that contains the data you want to edit. You can also get into the Edit mode by selecting the cell and then using the F2 key.

Also read: Edit Cell in Excel (Shortcut)

Empty String

In Microsoft Excel, an empty string is a text value that has no characters. It appears as two double quotes (“”) without any text between them.

You will encounter empty strings when working with text functions, fixing errors, or comparing cells with text data.

Enable Macros

Enabling Macros in Excel is like unlocking a superpower for your spreadsheet.

Macros are sets of commands or instructions that automate tasks. This feature can save you a ton of time, especially if you’re dealing with repetitive tasks.

Think of any task you do often – like formatting data or creating a specific kind of chart. With Macros, you can do it all with one click!

If you’re trying to open a file that has macros, Excel may sometimes disable the macro and then ask you to enable them to be able to use them. This is a security feature, as macros can also be used to run malicious code and damage your workbook or your system.

So when you open a workbook that has macros, you are going to see the enable macro button that you can click to enable all the macros in the file

Also read: Macro vs. VBA – What’s the Difference?

Error Bars

Error bars are a useful feature in Excel that helps you visually represent the variability of data points in a chart.

They show how much the actual value can vary from the reported value, either higher or lower. Error bars are often used in line, column, scatter, and bubble charts, and can be either horizontal or vertical.

Error Values

When working with Microsoft Excel, you may encounter error values in your worksheets. Errors can occur when a function, formula, or validation rule isn’t used correctly.

Don’t worry; these errors help you understand what went wrong so you can fix it.

One common error you might see is the #VALUE! error. This happens when a formula uses the wrong data type, like trying to multiply text with numbers. To fix this, check the cells used in the formula and make sure they contain the correct data types.

Another error is the #NAME? error. This usually appears when Excel doesn’t recognize a function name or a cell reference. Double-check your formula to ensure you typed the function or cell reference correctly.

Remember, error values are just Excel’s way of telling you something’s not right with your formula or function. By understanding these errors and the reasons behind them, you can quickly fix your worksheet and continue analyzing your data with confidence.

Exact Match

In Excel, an exact match is one of the essential techniques you can use when working with lookup functions.

By using the exact match option, you can search for specific values in your data. There are a few functions in Excel that can help you find an exact match easily.

Exact match is a part of functions such as MATCH, VLOOKUP, HLOOKUP, and XLOOKUP.

Excel 365

Excel 365 is a subscription-based version of the popular Microsoft Excel spreadsheet software. With Excel 365, you can create, edit, and collaborate on spreadsheets online from any device at any time.

This means you always have access to the latest features and updates from Microsoft.

One of the key benefits of Excel 365 is its seamless integration with other Microsoft Office apps. You can easily store and share your workbooks in OneDrive or SharePoint and collaborate with your team in real time. Plus, new features and improvements are constantly being added, helping you stay productive and efficient.

As an Excel 365 user, you’ll also have access to powerful tools like Python in Excel, allowing you to harness the power of this programming language for advanced spreadsheet tasks. Python integration is a relatively new feature, so be sure to stay updated on best practices and potential security concerns.

Also read: History of Microsoft Excel

Excel Date

In Excel, you can work with dates by using various functions and tools.

Dates can be used for organizing, analyzing, or tracking your data in a worksheet. Let’s explore some important aspects of Excel dates.

Dates in Excel are numbers, where the integer part represents the date and the decimal part represents the time.

This means you can easily perform calculations with dates, such as finding the number of days between two dates, or adding days to a date.

In Excel, you can use functions to handle dates. For example, the YEAR() function returns the year component of a date, while the DATE() function creates a new date by specifying the year, month, and day. Here are some examples:

  • To find the year in cell A1, enter =YEAR(A1) in a blank cell.
  • To create a date for October 5th, 2023, use =DATE(2023, 10, 5).

When working with date data in your worksheet, it’s essential to format the cells properly as dates.

This helps Excel recognize and manage the date values correctly. To format cells as dates, follow these steps:

  1. Select the range of cells containing the dates.
  2. Right-click the selection and choose “Format Cells.”
  3. In the Format Cells dialog box, select “Date” in the “Category” list and choose the desired date format.

Excel Table

The Excel Table feature is a powerful tool that allows you to manage and analyze related data more efficiently.

With Excel Table, you can organize large amounts of data into a structured format, making it easier to sort, filter, and analyze.

When you convert a range of cells into a table, Excel provides built-in table styles to format the table professionally and consistently.

One of the significant advantages of Excel Table is that it expands automatically as you add new data to it, thus updating calculations, charts, and pivot tables that are referencing to it, without any extra steps.

Additionally, you can use structured references, such as column names instead of cell references, making formulas easier to understand.

This feature also allows you to have a total row at the end where you can quickly get the total, average, count, or other summaries of the table data.

External Link

The External Link feature in Excel allows you to create a connection between the current worksheet and data in another file, website, or even a different location in the same workbook.

This feature is useful when you want to keep your data synchronized or when you want to reference information without duplicating it.

For example, if you regularly receive updated data in a separate Excel file, you can create an external link to that data instead of manually updating your spreadsheet every time.

