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9 Beginner Excel Tips

This is the third in our series of Microsoft Office application tips and I’ve got 9 beginner Excel Tips for you in video form.

I’m classifying these as beginner tips. They are tasks that a typical Excel user would probably do on a daily basis when using spreadsheets. Things like resizing columns, inserting rows or columns and basic formulas.

Here’s the list of 9 tips I cover in this video.

9 beginner microsoft excel tips

Link to the 9 Excel Tips Video

Excel is probably my favorite of all the Microsoft Office products. I use it more than the others. Like all Microsoft applications, it is very powerful. Even though it can be intimidating, there are so many resources to help you out.

Take The Excel Tour

For example, if you use Excel 2016 or 2013, when you first start it up, you see the backstage view where there are a multitude of templates to make just about any kind of job you have easier to do.

Have you noticed or ever looked at the tour right at your fingertips when you first get to Excel? There’s a quick intro of:

  • Adding numbers
  • Autofill
  • Splitting data in rows apart (such as names)
  • Transposing data – switching columns and rows
  • Sorting and filtering
  • Tables – Excel is great at making and formatting them
  • Drop-downs – how to insert a drop-down list
  • Quick analysis of a chunk of data
  • Charts – who doesn’t love all the newest charting function!

excel backstage tour

New Excel Inking Features!

Whether you’re an Office 365 subscriber or just use Excel 2016/2013, you have some cool inking features to take advantage of. Features and how to get them are below. (This is copied and pasted directly from

Inking Features for Excel 2016/2013

Find the drawing tools

Go to the Review tab and select Start Inking to display the Ink Tools and Pens tab.

Shows the Start Inking button on the Review tab in Office

Write or draw

  1. Under Ink Tools >Pens choose Pen.Shows the Pen button in Ink Tools in Office
  2. To change the ink color and stroke width, point to the color and width (0.35mm – 0.5mm) you want.
  3. On the touch screen, begin writing or drawing.Shows Pen style options in OfficeShows an example of Inked words in a Word document

Inking Features for Office 365 Subscribers

Inking tools are available on the Draw tab of the ribbon, but by default, that tab is not turned on. To make the optional Draw tab visible:

  1. On the File menu, select Options.
  2. Tap the Customize Ribbon tab in the Options dialog box.
  3. In the box on the right side of the dialog box, tap the check box labeled Draw.The Draw tab remains visible on the ribbon in this app until you return to this dialog box and turn off this option.

Write, draw, or highlight text

The new pen set (available to Office Insiders) is customizable and portable. You define the pens you want to have, and they are then available in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

  1. On the Draw tab of the Ribbon, tap a pen or highlighter to select it.Pens and highlighters on the Draw tab in Office 2016
  2. Tap again to open the menu of Thickness and Color options for the pen. Select your preferred size and color.

    • There are five pen thickness settings ranging from .25 mm to 3.5 mm. Select a thickness or use the plus or minus sign to make your pen thicker or thinner.
    • Sixteen solid colors are available on the menu, with more available when you tap More Colors.
    • Eight effects are also available: Rainbow, Galaxy, Lava, Ocean, Rose Gold, Gold, Silver, and Bronze.
    Color and thickness options for a pen in the Office pen gallery on the Draw tab
  3. On the touch screen, begin writing or drawing.



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