The Main Use of Microsoft Excel and Its Other Uses - Compute Expert

The Main Use of Microsoft Excel and Its Other Uses


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In this Compute Expert article, you will learn many important uses of Microsoft Excel. We will also discuss what is the main function of the software here.

Excel has become an important tool that supports many people in their daily work. To use it productively, one of the things we can do is knowing the functions it can do for our work. There may be some capabilities of excel that we haven’t known but they can actually be significantly helpful for us.

So, want to understand more about what excel can do to optimize its use? Read all parts of this article!

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The Main Function of Microsoft Excel

As a spreadsheet software, Microsoft Excel mainly helps us to save, organize, and process data inputs into our desired outputs. We can utilize this function from excel by using the appropriate features from many that we can find in it.

This general function of excel, however, can be specified into a lot of different functions. We will see in more detail what those different functions are in the following part of the article.



22 Uses of Microsoft Excel

If we look closely, then we can find that excel supports 22 different uses (might be not exhaustive) for its users. We have listed them below so you can look and see whether you may have underutilized your excel program or not!

  1. Divide our data into cells, cell ranges, and worksheets
    Some entities in excel like cells, cell ranges, and worksheets help us in terms of categorizing our data. Using the categories that we build from them, we can separate the data we have in the way that we want!

  2. Place our data in clear positions
    An excel worksheet is divided into many rows and columns. Those rows and columns have coordinates (rows in numbers and columns in letters) which tell us the exact positions of our data. Using those coordinates, we can communicate our data locations easily to other people we work with.

  3. Import and compile data internally and externally
    In excel, we can combine data from other excel files, worksheets, or cells into one distinct place easily. We can also source our data from online databases such as SQL. Because of that, we can compile all the data we need for our current work.

  4. Visualize our data in charts, diagrams, or graphs
    Excel has many choices of chart types that we can use to show our data in a much more digestible manner. Just pick one which communicates our data in the best way and set the interface we want using excel menus!

  5. Calculate the numbers that we have
    In formulas, excel has one of the most reliable features when it comes to processing numeric data. Those like SUM, AVERAGE, SQRT, POWER, and many other formulas can do it accurately and much faster compared to manual calculation.

  6. Find particular data from all that we save in it
    There are some formulas and features that can help us when it comes to searching and finding data in excel. Just use the most appropriate formula/feature and excel can find your data in no time!

  7. Process our data statistically
    As we talk about data processing, it is inevitable that statistic comes around in the discussion. Excel has some internal tools that can help us to process statistical data we have into our desired outputs. Formulas like LINEST or features like VBA can make us do just that.

  8. Group our data into identifiable batches
    Data grouping is a process we need to do when we want to work with complex data productively. With things like data tables or names, excel can group our data with the identifications we create ourselves.

  9. Manipulate our text data into the form that we want
    Text is one of the data types we sometimes face when we need to process our data. Using excel, we can manipulate our text’s font sizes, colors, and capitalization into our preferences.

  10. Search particular parts of our data
    Searching data may not stop into just finding data with its whole part. We probably sometimes need to find particular characters or sections in our data as well. Excel has some tools that you can use for that too.

  11. Create document templates
    As excel handles data input, process, and output, it can also become an easily customizable document template. By formulating its contents correctly, we can create specific content for our document template fast.

  12. Sort our data into the order that we want
    One of the most used features in excel is sort. By using it, we can sort our data in columns alphabetically, by values, etc. It surely comes handy when we need to analyze our data in an organized way.

  13. Filter the data we have into only the sections we want to see
    The partner-in-crime of the sort feature in Excel is the filter feature. This feature can make our data table only shows the sections of our data that we want currently. When we need to analyze our data for some of its parts only, this is a great excel feature to use.

  14. Using colors, symbols, etc to mark parts of our data
    We sometimes need to code our data using colors, symbols, etc so we can digest it much easier in one look. Excel has a feature like conditional formatting which can give marks to our data according to the specifications we want.

  15. Help to input our data which has a pattern faster
    It can be tedious to input our data continuously in a large amount. Since its 2013 version, excel can help us to automize the process if our input process has a pattern. By utilizing its relevant features, our data input process will take much less time than usual!

  16. Print our data into hardcopies
    When we need to report/show our data processing results, we may need to present it in a hardcopy form. We can manage the print settings of them according to our will if we use excel to process our data.

  17. Navigate our data and things related to it easily
    When we process our data, we may sometimes need to navigate around data tables or related online data. There are hyperlink and freeze panes features that can help us to do that smoothly in excel. By optimizing them, our navigation process becomes much easier to do.

  18. Control the inputs to our database
    There are some input restriction features in excel that we can use if we need them. If we create an excel file and need to share it with other people to input, then they will become handy. We can prevent the other people we work with to input something which can cause errors or wrong data processing.

  19. Get the optimal solution for our data problems
    If we already have an ideal output in mind, then we sometimes need to adjust our input values for that. It can be hard to analyze the optimal input values manually especially if we have many input variables. Excel can help us to do that much easier with its features like goal seek or what-if analysis.

  20. View our data in the way that we want
    There are many ways in which we want to view the data tables that we may have in our database. We probably want to see them in split view, in its hardcopy preview, or other points of view. Excel can facilitate that by mostly using various View command buttons in its program.

  21. Getting results from our data inputs logically
    We may need to get an output based on certain logic conditions or process numbers based on specific criteria. If we use excel, then we can do those things easily by using some of its formula collections. As a result, we can get our data processing outputs exactly as we want them to be logically!

  22. Automate our data processing
    If you are an advanced excel user, then you most probably know about VBA and macro features of excel. When we combine their usage with formulas, we can formulate a program that can run our data processing processes automatically. This can be very useful especially if you tend to do repetitive data processing that has recognizable patterns.


There are many things that excel can do for our work, right? This is true especially if the work is related to data processing and management.

You should master relevant excel features according to your job so you can optimize excel potential. Who knows, you might be able to get much better results from your work with less time once you do that!



Additional Note

The number of sheets you can create in excel depends on your computer memory. As long as you don’t run out of it, you can use them as much as needed to do your work!



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