Similarly, you can link to a specific cell in another worksheet within the same workbook to show that cell’s data in the current worksheet.

However, be cautious when using external links, as changes to the source data can affect your worksheet, and broken links can cause errors.

Ensure the source data is reliable, and regularly check your links to maintain the accuracy of your data.

External Reference

External Reference in Excel is a feature that allows you to refer to the cells in another workbook.

This is a very useful tool when you are dealing with large amounts of data that are distributed over multiple workbooks.

With external references, you can create a formula in one workbook that refers to the values in another workbook.

For example, if you have sales data for different years in separate workbooks, you can use external references to calculate the total sales over all years in one workbook.

It saves you a lot of time since you don’t have to manually copy and paste data from one workbook to another.

It also ensures that your data remains consistent as any changes made in the original workbook will be automatically updated in the workbook that contains the external references.

Fill Handle

The Fill Handle is a powerful tool in Excel that can help beginners save time and effort when working with spreadsheets.

This feature is represented by a small square dot at the bottom-right corner of a selected cell or a range of cells.

The purpose of the Fill Handle is to allow users to quickly copy values or formulas from one cell to other cells by simply clicking and dragging the handle over the cells where you want the information copied.

Additionally, it can be used to fill a series of cells with a pattern of numbers, dates, or even days of the week.

For instance, if you type “1” and “2” in two cells, you can use the fill handle to continue the sequence (3, 4, 5, and so on) in the following cells. This feature can greatly enhance your efficiency when working with Excel.

Fill Series

Fill Series is a time-saving feature in Excel which is perfect for creating lists that follow a pattern.

Say you’re creating a list of months or serial numbers, you don’t have to type them all out.

Just type the first few items, then select them and drag the fill handle downwards or sideways.

Excel automatically fills in the rest of the series for you! You can even use it for complex patterns, like multiplication tables. Just set the pattern, and let Excel do the heavy lifting!


The Filter feature helps you manage large amounts of data, making it easier to find particular information.

Say you have a large list of employees, and you want to find everyone in a specific department.

Just click on the filter arrow in the column header, and select the department you’re interested in. Excel will hide all other rows, letting you focus on what you need. It’s like having a search engine built right into your spreadsheet!

Find and Replace

Find and Replace is a smart tool in Excel that lets you change specific text in your worksheet.

Got a word spelled wrong in multiple places? Don’t fix them one by one. Use Find and Replace!

Just enter the text you want to find, and the text you want to replace it with, and voila! It’s all done in a flash.

You can even use it to find and replace formats or formulas. Talk about a time-saver!

Flash Fill

Flash Fill is your best friend when it comes to repetitive typing. It’s an intelligent tool that learns and mimics your data entry patterns.

Typing out email addresses, and you’ve got the first names in another column?

Just start typing the first one, and Flash Fill will suggest the rest. It’s like Excel can read your mind! It’s a real game-changer for data entry tasks.


With Excel’s Footer feature, you can add important information at the bottom of your worksheets, like page numbers, file name, or a personal note.

Want to add a professional touch to your document? Go to the Insert tab, click on the Footer button, and type in your desired text.

You can even format it to suit your style. This makes your document easier to understand and navigate, especially when printed out.


Excel’s formula feature is like a mini calculator. You can use it to do all sorts of calculations.

Want to add, subtract, multiply, or divide numbers in different cells? Use a formula.

Need to find an average or a maximum? There’s a formula for that. Formulas can even be used to manipulate text, look up values in a list, and more.

They’re super handy, and once you learn how to use them, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.

Formula Bar

The formula bar is the place where you enter or edit data in any cell in Excel.

It sits right above the columns and displays the content of the current cell. You can also use it to edit or create formulas.

If you click on a cell with a formula, you’ll see that formula in the formula bar. It’s a great tool for checking and working with formulas.

Freeze Panes

Tired of scrolling up and down or side to side to remember which column or row you’re in?

Freeze panes is the solution. This feature allows you to keep rows or columns visible while you scroll through the rest of your worksheet.

You can freeze the top row, first column, or any number of rows and columns. It’s a game-changer for large spreadsheets.

Also read: How to Freeze the Top Row and First Column in Excel?

Full Column Reference

Full column reference is a way to select an entire column in Excel. It’s as easy as writing “A:A” for column A, “B:B” for column B, and so on.

You can use this feature in formulas, functions, or when you just need to highlight a whole column.

It’s a great time-saver, especially when dealing with large amounts of data.


Functions are predefined formulas in Excel. They help you calculate complex equations easily.

For example, the SUM function can add up a whole range of cells for you.

There are hundreds of functions available, from mathematical ones like AVERAGE and MAX, to text ones like CONCATENATE, and even specialized ones like VLOOKUP.

They’re designed to simplify your work and boost your productivity.

Function Argument

Function Argument in Excel is a handy feature that helps you input specific information into a function to get the desired result. Think of it as giving instructions to Excel.

For example, if you’re using a ‘SUM’ function, the arguments would be the cells you want to add up. They’re typically enclosed in parentheses right after the function name, like this: SUM(A1:A5).

