Best Microsoft Excel Notes: features of MS Excel, Introduction to ms excel, components of ms excel advanced excel notes with features, definitions and other important points. Free PDF download link for ms excel notes pdf.
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MS Excel Notes
Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet application developed by Microsoft. It is a part of the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software and is widely used for various tasks involving data management, analysis, calculation, and visualization. Excel allows users to create, format, and organize data into tables and worksheets, making it easy to perform calculations, generate charts and graphs, and analyze large sets of information.
Excel Definition
Excel is a type of software that is used for mathematical calculations, budgeting, billing, analyzing, and managing data entered into a spreadsheet.
Features of MS Excel
Key features of Microsoft Excel include:
 Worksheets and Workbooks: Excel organizes data into individual worksheets, which are stored within workbooks. A workbook can contain multiple worksheets, and users can switch between them for different sets of data.
 Cells and Formulas: The main unit of data in Excel is a cell, identified by a unique combination of a column letter and a row number (e.g., A1, B3, C7). Users can enter data, text, numbers, or formulas in cells to perform calculations and create dynamic relationships between cells.
 Formulas and Functions: Excel offers a wide range of builtin functions and mathematical operators to perform calculations on data within cells. Functions allow users to perform complex calculations, such as summing values, finding averages, counting occurrences, etc.
 Data Analysis: Excel provides various tools for data analysis, including sorting, filtering, pivot tables, data validation, and scenario management. These features help users gain insights into their data and present it in a meaningful way.
 Charts and Graphs: Users can create visually appealing charts and graphs from their data to illustrate trends, comparisons, and patterns. Excel offers various chart types, including bar charts, line charts, pie charts, and more.
 Conditional Formatting: Excel allows users to format cells based on specific conditions. This feature helps highlight important data points and visualize patterns or outliers easily.
 Data Import and Export: Excel supports importing data from various sources, such as databases, text files, and other spreadsheet formats. It also allows users to export data to different file formats for sharing or integration with other applications.
Microsoft Excel is used in a wide range of fields, including business, finance, engineering, education, research, and personal data management. Its versatility and userfriendly interface make it a popular tool for data analysis, budgeting, project management, and many other tasks that involve handling and processing data.
Complete Computer Notes
Excel basic facts
 The First Excel version was launched in 1985
 The latest Excel version was launched in 2021
 Default Excel file name – .xlsx and .xls
 Rows are the horizontal space between horizontal lines and numbered as 1, 2, 3, 4…
 Columns are the vertical space between vertical lines and represented by letters like A, B, C…Z, AA, AB, AC…AZ, BA, BB, BC….BZ and So on.
 Total number of rows are 10,48,576
 Total number of columns are 16,384
 Last column name XFD
 Cell is the visible box in the worksheet area and actually the space between the transaction of rows and columns.
 A Cell Address is used to specified the intersection of row and column of the letter and number on worksheet.
 Last Cell Address – XFD1048576
 Clipboard contains the cut, copy and paste commands.
 Active cell: Current working cell
 Name Box – It shows the active cell address.
Components of MS Excel
Microsoft Excel consists of several components that work together to provide a comprehensive spreadsheet application. The main components of MS Excel are:
 Workbook: A workbook is the primary document in Excel, and it contains one or more worksheets. It is saved as a .xlsx file and can store a collection of related data, calculations, and visualizations.
 Worksheet: Within a workbook, you have individual worksheets (also called spreadsheets). Each worksheet is a grid made up of cells, where you can enter, organize, and manipulate data. By default, a new workbook contains three worksheets, but you can add or remove them as needed.
 Cells: Cells are the individual units within a worksheet where you enter data or formulas. They are identified by a unique combination of a column letter and a row number (e.g., A1, B3, C7). Cells can contain text, numbers, dates, formulas, or other data types.
 Formulas and Functions: Formulas are mathematical expressions that perform calculations using data from cells. Excel supports a wide range of mathematical operators and functions, allowing you to create complex calculations easily. Functions are builtin tools that simplify common calculations like SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, and more.
 Ribbon: The Ribbon is the main toolbar at the top of the Excel window. It contains multiple tabs, each with various groups of commands related to different tasks, such as formatting, data, formulas, charts, and more.
 Quick Access Toolbar: The Quick Access Toolbar is a customizable toolbar located above the Ribbon. It allows you to add frequently used commands for easy access.
 Columns and Rows: Columns are vertical sections of the worksheet identified by letters (A, B, C, etc.), while rows are horizontal sections identified by numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.). Columns and rows intersect to create cells.
 Charts and Graphs: Excel provides various chart types to visualize data. You can create bar charts, line charts, pie charts, scatter plots, and more to represent data visually.
 Conditional Formatting: Conditional formatting enables you to format cells based on specific conditions. For example, you can apply different colors to cells based on their values, making it easier to identify patterns or outliers.
 Data Analysis Tools: Excel includes various data analysis tools, such as sorting, filtering, pivot tables, goal seek, and solver, to help you manipulate and analyze data effectively.
 Page Layout: This feature allows you to customize how the content appears on the printed page, including adjusting margins, setting headers and footers, and controlling page breaks.
 Data Import and Export: Excel supports importing data from various sources and exporting data to different file formats, making it easy to exchange information with other applications.
These components work together to make Microsoft Excel a powerful tool for data management, analysis, and visualization.
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Excel: Important Functions and Tools
Tab Name  Important Functions and Tools 
Home  Clipboard, Font, Alignment, Number Format, styles, cells, sort & filter, find and Selection, Wrap text, Merge & Center, Conditional formatting, Auto sum. 
Insert  Pivot Table, Table, illustration (Pictures, Shapes, Smart Art, Screenshot), Addins, Charts, 3D maps, sparklines, slicer, link, equation, symbol, Header and Footer, word art, text box, signature line 
Page Layout  Themes, Print 
Formula  Date & Time, Lookup & Reference, Logical, financial, auto sum 
Data  Sort, filter, text to the column, flash fill, Data validation, (Data tools), forecast (whatif analysis), Forecast sheet, group, ungroup 
Review  Spelling, Thesaurus, Smart Lookup, Translate, comment 
View  Macros, Freeze panes, Switch windows 
Shortcut Keys in Excel
F2  Edit the selected cell 
F5  Go to a specific cell 
F7  Spell check selected text and/ or document 
F11  Create chart 
Ctrl+Shift+;  Enter the current time 
Ctrl+;  Enter the current date 
Alt+Shift+F1  Insert the new worksheet 
Shift+F3  Open the excel formula 
Shift+F5  Bring up search box 
Ctrl+A  Select all contents of the worksheet 
Ctrl+B  Bold highlighted selection 
Ctrl+I  Italic highlighted selection 
Ctrl+K  Insert link 
Ctrl+U  Underline highlighted selection 
Ctrl+5  Strikethrough highlighted selection 
Ctrl+P  Bring up the print dialogue box for printing 
Ctrl+Z  Undo the last action 
Ctrl+F9  Minimize current workbook 
Ctrl+F10  Maximize currently selected workbook 
Ctrl+Space  Select the entire column 
Shift+Space  Select the entire row 
Ctrl+Shift+$  Format number in currency format 
Ctrl+Shift+#  Format number in date format 
Ctrl+Shift+%  Format number in a percentage format 
Ctrl+Shift+@  Format number in time format 
Excel terms
Workbook
The workbook refers to an Excel spreadsheet file. The workbook stores all of the data that you have entered and lets you sort or calculate the results. A workbook that is accessible to be viewed and modified by multiple users on a network is called a Shared Workbook.
Worksheet
A worksheet is a subcomponent document of a workbook. It is also called spreadsheets; you can have multiple sheets nestled in a workbook. Tabs at the bottommost of the screen will indicate which of your worksheets you are presently working on; this is also known as an active sheet or active worksheet.
Cell
A cell is an intersection between a column and a row on a spreadsheet. Each cell in a spreadsheet can encompass any value that can be called using a virtual cell reference or called upon using a formula. Any data that you want to enter into your worksheet must be put in a cell. An Active Cell is one that is currently open for editing.
Column and Row Headings
These headings are lettered and numbered grey areas located just outside of columns and rows. Clicking on a heading will select the entire row or column. You can also modify the row height or column width using the headings.
Cell Range
A Cell range is a cluster of cells that have been identified as a group based on a variety of criteria. By using a colon (:) between cell references, Excel can determine the range, also called an array. A range in a row, for example, could look like A3: D3, telling the formula to look at the cells in a row between A3 and D3, while C4: F9 would tell the formula to look at all cells in a box bounded by columns C and F and rows 4 and 9. A 3D reference refers to a range that encompasses more than one worksheet in the same workbook.
Merged Cell
When two or more cells are united, it’s become what is known as a merged cell.
Operator
Operators are signs or symbols that specify which calculation must be made in an expression. Operators do not necessarily refer to simple mathematical types; comparison, concatenation, text, or reference operators also exist.
Formula
A sequence inside a cell that is used to produce value is called a formula. It must begin with an equality sign (=). This could be a mathematical equation, functions, cell references, or operator. A formula is also known as an expression.
Function
Functions are formulas that are prebuilt into Excel. They are intended to help simplify hypothetically complex formulas in a worksheet.
