About our top-selling Excel tutorial

Here’s your chance to finally learn how to use Microsoft Excel! In a single sitting, this quick and easy user guide will help you learn MS Excel basics, from navigating the home screen to working with formulas and charts. It’s a great Excel tutorial that will help you in the office, at school, or even at home.

Excel Basics In 30 Minutes, 3rd Edition is written in plain English, with lots of step-by-step instructions and screenshots that demonstrate exactly what to do. This MS Excel tutorial references Excel 2019, but most of the step-by-step instructions apply to earlier versions of MS Excel released as part of the Microsoft Office and Office 365 suites, including Excel 2016. If you don’t own Excel, the book explains how to use two free online spreadsheets programs: Excel Online and Google Sheets (part of the Google Drive online office suite). The book also explains how to use the Excel mobile apps for Android and iOS.

Topics covered

  • Excel screen layout, cells, and terminology
  • Excel 2019 vs. Excel Online vs. Google Sheets
  • Excel for iOS and Excel for Android
  • Basic Excel formatting
  • AutoFill
  • Excel formulas and functions
  • How to make charts in Excel
  • Sorting and filtering
  • Collaboration and sharing
  • Exporting PDF, CSV, and other forms
  • Printing tips
  • Excel import and export formats (PDF, .CSV, .TSV, text, etc.)

This is not an Excel bible, but rather a basic Excel tutorial and reference that answers the core questions that any new Excel user will have:

  • What is a spreadsheet?
  • What are cells?
  • What is the button with the Greek letter for?
  • How can Excel spreadsheets create basic financial projections?
  • How can certain data in a worksheet be highlighted?
  • How can data be alphabetized or ranked?
  • How to edit a chart in Excel
  • How to print an Excel spreadsheet without cutting off columns

The third edition is up-to-date with new instructions and high-resolution screenshots of Excel 2019, Excel Online, and the new Google Sheets. It includes new sections about collaboration, OneDrive, and other features.

If you don’t own Excel, the book explains how to use a free online spreadsheets program called Google Sheets. Buy the guide today!

Fast and easy, this book is everything it claims to be. The material presented is very basic but it is also incredibly accessible with step-by-step screenshots and a friendly tone more like a friend or co-worker explaining how to use Excel than a technical manual.


I liked the concept that the title implies — a concise guide that will distill what I need and allow me to complete a task quickly.


An excellent little guide. For those who already know their way around Excel, it’ll be a good refresher course. For those who don’t, it’s a clear, easy-to-follow handbook of time-saving and stress- avoiding skills in Excel. Definitely plan on passing it around the office.


I have found these books to be very helpful as they deal with the important items that allow one to get up and running quickly with a minimum of side issue discussion.


One thing I particularly liked about "Excel Basics in 30 minutes" is that it covers BOTH the MS Excel basics and the Google version basics.


I was impressed that the book does go into some of the "meat" of Excel while still being a book that someone with NO previous exposure to a spreadsheet can grasp.


This is a good introduction book as noted in the title. It doesn’t go far, but it covers the basics.


Excerpt - Excel: Not just for nerds!

Some years ago, a colleague stopped by my cubicle and asked for help with a project he was working on. John wanted to create a long list of names, categorize them, and assign a score on a scale of one to 10 for each one. He also needed to identify the top scores and create category averages.

John knew I was familiar with all kinds of desktop and online software. He asked, “Which one would you recommend for these types of tasks?”

“That’s easy,” I answered. “Enter the data into Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. You can then alphabetize the list, sort by the highest and lowest scores, and draw out category averages. You can even create neat-looking charts based on the results.” I used Excel to whip up a basic list, and emailed him the file.

John thanked me profusely, but admitted, “I have only the vaguest idea about Excel and almost no experience with spreadsheets.”

John’s situation is not unusual. Millions of people know that Excel can be used for financial tracking and number crunching. They may have even opened Excel and entered some numbers into a corporate expense worksheet.

Nevertheless, Excel suffers from an image problem. Most people assume that spreadsheet programs such as Excel are intended for accountants, analysts, financiers, scientists, mathematicians, and other geeky types. Creating a spreadsheet, sorting data, using functions, and making charts seems daunting. Many think that these are tasks best left to the nerds.

I’m here to tell you that spreadsheets are not just for nerds. Almost anyone can use Excel for work, school, personal projects and other uses. I’ve written this guide to help you quickly get up to speed on basic concepts, using plain English, step-by-step instructions, and lots of screenshots. Thirty minutes from now, you’ll know how to:

  • Create a spreadsheet and enter numbers and text into cells.
  • Perform addition, multiplication, and other simple mathematical functions.
  • Derive values based on percentages.
  • Perform timesaving tasks, such as sorting large lists and automatically applying the same formula across a range of values.
  • Make great-looking charts.
  • You can imagine how these techniques can help in real-world situations, from tracking household expenses to making sales projections. You can even use them to organize events, and track the office football pool.

We only have 30 minutes, so let’s get started!