This feature makes complex calculations simple. You can use it for a variety of purposes, from simple tasks like adding or subtracting numbers to more complex tasks like calculating averages or finding specific data in your spreadsheet.

The great thing about Function Argument is that it does the heavy lifting for you, eliminating possible human errors. All you need to do is feed it the right information.

Remember, different functions require different numbers of arguments. Some may need only one, others may need more. It’s like telling Excel exactly what to do, and it does it for you!

Function Screen Tip

Get to know the Function Screen Tip – your friendly guide through the world of Excel functions.

Whenever you start typing a function, Excel will show a little tooltip with a short description and the syntax of the function.

It’s like having a cheat sheet that pops up exactly when you need it. You’ll never be left wondering what a function does or how to use it again.

Go To

The Go-To feature is your shortcut to navigating large Excel spreadsheets.

Instead of scrolling endlessly, you can quickly jump to a specific cell or range.

Just press F5, type in the cell reference, and you’re there in a flash. It’s like teleportation, but for Excel. It’s a great way to speed up your work and keep your focus where it needs to be.

Go To Special

Take your navigation skills to the next level with the Go-To Special feature.

This tool lets you find and select specific types of data, like formulas, comments, or conditional formats.

You can even use it to select all blank cells or cells with errors. It’s a great way to quickly locate and deal with specific types of data in your spreadsheet.

Goal Seek

Meet Goal Seek, your go-to tool for solving problems in Excel. With this feature, you can find out what value you need to reach a specific goal.

For example, if you want to know how many sales you need to hit a target profit, Goal Seek can figure it out for you.

Just input the formula, the target value, and the cell to change, and let Goal Seek do the magic.


Gridlines are the faint lines that separate cells, rows, and columns in an Excel spreadsheet.

They’re like the lines in a notebook, helping you keep your data neat and organized.

You can change the color or remove them if you don’t need them. They’re not printed by default, but you can choose to include them. And guess what? You can even customize these lines to suit your specific needs!

Also read: How to Print Gridlines in Excel?


Grouping in Excel is a great way to manage large amounts of data.

You can group rows or columns that contain related information, making it easier to read and analyze.

Plus, it allows you to hide or display sections of your data with a simple click. Imagine having tons of data in a sheet. With grouping, you can condense it into a more manageable form.


Headers come in handy when you want to label your Excel spreadsheet.

They appear at the top of your printed or viewed pages.

You can add a title, page numbers, dates, or any other important information. Headers make your work more professional and easier to understand. Remember, a well-labeled document is always a joy to read!

Heat Map

A heat map is a visual tool in Excel that displays data as colors.

The varying colors represent different values, making it easier to spot trends, patterns, or outliers.

For example, you can use a heat map to show sales data, with high sales in bright red and low sales in light red. It’s a quick and easy way to visualize your data and make it more digestible!

Helper Column

A helper column is like your secret assistant in Excel.

It’s an additional column you create to help with calculations, sorting, or organizing data.

For example, you can use a helper column to combine first and last names from separate columns.

Or, you can use it to calculate the total sales from individual items. It’s your behind-the-scenes helper, making complex tasks simpler!


A histogram is a useful tool in Excel that helps you visualize your data’s frequency distribution.

It’s a type of bar chart that shows the amount of data that falls within different ranges.

With a histogram, you can easily see where the majority of your data lies, whether it’s skewed, or if there are any outliers.

It’s pretty easy to use – just select your data, go to the ‘Insert’ tab, find the ‘Charts’ group and choose ‘Histogram’. It’s a great way to make your data more understandable!

Horizontal Axis

The horizontal axis, also known as the x-axis, is a key component in Excel charts.

It provides a baseline for measuring data points. In a bar chart or line graph, for instance, we generally put the categories we’re comparing on the horizontal axis.

You can customize it to fit your needs, like changing its scale, adding labels, or formatting its appearance. It’s not just a line at the bottom of your chart – it’s a powerful tool to clearly show your data.


A hyperlink in Excel is a clickable link that takes you to another place in your workbook, a different document, or even a website.

It’s super handy when you’re dealing with large datasets or documents and want quick access to related information.

To create one, right-click a cell, choose ‘Hyperlink’, and then select where you want the link to go. You’ll find it’s a real time-saver!

Immediate Window

The Immediate Window is a feature of Excel’s VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) programming environment.

It’s a space where you can test out code, perform calculations, or execute commands.

To access it, go to the ‘View’ tab in the VBA editor and select ‘Immediate Window’. This little window can be a big help when you’re coding – it lets you test things out without having to run your whole program.


The indent feature in Excel allows you to shift your data to the right inside a cell, making your spreadsheet easier to read and more organized.

It’s especially useful when you’re dealing with hierarchical data, like a list of tasks and subtasks.

To use it, just select your cell, go to the ‘Home’ tab, find the ‘Alignment’ group and click on ‘Increase Indent’.

It’s a small feature that can make a big difference in the readability of your data.


The Intersection feature in Excel is a handy tool for managing and analyzing large data sets.