Error Code
Error Codes appear if Excel finds a problem with a formula provided.
Cell Formatting
This is the act of changing how a cell or its contents are displayed in the spreadsheet. When you format cells, only the visual appearance of the cells is altered; the value within the cells remains the same.
Filter
Filters are guidelines that you can employ to choose which rows in a worksheet to display. These filters can use data such as conditions or values.
AutoFill
This enables you to copy data to more than one cell easily.
AutoSum
This feature will add up the numbers you have entered in your sheet and displays the total in a cell of your choice.
AutoFormat
This is an automatic format application to cells that match predetermined conditions. This could be as simple as size.
Data Validation
This feature helps to avert inappropriate data from being entered into your worksheet. Data validation promotes accuracy and consistency in the data to be entered.
Pivot Table
This is a data summarization tool most commonly used to sort, average, to sum up, data automatically. The information is heaved from one table while the results are presented in another.
Pivot Chart
This type of chart provides a visual aid for pivot tables by providing graphical illustrations of the pivot table data; the user can offer a level of interactivity with the data.
Format Painter
Copies the format from a cell (or range), allowing it to be pasted somewhere else.
Conditional Formatting – DropDown
It gives access to conditional formatting commands which can be used to apply cell formatting automatically. It contains these commands: Highlight Cells Rules, Top/Bottom Rules, Color Scales, Data Bars, Icon Sets, Clear Rules, New Rule, and Manage Rules.
AutoSum
Button with DropDown. The same command can be found on the Formulas Tab and it contains the commands: Sum, Average, Count Numbers, Max, Min, And More Functions.
Fill – DropDown
This option allows you to fill the selection in any direction and into any range of adjacent cells. The dropdown contains the commands: Down, Up, Right, Left, Across Worksheets, Justify, Series and Flash Fill.
Clear – DropDown
This removes everything from the current selection or removes particular items. The dropdown contains the commands: Clear All, Clear Contents, Clear Formats, Clear Hyperlinks, Clear Comments, and Remove Hyperlinks.
Sort & Filter – DropDown
This helps you sort the currently selected data or current region into descending or ascending order and allows you to add filters to decrease the number of evident rows.
Find & Select – DropDown
This option permits you to find and replace an input or selected data. The dropdown contains the commands: Find, Replace, GoTo, GoTo Special, Comments, Formulas, Constants, Conditional Formatting, Select Objects, Data Validation, and Selection Pane.
Signature Line
Button with DropDown. The button inserts a signature line that stipulates the individual who must sign. The dropdown shows these commands: Microsoft Office Signature Line and Add Signature Services.
Equation – DropDown
From here, you can insert your desired equation into your workbook. The dropdown contains the commands: Area of Circle, Expansion of a Sum, Binomial Theorem, Fourier Series, and Insert New Equation.
Sort & Filter
Sort A to Z
Sorts data from lowest to highest; alphabetically from AZ and numerically from the lowest number to the highest number.
Sort Z to A
Sorts data from highest to lowest; alphabetically from ZA and numerically from the highest number to the lowest number.
Sort
This enables you to find values quickly by sorting your data.
Filter
Toggles filtering on the currently selected cell.
Clear
Clears the filter and sorts for the currently selected range of data.
Reapply – (Ctrl + Alt + L)
This helps you to reapply the filter and sort to the current selection so that the changes you have made are included.
Data Tools
Text to Columns – This permits you to split a single column of text into multiple columns.
Flash Fill – This automatically fills in values into the cell.
Remove Duplicates – This removes duplicate sheets from a row.
Data Validation – DropDown. This lets you limit the type of data that can be entered into a cell. The dropdown includes these commands: Circle Invalid Data and Clear Validation Circles.
Consolidate – This summarizes data from separate ranges and then consolidates the result in a single output range.
Relationships – The relationship feature lets you create or modify relationships between tables to show linked data from separate tables on the same report.
Manage Data Model – Opens the Power Pivot window in order to add and prepare data or continue working on data on the workbook.
Forecast
WhatIf Analysis – DropDown. This function lets you try out various values for the formula in your sheet using the dropdown options. The dropdown contains these commands: Scenario Manager, Goal Seek, and Data Table.
Forecast Sheet – You can create a new worksheet to predict data trends using this feature. It will let you forecast your timeline data.
Freeze Panes
DropDown. The dropdown contains these commands: Freeze Panes, Freeze First Column, and Freeze Top Row.
Macros
It is used to define a sequence of actions to perform on a document or multiple documents that can be executed again and again.
Excel Basic Functions
Below is a list of ten simple but helpful functions that are essentially needed for your expertise skill in Excel.
