Excel Tutorial: What Is Microsoft Excel 2016


Microsoft Excel 2016 is a powerful spreadsheet program that allows users to organize, analyze, and visualize data. It is part of the Microsoft Office suite and is widely used in the business world for its numerous features and capabilities. From creating budgets and financial reports to tracking inventory and managing data, Excel 2016 is an essential tool for professionals in a variety of industries.

Key Takeaways

  • Microsoft Excel 2016 is a powerful spreadsheet program used for organizing, analyzing, and visualizing data.
  • It is widely used in the business world for its numerous features and capabilities.
  • Excel 2016 is essential for professionals in various industries for tasks such as creating budgets, tracking inventory, and managing data.
  • The program offers new features and improvements, as well as integration with other Microsoft Office applications.
  • Users can navigate Excel 2016 efficiently, perform data entry and formatting, utilize formulas and functions, and analyze and visualize data effectively.

Features of Microsoft Excel 2016

Microsoft Excel 2016 comes with a host of new features and improvements, making it a powerful tool for data analysis and visualization, as well as seamless integration with other Microsoft Office applications.

A. New features and improvements

Microsoft Excel 2016 has introduced several new features and improvements that enhance its functionality and usability. These include the following:

  • Enhanced charting tools: Excel 2016 offers improved charting tools, making it easier to create professional-looking charts and graphs for data visualization.
  • One-click forecasting: Users can now easily create forecasts for their data series with just a single click, using the new forecasting tool in Excel 2016.
  • New data analysis tools: Excel 2016 includes new tools for data analysis, such as the "Quick Analysis" feature that provides recommendations for formatting, charts, and more based on the data selected.
  • Improved collaboration: With the introduction of real-time collaboration, users can now work on Excel spreadsheets with others simultaneously, making it easier to share and collaborate on projects.

B. Analysis and data visualization tools

Microsoft Excel 2016 provides users with an array of powerful tools for data analysis and visualization, helping them make sense of large datasets and present their findings effectively. Some of the key tools include:

  • PivotTables and PivotCharts: Excel 2016 offers advanced PivotTable and PivotChart functionality, allowing users to summarize and analyze large datasets with ease.
  • Power Query and Power Pivot: These tools enable users to import and manipulate data from various sources and create sophisticated data models for analysis.
  • Power View and Power Map: Excel 2016 includes these visualization tools, which allow users to create interactive maps, charts, and other visualizations to explore and present their data.

C. Integration with other Microsoft Office applications

Excel 2016 seamlessly integrates with other Microsoft Office applications, allowing users to work more efficiently and effectively across the suite. Some of the key integrations include:

  • Integration with Word and PowerPoint: Users can easily insert Excel charts and tables into Word documents and PowerPoint presentations, maintaining a consistent look and feel across their documents.
  • Integration with Outlook: Excel 2016 allows users to send spreadsheets and collaborate on projects directly from Outlook, streamlining the communication and collaboration process.
  • Integration with OneDrive and SharePoint: Users can save and access their Excel files on OneDrive or SharePoint, enabling them to work on their spreadsheets from anywhere and collaborate with others more effectively.

How to Navigate Microsoft Excel 2016

Microsoft Excel 2016 is a powerful tool for data analysis and reporting. To make the most of this software, it's important to know how to navigate its interface efficiently. In this chapter, we'll explore the different ways you can navigate Microsoft Excel 2016, including using the ribbon and quick access toolbar, shortcuts and keyboard commands, and customizing the interface to suit your needs.

A. Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar

The ribbon is the tabbed toolbar at the top of the Excel window that contains all the tools and commands you need to work with your data. The quick access toolbar, located above the ribbon, allows you to add frequently used commands for easy access.

1. Navigating the Ribbon

  • Click on the different tabs to access tools and commands for specific tasks, such as formatting, data analysis, and charting.
  • Each tab is divided into groups of related tools, making it easy to find the command you need.

2. Customizing the Quick Access Toolbar

  • Click on the dropdown arrow at the end of the quick access toolbar and select "More Commands" to add or remove commands.
  • Choose "Show Below the Ribbon" to move the toolbar below the ribbon for easier access.

B. Using Shortcuts and Keyboard Commands

Shortcuts and keyboard commands can greatly improve your efficiency when working with Excel. Knowing these commands can help you perform tasks more quickly and with fewer errors.

1. Common Shortcuts

  • Cut: Ctrl + X
  • Copy: Ctrl + C
  • Paste: Ctrl + V

2. Keyboard Commands

  • Pressing the Alt key reveals the keyboard shortcuts for various commands on the ribbon.
  • For example, pressing Alt and then H brings up the "Home" tab, and pressing H again activates the "Find and Replace" command.

C. Customizing the Interface

Customizing the Excel interface allows you to work in a way that best suits your needs and preferences. You can add or remove commands, change the layout of the ribbon, and even create your own custom tabs.

1. Adding Commands to the Ribbon

  • Right-click on the ribbon and select "Customize the Ribbon" to add or remove commands from the tabs.
  • Select "New Tab" to create a custom tab with your own commands for specific tasks.