It lets you find the common value between a row and a column. For example, if you’ve got a spreadsheet full of sales data by month and by product, you can use the Intersection feature to quickly find out how much of a particular product was sold in a specific month. It’s a real-time saver!


The Justify feature in Excel is all about text alignment and presentation. If you’re working with a cell that contains a lot of text, you can use this tool to evenly distribute the text across the cell.

This makes your data look neat and well-organized. Remember, a well-presented spreadsheet is easier to understand and digest.


The term “Kernel” isn’t specific to Excel, but is more related to computer science.

In Excel, the kernel could refer to the core part of its operating system that manages the operations of the computer and the hardware.

It’s not something you’ll typically interact with unless you’re delving into more advanced aspects of Excel or computer programming.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts in Excel are your best friend if you want to speed up your work.

They allow you to perform various tasks without having to navigate through menus.

For instance, you can press Ctrl+C to copy a cell, or Ctrl+V to paste. There are tons of these shortcuts, each designed to save you time and make your Excel experience more efficient.

Leading Zero

In Excel, a leading zero is a zero that comes before any other digits in a number.

Excel automatically removes leading zeros, as they don’t typically affect the value of a number.

However, there are times when you’ll want to keep them – for example, when dealing with zip codes or product codes.

You can do this by formatting the cells as text before entering the data.


A legend is a key that helps you understand the data in a chart or graph in Excel.

It contains symbols, colors, or patterns that correspond to the data series or categories in the chart.

It’s a super useful tool that makes interpreting your charts straightforward and easy.

Line Chart

A Line Chart in Excel is a graphical representation of data where the data points are connected by lines.

It’s a fantastic way to display trends over time and see whether things are going up, down or staying the same.

Creating a line chart can give more meaning to your data and help you present your findings in a clear, visual way.

List Separator

The List Separator in Excel is a character used to separate items in a list. Usually, it’s a comma, but it can be changed depending on your regional settings.

This feature is particularly useful when importing or exporting data from Excel to other applications.

Locked Cells

Locked cells in Excel are cells that can’t be edited.

This is great when you want to prevent others from changing specific data in your spreadsheet.

To lock cells, you’ll need to use the Protection feature. Once a cell is locked, it’s content and formatting will stay the same unless the protection is removed.

Locked Table Reference

A Locked Table Reference in Excel keeps a table’s reference constant, even when copied to other cells.

This is useful when you have data in a table that you want to use in multiple calculations.

You can lock a table reference by adding a $ symbol before the column and row reference. For example, $A$1 would lock the reference to cell A1.

Logical Operators

Logical operators in Excel are handy tools that help you make sense of data. They’re like yes/no questions for your spreadsheet.

For example, you can use “AND” to check if two conditions are true, “OR” to check if at least one condition is true, and “NOT” to check if a condition isn’t true.

They’re great for filtering data, performing calculations, or creating conditional formatting rules. You’ll love how they simplify your work!


Loop in VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) is a handy feature in Excel that can save you a significant amount of time.

Essentially, it allows you to perform the same action or series of actions multiple times without having to manually repeat the steps.

Let’s say you need to apply the same formula to a long list of data, instead of doing it one by one, you can use a loop in VBA to get the job done faster.

There are different types of loops you can use, including ‘For’, ‘For Each’, ‘Do While’, and ‘Do Until’.

Each type allows you to set different conditions for when the loop should stop. For example, the ‘For’ loop repeats a specific number of times, while ‘Do While’ loop continues until a certain condition is met.

Remember, while Loop VBA is a fantastic tool, it requires some basic knowledge of programming. But don’t worry!

There are plenty of resources available online to guide you through the process. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it!


Macros are like magic in Excel! They’re a set of instructions that you can record and playback to automate repetitive tasks.

For example, if you’re constantly formatting cells the same way, you can record a macro to do it for you.

Just hit “Record Macro”, perform your tasks, and next time you can do it all with a single click. It’s a massive time-saver!

Also read: Useful Excel VBA Macro Codes Examples

Manual Calculation

By default, Excel recalculates all open workbooks whenever a change is made.

However, if you’re working with a large and complex workbook, this can slow things down.

That’s where Manual Calculation comes in.

By switching to Manual Calculation, Excel will only recalculate when you tell it to. It’s a great way to speed up your workflow!

Math Operators

Math operators are the backbone of Excel. They let you add, subtract, multiply, and divide right in your spreadsheet.

You can use them to perform simple calculations, like adding up a column of numbers, or more complex ones, like calculating averages or percentages. They’re the tools that turn your spreadsheet into a powerful calculator.

Merged Cells

Merged cells in Excel allow you to combine two or more cells into one larger cell.

This is especially useful when you want to center a title over a certain section of your spreadsheet.

Just select the cells you want to merge, click “Merge & Center”, and voila! Your title is perfectly centered.

Mixed Reference

A mixed reference in Excel is a cell reference that includes both relative and absolute references.

This means that while part of the reference will change when copied to a new cell, part of it will stay the same. It’s a versatile tool that gives you the flexibility to create more complex formulas.

Name Box

The Name Box in Excel is a small field that displays the reference of the selected cell.