SUM
This is the first Excel function I will be familiarizing you with. It is the one that performs the basic arithmetic operation of addition. Your Sum formula in Excel should include at least 1 number, referenced to a cell or a range of cells.
For example:
=SUM(A2:C6) – this adds up values in cells A2 through C6.
=SUM(A2, C6) – this adds up values in cells A2 and C6.
There are times when you will need to perform multiple functions such as addition and division, you can perform this within a single formula, for example, add up values in cells A2 through C6, and then divide the sum by 5:
=SUM(A2:C6)/5
Also, you can sum with conditions. To sum with conditions, use the SUMIF function:
 In the 1st argument, you input the range of cells to be verified against the criteria (A1:A4)
 In the 2nd argument, input the criteria itself (C2)
 In the last argument, input the cells to sum (B1:B4)
=SUMIF(A1:A4, C2, B1:B4)
Note: The easiest and fastest way to sum a row or column of numbers is to select a cell following the numbers you want to sum (the cell directly below the last value in the column), and click the AutoSum button on the Home tab, in the Formats group. Excel will insert a SUM formula for you automatically and add up the corresponding values.
AVERAGE
The second function we will be looking at is the average. Excel AVERAGE function does exactly what its name implies, that is; it finds an average, or arithmetic mean, of numbers.
Having a closer look at the formula from the previous example (=SUM(A2:C6)/5), what this does is that it sums values in cells A2 through C6, and then divides the result by 3, what it does here is called average; dividing the total by the frequency.
To perform an average, you can simply input this formula in a cell:
=AVERAGE(A2:C6)
To calculate average cells based on condition, use the AVERAGEIF formula, where A2:C6 is the criteria range, D3 is the criteria, and E2:E6 are the cells to average:
=AVERAGEIF(A2:C6, D3, E2:E6)
MAXIMUM & MINIMUM
The MAX and MIN formulas in Excel get the highest and lowest value in a set of numbers, respectively. The formulas for maximum and minimum is as simple as:
=MAX(A2:C6) – identify the maximum value from cell A2 through C6.
=MIN(A2:C6) – identify the minimum value from cell A2 through C6.
COUNT & COUNTA
Another important function in Excel is the COUNT & COUNTA function. If you need to know how many cells in a given range contain numeric values (numbers or dates), you don’t need to waste time by counting them by hand, the Excel COUNT function will do the trick.
The COUNT function deals only with those cells that comprise numbers while the COUNTA function counts all cells that are not blank, whether they contain numbers, dates, text, times, or errors.
For example, to find out how many cells in column C contain numbers, use this formula: =COUNT(C:C)
To count all nonempty cells in column A, use:
=COUNTA(C:C)
Summarily, COUNT processes only numbers, COUNTA outputs the total number of nonblank cells in columns, including the text value in the column header.
IF
This seems to be the most popular function in Excel. In simple terms, you use an IF formula to ask Excel to verify a certain condition and return one value or perform one calculation if the condition is met, and another value or calculation if the condition is not met. For example:
IF (logical_test, [value_if_true], [value_if_false]). This will test the validity or otherwise of the input data.
TRIM
There are times when your correct Excel formulas return just a bunch of errors, one of the first things to check is extra spaces in the referenced cells. These extra spaces need to be trimmed. There are quite a few ways to get rid of unwanted spaces in Excel, with the TRIM function being the easiest one:
For example, to trim extra spaces in column B, enter the following formula in cell B1, and then copy it down the column:
=TRIM(B1). This will eliminate all extra spaces in cells.
LEN
The LEN function is used to determine the number of characters in a certain cell.
For example, if you wish to find out how many characters are in cell C2, just type the formula below into another cell:
=LEN(C2)
Note: Excel LEN function counts absolutely all characters including spaces.
AND & OR
These are the two most popular logical functions to verify multiple criteria.
 AND returns TRUE if all conditions are met; FALSE if otherwise.
 OR returns TRUE if any condition is met; FALSE if otherwise.
CONCATENATE
This function is applicable when you want to take values from two or more cells and combine them into one cell. For example, to combine the values from cells A3 and B3, just enter this formula in a different cell:
=CONCATENATE(A3, B3)
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Frequently Asked Questions

When was the first Spreadsheet launched?
It was launched in 1979.

Who is known as the father of electronic spreadsheets?
Dan Bricklin is known as the father of electronic spreadsheets.

what is the first version of Microsoft Excel?
in 1985, the first version of Microsoft Excel was launched so, MS Excel 1985 can be called the first version of MS Excel.

What is the total number of rows in MS Excel?
The total number of rows is 10,48,576

What is the total number of Columns in MS Excel?
The total number of columns is 16,384

Is Excel important for the FSSAI Exam?
Yes, it is one of the most important topics asked.
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