Microsoft Excel Tables for Beginners: Learn them in 15 Minutes | Excel Classes | Skillshare

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Microsoft Excel Tables for Beginners: Learn them in 15 Minutes

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Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What is an Excel Table?


    • 3.

      Why You Should Use Tables


    • 4.

      Finding Insights with Tables


    • 5.

      Formatting Approaches & Tips


    • 6.

      Formulas & Tables


    • 7.

      Deleting Cells & Converting to a Range


    • 8.

      Next Steps


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About This Class

This class is about tables in Microsoft Excel. Tables are a great feature of Excel; they’re easy to create, provide a more user-friendly way to view and analyse data, and using them also reduces the chance of making errors in your work.

The class lessons include:

  • What tables are and how to create them
  • How tables differ from a normal range of cells
  • The benefits of using tables
  • Table formatting
  • Working with formulas and tables
  • And more…

Who is this class for?

The class is primarily designed for beginners who have who have never used tables in Excel. If, however, you are completely new to Excel in general, then I’d recommend completing my 'Excel for Beginners: Learn The Essentials in 50 Minutes' class first.

Want to learn more about Excel? Check out my other classes:

Meet Your Teacher

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Excel Classes

Excel teacher


Hello, I'm Julian. 

I'm a digital marketing consultant with 10+ years experience in using and teaching Excel, having worked for a number of agencies and international brands.

I'm passionate about teaching Microsoft Excel in a simple and straightforward way. Check out my classes today to learn more about Excel :)