But it’s more than just a cell reference display! You can also use it to navigate to specific cells, ranges, or even to name ranges for easy access later.

Name Manager

The Name Manager in Excel is a handy tool that allows you to create, edit, delete, and find all the named ranges in your workbook.

Named ranges are like shortcuts to specific cells or ranges in your spreadsheet.

By using the Name Manager, you can easily keep track of and manage all your named ranges.

Named Range

A named range in Excel is a range of cells that you’ve given a specific name.

Instead of referring to them by their cell references, you can use the name you’ve given them.

It’s a fantastic way to keep your formulas clean and easy to understand. Plus, it makes navigating your spreadsheet a breeze!


Nesting in Excel formulas is a powerful tool that can make your spreadsheet work a lot smarter! It’s all about putting one formula inside another to get more complex results. Think of it as a math problem inside a math problem.

Here’s how it works. Say you’re doing a basic calculation, like addition. You can use “=” to add two numbers together. But what if you want to add a number to the result of another calculation? That’s where nesting comes in.

For example, you can nest the SUM formula within the AVERAGE formula. This will first add up a range of cells, and then calculate the average of that sum. It’s like a two-step calculation, all in one cell!

Remember, the order of operations matters when you’re nesting formulas, so be careful with your parentheses. The innermost formula is always calculated first.

So, start nesting and make Excel do the heavy lifting for you!


The Notes feature in Excel is a neat way to add extra information to a cell without cluttering your worksheet.

Earlier, it used be called comments.

It’s like a sticky note you can attach to a cell. When you hover over the cell, the note pops up.

So, you can add explanations, reminders, or instructions, making your data much more understandable.

Number Format

Want to make your numbers more readable? Try Excel’s Number Format feature.

You can display your numbers as currency, percentages, dates, or even fractions.

This way, you can customize how your data is presented to suit your needs.

It’s not just about making things pretty, it’s about making your data make sense!


Objects in Excel are elements you can add to your worksheet to enhance its functionality or appearance.

Think of charts, pictures, shapes, or even other Excel worksheets!

You can insert, format, and manipulate these objects to customize your spreadsheet. So, let your creativity flow and make your worksheet more than just a grid of cells.

Order Of Operations

Don’t let Excel’s calculations confuse you! Excel follows the BODMAS rule (Brackets, Orders, Division and Multiplication, Addition, and Subtraction) when performing calculations.

So, when you’re writing complex formulas, remember this order to ensure you get accurate results.


Orientation in Excel helps you control how your text or cell content appears.

You can rotate your text, flip it, or even stack it vertically.

This feature comes in handy when you’re working with long headers or want to save space. Remember, a well-organized worksheet is always easier to read.


An outlier is a data point that’s significantly different from others in a dataset.

Excel provides several tools, like scatter plots and conditional formatting, to help you identify these exceptions.

Spotting outliers is crucial in data analysis as they can significantly impact your results.

Also read: How to Find Outliers in Excel?


Want to group your data and make it more manageable? Try Excel’s Outline feature.

You can create an outline of your rows or columns, making it easier to hide or display specific data sections. It’s a great way to keep your spreadsheet tidy and your data organized.

Page Break

The Page Break feature in Excel helps you control where one-page ends and the next one begins when you print your worksheet.

You can insert, remove, or adjust page breaks to ensure your printed data looks just the way you want.

Because, let’s face it, nobody likes a table that’s cut off in the middle!

Also read: How to Remove Page Breaks in Excel?

Paste Special

Paste Special is more than just a regular paste.

This feature allows you to paste your copied data in various ways. You can paste only the values, only the formatting, only the formula, or even perform operations like adding the copied data to the existing values.

It’s a versatile tool that can save you time and effort.

Percentage Number Format

Ever wondered how Excel automatically converts decimals to percentages? Welcome to the Percentage Number Format feature!

It’s a handy tool that transforms decimal values into percentages, making it easier to interpret data.

Just type your decimal, select the cell, and click the “%” button on the Home tab.

Voila, your decimal is now a percentage! It’s particularly useful when you’re dealing with data analysis or financial calculations.

Pie Chart

A Pie Chart is a visual feature in Excel that displays data in a circular graphic. It’s a fantastic way to illustrate and compare parts of a whole.

You can use it to show the distribution of sales, survey results, or budget allocation.

You just select your data, click ‘Insert Pie Chart’, and Excel does the rest. It’s a simple and effective way to make your data visually appealing and easy to understand.

Pivot Table

Pivot Table allows you to summarize large amounts of data quickly.

You can sort, count, total, or average the data stored in one table or spreadsheet.

They’re flexible and adjustable, letting you group and filter data in real-time. With Pivot Tables, complex data analysis becomes a piece of cake!

Power Query

Power Query is a data connection technology that enables you to discover, connect, combine, and refine data across a wide variety of sources.

It’s like a data scavenger hunt! You can import data from multiple sources, clean and transform it in a step-by-step process.

This feature is especially useful when dealing with large datasets or importing data from various sources.

Print Area

Want to print only a section of your spreadsheet? Use the Print Area feature!

