Video Lesson: Beginner’s Introduction to Excel

One video that I have been meaning to do is a lesson focused on those of you who have never (or rarely) used Excel, and needed an introduction to the program and how it works.  I’ve created this lesson in an attempt to introduce the most basic information about what Excel is and go over some examples of what it could be used for.

Disclaimer: If you’re pretty familiar with Excel, this video may be extremely boring.  You have been warned!

Throughout the lesson, I explain the following information and questions in great detail:

– What am I looking at when I open Excel for the first time?

– Explanation of Column / Rows and how referencing works.

– Navigating Excel, knowing where you are in the spreadsheet, and the ‘name box’.

– Overview of sheets including adding, deleting, and renaming.

– Explanation of hard-coded values vs. formulas/functions, and Excel default cell formats.

– Formatting options including bold/underline, alignment (e.g. centering), and creating borders.

– Information about the formula bar, and how to use the ‘Insert Function’ feature.

– Example of creating a simple personal finance tracker and how to input information into Excel.

– Introduction to the Master Workbook, including the function listing and previews of examples from other lessons.

Feel free to show this lesson to anyone who wants to learn Excel but doesn’t know the first thing about getting started!

Now if you’re following the Lesson Guide, you should move on to Learning Basic Formatting Techniques.

137 thoughts on “Video Lesson: Beginner’s Introduction to Excel

  1. Thank you Ben for the work you put into these lessons they are well done but of no use to me (I Am deaf) I will UNsubscribe To save you any more work on my participation. Keep up the Good work Ben your efforts are badly needed.

  2. Thank you for this video!! I don’t know excel, which is horrible. Now I will start with your lesson and hopefully learn all about it! Thank you thank you thank you!

  3. Thank you for taking the time to create these videos as well as the Master Workbook. Very good info, I’m taking the class from the beginning. I’m not a beginner using excel but I’m glad I started in the basics first because I still learned somethings I didn’t know.

  4. Thank you for this excellent tutorial. Although I’ve been coding for 40 years I have always struggled with excel as it seems so clumsy. Today I discovered my issue. Clicking and dragging in Windows Explorer is a big No-No as you can so easily destroy your disk and file integrity. So I’ve always been careful to never do so in Excel. But early in the lesson that’s exactly what you did, although you didn’t exactly SAY that’s what you were doing. At 7:41 you said “highlight the area”. It would have helped if you had explained that simple step (with the words – “click and drag”) – I guess it is second nature to you and you assumed that everyone knew that’s what you were doing. So that has been my roadblock. Then, later you showed that you start typing a formula and then you click on a cell and magically the cell address gets typed in. This was interspersed with the word “plus” which apparently you were typing as you clicked on the individual cells. I sensed that this was possible but I had never been able to figure out how to do it. Suddenly a lot came clear and I see that this really is a lot easier to setup that I thought. I am looking forward to following the entire course.

    My comment is not meant as a criticism but just to show you a couple of points that weren’t immediately obvious, to me, in the lesson

    Thank you again. This is a turning point for me.


  6. only one video I’ve watched so far and I’ve learned so much already. What a blessing to stumble upon your website. You’re a wonderful, excellent teacher and I’d like to thank you for all your efforts, patience and dedication you put in to help people like me. Thank you again, Sir!!! Blessings to you and always!!!!

  7. I about to inherit responsibility at work for pricing multi million dollar contracts with many moving parts. Although I am already a basic user, I still picked up some tips from the intro lesson and am going to get stuck into the other lessons pronto. Ben – thank you for taking the time to help us all out with learning about this very powerful tool!

  8. This was so helpful, i am so excited to learn more :)

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, this is going to make a massive difference in my life :)

  9. Thank you so much for your effort. These lessons are well paced, comprehensive, and very useful for us excel beginners!

  10. Wow oh wow . This is the real thing. The guy takes his time and explains everything in detail. So well composed the tone of voice and examples. Great Job Guy. Thumbs up to you man. Only thing is that you did not say the name of your site you just said go to your website

  11. This is the first video I watched and I really look forward to watching other videos too! If I had to name top5 sites I’ve visited this year, this site seems like it’s gonna be on the the list.

  12. Excellent work. Ive been looking for courses online and looked no further once i tumbled across your website!Learning excel now. Keep up the good work.

  13. Thanks for these helpful tips! I never really had time to learn about excel although I know some couple things. Anyway it’s not what professors teach you in my major. I’m excited to watch your videos because not only this is helpful but you make it entertaining despite anything. Keep up the good work!

  14. I’m really excited about watching all of your videos. It’s really wonderful that you are so generous with your work and helping people to educated themselves with the tools you provide them for free. Thank you so much!

