Is Excel Hard to Learn?

A lot of people easily get overwhelmed by Excel because of how complex it can get. However, it doesn’t have to be complex for you because the secret to learning Excel is to start small and focus on the stuff you need to get done.

Key Takeaways

A lot of people easily get overwhelmed by Excel because of how complex it can get. However, it doesn’t have to be complex for you because the secret to learning Excel is to start small and focus on the stuff you need to get done.

As you progress through learning the fundamentals of Excel, you will progress to more complex features becoming adept at your new skillset when required. 

Is Microsoft Excel difficult to learn, given all of its capabilities? No. It’s all in the approach and having the right resources. This guide will help you with all that.

As previously said, the power of Microsoft Excel lies in its flexibility. This is Microsoft Excel's heart. It benefits everyone who uses it, from the novice to the expert, by letting them organize and analyze data. 

It was created to be handled by everyone from a grade school student to a statistical data analyst and everyone in between. Excel can assist a student to manage a simple class schedule and project deadlines while at the same time it has the power to assist an accountant to manage complex financial data.

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It's incredible that the same tool can handle the basic needs of a fifth grader as well as all of the complexities found in an accountant's office. So, where to begin, and how long will it take to learn Microsoft Excel? 

The answer to that varies depending on how much Excel you want to learn. Many people never need to go beyond basic Excel skills. Some jobs may even require intermediate-level skills while some specialized jobs like data mining require advanced skills.

This article will share with you all the resources you will need to master every level of Excel. We have resources to help you with everything from basic to advanced tutorials and from database to functions tutorials. So let’s get started!

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No, it is not. One of the reasons for its huge success is that it is easy to learn and master. 

Excel is one of the greatest spreadsheet applications available for crunching numbers, creating dashboard reports, and storing and administering data. This application originally emerged on the market in 1987 and has since evolved to become one of the most popular pieces of home or business software.

This program has a wide range of useful applications in addition to the fundamental spreadsheet function that is just waiting to be discovered. Microsoft Excel is a flexible tool worth mastering whether you are a newbie or have some familiarity with the application. 

However, in order to get the most out of this sophisticated software and learn how to use it like a master, you must first enhance your Excel skills. But before we get into that let us talk about why you would want to learn it in the first place.

Working on an excel sheet
Image by on Freepik

Why are Excel skills important in the job market?

If you ask us: Is learning Excel worth it? We would say 100% yes! In fact, we have a dedicated article on the subject you should go through to understand how learning Excel can help you.

Microsoft Excel remains the go-to software for the majority of users wishing to do some quick data analysis more than 30 years after its development.

Sure, there are more powerful, better, and more intricate data analysis software available these days, not to mention the free, web-based Google Sheets, but nothing has the broad appeal and tremendous simplicity of analyzing data with Excel.

If you are wondering what is the difference between Excell and Google Sheets then read this guide on the subject.

Making decisions based on data is crucial because statistics don't often lie. Companies want experienced employees who can transform raw data into useful insights.

Can you imagine sifting through it all manually and making those connections? It would take hundreds of hours. That is why learning how to use Excel and other data tools is becoming a regular requirement in many jobs.

Raw data can be transformed into effective business strategies with the correct data analysis skills, including complex Excel functions.

What are some practical applications of Excel?

Excel allows you to do a wide variety of tasks. It's a very powerful tool with numerous applications. Here are several examples:

  • Budgets
  • Financial statements
  • Editorial calendars
  • Inventory management
  • Making Forms
  • Project administration
  • Visualization of data
  • Forecasting
  • Keeping track of personal expenses and much more!

There are in fact so many practical applications that it is impossible to list them here. It is just like asking what are the practical applications of a calculator. At the basic level, it can crunch numbers, but imagine all the different scenarios a calculator can be used in.

By the way, if you are into accounting or finance this guide on what Excel skills you need to learn is indispensable.

Every guide you will ever need to master Excel!

To make it easier for you to learn Excel we have put together a list of the best learning resources by skill level and type. Start exploring the options and you will soon become comfortable with learning Excel. Most of the links do not charge you anything and this is how to learn excel for free.

You should also go through our guide on the top 10 ways to improve your Excel skills in 2022. It even has a list of all the most used keyboard shortcuts.

Beginner to intermediate level tutorials

  1. The Excel Easy Website: This course will get you started with Excel without using jargon or technical phrases. It starts with formatting cells, using conditional formatting, identifying ribbons and workbooks, and speeding up the editing process using keyboard shortcuts.
  2. The Motion Training YouTube channel: This tutorial-based YouTube channel is an excellent place to begin your learning because the first video is only nine minutes long and easy to follow. The beginner's course is divided into four pieces, allowing you to break up the training and take notes as you skip about anytime you need to refer back.
  3. GCF Global: GCF is a free learning environment that contains an excellent collection of Excel training articles and videos. The online instruction begins with an overview and explanation of OneDrive. The course then covers how to work with cells, sheets, data, formulas, and functions.
  4. Chandoo: This website contains intermediate information about using conditional formatting and fast creating reports. This single post covers the fundamentals of Excel instruction with text, photos, and video. It also includes connections to additional resources for you to read more about.
  5. Excel made easy - A Beginner's Guide: This guide will teach you about workbooks and the various components of an Excel worksheet, such as rows, columns, and cells. It will l go over how to enter data into cells, move and copy data, and propagate cell contents, among other things. The guide will walk you through all you need to know to start using Microsoft Excel.
  6. The wikiHow for How to Use Excel: If you're new to MS Excel, this should be one of your first stops. Although it is not exhaustive, the tutorial covers the fundamentals, with screenshots to guide you. Everything from fundamental functions to printing your Excel sheet is presented in an easy-to-follow fashion here.
Businesspeople working in finance and accounting analyzing financial data
by our-team on Freepik

