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If you are switching from Excel 2007 to Excel 2010, you shouldn't find the change too terribly drastic. Both versions feature the ribbon, although 2010 has replaced the Office Button with the File tab. If, however, you are jumping from Excel 2003 to 2010, you may be in for a bit of a shock. Compare Excel 2003 to 2007 or 2010 and you will surely determine that there is much to learn. For example, you will find that Excel 2010 uses different file extensions than 2003 and earlier versions did. Don't let the changes intimidate you, though, as the new features in Office 2010 applications are worth the effort it will take you to become comfortable using them.
Perhaps you have not yet made the change, which means the first step you need to take is choosing an edition of Office 2010. If Excel is your primary concern, you will be pleased to learn that it is included with all of the available editions of Office 2010.
Once you have selected and installed Office 2010, you can get down to the business of learning how to use Excel 2010. Fortunately, there are many sources of free Excel training both online and off. Of course, you can find numerous Excel tutorials at Bright Hub.
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Functions and Formatting
One of the primary reasons people appreciate Microsoft Excel is the powerful functions and formatting tools it offers. Excel 2010 is no different. In fact, once you learn how to access them, many of these features are even easier to use.
For example, Conditional Formatting is at your fingertips in 2010 with even more functionality. While you can certainly use a detailed Excel tutorial that will walk you through the steps of using this feature, you can simply click on Conditional Formatting in the Styles group on the Home tab of the ribbon to discover some of the basic aspects.
Undertaking tasks such as creating templates, inserting charts and even opening a second instance of Excel are just as simple as they were in earlier versions, if not more so.
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Creating and Using Charts
As with all versions of Excel, making charts and graphs is easy and there are numerous ways to customize them. The simplest way to create a chart in any version of Excel is to select the data you wish to use and then press the F11 key at the top of our keyboard, which adds a default chart to your worksheet. Creating different types of charts in Excel 2010 is not much more difficult. Simply select the data and go to the Insert tab of the ribbon. In the Charts group, click on the type of chart you want to add and then choose a subtype. Once you have inserted a chart, you will be given even more options, such as chart styles, layouts and colors.
Although the Insert Charts section does provide quite an array of options, you can check out Microsoft Excel tutorials to learn about even more complex charts. For example, you can learn how to make a thermometer chart that will help you track your progress toward a goal. Alternatively, you can learn about creating Pareto charts, which are commonly used in project management. No matter what type of chart you need to make, there is sure to be an Excel tutorial providing the required steps.
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Working with Other Applications
An Excel tutorial guide would not be complete without mentioning the seamless integration of Excel 2010 with other Microsoft Office products. For instance, if you have both Excel and Publisher 2010 installed you can import a worksheet into Publisher or PowerPoint, ensuring that your publication will always have the most current data. You can use data in an Excel 2010 worksheet to perform a mail merge in MS Word or Publisher, as well. Excel works well with other Office applications as well, such as Access and OneNote.
Finally, you can use a scaled down version of Excel 2010 - and other 2010 Office products - no matter where you go, provided you have internet access. Microsoft now offers Office Web Apps 2010 online. Best of all, these applications are free to use!