Course Descriptions

Topics for Custom Excel Class

For private classes and one-on-one sessions we can customize the curriculum to emphasize the topics of greatest interest to you. Here are some suggested Excel topics.

Interface and Navigation

Topic Description
Over­view Overview of Excel ribbons and features, navigating the worksheet and tabs, entering and editing data.
Using the mouse to move and copy data (drag and drop), using the mouse to enter a series automatically (autofill), creating a custom autofill series.
Navi­gation Arranging multiple windows, opening multiple windows for same workbook, freezing panes.
Custom­izing Ribbons Customizing existing ribbons and creating your own, adding groups and buttons to the ribbon.


Topic Description
Work­sheet Format­ting Formatting rows and columns, formatting cells and their content, adding borders and shading, formatting numbers, alignment, text wrap and text rotation, fonts.
Cell Styles Creating and defining a cell style, choosing which attributes the style governs, applying styles to cells, modifying cell styles, transferring styles from one workbook to another.
Condi­tional Format­ting Defining conditional formatting, using Excel’s built-in conditions, defining custom conditions, formatting one cell based on entries in another, defining custom number formats.
Designating rows and columns to repeat, defining a print area, setting margins, creating and formatting custom headers and footers, specifying page alignment, output scaling, printing grid lines and row and column headings.

Formulas and Functions

Topic Description
Formulas Formula basics, entering and editing a formula, how to autofill formulas and when it is appropriate, absolute cell references.
How dates are recorded in Excel, how date calculations work, making simple date calculations (time between dates). using date functions such as TODAY, MONTH, DAY, YEAR and NETWORKDAYS.
How time is recorded in Excel, how time calculations work, making simple time calculations (duration, elapsed time), using time functions such as NOW, SECOND, MINUTE and HOUR.
Working with text in formulas, combining text entries, using text formulas such as LEFT, RIGHT, UPPER, TRIM, DOLLAR and FIXED.
Linking Writing formulas that reference cells in other workbooks (external cell reference), updating links, tips to avoid breaking links.
Functions Overview Difference between functions and formulas, function syntax, using the Function wizard
Function Details Using specific functions, such as SUM, COUNT, VLOOKUP and IF. Can cover Financial, Date and Time, Statistical, Logical, Text and Lookup functions depending on your needs.
Error Checking Using Excel's formula auditing features to locate errors in formulas.

Data Manipulation

Topic Description
Overview How data must be organized for the data features to work.
Sorting & Filtering Turning on autofilter, using autofilter and custom number and date filters, sorting with autofilter, using the sort command (multi-level sort).
Advanced Filter Using advanced filter to copy specified data to a new cell range, setting up the advanced filter, rules for specifying criteria.
Remove Dupli­cates How to decide what fields to specify when using the remove duplicates command, which records are retained after removal.
Tables Defining a table, table options, formatting the table, using tables for data manipulation.

Charts and Graphs

Topic Description
Essentials Structuring data to facilitate charting, choosing the correct chart type, creating a chart, changing chart type, specifying series and categories, formatting chart elements, adding labels.
Advanced Creating overlay charts, creating a chart template, moving chart to a different sheet, linking chart labels to worksheet cells.

Pivot Tables

Topic Description
Essentials How data must be organized to use as data source for Pivot Table, creating a pivot table, specifying row and column headings and calculations, types of calculations a pivot table can make, options for displaying calculated results, refreshing data.
Advanced Pivot table option settings, moving pivot table to a different sheet, pivot charts, using Slicers, creating calculated Pivot Table fields, changing data source.

Macros and VBA

Topic Description
Recording & Editing Recording macros, how to decide what the macro should do, reading a macro’s VBA code, editing a macro, difference between absolute and relative cell references, specifying whether recording should use relative or absolute cell references, security settings.
Macro Authoring VBA syntax, declaring procedures, variables and constants, using IF and other conditional statements to control program flow, creating loops.


Topic Description
Named Ranges Defining and updating range names, using names for worksheet navigation, writing formulas with names, defining names from selection, benefits of using names.

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Topics for Custom Excel Class, Updated March 11, 2018.