Basic skills in using Excel

book cover Produced by Graham Currell, University of the West of England, Bristol, in association with:
Royal Society of Chemistry, 'Discover Maths for Chemists' website
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Essential Mathematics and Statistics for Science, 2nd Edition
   Graham Currell and Antony Dowman, Wiley-Blackwell, 2009

This study unit uses video to demonstrate basic skills in the use of Excel.

It is possible to:

  • Use Excel functions to perform specific calculations
    e.g. =SQRT(B4) will calculate the square root of the value in cell B4.
  • Write equations directly into Excel cells,
    e.g. =B5*B6/SQRT(B4) will multiply the contents of B5 and B6 and divide by the square root of B4.
  • Use Data Analysis tools. These are not normally loaded when Excel is first installed, but can be added later (see video) using Add-Ins.

Additional video help on the use of Excel 2007 is available:

Important notes on calculations in Excel:

  • Equations and functions are dynamic. Their results change if the source data is changed, e.g. the value of SQRT(B4) will change if the value in B4 is changed.
  • The calculations in the Data Analysis tools are static. They are a single-shot calculation, whose results do NOT change if the source data changes.

Study Guide for the straight line and linear regression: