Basic Tutorial for Excel

Excel is a spreadsheet program that allows you to enter, edit and track numerical information and data. The basics can be mastered in a lesson, but the program is powerful enough to also deal with the very sophisticated statistical and computational information. The most important part of learning Excel getting the elementary functions of entering data, formatting it and saving it for later use or distribution. The same techniques can be used to enter figures or data such as an address list, as Excel reads automatically whether you are entering numbers or text.

This is a list of short and easy steps by Excel tutors at team.


  1. Open Excel on your computer and open and new file by selecting “File” and “New” from your menu bar (at the top of the window).
  2. Note that the columns are labeled by letter, and the rows are labeled by number. Each square (otherwise know as a cell) has a cell address made up of a letter and a number. The uppermost cell on the left is thus A1.
  3. Move the cursor to the A1 cell and type “Expenses,” which will be the title of the table you will build. When you are done, press “Enter,” and you will notice the cursor will go down to the cell below automatically. This is a time-saving data entry feature.
  4. Type “Supplies” in cell A2, “Rent” in cell A3 and “Shipping” in cell A3.
  5. Move the cursor to cell B2 (you can use the arrow keys, or just mouse to it and click). Type “Quarter 1.” Instead of pressing “Enter” this time, press the right arrow key to go to cell C2.
  6. Type “Quarter 2” in cell C2, “Quarter 3” in cell D2 and “Quarter 4” in cell E2.
  7. Enter in some numbers to fill out the table.
  8. Click and drag the cursor from B2, sliding over to cell F2, then press the “Auto sum” icon (you will find it at the top of the window, the Greek letter sigma). The totals for supplies for the year are automatically added and entered in last cell you selected, F2. Repeat the process for “Rent” and “Shipping.”
  9. Click and drag the cursor from B2 to B5, and press “Auto sum,” and you will see the “Quarter 1” expenses totaled in cell B5. Repeat the process for the other three quarters.
  10. Format the table using Auto Format. Highlight the table by clicking and dragging from A1 to F5. Select “Format” then Auto Format” from the menu bar and choose a style from the menu shown, which will be automatically applied.
  11. Save your file by selecting “File” and “Save” from the menu bar, and entering a file name and a location on your disk to save it.

Tips & Warnings

Excel can perform various mathematical calculations. Learn the symbols that represent math functions, such as the asterisk indicates multiplication. Excel can also sort columns alphabetically based on the text in the column’s cells.

National Campus Compact

David J. Schmidly Texas Tech President Texas Campus Compact President

Texas National Campus Compact is a coalition of 693 public and private, two- and four-year college and university pesidents located in 45 states and the District of Columbia. These presidents are committed to helping students develop the values and skills of civic participation through involvement in public service.

Campus Compact’s primary purpose is to support campus-based public and community service in higher education. Its convening force is the recognition of the urgent need for higher education to focus on its civic purpose and educate the leaders of tomorrow by connecting future leaders with the world of today.

The Texas Campus Compact is committed to a partnership between campuses and the communities, as well as to assist faculty who seek to integrate community engagement into their teaching and research. By creating a supportive campus environment for community service, colleges and universities can best prepare students to be active and involved members of society.

Texas Campus Compact proudly presents a workshop for factulty interested in service-learning.

Texas Campus Compact initiated the first in an important series of workshops by Dr. Edward Zlotkowski. The first workshop titled “Service Learning: From Theory to Practice” provided in-depth examples of service learning and civic engagement. The programs were conducted at University of Houston, Texas Tech University in Lubbock, and University of Texas in Arlington. While the morning sessions focused on the powerful impact of incorporating service learning, the afternoons were group oriented to provide specific examples to faculty of service learning in the disciplines. Dr. Zlotkowski has worked extensively with faculty and chief academic officers nationally on supporting faculty in service learning and campus community collaboration. We were honored that he shared his vision to more than 200 participants across Texas. Edward Zlotkowski, Ph.D. is a professor of English at Bentley College, Senior Faculty Fellow at the national Campus Compact, and Senior Associate at the American Association for Higher Education. He is the general editor of an 18-volume book series for AAHE that explores the relationship between service learning and the individual academic disciples which is available from AAHE.