Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Need suggestion on fastest way to learn Excel
Old 06-04-2008, 06:09 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
Need suggestion on fastest way to learn Excel

Must learn Excel fast. Any suggestions as to the fastest route to knowledge? I can take a course at the community college here, maybe find one online even, or I could buy a Excel for Dummies book. Since I have no knowledge of how easy it is, any suggestions from someone who actually knows this program?:confused:
__________________

__________________
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 06-04-2008, 06:47 PM   #2
Moderator
Ronstar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: A little ways southwest of Chicago
Posts: 9,336
I took a beginning Excel course at a community college several years ago and it helped a bunch. It wasnt a credit course - only about 6-8 sessions. I've done the same with Microsoft Frontpage and Visual Basic. I liked the structure of having to go to class and interaction with instructor and students - I couldnt have learned as fast online or from a book.
__________________

__________________
Ronstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 07:55 PM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
BunsGettingFirm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,502
How advanced do you need to get?
__________________
BunsGettingFirm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2008, 10:23 PM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,925
Probably depends on how you yourself learn best. I like the Dummies/Idiot series of books and they might work for you as might the classes. When I was trying to learn,
there was an tutorial program on the computer but I found that I didn't really learn
well until I tried to do a problem that I personally was interested in. At that point
the details finally started to sink in. It's kind of liking learning about taxes.....there
are so many things to learn that you might get lost trying to absorb everything but if you concentrate on your own personal situation it might be more manageable and you might be more motivated.
__________________
kaneohe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 09:33 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
Must learn Excel fast.
Why? Is some one holding a gun to your head? Or is there some specific pressing problem that you believe only the mathematical power of a computer will solve? My standard answer to this kind of question has always been: "Is this something that you are currently doing with pencil and legal pad and find that you need to do it more efficiently (or accurately)?"

Excel is one of those programs that is exactly like "doing it with a pencil and legal pad." Oh sure, you get to pretty it up so it looks good on paper but that's hardly the most learning intensive part of using a calculator -- the math is. (I admit that formatting is frustrating perhaps but easily mastered enough to "get by.")

In any event, the fastest way to learn is just sit down and start typing.
__________________
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 10:00 AM   #6
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
donheff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 8,634
I like the "Dummies" series. But Microsoft has some online tutorials you could try:
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/tr...831141033.aspx
__________________
Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson
donheff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 10:20 AM   #7
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,824
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
In any event, the fastest way to learn is just sit down and start typing.
This worked really well for me when I first needed it back in 1989, though each person is different. At the time I had never seen a computer spreadsheet, and I was tasked with typing in a long series of numbers, computing a five day running mean, and producing a nice plot of the running mean before lunch. That wasn't as hard as it sounds, and I learned how to type in a formula, copy down, navigate the spreadsheet, and plot. After that, I had the basics and picked up what I needed pretty fast.

I think best with Excel so I use it for nearly everything. I have never taken a class in Excel or read a book about it, but I have used it at home and at work every day for 19 years and the things I normally do come pretty naturally at this point.

If I have to do something else, I have to battle the help files like anybody else. That hasn't happened for at least 5 years, though. Maybe 10. Sometimes someone will ask me a question about something I don't do with it, and I just look stupified.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 10:23 AM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
bright eyed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,891
you could probably learn what you need from a half day or so class.
__________________
If i think of something clever to say, i'll put it here...
bright eyed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 10:25 AM   #9
Moderator Emeritus
Bestwifeever's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 16,372
Call your community college (or go to its bookstore) and ask what workbook they use for their intro Excel class. You'll learn the basics from that book right away.

