• Course Introduction

        • Time: 4 hours
        • Free Certificate
        This course is a comprehensive introduction to Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets. We will discuss spreadsheets, their terminology, and their components, and explore how to use a spreadsheet in your everyday life at work, school, and home.

        Google based its free spreadsheet program Google Sheets on Microsoft Excel when it first released it in 2006. They continue to share many of the same formatting features and functions. You can use either program in this beginner-level course. Google Sheets is free to use for anyone with a Google account, and Microsoft offers a free 30-day subscription to Excel 365 if you would like to try it for a limited time. Most colleges and public libraries also offer public computer stations with a spreadsheet program you can use.

        First, read the course syllabus. Then, enroll in the course by clicking "Enroll me in this course". Click Unit 1 to read its introduction and learning outcomes. You will then see the learning materials and instructions on how to use them.

      • Unit 1: Getting Started with Spreadsheets

        Spreadsheets allow us to organize and manipulate sets of data. Using spreadsheets, we can enter large amounts of numerical data, organize it, and perform calculations using the data. Later in the course, we will use spreadsheets to create personal budgets and business invoices. In this unit, we will describe the primary components of a spreadsheet and how to enter and edit data.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 1 hour.

        • 1.1: Identifying Parts of a Spreadsheet

          In this section, we identify the important features of a spreadsheet. When we open a spreadsheet program, we see a worksheet. A worksheet is simply the spreadsheet you use to enter and manipulate your data. A spreadsheet is a grid of rows and columns. Across the top of the spreadsheet, you will see letters to mark the columns. Down the left hand side of the spreadsheet, you will see numbers to mark the rows.

          Each block in the spreadsheet is called a cell. The cell is defined by its column letter and row number. For example, the cell in the top left hand corner of a spreadsheet is A1, because it is in column A and row 1 of the spreadsheet.

        • 1.2: Entering and Editing Data in Spreadsheets

          Now that we understand the parts of the spreadsheet, we can begin inputting data. Because spreadsheets often contain large amounts of numerical data, it is important to organize your spreadsheet by using headings to label your data. This prevents confusion if you or someone else needs to use your spreadsheet later.

        • Unit 1 Assessment

      • Unit 2: Basic Commands and Functions

        We use spreadsheets to organize large amounts of data to perform calculations, and we often need to present our data in tables or graphs. In this unit, we will explore how to enter data and format it, and how to create and use formulas to manipulate data. 

        You should think about your spreadsheet as a presentation for an audience, whether that audience is your boss, your colleagues, or even yourself. Your data will often be more understandable and easier to manipulate with formulas when the data is organized and makes sense.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 2 hours.

        • 2.1: Formatting Data

          We use spreadsheets to organize large amounts of data, to perform calculations, and to present data in the form of tables or graphs. Because of this, it is important to format the data in a spreadsheet clearly and for its intended purpose. This can involve sorting and editing data that is organized in columns and rows.

        • 2.2: Using Spreadsheets to Create Simple Formulas

          We use formulas to perform calculations on our data, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

        • 2.3: Creating Tables and Graphs of Data

          One of the benefits of using spreadsheet software is that you can use tables and graphs to present large amounts of data. Tables and graphs communicate information better than a simple spreadsheet of data. When you think about how to present data, you must first determine the appropriate type of graph or table for the specific data you want to communicate. For example, a pie graph may be a good way to show demographics of a group of voters, but it would not be a good way to show a weather forecast.

        • Unit 2 Assessment

      • Unit 3: Spreadsheet Design and Implementation

        The way we design the columns and rows of our spreadsheet helps us present data to our audience in a way that lets them quickly understand how the information in each cell relates to that in the other cells. When you configure your spreadsheet correctly, you can also perform data calculations quickly and efficiently. In this unit, we will explore two common spreadsheets applications: budgets and work statements. We will use these examples to study how to optimize the design of our spreadsheets.

        Completing this unit should take you approximately 1 hour.

        • 3.1: Creating a Budget

          We can use spreadsheet software to create budgets for personal and business applications by using the formatting and formula functions we discussed earlier. Let's look at three examples of how to use a spreadsheet to manage a budget.

        • 3.2: Creating an Invoice or Work Estimate

          In business, we often need to make invoices, billing statements, and work estimates. We can accomplish all of these tasks using spreadsheet software.

        • Unit 3 Assessment

      • Course Feedback Survey

        Please take a few minutes to give us feedback about this course. We appreciate your feedback, whether you completed the whole course or even just a few resources. Your feedback will help us make our courses better, and we use your feedback each time we make updates to our courses.

        If you come across any urgent problems, email contact@saylor.org or post in our discussion forum.

      • Certificate Final Exam

        Take this exam if you want to earn a free Course Completion Certificate.

        To receive a free Course Completion Certificate, you will need to earn a grade of 70% or higher on this final exam. Your grade for the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you can take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt.

        Once you pass this final exam, you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.