Microsoft Excel Definition

Excel is a software program created by Microsoft that uses spreadsheets to organize numbers and data with formulas and functions. Excel analysis is ubiquitous around the world and used by businesses of all sizes to perform financial analysis.

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet developed by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications

What is Excel used for?

Excel is typically used to organize data and perform financial analysis.  It is used across all business functions and at companies from small to large.

The main uses of Excel include:

  • Data entry
  • Data management
  • Accounting
  • Financial analysis
  • Charting and graphing
  • Programming
  • Time management
  • Task management
  • Financial modelling
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Almost anything that needs to be organized!

Data functions, formulas, and shortcuts

The Excel software program includes many functions, formulas, and shortcuts that can be used to enhance its functionality.

We have defined the key functions and formulas below in our Excel guide:

Shortcuts define Excel use!

Financial and accounting uses

Excel is used extensively in finance and accounting functions.  In fact, many organizations run their entire budgeting,forcasting and accounting functions entirely out of Excel spreadsheets.

While Excel is defined as a “data” management tool, the data that is most commonly managed is financial.  At CFI, we would define Excel as the ultimate financial software. While there are other pieces of financial software that are tailored toward performing specific tasks, the strongest point about Excel is its robustness and openness. Excel models are as powerful as the analyst wishes them to be.

Features of Microsoft Excel


1. Add Header and FooterMS Excel allows us to keep the header and footer in our spreadsheet document

.2. Find and Replace CommandMS Excel allows us to find the needed data (text and numbers) in the workbook and also replace the existing data with a new one.

3. Password ProtectionIt allows the user to protect their workbooks by using a password from unauthorized access to their information.

4. Data FilteringFiltering is a quick and easy way to find and work with a subset of data in a range. A filtered range displays only the rows that meet the criteria you specify for a column. MS Excel provides two commands for filtering ranges:           • AutoFilter; which includes filter by selection, for simple criteria           • Advanced Filter; for more complex criteria

5. Data SortingData sorting is the process of arranging data in some logical order. MS Excel allows us to sort data either in ascending or descending order

.6. Built-in formulaeMS Excel has got many built-in formulae for sum, average, minimum, etc. We can use those formulae as per our needs.

7. Create different charts (Pivot Table Report)MS Excel allows us to create different charts such as bar graph, pie- charts, line graphs, etc. This helps us to analyze and compare data very easily

.8. Automatically edits the resultMS Excel automatically edits the result if any changes are made in any of the cells.

9. Formula AuditingUsing formula auditing we can graphically display or trace the relationships between cells and formulas with blue arrows. We can trace the precedents (the cells that provide data to a specific cell) or the dependents (the cells that depend on the value in a specific cell).

Create Excel Hyperlinks

In an Excel worksheet, you can create a hyperlink in any cell. Then, click that hyperlink to go to the specificed location.

Here are four ways create a hyperlink — click a link to go to those instructions, below:

hyperlink drag 04

Combine Text and Formatted Numbers in Excel×https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.453.0_en.html#goog_757064892javascript:void(0)Volume 0% 

Type a Website URL

If you type a valid website address in a cell, Excel should automatically create a hyperlink, when you press Enter

For example,

  1. In cell B3, type the address of the Contextures website: https://www.contextures.com
  2. Press Enter

The text changes to a hyperlink, and you can click the link to go to the Contextures website.

If you want to stop hyperlinks from being automatically created, 

Insert a Hyperlink

Another way to add a hyperlink is by using a built-in Excel command – Insert Hyperlink.

Start the Link

To use the Insert Hyperlink command, follow these steps to get started:

  • Select the cell where you want the hyperlink
  • On the Excel Ribbon, click the Insert tab, and click the Hyperlink command
    • OR, right-click the cell, and click Link
    • OR, use the keyboard shortcut – Ctrl + K
    • hyperlink comand on ribbon

Text to Display

At the top of the Insert Hyperlink dialog box, there is a “Text to Display” box. What you see in the Text to Display box depends on what is in the cell where you’re creating the hyperlink.

  • Text in Cell
  • Empty Cell
  • Number in Cell
  • “Text” Number in Cell
Text in Cell

If the selected cell contains text, that text will appear in the Text to Display box.

  • You can edit the Text to Display text
  • The revised text will appear in the cell, after you create the hyperlink.
text to display for cell with text
Empty Cell

If the selected cell is empty, the sheet name, and cell A1 will appear in the Text to Display box.

  • You can edit the Text to Display text
  • The revised text will appear in the cell, after you create the hyperlink.
text to display for cell with no text
Number in Cell

If the selected cell contains a real number, you will not be able to edit the Text to Display box. It is dimmed out, and shows this message: < < Selection in Document > >

  • NOTE: You will see the same message if you’re adding a hyperlink to a shape on the worksheet.