This allows you to select the specific cells you want to print.

Just highlight the cells, click ‘Set Print Area’ under the Page Layout tab, and you’re good to go. It’s a great tool to focus on the crucial parts of your data.

Print Preview

The Print Preview feature is a lifesaver when it comes to printing your Excel sheets.

It lets you see exactly how your document will look when printed. You can check the layout, margins, and overall appearance before hitting print.

It’s a great way to ensure you’re not wasting paper on poorly formatted printouts.

Quick Access Toolbar

The Quick Access Toolbar is a customizable toolbar that contains a set of commands that are independent of the tab on the Ribbon that is currently displayed.

You can add buttons that represent commands to the Quick Access Toolbar. It’s a handy feature that saves you time and helps to increase your productivity.

Quick Analysis Tool

Excel’s Quick Analysis Tool is a small, but mighty feature that provides several analytical options just by clicking on your selected data.

It provides statistical, graphical, and total analysis with just a few clicks. It’s a great way to get quick insights without complex formulas.

R1C1 Reference Style

The R1C1 Reference Style is an alternative to the standard A1 reference style.

Instead of columns being labeled with letters and rows with numbers, both are labeled with numbers.

For instance, cell B2 in A1 style would be R2C2 in R1C1 style. It’s handy when you’re working with complex formulas or macros.


In Excel, a range is a group of selected cells that you can manage collectively.

It’s like selecting multiple items with one click. You can format, delete, or apply formulas to a range as if it were a single cell. It’s a great time-saver when you’re working with large spreadsheets.

Read Only

The ‘Read Only’ feature in Excel is perfect for when you want to share a file without allowing changes.

It prevents your data from being accidentally or intentionally altered. When a file is marked as ‘Read Only’, viewers can see and read your data, but they can’t edit, save, or delete it.

It’s like locking your document with a viewing-only mode. This is great for sharing important data that you don’t want tampered with.

Relative Reference

The ‘Relative Reference’ feature is about how Excel formulas operate by default.

When you copy and paste a formula, Excel automatically adjusts the cell references.

It’s like telling Excel to always look at the cell to the right, or two cells down, etc.

This is super handy when you’re dealing with large data sets and don’t want to manually change each formula.


The ‘Ribbon’ is the toolbar at the top of Excel. It contains tabs like Home, Insert, Formulas, and more.

Each tab has related commands and features grouped together. For example, the Home tab contains clipboard, font, alignment, and other basic editing tools.

The Ribbon is fully customizable, so you can add or remove tabs and commands to suit your needs. It’s your one-stop spot for all Excel functions.


A ‘Row’ in Excel is a horizontal line of cells. Rows are identified by numbers on the left of the spreadsheet.

You can use rows to organize data, like listing different products or dates. You can also perform operations on entire rows, like adding or deleting them, or applying formulas.

Remember that Excel has over a million rows, so there’s plenty of space for your data.

Scenario Manager

The ‘Scenario Manager’ is an advanced Excel feature that lets you create and compare different scenarios in your data.

For example, if you’re forecasting sales, you can create scenarios for best case, worst case, and most likely case.

Then, you can compare these scenarios side by side. It’s a powerful tool for data analysis and decision making.

Select All Button

The ‘Select All Button’ is a shortcut to select all cells in your Excel worksheet.

It’s located at the top-left corner where the row numbers and column letters intersect.

One click, and you’ve selected everything. This is useful when you want to apply a change or operation to the entire worksheet, like formatting cells or copying data.


The ‘Slicer’ feature in Excel is a visual way to filter your data.

It’s like a set of interactive buttons that you can click to show or hide data in tables, pivot tables, or pivot charts.

Slicers make it easy to understand and manipulate your data, especially when dealing with large or complex data sets.


The ‘Sort’ feature is a basic but powerful tool in Excel.

It allows you to arrange your data in a specific order, either ascending or descending, based on criteria you choose. You can sort by numbers, text, dates, and more.

Sorting helps you analyze and understand your data better by grouping similar items together.


A ‘Sparkline’ is a mini chart in a single cell. It gives a visual representation of your data, making trends and patterns easier to understand.

You can have line, column, or win/loss sparklines. This feature is a great way to present your data in a compact and clear way.

Also read: How to Create Win/Loss Sparklines Chart in Excel?


The ‘Spill’ feature in Excel is related to dynamic arrays. If a formula can return multiple results, it ‘spills’ these results into neighboring cells.

This is useful for functions that return more than one value, like SORT or UNIQUE. Spill makes it easier to work with arrays and simplifies many tasks.

Spill Range

This is a cool feature in Excel that allows formulas to spill their results into neighboring cells. In simpler terms, it means if a formula can’t fit in one cell, it’ll spill over into the next.

This is super helpful when working with arrays or lists of values.

But remember, if there’s anything blocking the spill range, Excel will give you a #SPILL! error. So make sure you’ve got enough space!


A spreadsheet is like a digital grid of cells where you can store, organize, and manipulate data.

It’s the heart of Excel. You can enter text, numbers, or formulas in these cells. You can also format cells to change their appearance or behavior.