Good luck--Excel is awesome (I never used it in business but did pick it up for driving all DD's wedding info and other household things).
__________________
Bestwifeever is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 10:32 AM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
OAG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Central, Ohio, USA
Posts: 2,598
Hit the Library. Checkout some of the larger books on the subject. Be sure to get ones that cover the version of Excel you plan to use - big changes in Excel 2007 over past versions. The changes are more or less cosmetic but then it is Graphical in nature now. However, just sitting down (as already mentioned) and working some exercises building spreadsheets like the ones you plan to be doing is the best means to learn (IMO). No substitute for "hands on learning" just do not get discouraged as the program is VERY powerful and after using SS since Visacalc I still learn stuff every time I use it (and I am older than dirt).
__________________
Vietnam Veteran, CW4 USA, Retired 1979
OAG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 10:46 AM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,323
Since reading this thread, it doesn't sound all that hard. Personally--and don't be shocked--I have never even seen it on the computer. But I need it pronto to organize stock info., so guess that means I sit down and start pecking as the first attempt towards getting it. Thanks all!
And, if that doesn't cut it, off to the library or college course. Again, thank you for your kind input to help.
__________________
Please consider adopting a rescue animal. So very many need a furr-ever home and someone to love them! And if we all spay/neuter our pets there won't be an overpopulation to put to death.
Orchidflower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 11:39 AM   #12
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,824
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
Personally--and don't be shocked--I have never even seen it on the computer.
I'm shocked! I'm shocked! NO I'm not shocked. Just kidding!

An Excel spreadsheet has a lot of boxes arranged in rows and columns. Along the top of the columns are the column names "A", "B", "C", and so on. Along the left of the rows are the row names "1", "2", "3", and so on. So the box in the upper left is in Column A, row 1, and is called "a1".

So as a beginning task, type "3" (without the quote marks) in a1. Then go to any other box and type "=a1+4" (without the quote marks). The result in that box will be 7, which is 3+4. So now you know how to locate cells and type formulas to do simple math in Excel. You are on your way!

Above all, have fun and play with it like this for a while first.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 12:16 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,020
Hit the F1 key.

That's the fastest way!
__________________
Marquette is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 12:30 PM   #14
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 131
Find someone who knows Excel and have then walk you through the basics. Then, as stated above, f1 is your help key.
__________________
NotReady4Purple is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 01:32 PM   #15
Recycles dryer sheets
OldGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 75
NR4Purple's right on - from painful experience in a previous life (BigBank), I'd suggest that you take a 1-2 day intro course wherever you can find one, then find someone who KNOWS Excel and can be bribed with lunch/coffee and lean all over them. Excel is software that you need to use a lot; make mistakes and learn to love the f1 key. But above all else, find that mentor, only learn what-you-need-to-know-when-you-need-to-know-it, and jump in. Oh, and I talk to my compuer a lot when I'm using Excel.
__________________
Those who were seen dancing were thought to be crazy by those who could not hear the music. Friedrich Nietzsche.
OldGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 04:36 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: North Bay
Posts: 1,026
Quote:
Find someone who knows Excel and have then walk you through the basics. Then, as stated above, f1 is your help key.
Absolutely! My wife calls me all the time from w*rk for Excel answers. Once you're past the very basics, asking a question of a colleague can result in the right answer a lot faster than F1. Get an Excel workbook like the one you will be working with, save a copy, and then dig in to see how the workbook is put together. Excel can be as easy as a column of numbers, or as complex as a 3D mapping and projection program. Just depends what you need to do with it.

PM me if you want an Excel workbook to keep track of losses/gains that I put together for my brother a few years ago.
__________________
scrinch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2008, 04:47 PM   #17
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
jIMOh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Milford, OH
Posts: 2,085
learn by doing

just start using it and you will learn what you need to know.
__________________

__________________
Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak. One person's stupidity is another person's job security.
jIMOh is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Digital Camera Suggestion frayne Other topics 21 07-28-2007 04:44 PM
Fastest growing metros per US Census Bureau Orchidflower Life after FIRE 2 07-14-2007 04:15 PM
Suggestion for Simple AA with Vanguard av8r FIRE and Money 7 05-20-2007 10:52 AM
Suggestion re: results options Rich_by_the_Bay FIRECalc support 2 07-09-2006 09:04 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:13 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.