Chapter 3. Excel Basics

In this book, 1 assume that you already know the basics of Excel—that is, you have been using Excel for some time and can create spreadsheet solutions for simple financial and other problems, plot charts to present your results, and print out your results. So rather than cover all the basics of Excel in detail, I will first offer some general suggestions here on how to improve your Excel skills. I will then list all the basic features of Excel that you are likely to use extensively. In the process I will also point out things to which you should pay special attention and provide other guidance on the safe and efficient use of Excel.

If you are not familiar with any of these basic features of Excel, you should learn it now using Excel's online Help or other general Excel books. Knowing these basic features well is essential for learning the advanced features covered in the next chapters as well as for developing your financial modeling skills.

Incidentally, throughout the hook I refer to all the things you can do with Excel (or VBA) as features. Features include everything from the various ways that you can move around a worksheet to the many sophisticated tools, built-in functions, and so on, that Excel offers. Although Excel has literally thousands of features, in most of your modeling you will use only a selected group of them; however, you wilt need to know this group of features well. This is the group of features that I will cover in this part of the book. ...

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