If you want to edit the Text to Display:

  • Create the hyperlink, and then change the value in the cell

OR

  • Close the Insert Hyperlink dialog box
  • Change the cell’s number to text (format as text, or type an apostrophe before the number)
  • Open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box again, and the Text to Display Box will be editable
text to display dimmed out and says < < Selection in Document > >
Text to Display dimmed out and says < < Selection in Document > >
“Text” Number in Cell

If the selected cell contains a “text” number (formatted as text, or starting with an apostrophe), that text number will appear in the Text to Display box.

  • You can edit the Text to Display text
  • The revised text will appear in the cell, after you create the hyperlink.
text to display for cell with text number

Add a Screen Tip (Optional)

When you point to a cell that contains a hyperlink, its Screen Tip appears. You can enter your own text for the Screen Tip, or leave this setting empty.

NOTE: If you leave the Screen Tip empty, the full hyperlink address will appear in the Screen Tip.https://c29a7b1abfea97b8e6ecfd9ad33dc3f6.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

To add your own text for the Screen Tip:

  • In the Insert Hyperlink window, click the Screen Tip button
  • Type the text for the screen tip – Google Website
  • Click OK
hyperlink screen tip

Choose Link Type

There are four options in the “Links To” panel, in the Insert Hyperlink window:

  1. Existing file or Web Page
  2. Place in This Document
  3. Create New Document
  4. E-mail Address

At the left side of the Insert Hyperlink window, click the link type that you need.

choose a links to type
Existing File or Web Page

Use this option, if you want to make it easy for people to open another Excel file, or go to a web page, for more information.

  • In the Link To list, click on Existing File or Web Page
  • To link to an existing file, use the folder navigation, to find and select the file that you need
    • OR, to link to a web page, type its URL in the Address box
enter the web site address

Create Hyperlinks with Drag and Drop

If you’re creating hyperlinks within an Excel file, the quickest and easiest method is to use drag and drop. For example, you could create a table of contents sheet (TOC), in a workbook, with links to other sheet.

If you have trouble dragging to a different sheet, drag to a nearby blank cell, then cut and paste onto the other sheet. This animated gif shows those steps.

Create a Hyperlink With Drag and Drop

Follow these steps to create drag and drop hyperlinks.

  1. First, save the workbook, if it hasn’t been saved yet. (In a new workbook, that hasn’t been saved, this technique won’t work.)
  2. Then, click on a cell that you want to link to. (You’re going to drag that cell to another sheet, where you want to create a hyperlink)
  3. Point to the cell’s border, and press the right mouse button.
  4. To drag the cell to another sheet, press the Alt key, and drag the cell onto the other sheet’s tab.
  5. Once the other sheet is activated, release the Alt key, and drag to the cell where you want the hyperlink
  6. Release the right mouse button, and in the popup menu, click Create Hyperlink Herehyperlink drag 03
  7. A hyperlink will appear in the cell, with the text from the original cell.hyperlink drag 04

Stop Automatic Hyperlinks in Excel

If you don’t want hyperlinks automatically created when you type a website address, you can turn the hyperlinking feature off. To see a quick overview of how you can stop automatic hyperlinks from being created automatically, you can watch this short video. The written instructions are below the video.

To turn the hyperlink option off::

  1. On the Excel Ribbon, click the File tab, then click Options
  2. Click the Proofing category, and click the AutoCorrect Options button
  3. On the AutoFormat As You Type tab, remove the check mark from Internet and network paths with hyperlinks
  4. Click OK, twice, to close the dialog boxes
hyperlink options

Use the HYPERLINK Function

Below are the written instructions for using the HYPERLINK function to:

Create a Hyperlink to a Website or Email

If there is a list of email addresses or website addresses in Excel, you can create a hyperlink for each row, in a separate column. In this example, there is a name in column A, and a website URL or an email address in column B. Hyperlinks will be created in column C.

  • You’ll use the HYPERLINK function, which takes two arguments:
hyperlink arguments
  • Link_Location: This is the email address or URL. For an email address, start with “mailto:” and for a URL, start with “https://”
  • Friendly Name: This argument is optional, and lets you specify a “friendly” name for the link. For example, instead of a long URL, you can show a company name, or short description.

To create a hyperlink for each address:

  1. In cell C2, type the formula: =HYPERLINK(B2,A2)
  2. Press Enter, to see the hyperlink in C3. It uses the link in cell B2, and the text in cell A2 is shown in cell C2, as the Friendly Name.
  3. Copy the formula down to the remaining rows.
hyperlink formula

HYPERLINK Formula to Excel File

Below are the written instructions linking to an Excel file

Link Within the Same File

You can use a HYPERLINK formula to create a link that goes to a cell or range somewhere within the current workbook. The trick is to add a pound sign (#) at the start of the address.

