Video Lesson: Basic Excel Formatting Techniques

Today’s video lesson goes through some of the basic formatting techniques in Excel 2010:

– How to Use the Auto-Fill Drag Handle / Fill Series Options

– How to Use the Format Painter

– Freeze / Unfreeze Panes

– Sheet Formatting (Coloring Tabs / Renaming)

– Print Area Setup / Print Options

Download the latest Master Workbook to follow along with the video!  The sheet titled “8 – Autofill” in the Master Workbook is what is used in the lesson example:

Now that you’ve got the basic formatting techniques down, why not learn about Conditional Formatting!

93 thoughts on “Video Lesson: Basic Excel Formatting Techniques

  1. hello i seem to be missing the sheet tabs and horizontal scrolling bar in the master workbook. i already went through the advanced options and checked the boxes and still nothing. HELP ME PLS

  2. Hi Ben, when you talk about Freezing Panes in this video, you show the little marker above the scroll bar which can be dragged down, although I appear to be working on the same version of Excel, I don’t seem to have that option. Is it something that needs to be ‘switched on’ in the various menus?

    • Hey David,

      This option is only visible if you have the panes ‘unfrozen’. Otherwise they are not able to be selected and dragged.

      It seems in future version of Excel (i’m in 2016 right now) that the option might have been removed as I don’t see it.

      Let me know if you’re still having trouble.


      Ben C.

  3. I’m very new to your site and so far it seems really great!! Thanks so much!! I’m curious though, are there any sort of exercises that are part of the program? If so, where would I find them? If not, do you know where I can find Excel exercises online to practice with? Thanks again!!

  4. This is the worst lesson I have ever had to be a part of. He is the worst teacher I have had the pleasure or non pleasure to listen to. you try to explain how to do things, but you dont tell the LISTENER if this happens do this. Not everyone is perfect in Excel and yes we are going to make mistakes. I am so frustrated I will make sure to tell all the people in know not to go on this website.

  5. Hello I just started viewing your lesson and they have been very helpful so I would like to start off by saying thanks! However quick question on your second video how did you get to the blank page without the cells when the videos come on you have days and dates in place. I know this is a very basic question but I have no experience with excel only what I have seen in your videos. How where you able to get the text on the page?

  6. The excel video class is very good and informative. You have done a great job. The way of explaining is very good and understandable. The master workbook is very helpful.

  7. incredible. I know nothing at all about excell, except I feel I need to learn it and i started tonight. I have already been thru and understand the first two lessons. If I can get this, this guy is good. Good job Ben.

  8. please help , i’m in indonesia , and the video won’t appear, not only in this guide , but all the lesson’s videos won’t appear. it’s remove by the other media. please help,maybe another link to learn this video?

  9. Hi Ben,

    I am using Excel 2007 and am not able to find that print page you were speaking about in the end. I could really use the scaling function and am having trouble figuring this out.

    Thanks for your time!

  10. when i drag down the cross it just copies the same text into all the cells. And when i click on the auto-fill options the only options are, “copy cells,” “fill with formatting,” and “fill without formatting.” The cell is formatted as “general.” any idea what im doing wrong?

  11. “Video Lesson: Basic Excel Formatting Techniques |
    Free Excel Training!” was indeed a fantastic blog post.
    If merely there was a whole lot more web blogs just like this amazing one on
    the actual internet. Nonetheless, thanks a lot for your personal precious time, Cleta

  12. Hi Ben, It was great. can you tell me again how to sort out upper and lower case letter
    for example: ASHLEY jAmin instead I want Ashley Jamin

  13. Hello Ben, I have Excel Starter 2010, will I be able to follow the lesson plan with this version, or will I be better off using my full version of Excel 2007. Thank you Teresa

    • Hey Teresa,

      I’ve actually never used Excel Start 2010, so I’m not sure of the differences.

      I would imagine it would be closer to 2010 than 2007 would be, but that’s just a guess.

      Sorry couldn’t be more helpful.



  14. Is there a special reader/viewer that I need to download before I can see the videos? My screen is black and I’m unable to watch videos…

  15. Hi Ben,

    Please guide me where could I find the data to practice all the functions you been teaching. while watching the video it seems so easy, but to practice I kinda get lost . if you could provide me the sample data it would be great to practice simultaneously.

  16. Absolutely awesome! Congratulations both for the hability to teach and the kindness to free offer it!

  17. This is an invaluable tutorial. Thanks so much for explaining the material in an easy to digest and very articulate fashion. My fear of MS Excel has been put to ease.

    • Hi Elena,

      Which version of Excel do you have?

      If you have 2010, you can right click the ribbon and go to ‘Customize Ribbon’.

      At the top you’ll see a drop-down list where it says ‘Choose commands from:’ with ‘Popular Commands’ as the default choice. Change that to ‘Main Tabs’, and you should see ‘View’ as one of the tabs listed. Click on ‘View’ and then click the button that says ‘Add >>’.

      Here’s a screenshot to help:

      Let me know if you’re still having issues.

      • Thank you, Ben for the fast replay! I have managed to add the VIEW tab. My excel is 2010.
        I simply followed the instructions and the screenshot.
        I appreciate it!!!

        For me this website is probably the most useful source of information regarding Excel.
        I have STEP By STEP book which is Microsoft edition but I am not satisfied.
        I also attended excel lectures at my University but didn’t like the way they were teaching us.

      • Hello Ben, I have Excel Starter 2010, will I be able to follow the lesson plan with this version, or will I be better off using my full version of Excel 2007. Thank you Teresa

  18. Hi Ben – Thank you very much for putting this up on the web. I always wanted to learn excel and this seems like a perfect start. One quick question, do you have the examples too in excel? I am trying to follow the video lessons but I spend a lot of time recreating the examples in excel and then following the videos. I don’t want to be presumptuous but it will be great if you can also have the examples in excel that way as we are watching the videos we can follow along more easily without having to type the

    • Hey Christine,

      As it mentions in the post (which I updated to reference the sheet), the Master Workbook has the examples in Excel to follow along with the video lesson. In this lesson, the sheet titled “8 – Autofill” is what is reviewed in the video.

      Some lessons have their own file, but most use the Master Workbook, but it should be mentioned/linked in each lesson as to which file you should use.

      Hope that helps.



  19. I really appreciate the way you have set out the series of lessons. I am keen to learn more about excel just for my own personal use and can’t afford an expensive course, and I am so grateful that someone has gone to this trouble and allowed us free access. Thank you.

  20. Thank you so much for the lessons. I am starting a new job that will require a much more comprehensive knowledge of excel and I thought I would have to pay hundreds of dollars and sit in a class to get this kind of instruction. Thanks again

    Nathan Haws

  21. just finished my associates degree but never really learned excel. I am transferring to a university this fall to study accounting. I want to get better familiarized with excel before then without having to enroll in a $650 course and these tutorials are everything I could ask for and then some. Thank you very much for taking the time to provide such a comprehensive set of lessons!

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