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Microsoft Excel may just be one of the most important software programs to have been created. Whether you are a student trying to do an assignment or a working adult undertaking leadership development, excel will come in handy. Almost everyone who has access to a computer has used Excel.

This program has been around since 1982 and was first introduced as Multiplan and was popular with the Control Program for microcomputers. Multiplan lost popularity against Lotus 1-2-3 on MS-DOS.

However, Microsoft introduced Excel v2.0 for windows in 1987 which then went ahead to outsell Lotus 1-2-3 by 1988. Microsoft then released Excel v5.0 for windows in 1993 which includes Visual Basic for Applications. The release of this version opened up new possibilities for the use of Excel.

Learning about Excel can be easy. There are a lot of excel training resource hubs all over the internet. A quick search and you can easily learn how to use Microsoft Excel and use it to its full potential and also add it to your professional skills.

In this day and age, Microsoft Excel has become the most famous, familiar, and widely used application in the world. This is due to its ability to adapt to almost any business purpose.

Purpose of Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a software program that uses spreadsheets to organize numbers and data. These data are organized in the spreadsheet by using formulas and functions needed for it to make sense.

Typically, Microsoft Excel is used for organizing data and performing financial analysis. This program is used across all businesses, be they small or large. Some of the main uses of Excel include data entry, data management, accounting, and financial analysis. It can also be used for creating charts and graphs and also for programming.

Excel is frequently used in finance and accounting. Many organizations run their forecast, budget, and accounting functions through Microsoft Excel. This program can also be used for business analysis, human resource management, and performance reporting.

Excel has a large list of cells formatted to arrange, organize and manipulate data to solve mathematical functions. Arranging data using graphing tools, tables, and formulas can be done with the spreadsheet.

An example of one of the best uses of Excel is the autosum format. You can just input the data in a column and then click the autosum button, This will allow the program to add up all the numbers entered in the column.

The Excel software program has many functions, formulas, and shortcuts. These features can be used to enhance the functionality of Excel. This will also help you save time by avoiding having to manually input results or data.

20 Advanced Excel Features and Functions

Microsoft Excel is used to perform calculations, analysis, and visualization of data and information. This helps people to organize and process data by using columns and rows with formulas and other features.

Here are some of the advanced features and functions that you can use:

1. Removing duplicates

Removing duplicates is one of the most powerful features of MS Excel. To do this, just click on a data cell. After this, look for the data tab then click Remove Duplicates in the data tools.

2. Vlookup()

This function helps in searching for a value in a table. It works by searching for the given value and then returning a matching value to another column.

The syntax for this is: VLOOKUP(lookup_value, table_array, col_index_num, [range_lookup])

Lookup_value is the value to look for. Table_array is two or more data columns. Col_index_num is the column number in the table_array to which the value in the comparable row should be returned.

3. Pie Chart

A pie chart is used for data visualization. It visualizes the contribution of each value to a complete pie diagram. This always uses one data series. You may also use our pie chart tool to generate pie charts online.


This function is useful for anyone who's in the field of data analysis. This function returns a result when a formula generates an error. The IFERROR is a simple way to manage errors.

The syntax is: =IFERROR (value, value_if_error)


Quartile is usually applied in sales and to review data to classify communities into groups. This function organizes the quartile value of the cells into an arrangement.

The syntax is: =QUARTILE (array, quart)


This function allows you to pick a number in an already-defined set of numbers. Once the lowest and highest numbers are set, excel can pick the correct information.

The syntax is: =RANDBETWEEN (starting point, ending point)


The DISC function identifies the Discount Rate for security.

The syntax is: =DISC (settlement, maturity, pr, redemption, [basis])

8. FV

This function is a business function that can give the expected value of an investment. You can apply the FV function to obtain the forecasted price of an investment. This considers intermittent, regular payments with a fixed interest rate. You may also use our Financial Calculator to calculate FV of your investments online.

The syntax is: =FV (rate, nper, pmt, [pv], [type])


The TREND function is used to calculate linear trend lines in a set of Y or X values. This is used for time series trend analysis or for projecting future trends.

10. Table Array

This function is a combination of two or more tables with data and values which is linked and should be related to one another. This is part of VLOOKUP.

11. MAX and MIN

The MAX and MIN function provides the maximum and minimum values from the selected data sets.


This function determines the accrued profit from a bond that gives interest periodically. ACCRINT assists the users to determine the accrued benefit of a security like a bond.

The syntax is: =ACCRINT(issue, first_interest, settlement, rate, ar, frequency, [basis], [calc_method])


The NETWORKDAYS function can estimate the number of workdays between two terms. It can also skip defined leaves and will only include working days.

The syntax is: =NETWORKDAYS (start_date, end_date, [holidays])

14. AND function

The AND function has more than one criterion that is set when searching for variables. The value will be true if the variable matches the criteria. The value will be false if it does not.

The syntax is: =AND (logical1, [logical2], ….)

15. Input Restriction

This feature is useful in preserving the validity of data. The user would need to check the input value and give some advice for further steps.

16. Quick Feature

The Quick feature can give you a cluster of statistics like count, average, max, min, and sum. This feature can be used without inserting a formula for the picked range of data.

17. Named Ranges

This feature gives names to ranges of large numbers. This can help you by using the name together with other advanced Excel formulas without you having to click and pick the needed range.

18. TRIM

The trim function is used to remove extra spaces from a spreadsheet. Unnecessary trailing and leading spaces can be removed using this function.

The syntax is: =TRIM (text)


This CONCATENATE function works by joining two or more strings together.

The syntax is: =CONCATENATE (text1, [text2, ….. text_n])


This function allows the user to return a transposed set of cells. This goes under the Lookup or reference function of Excel. This feature returns a horizontal range or cells when a vertical range is entered and vice versa.

The syntax is: =TRANSPOSE (range)

Excel made easy

Learning how to use Excel can save you time and energy whether it is from calculating or rearranging. Knowing how to use this program can also be a part of your professional development as you acquire new professional skills.

Having advanced Excel skills can help you to easily reformat and rearrange data, and identify and analyze trends and patterns. Being able to use data visualization tools and advanced excel features is must-have knowledge.

Searching for Excel training resource hubs is your first step toward your Excel training. There are a lot of professional development courses for Excel online that you can use.

Whether you are a student or a working adult, using the Excel spreadsheet for your reports can help you immensely. Knowing how to use these advanced functions and features can also make your work easier and help you save time.

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