You can sort or filter data, create charts, and do so much more. It’s your playground for data.

Status Bar

Look at the bottom of your Excel window, and you’ll see the status bar. It’s a handy tool because it shows you information about what’s going on in your spreadsheet.

It can tell you if you’re in edit mode, the number of selected cells, or a quick sum of selected values.

You can also customize it to show more information that you find useful.

Structured Reference

This feature is all about making formulas easier to understand.

Instead of using cell references like A1 or B2 in your formulas, you can use the column names.

This way, your formulas become more intuitive, like =SUM(Table[Sales]) instead of =SUM(A1:A10). It’s a great way to make your spreadsheets more readable.


Want to quickly calculate the sum, average, count, or other summary statistics for different groups in your data?

The subtotal feature is your friend. It automatically groups your data based on the categories you choose and calculates the subtotal for each group.

It’s a powerful tool for summarizing data without having to write complex formulas.


Tabs are like pages in a book but for your spreadsheet.

Each tab is a separate worksheet within the same Excel file.

You can switch between tabs to work on different parts of your project, and it helps to keep your work organized.

You can also rename, color-code, or move tabs around to suit your needs.


A template is a pre-made spreadsheet designed for a specific task like a budget planner, invoice, or calendar.

Excel provides a bunch of templates for you to use. All you need to do is fill in your data.

It’s a great time-saver, especially if you’re new to Excel or don’t want to start from scratch.

Text To Columns

This feature is a lifesaver when you want to split the contents of a cell into separate columns.

Let’s say you have a cell with full names and you want to split it into first and last names. Just use the Text to Columns feature, and Excel will do it for you. It’s easy and super useful.

Text Value

In Excel, a text value is any data you enter into a cell that is not a number or a formula.

It could be a word, a sentence, or even a single letter.

Excel treats text values differently from numbers. For example, you can’t do math with text values. But you can combine them, change their appearance, or use them in formulas.


In Excel, the theme feature lets you change the look and feel of your workbook.

You can choose from a variety of pre-designed themes or even create your own.

The theme you choose affects the colors for your text, tables, charts, and other elements in your workbook. This can help make your data more visually appealing, and even highlight important information.

Also read: How to Change Theme Colors in Excel?

Toggle Button

A toggle button in Excel is an interactive tool that allows you to switch between two states or options. It’s part of Excel’s Form Controls, under the Developer tab.

If you can’t see the Developer tab, don’t worry! You can easily add it by right-clicking the toolbar, selecting ‘Customize the Ribbon’ and checking the box for ‘Developer.’

Once you’ve added a toggle button, you can assign it to specific functions in your spreadsheet.

For example, you could use a toggle button to hide or reveal certain rows or columns, or to switch between different data sets. You can also customize the button’s appearance and the text it displays.

To use the toggle button, you simply click on it.

Each click switches the button’s state, triggering whatever action you’ve assigned to it. It’s a handy feature for simplifying complex tasks and making your spreadsheets more user-friendly. So, don’t be afraid to give it a try!


Ever wanted to switch your rows into columns or vice versa? With the transpose feature in Excel, you can!

It’s an easy way to change the layout of your data. Whether you need to present your data differently or just prefer a different view, transposing can help.


Want to see the bigger picture of your data? Use the trendline feature in Excel.

It draws a line through your data points to show a pattern or trend over time. It’s a great tool for forecasting or understanding past data trends.


The underline feature in Excel is straightforward but essential for emphasizing important data.

You can underline single words, phrases, or entire cells. It’s an easy way to highlight data or bring attention to specific information.


Made a mistake? Don’t worry, Excel has got you covered with the undo feature.

Click the undo button or press Ctrl+Z to reverse your last action. It’s a lifesaver when you accidentally delete or modify data.

Also read: How to Undo in Excel?


If you’ve hidden rows or columns in Excel for readability or organization, the unhide feature lets you bring them back.

It’s a simple way to manage complex spreadsheets and keep track of all your data.

Also read: Unhide Rows in Excel (Shortcut)

Used Range

Excel’s used range feature shows you the area of the spreadsheet that contains data.

It’s a quick way to navigate large spreadsheets or identify empty cells in your data.

Used Range concept is quite useful when working with VBA

User Defined Function (UDF)

This powerful feature lets you create your own functions in Excel.

If you frequently perform complex calculations, a UDF can save you time and effort. You can even share your UDFs with others.


Want to make data entry easier? Use the userform feature in Excel. It lets you create custom forms for entering data into your spreadsheet.

This makes data entry quicker, more accurate, and more user-friendly.


Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is a powerful tool in Excel that lets you automate tasks.

Think of it as a mini-programming language nestled within Excel. You can create macros, which are sets of instructions, to perform repetitive tasks.

For example, you can have a macro that formats your sales report in a specific way – it’s a real time-saver!

Even if you’re not a coding wiz, don’t worry, there are lots of pre-made macros out there for you to use.

Volatile Function

Volatile functions in Excel recalculate every time a change is made in the worksheet, not just when the cells they depend on change.

This can be handy if you want up-to-the-minute updates, like a constantly updating time stamp.