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Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Welcome to this class on tables in Microsoft Excel. My name is Julian and I've been working with and teaching excel over the past ten years as a digital marketer. In my experience, I've found people don't always get the most out of Excel and the spending just a bit of time learning about it can make it a lot easier and quicker to conduct data analysis. Tables are a great example of a simple, underrated and underused feature in Excel. They're easy to make, provide a more user-friendly way to view and analyze data and using them also reduces the chance of making errors in your work. In this class, we'll cover what tables are and how to create them. How tables differ from a normal range of cells. The benefits of using tables, table formatting, working with formulas and tables and more. Class has been designed to provide you have all the information you need to get started with working with tables in Excel. Once you finish the class lessons, you'll be able to test and reinforce what you've learned with the class project. Thanks for enrolling in this class and let's get started. 2. What is an Excel Table?: So before we dive into the ways in which you can use a table and the many benefits of using tables. I'm going to take a look at what we actually mean when we say table in Microsoft Excel. So here we've got two sets of data, and the data is exactly the same. So we've got a list of products, T-shirts, polo shirts, sweatshirts, et cetera. The size is extra, extra small all the way through to extract your large price per unit in dollars and the number of sales of each of those products. This set of data here is exactly the same as this set of data here. So if I was to, for example, take this data and put some filters on it, I could do Control Shift L. Then I could even put these headers in bold. I could format this data with borders all around it, just like that. What we have here, it looks very much like a table and you'd be forgiven for thinking that this is what we mean when we say table in Excel. But this isn't actually a table in the sense that it doesn't have all the features of Microsoft Excel table in Excel doesn't define this object as a table. So to create an actual table, what you need to do is be selected anywhere in the data. So we're going to use this data range to create a table. And then we come up to the insert menu and select Table. Now, then you'll have this box create table. We can also do this just by pressing Control T. And then we'll also get this box. And you can see that we've got our data selected. And we're going to leave this. My table has headers as selected because we do have headers. If we didn't, we could take this off and Excel would add some headings in for us. Select, Okay, and then now what we have here, this isn't actual Microsoft Excel table. So that's how you create a table. In the next lesson, we're going to start to look at what the key differences are in benefits are between this table here and this data range here. That looks like a table, but isn't actually a table. 3. Why You Should Use Tables: Now we've created a table and we've got the table in place. I want to look at some of the key differences and benefits between a table and a regular range of data that kinda looks like a table. So first of all, when I'm in the table and I scroll down, you'll notice how the column headings stay in view even as I keep scrolling down. So product size, price per unit, and sales. We can see all of these. Even as we go down with our regular data range, the column headings disappear so we can no longer clearly see what each of these columns refers to. Also, if I want to add additional data to my table, you'll see what happens if I put revenue because I want to add a revenue column. The formatting carries across and we also have the drop-down there. So Excel considers this column part of the table. If I was to put revenue here, you'll see that the formatting hasn't carried over, so we don't have that drop-down. And all of these cells here don't have the borders. And it's the same if we were to do extra row. So if I was to put shorts or an additional product, the formatting hasn't carried over reservoirs to put shorts here. Excel will consider this row part of the table. Now, I'm just going to go back and remove these. The final thing I want to talk about in this lesson with tables, you'll notice we have the Table Design menu in the ribbon at the top here. And there's various different options and we're going to cover off some of these in the future lessons. But over here, we don't have these features because it's not a table. It's just a regular range of data that kinda looks like a table. 4. Finding Insights with Tables : In this lesson, we're going to look at a few of the features that tables have that allow you to quickly find out information about the data inside your table. If I select into the table, and then I'm gonna go to the Table Design menu and select Total row. Now what you see here, we have a row that's been added to the bottom of our table. And if I select into this cell, you'll see there's various different options. So at the moment we've got some, so that's the total number of all the sales. But I could change this to the maximum, for example, to give us the max number that we have in this column or minimum. So I'm just gonna put that back to some. And then we can also add this here for example. So let's say we want to look at the average price per unit. I can just select average just like that. Now, this is great because it really quickly allows us to find this information out without having to write out formulas. Now, another great features of tables is obviously we get the filters. So say we want to quickly look at just the large products. I'm just going to select large and then select Okay. And we can see we've just changed our view just to those products. Something else to bear in mind, and I'm just going to clear this is that we can also filter our data with something called slicers. Now to insert a slicer, I just need to select Insert Slicer, which is in the table Design Options. And here we have a list of all the column headings. So let's say we want to insert a slicer so that we can take a look at the different sizes and you'll see what a slicer can do in a sec. So I'm just going to select size. Then I'm going to select, Okay? And then you'll see we have this box appear and it kinda has like a button for each of the different sizes. So let's say I just wanted to filter for medium. All I have to do is select this box and it instantly changes the table. So now we're only looking at the products in medium-size. I could quickly change this to extra large, for example. And now you can see we're just looking at extra large. And I also have the option to select multiple sizes at once. So I can select this on here, multi-select. And then for example, I could look at extra large and extra, extra large. And then you'll see again that the table changes based on our selections. 