Awesome Excel Basic and Intermediate Training for Free

Consulting Tools and Frameworks

What you don’t know you don’t know can hurt you!

Here’s where to get awesome Excel basic and intermediate training at no cost.

Years back I used to teach at University of California, Berkeley. I always tried to call my students, managers and executives, prior to the course and learn their needs. I had an accountant tell me he was an expert in Excel – he’d been using it for years. When I asked what he used it for he told me how SUM saved him time totaling columns. I asked if he used it for charting. “It does charts?” I asked if he needed to sort, search, or analyze lists or databases. “It does data analysis?” He was an expert at what he knew, but, “He didn’t know, what he didn’t know.”

You want to make sure you and your team know how Excel can make life easier and make your work better. This article gives you the best sites I know where you can learn Excel’s basic and intermediate features – FOR FREE.

In the article following this one I’ll show you my favorite sites for advanced Excel users.

Critical to Success is expanding to include
Business Success Accelerators

Critical to Success will continue to help you use the power of Excel to improve business performance. But, Critical to Success is expanding to include,

Business Success Accelerators

Future issues and website topics will include leadership skills, manager tools, and professional expertise that are critical to business success.

If there are specific topics that accelerate business and career performance you would like to see, please let me know your thoughts.

Learn Excel Basics and Microsoft Office with Detailed Training for Free

In the USA, Goodwill is one of the places where people drop-off clothes or household items for reuse and resale. The items and their proceeds are used to help low-income families.

Proceeds also help fund the Goodwill Community Foundation in their work with job seekers. This foundation produces more than 1,000 different lessons on more than 90 topics about work skills. Many of these well-done videos, interactives, and text courses cover Microsoft Office 2010 through 2016. Of course, Microsoft Excel is included.

If you have someone who is a true beginner with Microsoft Office or Excel, start with the Goodwill Community Foundation courses. These courses go into more detail for novices than some of the other novice courses.

Pass this article on to members of your team or work group who will might benefit from a better foundation in Excel and MS Office. It costs NOTHING and could help them a lot!

Click here to go to Goodwill Community Foundation training on the full suite of Microsoft Office 2010 to 2016.

Training for the full Microsoft suites on the Goodwill Foundation site.

Click here to start learning the basics of Excel 2016.

Detailed instructional and video Excel tutorials on the Goodwill Foundation site.

Learn with Great Step-by-Step Excel Tutorials

Excel Easy, at, has hundreds of well-written, easy to follow text tutorials. If you already know Excel basics and are looking for a quick step-by-step tutorial, this is the place to go. (It also teaches advanced topics like VBA.)

Niels Weterings started Excel Easy while pursuing a master’s degree in Operations Research and Management at the University of Amsterdam. The tutorials are clean, concise, and very easy to understand.

Excel Easy Basic Tutorials

Excel Easy Basic Tutorials

Make sure you also checkout the other Excel content on the site including the 300 Examples.

Excel Easy 300 Examples

Excel Easy 300 Examples

Excel Easy is also described later in this blog as a good site for step-by-step training on Excel’s internal programming language, Visual Basic for Applications (VBA).

Learn Excel Basic and Intermediate Skills at the UK Microsoft Support Site for Free

The Microsoft Support site is much better than the text only site from years past. However, I still recommend complete beginners use the Goodwill site to get their initial Excel foundation.

Click here to go to the Microsoft Excel learning center in England.

Introductory and intermediate Excel training on the Microsoft UK site.

Introductory and intermediate Excel training on the Microsoft UK site.

The link to training on the United Kingdom/Great Britain site is hard to find, but this site has better training than the US site.

The initial screen has a poor user-interface, but the content is good. It opens assuming everyone wants to “Learn from the Experts” as shown in the lower area enclosed in red. However, if you are a beginner or intermediate you will want to click the icons under the search box at the top.

These icons cover basics such as formulas and functions, importing data, formatting, and troubleshooting. It’s a good complement to the Goodwill Foundation training.

Microsoft has more advanced Excel instructions at the USA based support site.

Click here to see Microsoft’s help for intermediate users at their USA site.

Intermediate Excel training on the US Microsoft Support site.

Learn Excel with YouTube-Videos by
“Mr. Excel”, Bill Jelen, for Free

If you prefer to learn by watching (mostly) short videos, take a look at the extensive list of YouTube videos produced by Bill Jelen, “Mr. Excel.” Bill has a personable style and his videos are concise, informative, and easy to understand. Bill has also written a number of good Excel books. (I am not an affiliate.)

Click here to see the beginning of Bill’s extensive list of Excel videos.

Mr. Excel's video tutorials on YouTube.

Click the Subscribe button if you want to mark his site for quick access. Last time I searched, Bill had over 1,000 videos so I recommend using Google to find Bill’s video on the specific Excel topic you want. For example, use a Google search like,

YouTube Bill Jelen Excel Formatting

Learn Excel from Basics to Advanced with Chandoo for Free

One of the most amazing Excel websites is run by Chandoo. Chandoo, whose real name is Purna Duggirala, is an Indian MBA and Computer Science graduate who is a true wizard at pushing Excel to the limits.

Click here to go to Chandoo’s free online Excel tutorial for beginners. But, his tutorials are just the beginning. Browse through the menus and advanced topics. There is a lot of astounding content there.

Chandoo's Excel tutorial page

As some of you know, I’ve been using Excel since before its public release in 1984/5. I know or have tried most Excel functions and have built large, critical spreadsheets, but Chandoo goes above and beyond my mundane skills. He and his cohorts have pushed Excel to do some really crazy and powerful things, without resorting to VBA.

Chandoo has one of the largest collections of advanced Excel techniques on the web. Your time is well spent just browsing through Chandoo’s menus and topics.

My Favorite Websites for Advanced Excel Users

Don’t miss the next newsletter.

In the next newsletter I will list my favorite websites for intermediate and advanced Excel users. If you do advanced dashboards, build arcane formulas, do PivotTable analytics, use Power Pivot, debug VBA, and all that magical stuff, then watch for the next article with a list of the best advanced Excel sites.

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