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The basic functions of Excel 2013 that you may need to know.

Updated on September 30, 2014

What is Excel?

Are you currently job hunting and the job you are searching for lists Microsoft Excel as a requirement? Excel is useful tool that businesses are using to create charts, calculate finances, and maximize data storage and information. The excel spreadsheet is a benefit to almost all companies, therefore could make you the employee an asset. You do not need to hold a degree in Information Technology to operate excel. You do need to know basic function and keys. Some jobs even require you to prove that you possess the necessary skills. The training below is provided to help you pass your employment exam and learn some basic keys.

Excel is a product available as the Microsoft Office Suite.

Open Excel file
Open Excel file

Training Module

Listed below is a step by step on basic keys and function of Excel 2013. It is very similar to 2010 but the location of certain keys may be different.

Open Excel

To open a file in Excel, You must first go to File, then Open. Most exams require you to open a file that is already store on their desktop. You may also use the File for other purposes.

Insert a row

You may be asked to insert in a certain area. One thing to know before inserting the row is the highlighted area is usually where the row will be inserted. Vertical and horizontal points will also be significant. You can just hit the insert button once and it will insert the area you have identified.

Click on the thumbnails below to view example of insertion point vertically and horizontally.


Click thumbnail to view full-size

Example of Bold, Italic, Font

Bold, Italic, Underline, font, and font size (sometimes referred to as pt.)

You can find these keys under the category of font. Bold is used to change the wording such as bold to bold. (I) also known as the Italic is used for slanting the typed words. U is for underlying.

There are many font sizes and most likely the exam will ask you to pick a specific font such as Arial, Times new Roman. If you begin typing the specific font, it will pop up in the bar.

The example highlights how each key function works.

Quick Access tool bar

Copy, Paste, and Save

You must also know how to copy a cell, paste the cell, and save the workbook. It does exactly as it says. It is important to know where these key functions are located. You will have to save the file without changing the view. If the exam tells you that you cannot change the view, then you are required to save the file without going to the file tab. The save key is located in the quick access toolbar and looks like a disk.

Rename the sheet

Rename the sheet as (they will give you the name). Double click the sheet page twice and then type the name. You might also have to add a new sheet. Just click on the what looks like the plus sign tab.

Additional Information that you will need to know.

The beauty of learning Microsoft is that you do not need to be already employed to learn it. It is available for anyone and everyone. I will list a few more things that you will need to know for your employment exam. I recommend that you practice at home and become familiar of the keys. The biggest struggle for most employees is not knowing where the keys are or the purpose of the keys. I will attempt to put in as much details to assist you in your journey to learn excel, and succeed in your prove it exams.

  • You will be asked to change the cell formats and reflect it as U.S. Currency. It is located in the number category as a $. You will just have to click it.
  • Change the alignment of cells. The alignment cells are under the alignment category. You would have to align left, right, or center. (Caution) The alignment and indent serve different functions and look similar.
  • Create a border using (they will tell you which border).

Other things that you will have to demonstrate.

As the exam goes on, It will become a little bit more complex. Don't fret, it just takes some practice to get used to.

  • Use average function key to calculate the selected cells.
  • Change the width to automatically fit.
  • Create a chart from a specific chart.
  • Change the chart style.
  • Merge and center selected cells.
  • Sort the cells in ascending or descending order.
  • Change the page margin.
  • Modify cells to automatically wrap around.
  • Perform a spelling check.
  • Change orientation to landscape.
  • Add a footer
  • Center the worksheets horizontally and vertically.

I know that this may be a lot of information. It is just some of the things that is required in an employment test. There are a few more and I do not want to overwhelm you with information without the steps. Please look for Part II coming soon. Until then practice and get familiar with these steps. The best of luck to you. Light and Love.

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