But be careful, overuse can slow down your workbook, so use them wisely.

What IF Analysis

The ‘What If’ Analysis is a great Excel feature if you like to play around with data.

It lets you change values in your spreadsheet to see how those changes will affect the outcome of formulas.

For instance, you could adjust the price of a product to see how it impacts your profit margin. It’s like having a crystal ball for your data!


Wildcards are symbols you can use in Excel to represent one or more characters in a text string.

The most common ones are the asterisk (*) and the question mark (?).

They’re really handy when you’re searching or filtering data. For example, if you want to find all employees whose names start with ‘A’, you could search for ‘A*’.


A workbook is like a file folder for your Excel documents. It contains individual worksheets (think of them as pages).

Each workbook can hold as many worksheets as you need, and you can easily navigate between them.

It’s a great way to keep related data together, like different aspects of a project or various financial years.


Think of a worksheet as a single page within an Excel workbook. It’s where you’ll do all your data entry, calculations, and analysis.

Each worksheet can hold over a million rows and more than 16,000 columns – that’s a lot of room for data! You can add, delete, and navigate through worksheets easily, making your data management a breeze.

Wrap Text

Ever had text that’s too long for your Excel cell? That’s where the Wrap Text feature comes in.

It automatically adjusts the height of the row to accommodate all the text, making it all visible within the cell.

No more cut-off sentences! It’s a neat way to keep your worksheets tidy and readable.


XLAM is the file extension for an Excel add-in. Add-ins are extra features you can download to enhance Excel’s functionality.

For example, you might download an add-in that provides advanced statistical functions.

Once installed, these add-ins become part of your Excel program and can be used across all your workbooks.


Xlfn is an Excel prefix that is automatically added when you use new functions that aren’t supported in earlier versions of Excel.

If you see this prefix, it means that your workbook contains functions that may not work if opened in an older version of Excel.

Always keep your software up to date to ensure you can use all the latest functions!


The XLK file is an Excel backup file that’s created when you save a workbook.

It’s a handy feature that automatically backs up your work, providing a safety net in case something goes wrong. When you save changes in your Excel workbook, the current file is saved as an XLK file before the changes are implemented.

In case of a mistake or data loss, you can revert back to this XLK file. So, it’s like having a time machine for your Excel work!

To use this feature, just open Excel and select ‘Open’, then choose the XLK file you want to restore.

Remember, the XLK file won’t be updated with your recent changes, it only contains data up to the point when you last saved your workbook. So, don’t forget to save your work often!


XLS is the file extension for an Excel spreadsheet. It’s what you’ll see at the end of your filename when you save your work.

Remember, always save your work regularly to prevent any loss of data! You’ll need this file type to open your workbook in Excel.


XLSB stands for Excel Binary Workbook. It’s a file format that Excel uses to store your data. The best part?

It saves your worksheets in binary format, which makes it faster and smaller in size compared to other formats.

If you’re dealing with large files, it can be a lifesaver. In most cases, you won’t notice the difference, but if your file is large or complex, saving it as XLSB can make it open and save much quicker!


XLSX is the default file format for Excel 2007 and later. It stands for Excel Workbook and it’s great for everyday use.

It’s a reliable and robust file type that can hold all the complex functions, formulas, and formatting you might need.

It’s perfect for sharing, as most people will be able to open and use XLSX files without any issues.

It’s worth noting that XLSX files are larger than XLSB, but unless you’re dealing with huge amounts of data, you won’t notice the difference.

Also read: XLSB vs. XLSX File Formats


XLTX files are Excel Template files. They’re perfect when you find yourself frequently creating the same kind of Excel file.

Instead of starting from scratch every time, you can create a template with all the formatting, formulas, and settings you usually use.

Then, simply open the XLTX file, fill in your data, and save it as a new file. It’s a great time saver!

Also read: XLTX vs. XLSX – Difference and Similarities


XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language. It’s a way of storing data that can be read by different types of software.

In Excel, you can save your files as XML to allow for easier data interchange with other applications.

You can also import XML data into Excel to use it in your spreadsheets. It’s a bit more technical than other Excel features, but it can be really handy!

Also read: How to Open XML Files in Excel?

Zoom In Zoom out

Want to see your data up close or get a bird’s eye view? The Zoom In and Zoom Out feature is your friend.

It’s pretty straightforward. Use Zoom In to take a closer look at your cells and data.

Use Zoom Out to see more of your spreadsheet on your screen. It’s super handy when you’re working with large spreadsheets or when you need to focus on small details.

Zoom Slider

The Zoom Slider is another way to control how much of your spreadsheet you see.

You’ll find it in the bottom-right corner of your Excel window. Slide it to the right to zoom in and to the left to zoom out.

It’s a quick and easy way to adjust your view, especially when you’re navigating large files. Play around with it, and you’ll find the zoom level that’s just right for you!

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I am a huge fan of Microsoft Excel and love sharing my knowledge through articles and tutorials. I work as a business analyst and use Microsoft Excel extensively in my daily tasks. My aim is to help you unleash the full potential of Excel and become a data-slaying wizard yourself.

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