  15. Many, many thanks, Ben, not only for providing this helpful and well explained video, but also to make it available free of charge! It took me about a 1/2 hour to watch it all because I was practicing as you taught :) Blessings to you!

  16. Hi, I’ve only watched one video so far but I’ve already learned quite a bit I wasn’t aware of. Your style of teaching is very exact yet clear. I appreciate the work you’ve put into this and am looking forward to future lessons. :)

    One thing I noticed that may or may not be an option for you is to maybe add some sort of captioning? I’ve been watching the videos on my laptop and don’t tend to use headphones so something I could read would be helpful as I don’t want to disturb anyone around me. Also I imagine it’d be great for deaf / hard-of-hearing users to have better accessibility to your site.

    Thank you very much for your effort in creating these tutorials!

    – Charlie

  17. Thank You, I have been trying to figure out Excel. Your simple and easy to understand video was EXCELLENT!! I have been on a waitlist for my Community College for 2 yrs. I know can just go to the site every morning and learn!

  18. Ben Thanks! This is excellent and will help tremendously as I pursue a career in educational leadership!!!


  19. Ben, I really want to learn all I can about Excel and so far your program has been great. But I really need help on how to set up my payroll for my business. I am very much a beginner. With very little time to learn. My husband and I own our own business “Popcorn Paradise” and also work a 10 hours a day 6 days a week. I have been watching your videos in the car on the 3 hour trip from Detroit to Grand Haven.

  20. Ben, this is amazing. i have just started a new job where excel is very important and i need to be more into this. just checked the first video, its brilliant. The way you explain it, it makes sense and so easy to follow!!! Great job and i will deffo check out every video there is on this site!!

    great work and thank you :)

    • Hey Robert,

      If you click on the ‘Vimeo’ logo in the bottom right corner for any of the videos, it will bring you to the Vimeo page for that video. Underneath, one of the options has ‘download’. If you click that it should work.

      Hope that helps!


  21. This website is AWESOME. Thank you SO much. May you reap the benefits in an abundance of happiness :-)

  22. Excellent, mastered excel and other microsoft office stuff back in school but haven’t opened it in atleast 6 years. Its true what they say, ‘if you dont use it you lose it’. Great videos gonna watch the whole series to get it back, thanks!

  23. Really your data is of great help thanx for providing us the teaching lesson of your videos!

    Thanks Allot…….. :-)

  24. Thank you so much for posting this free education course! I was fired from my job today (due to a large miscommunication) but with your free course I’m confident I’m sure to improve my life and earning power! Thanks again


  25. Thanks when I grow up I want to be just like you. I’m 45 now. (lol). Seriously great job. may God’s blessing precede you in all you attempt to do that is right and good.

  26. I have only took the first lesson, but will definitely continue tomorrow. I love your way of explaining the work. Thank you so much

  27. Thank you soooooo much, this video helped me big time to understand excel basics. Intend to go more into it, again thank you so very much.

  28. I alway wanted to learn this but everyone just confuse. This seem to be very direct, hopefully I can follow along since that’s my weak area. I was thinking I have to pay for a class and was very excited to find this
    Thanks Jean

    • Hi Adeel,

      I’m really sorry to hear about how difficult your work situation is.

      My website is only related to Excel 2010, but has over 5 hours of video lessons to help you learn how to use it. The site is completely 100% free.

      If you look at the Lesson Guide, it has all the videos in the order you should watch them if you want to become a master at Excel.

      Hope that helps.



  29. I was going to actually pay for a course and I cannot believe my luck stumbling across this site. I am very very grateful for this free tuition and your calm, clear and concise directions through the course have made it all seem so simple. even though I have perceived excel to be incredibly complicated.

    Thanks so much and I wish you the best for the future…

  30. Hello Ben, I just wanna let you know that your tutorial is awesome, clear and with detailed explanation! I’ve decided to learn and master Excel myself and certainly your great work and effort put in this project will allow me to do that. Please be proud of yourself and keep it up! Cheers from Brazil. :-)

  31. Nice introduction video.Even though I use Excel daily I want to make sure I don’t overlook one area. Believe it or not I learned the today function. I had to laugh that I had never used that. I’ll be going over more of these as time permits

  32. So happy someone told me about this site! The narrator is very clear and this lesson, (although I’m somewhat of an Excel user) taught me basic things that I really didn’t know because my learning just came from playing/working in Excel rather than having any type of formal training.

  33. thank you so much. i did the first beginners lesson and it was awesome, functional, informative and just at the right pace for me to think my way through your lessons. am definitely coming back for more!!

  34. thanks so much, your’e doing an invaluable service. i’m a newly single mom and even though i have basic skills on excel i know i am getting passed up a lot on jobs for not knowing how to use it at a more advanced level. i almost signed up for a very basic class for almost 200 bucks which would have been very painful for me at this point, thanks again!

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