2. Changing the Interface Layout

  • Go to the "File" tab, select "Options," and then choose "Customize Ribbon" to change the order of the tabs or hide certain tabs based on your preferences.
  • You can also change the color scheme and font size under the "General" tab in the Excel Options menu.

Data Entry and Formatting

Entering and editing data

  • Excel is primarily used for entering, storing, and manipulating data. To enter data into a cell, simply click on the desired cell and start typing. Pressing Enter will move you to the cell below, while pressing Tab will move you to the cell to the right.
  • To edit data, double-click on the cell you want to edit or click on the formula bar to make changes. You can also use the delete or backspace keys to remove data.
  • Excel also provides features such as AutoFill, which allows you to quickly fill a series of cells with a sequence of data, and Flash Fill, which can automatically recognize patterns and complete data entry for you.

Formatting cells and data

  • Excel offers a wide range of formatting options to customize the appearance of your data. This includes changing fonts, adjusting cell alignment, applying borders and shading, and more.
  • You can also format numbers as currency, percentages, dates, or times, as well as apply conditional formatting to highlight specific data based on certain criteria.
  • Additionally, Excel allows you to merge and wrap cells, add hyperlinks, and insert images to enhance the visual presentation of your data.

Using styles and themes

  • Styles and themes in Excel can help you maintain a consistent look and feel throughout your workbook. You can apply predefined cell styles to quickly format your data with a professional appearance.
  • Themes allow you to apply a set of coordinated fonts, colors, and effects to your entire workbook with a single click, ensuring a cohesive design across all worksheets.
  • By utilizing styles and themes, you can streamline the formatting process and create visually appealing spreadsheets that are easy to read and understand.

Formulas and Functions

Microsoft Excel 2016 is a powerful tool that allows users to perform a wide range of calculations and data analysis. One of its key features is the ability to use formulas and functions to manipulate data and perform complex calculations.

A. Basic arithmetic and logical functions
  • Sum, Average, and Count

    Excel provides basic arithmetic functions such as Sum, Average, and Count which allow users to quickly calculate the total, average, and count of a range of numbers.

  • If, And, and Or

    Logical functions such as If, And, and Or can be used to perform conditional calculations based on certain criteria, making it easy to analyze data and make decisions.

B. Advanced formulas for data analysis
  • Vlookup and Hlookup

    Excel offers advanced lookup functions such as Vlookup and Hlookup which allow users to search for specific values within a dataset and retrieve corresponding information.

  • Sumif and Countif

    These functions enable users to perform conditional summing and counting based on specified criteria, providing powerful tools for data analysis and reporting.

C. Using functions for complex calculations
  • Index and Match

    Excel’s Index and Match functions allow users to perform advanced lookups and retrieve data from specific rows and columns, providing more flexibility than traditional lookup functions.

  • Sumproduct

    This function is used for performing complex multiplicative calculations on multiple arrays, making it a valuable tool for advanced data analysis and modeling.

Data Analysis and Visualization

Microsoft Excel 2016 is a powerful tool for data analysis and visualization, allowing users to manipulate large sets of data to draw insights and make informed decisions. In this chapter, we will explore the key features of Excel 2016 that facilitate data analysis and visualization.

A. Sorting and filtering data
  • Sorting: Excel allows users to easily sort data in ascending or descending order based on one or multiple criteria. This feature is particularly useful when working with large datasets to identify patterns or trends.
  • Filtering: With Excel's filtering capabilities, users can quickly narrow down a dataset to view only the relevant information. Filters can be applied based on specific criteria, such as text, numbers, dates, or custom conditions.

B. Pivot tables and chart creation
  • Pivot tables: Pivot tables are a powerful tool for summarizing and analyzing large amounts of data. Users can easily rearrange and manipulate the layout of the pivot table to view data in a meaningful way, making it an essential feature for data analysis.
  • Chart creation: Excel 2016 offers a variety of chart types, such as bar, line, pie, and scatter plots, to visually represent data. Users can customize the appearance and formatting of charts to effectively convey insights and trends to stakeholders.

C. Conditional formatting and data validation
  • Conditional formatting: This feature allows users to apply formatting to cells based on specific conditions. For example, users can highlight cells that meet certain criteria, such as exceeding a threshold or containing specific text, to draw attention to important data points.
  • Data validation: Excel 2016 enables users to set validation rules for data entry, ensuring that only valid and consistent data is inputted into the spreadsheet. This feature is particularly useful for maintaining data integrity and accuracy.


In conclusion, Microsoft Excel 2016 is an essential tool for data management and analysis in both professional and personal settings. Its powerful features and user-friendly interface make it a staple in the world of spreadsheets and data organization. It's important to continue learning and using Excel to take advantage of its capabilities and streamline your data-related tasks.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced user, Excel offers a wide range of functions and tools that can benefit you in various ways. So, keep exploring and utilizing Excel to enhance your data management and analysis skills.

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