5. Formatting Approaches & Tips: In this lesson, we're going to take a look at some of the formatting options and approaches for tables. If we select into our table and then go to the Table Design menu, you'll see we have the table style options here. So we can, for example, remove the header row and then you'll see our column headers disappear. We can add the total row, also remove it pretty quickly. And then banded rows. If we unselect this, you'll notice how we have a more cleaner format where we don't have the alternating colors for each row. And then we can also select this one. And this will add bold formatting to our first column. We could do the same for last column as well. And we can also alternate the formatting for columns by selecting banded columns. And now you can see these are all blue rows, these are blue and white, etc. Then lastly, there's the Filter button option. So what this does, it allows us to remove the filter if we don't feel the need for that and we just want a cleaner. More simple look. Next up, let's take a look at the table styles we have here. So as you can see, there's many different styles to choose from. And it really depends what type of look you're going for with your table. But if we just go back to the one we had, something that's really powerful is the ability to customize one of these styles. So what I can do is right-click and duplicate this. And I'm going to name my table style product. And what I'm gonna do is change it so that each product alternates on the color that they have rather than alternating every other line. So I'm gonna go with first row stripe and we need to select seven because we've got seven rows for each product. And then I'm gonna go to second row stripe and select seven here. Then I'm going to select, okay. And if we select this drop-down here and select the custom one that we've just chosen. What you'll see now is all of the t-shirts are in blue, then all the polo shirts are in white, and all the sweatshirts are in blue, etc. So this is just a nice, clear way to see where one product stops and where another product starts. 6. Formulas & Tables: In this lesson, we're going to take a look at working with formulas when working with tables. So we've got a new dataset here. What it is, It's departments of an electronic store, so appliances, audio camera, computers, phones in TV. It's the sales across different years from 2019 through to 2021. And we also have the revenue figures to so let's say we want to add a column to this table that shows the average transaction value. So that would be the revenue divided by sales. So first of all, let's add a new heading in. So I'm going to put average transaction value, hit Enter, and I'm just going to resize that. And as you can see, because we're working with a table, excel has automatically expanded the table range to encompass the new column. And then what I'm gonna do in this cell is reference the revenue and then divide it by the sales to get the average transaction value. Now what you'll notice is rather than having equals E4 divided by default, which is what you're typically get an Excel. Because we're working with a table format is different and we actually have the brackets and the at symbol and revenue divided by sales instead. Then when I hit Enter, you'll also notice that what's happened there, all of these cells have populated, so you didn't have to drag the formula down, which is automatically populated in all of these cells. Now we're going to take a look at working with formulas outside of tables. So here we have total sales written out and in this cell here. So I4, what I wanna do is populate the total of all of these sales numbers. So to do that, I'm just going to write out equals some. Come along to these cells and select them. And you'll notice how our formula says Table one brackets sales. Now at this point, it's worth pointing out how you can change your table name. Because at the moment our table, it's called table one, which is the default name excel will give to the first table you create in a workbook. So what I'm gonna do is just come out with the formula, click into the table and go to the Table Design menu. And here we have our table name, which is table one. And I'm just going to call that dept sales as a shortcut for what this table is about. To. Now, when I write out the sum function and I come back to the table and highlight all the cells that I want to add up. We've got our new table name there, so DAP sales and then the data, the column that we are referencing to add up is also in brackets, just like that. Hit Enter and I get the total 154259. Now, the benefits of tables obviously is that when we add extra data, so if I just put more data down here or down here, it's automatically included in the table range. And what that means is is that any formulas you have referencing the table will automatically encompass that data as well so you don't need to update them. So just to give you an example of what I mean by this, if we were to copy these data here, paste them here. And if I was to write a sum function, summing up all of this. So we have our traditional sort of reference cell L4 to sell L 21, hit enter, we get the total the same. I'll just make it look the same. If I am to add an extra value here. So let's just say 5 thousand. The formula doesn't update, so we're still only referencing those cells here. So the value hasn't changed. If on the other hand, I add more data to this table, the reference range will actually change because it will include the cell that we've added because it's basically referring to everything in the table in the sales column. So if I put 5 thousand here, you can see how this one updates. That's just another advantage of working with tables rather than keeping your data outside of the table format. 7. Deleting Cells & Converting to a Range: In this lesson, we're going to look at how you can delete data from a table, and also how you can convert a table into a normal range of cells. So let's say I want to delete the appliances and audio data by highlight all of these cells and press Delete. What you'll notice is all of the data has been deleted, but the table rows actually still remain. So to delete the table rows, I'm just gonna go back. I need to make sure all of the data is selected. Right-click and then select Delete and table rows. And then you'll notice now that both the data and the rows themselves have been deleted. For deleting columns. It's the same process. So let's say I wanted to delete the average transaction value column. I just need to select anywhere in this column, so I don't actually have to select the whole column like that. I just need to select anywhere in the column. Right-click, go to Delete, and then table columns. Lastly, to convert this table into a normal range, I just need to select anywhere in the table. Go to the Table Design menu and select Convert to Range. Get this menu pop up. Do you want to convert the table to a normal range? Yes. Then now the table is no longer actually a table. So we've got the formatting leftover, but you'll see the Table Design menu at the top there has disappeared. And to convert the formatting back to normal, I can just highlight all of this. Make sure I'm in the home ribbon and then select Normal. Just like that. 8. Next Steps: Thanks for taking this class on tables in Excel, and I hope you enjoyed it. If you've got any questions, just let me know and you can find the class project instructions and falls below to test what you've learned. If you want to learn more about Excel, check out my other classes and follow me for updates on my new classes. Once again, thanks for taking the class and I hope to see you in the next one.