Advanced level tutorials

  1. : If you want to have the majority of the information you'll need in one place, investing in an Udemy course may be a good idea. Over 9,000 students have registered in these courses, which teach the top 25 most complex arithmetic formulae in Excel. It gives real-world examples of how to apply the formulas.
  1. Advanced Excel Formulas & Functions: Another outstanding Udemy lesson with real-world methods and suggestions. The training is aimed at analysts and covers more than 75 of the most advanced formulas in the spreadsheet program. There are dozens of PDF quizzes, practice files, and slides to download, as well as a wonderfully planned course outline to lead you through some of the more advanced concepts.
  1. Excel Advanced Formulas and Functions: With videos, downloadable materials, and a transcript, this course has been viewed thousands of times. It takes about six hours to complete. Because you can practice during the course, the exercise files make it so much easier to learn Excel.
  1. This collection is a wonderful place to start for anyone interested in learning even the most fundamental functions, such as AutoSum. It delves deeper into more complex usage, giving you a good idea of what to expect when creating your own formulae in Excel.

Data-analyst tutorials

  1. Excel Core for Data Analysts: This Excel course will cover basic and advanced Excel certification exam concepts using real-world mobility data. Data analysts are in high demand making this course one of the best ways to learn a new skill and get a certificate to land that high-paying job.
  1. Excel Expert for Data Analysts: Using real-world data from counties and municipalities in the US, you will learn how to enter, analyze, and generate complex reports such as PivotTables and PivotCharts. This course will cover advanced Excel fundamentals from the certification tests.

We have a dedicated guide for data analysts that you should also go through as it has many tips that will be helpful.

General database tutorials

  1. Chandoo: Yet another useful tutorial from Chandoo. It has animated GIFs to supplement the text. Because the graphics are zoomed in for a more interesting tutorial, this speeds up the learning process. It also describes the code module, which offers an intriguing perspective on the complete database operation.
  1. Best Excel Tutorials: This website looks at the most popular functions used when building or mining a database. For example, functions like DMIN, DPRODUCT, DVARP, and DVAR are all covered.
  1. This lesson starts with a database overview and progresses to more complex subjects such as data filtering and database formatting. The formatting part is one of the most significant because it focuses on usage in the actual world.

Tutorials for MS Excel Functions

  1. My E-Lesson: Very easy-to-follow youtube video tutorials to get you started on MS Excel Functions. This clip is a good place to start because you won't have to work through any complicated functions yourself by following written instructions. The video covers the entire tutorial.
  1. GCF Global: This is another excellent resource that covers all of the Excel formula functions you should be familiar with. This is also a perfect resource to bookmark because it covers the vast majority of real-world functions. You have unlimited access to the tutorials, which are completely set up with videos and articles. "Practice Reading Formulas," "Percent-Off Sale," and "Using the IF Function" are among the subjects covered
  1. Home and Learn - Excel VBA For Complete Beginners: This website provides a complete, free course with tutorials on mastering VBA programming in Excel. Strings, loops, and arrays, as well as variables and conditional logic, are all addressed.

Excel Graphing Tutorials

  1. NCSU - Graphing with Excel: This tutorial covers the majority of graphic requirements, including links to topics such as bar charts and histograms. Basic graphing instructions are provided for individuals who are just getting started. Text file import is also supported.
  1. - Charts in Excel: A simple tutorial based on a real-life example to demonstrate and teach the power of data visualization using Excel graphing.
  1. This is one of the finest tutorials because it walks you through the entire process of producing a chart. Some of it is presented in a video, but most of it is in a huge post with illustrations and tips on how to move, resize, and create a legend.

Excel Printing Tutorials

  1. Chandoo - Printing Excel Workbooks: This topic may appear daunting, but Chandoo has you covered with a five-minute video, as well as some other related topics such as converting Excel to PDF and printing Excel cell comments.
  1. - Excel Printing using Gridlines: This tutorial provides an answer to a question that many Excel users regularly search for. Gridlines are useful in many professions, yet this tool appears to be concealed in Excel. The good news is that it just takes about one minute to complete the task.

Final Word

MS Excel is a powerful tool used for the simplest of reasons like managing your grocery shopping or it can be used to manage all train traffic schedules at a railway station. Its power lies in its flexibility and this is also the reason why it has become so popular and in demand.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Microsoft Excel difficult to learn?

What is the hardest thing to learn in Excel?

How much time is required to learn Excel?

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