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Self-taught course

Provided by: University Information Services - Digital Literacy Skills


This course is self taught (Materials may be loaned out).

Bookings cannot be made on this course (Course is not taking bookings).

More information about UIS self-taught courses.

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Microsoft Excel 2013 Level 1 (with Challenge Exercises)

Self-taught course


This is a beginner’s course and aims to give the new spreadsheet user a thorough grounding in the basics of creating and working with spreadsheets using Microsoft Excel 2013. Particular emphasis is placed on developing accurate and well-designed spreadsheets employing sound design and documentation principles.

Target audience

Anyone who wants to know more about the functionality of Excel 2013.


This course assumes little or no knowledge of spreadsheets or Microsoft Excel 2013. However, it would be beneficial to have a general understanding of personal computers and the operating system environment, especially in regard to working with files and folders.

Topics covered

Getting to Know Excel 2013

  • Starting Excel From The Desktop
  • Understanding The Excel Start Screen
  • The Excel Workbook Screen
  • How Excel 2013 Works
  • Using The Ribbon
  • Showing And Collapsing The Ribbon
  • Understanding The Backstage View
  • Accessing The Backstage View
  • Using Shortcut Menus
  • Understanding Dialog Boxes
  • Launching Dialog Boxes
  • Understanding The Quick Access Toolbar
  • Adding Commands To The QAT
  • Understanding The Status Bar
  • Exiting Safely From Excel 2013
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Workspace

Creating a New Workbook

  • Understanding Workbooks
  • Using The Blank Workbook Template
  • Typing Text
  • Typing Numbers
  • Typing Dates
  • Understanding The Fill Handle
  • Typing Formulas
  • Easy Formulas
  • Saving A New Workbook On Your Computer
  • Checking The Spelling
  • Making Basic Changes
  • Safely Closing A Workbook
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample

Working With Workbooks

  • Opening An Existing Workbook
  • Navigating A Workbook
  • Navigating Using The Keyboard
  • Using Go To
  • Recent Files And Folders
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample
  • Understanding Data Editing
  • Overwriting Cell Contents
  • Editing Longer Cells
  • Editing Formulas
  • Clearing Cells
  • Deleting Data
  • Using Undo And Redo
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample

Cells and Ranges

  • Understanding Cells And Ranges
  • Selecting Contiguous Ranges
  • Selecting Non-Contiguous Ranges
  • Selecting Larger Ranges
  • Selecting Rows
  • Selecting Columns
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample
  • Understanding Copying In Excel
  • Using Fill For Quick Copying
  • Copying From One Cell To Another
  • Copying From One Cell To A Range
  • Copying From One Range To Another
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample
  • Understanding Filling
  • Filling A Series
  • Filling A Growth Series
  • Extracting With Flash Fill
  • Understanding Moving In Excel
  • Moving Cells And Ranges
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Data

Formulas and Functions

  • Understanding Formulas
  • Creating Formulas That Add
  • Creating Formulas That Subtract
  • Formulas That Multiply And Divide
  • Understanding Functions
  • Using The SUM Function
  • Summing Non-Contiguous Ranges
  • Calculating An Average
  • Finding A Maximum Value
  • Finding A Minimum Value
  • Creating More Complex Formulas
  • What If Formulas
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample
  • Absolute Versus Relative Referencing
  • Relative Formulas
  • Problems With Relative Formulas
  • Creating Absolute References
  • Creating Mixed References
  • Common Error Messages
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample

Worksheet Appearance

  • Understanding Font Formatting
  • Working With Live Preview
  • Changing Fonts
  • Changing Font Size
  • Growing And Shrinking Fonts
  • Making Cells Bold
  • Italicising Text
  • Underlining Text
  • Changing Font Colours
  • Changing Background Colours
  • Using The Format Painter
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample
  • Understanding Cell Alignment
  • Horizontal Cell Alignment
  • Vertical Cell Alignment
  • Indenting Cells
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample
  • Understanding Number Formatting
  • Applying General Formatting
  • Formatting For Money
  • Formatting Percentages
  • Formatting As Fractions
  • Formatting As Dates
  • Using The Thousands Separator
  • Increasing And Decreasing Decimals
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample

Worksheet Layout

  • Approximating Column Widths
  • Setting Precise Columns Widths
  • Setting The Default Column Width
  • Approximating Row Height
  • Setting Precise Row Heights
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample
  • Understanding Worksheets
  • Changing The Worksheet View
  • Worksheet Zooming
  • Viewing The Formula Bar
  • Viewing Worksheet Gridlines
  • Viewing The Ruler
  • Inserting Cells Into A Worksheet
  • Deleting Cells From A Worksheet
  • Inserting Columns Into A Worksheet
  • Inserting Rows Into A Worksheet
  • Deleting Rows And Columns
  • More Than One Worksheet
  • Worksheet Wisdom
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample

Sorting and Filtering Data

  • Understanding Lists
  • Performing An Alphabetical Sort
  • Performing A Numerical Sort
  • Sorting On More Than One Column
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample
  • Understanding Filtering
  • Applying And Using A Filter
  • Clearing A Filter
  • Creating Compound Filters
  • Multiple Value Filters
  • Creating Custom Filters
  • Using Wildcards
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample


  • Understanding Printing
  • Previewing Before You Print
  • Selecting A Printer
  • Printing A Range
  • Printing An Entire Workbook
  • Specifying The Number Of Copies
  • The Print Options
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample

Creating Charts

  • Understanding The Charting Process
  • Choosing The Right Chart
  • Using A Recommended Chart
  • Creating A New Chart From Scratch
  • Working With An Embedded Chart
  • Resizing A Chart
  • Repositioning A Chart
  • Printing An Embedded Chart
  • Creating A Chart Sheet
  • Changing The Chart Type
  • Changing The Chart Layout
  • Changing The Chart Style
  • Printing A Chart Sheet
  • Embedding A Chart Into A Worksheet
  • Deleting A Chart
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Sample

Getting Help

  • Understanding How Help Works
  • Accessing The Help Window
  • Navigating The Help Window
  • Using The Office Website For Help
  • Using Google To Get Help
  • Printing A Help Topic
  • Other Sources Of Assistance
  • Practice Exercise
  • Practice Exercise Workspace

A Guide to Brilliant Spreadsheets

  • Good Planning Is Essential
  • Organisation And Design
  • Writing Effective Formulas
  • Documented And Easy To Use
  • The Appropriateness Of Spreadsheets

At the completion of this course you should be able to:

  • navigate your way around Microsoft Excel 2013
  • create and work with a new workbook
  • open and navigate within workbooks and worksheets
  • understand and work with ranges in a worksheet
  • understand, create and work with formulas and functions used to perform calculations
  • use font formatting techniques to greatly enhance the look of a worksheet
  • alter the layout of a worksheet
  • sort and filter data in a worksheet
  • print your workbook data
  • create effective charts in Microsoft Excel
  • obtain help for Excel whenever you need it
  • understand points to consider to avoid problems in your worksheets

Watsonia workbook with 198 topics. Files for the exercises are provided on a CD or can be downloaded here


Approximately 20 hours

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