Advanced Microsoft Excel 2013 (Self-Paced Tutorial)


Master advanced features and functions of Microsoft Excel 2013, including analysis tools, data tables, PivotTables, and conditional formatting.


Wouldn’t it be great to learn how to effectively use all the advanced Excel features? In this practical and information-packed course, you will see how to maximize this program’s functions and capabilities.

Most organizations rely heavily on Excel to consolidate, analyze, and report financial information. Your company is probably no exception. By learning these advanced techniques, you can become more valuable to your organization.

You will see how to work with the additional analysis tools provided by Excel add-ins and become skilled in using validation to protect the integrity of your worksheets from less experienced users. Impress your coworkers by learning how to add functional and eye-catching custom controls to any worksheet and how to use scenarios and data tables to quickly perform what-if data analyses. You will discover advanced techniques for PivotTables, like creating Timelines, calculated fields, and calculated items. You will learn how to use Excel’s consolidation function to efficiently summarize data from multiple sources, become adept at importing external data, and master the art of conditional formatting to highlight duplicate entries and other common worksheet problems.

Learn how Excel 2013 table tools take the complexity out of table creation and management. As you become proficient at nesting functions within other functions, you will be able to accomplish just about anything Microsoft Excel has to offer!


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course must be taken on a PC. It is not suitable for Mac users.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or newer.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge is also compatible.
  • Microsoft Excel 2013, Microsoft Office 2013 (Office Home and Student 2013, Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013, or Microsoft Office Home and Business 2013 (not included in enrollment).
  • Note that the “Starter Version” and “Web App” versions of Microsoft Excel 2013 will not work with the full version of Excel taught in this course.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.


There are no prerequisites to take this course.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

Course Outline

1 Customizing Excel

This course explores Microsoft Excel 2013's sometimes-overlooked and advanced features. You will learn how to use data analysis tools and techniques to improve your decision making, and you will practice generating accurate data more quickly. By the end of this course, you will be well prepared to contribute more value to your organization with your advanced understanding of Excel. To kick things off, you will spend this first lesson exploring how to modify Excel to streamline processes and make your work easier.

2 Table Management

This lesson will explore some great table management features in Excel 2013, discuss how to use data forms with Excel databases, and look at a few alternative database techniques. You will be glad to know that formatting and working with tables has gotten much easier in this latest version of Excel. The lesson will wrap up with a brief look at some of the practical applications for data forms.

3 Data Validation

In this lesson you will tackle data validation techniques—your first line of defense against incorrect or missing data and the logical next step after data forms. You will also learn how to create input messages and error alerts to guide the user's data entry, how to keep track of validation rules, and how to apply a custom validation rule to other cells so that you don't have to create it all over again.

4 Custom Controls

The first three lessons covered what you might call intro-level advanced Excel topics, but now it's time to head into more complex territory. In this lesson you will start working with custom controls—graphical objects that help facilitate data input and are sure to impress users. You will also master the process of creating a dynamic list box, which allows you to control the values in one list box based on the values chosen by your user in a separate custom control.

5 Conditional Formatting

In this lesson you will discover how to use conditional formatting. You will see how to use conditional formatting to hide errors, to highlight records based on multiple criteria, to track and alert you about due dates, to find the differences between two lists, to shade every other row, and more.

6 Consolidating and Outlining

In this lesson, you will learn how to use Excel's consolidation function to efficiently summarize data from multiple sources. You will begin with an exercise on consolidating data within the same workbook, and after that, you will practice consolidating using an advanced technique with category labels and wildcards. You will also learn how to use automatic and manual outlining to view or hide different levels or sections of your information.

7 Excel Functions and Nesting

This lesson will focus Logical, Database, Math & Trig, and Lookup & Reference. You will get an overview of functions and take a look at the Insert Function dialog box. Then, you will practice working with the IF function, nesting functions, the DSUM function, and the VLOOKUP function—all of which will come in handy when you need to perform a quick, thorough analysis of your data.

8 Import External Data

In this lesson, you will find out all about importing external data. You will test two methods for refreshing the target area for the imported data and find out how to edit an Excel query. After that, you will do an import from an external database. Finally, you will learn how to perform a Web query, which—you guessed it—allows you to import data from the Internet.

9 Data Tables

It's time to look at data tables. In this lesson, you will learn how to use two types of data tables: a one-variable data table (which lets you substitute just one variable into the formula calculation) and the two-variable data table (which allows you to change multiple aspects of the formula).

10 What-If Analysis Tools

This lesson explores three more of Excel's what-if analysis tools: Goal Seek, Scenario Manager, and Solver. And finally, you will put Excel's Solver to work to discover the optimal solution to models that have multiple variables and constraints.

11 Advanced PivotTables

In this lesson, you will discover how to use PivotTables, which are excellent for summarizing massive amounts of data and viewing different cuts of the information quickly. You will create a PivotChart based on the data fields in your PivotTable. You may not be done with the course, but after mastering PivotTables and PivotCharts, you will certainly be able to count yourself an advanced Excel user.

12 Analysis ToolPak, Advanced Filter, Array Formulas, and More!

You will begin the final lesson with a look at the functions available in the Analysis ToolPak. You will complete an exercise using advanced filters, and then you will learn some relevant Excel tips and tricks. When you're done with this lesson—and the course—you will want to pass along the techniques you've learned to friends and colleagues who are still wrestling with Excel!