Here are examples of HYPERLINK formulas within the same workbook:

Type the Address

Start with a #, then type the sheet name and cell reference.

Optional – Type a friendly name, such as “Budget” to appear in the cell:

  • =HYPERLINK(“#Sheet2!B2″,”Budget”)

Use Cell References

Use the & operator to create a link location.

In this example, the sheet name is in cell B5, the cell address is in C5, and the friendly name is in cell D5.

  • =HYPERLINK(“#”&”‘” & B5 & “‘!” & C5,D5)
hyperlink formula

Type a Range Name

For a link to a workbook-level named range in the same workbook, just use the range name as the link location.

  • =HYPERLINK(“#StartCell”,”StartCell”)

Next Empty Cell

Go to the empty cell at the end of a worksheet list, or a named table.

hyperlink formula
Worksheet List

In cell B1, the formula finds the first empty cell after the worksheet list in column A:

  • =HYPERLINK(“#A” & COUNTA(A:A) + ROW(A3), “Add Entry”)

To find the empty row number, add the count of items in column A, plus the row number for the starting cell.

hyperlink formula
Named Table

In cell E1, the formula finds the first empty cell after the named table in column D:

  • =HYPERLINK(“#D” & SUM(COUNTA(tblDays[Day]), ROW(tblDays[[#Headers], [Day]]), 1), “Add Entry”)

hyperlink formulaTo find the empty row number, the formula calculates the SUM of:

  • The table’s starting row
    • =ROW(tblDays[[#Headers],[Day]])
  • The number of data rows in the table
    • =COUNTA(tblDays[Day])
  • Plus one, to get to the empty cell below the table

Link to Another Excel File

To create a link to another Excel file, in the same folder, just use the file name as the link_location argument for the HYPERLINK function.

=HYPERLINK(“MyFileC.xlsx”,”FileC”)

For files that are up a level or more in the hierarchy, use two periods and a backslash for each level.

  • In this example, the file is 1 level up.
  • In this example, the file is 2 levels up.

Remove Hyperlinks

Below are the instructions for two methods of removing hyperlinks

Manually Remove Hyperlinks

In Excel 2010 or later:

In Excel 2010, you can quickly remove hyperlinks from selected cells.

  1. Select cell(s) that contain hyperlinks
  2. Right click on any selected cell
  3. Click Remove hyperlinks

To see the steps, watch this Excel Quick Tips video.

In Excel 2007 and earlier versions:

To remove hyperlinks from a group of cells, you can copy and paste the cells as values. To see the steps, watch this Excel Quick Tips video.

Macro to Remove All Hyperlinks in Selected Cells

Instead of manually removing the hyperlinks, you can you can use the following macro code. It deletes all hyperlinks in the selected cells, and leaves just the cell text.

Copy this code into a regular module in your workbook, then select the cells, and run the delHyperlinks macro.

Sub delHyperlinks()
'posted by Rick Rothstein
  Selection.Hyperlinks.Delete
End Sub

Point to Hyperlink

Follow these steps to make the pointing hand appear anywhere in a hyperlink cell, and see how to select a hyperlinked cell, without following the link.

Show the Pointing Hand

If a wide cell contains a short hyperlink, the pointing hand will only appear when it’s over the text, not in the empty space. To fix that:

  • Select the cell(s)
  • On the Home tab of the Excel Ribbon, click the Wrap Text command.

Select a Hyperlink Cell

If you need to select a hyperlink cell, perhaps to edit the text, without following the link:

  • Point to the cell, and press the left mouse button for a couple of seconds.
  • The pointer will change to a big white plus sign, to show that the cell was selected.
  • You can now edit the hyperlink cell

Create Sheet List With Links (Macro)

The following code will create a Table of Contents in an Excel file, with a list of all the visible worksheets, and a hyperlink to cell A1 on each sheet. You can get this code in a sample file — look for download #3 in the list below

Tip: On each worksheet, put a hyperlink back to the Table of Contents sheet.

Sub CreateTOC()
Dim wsA As Worksheet
Dim ws As Worksheet
Dim wsTOC As Worksheet
Dim lRow As Long
Dim rngList As Range
Dim lCalc As Long
Dim strTOC As String
Dim strCell As String
lCalc = Application.Calculation

On Error GoTo errHandler
Application.EnableEvents = False
Application.ScreenUpdating = False
Application.Calculation = xlCalculationManual

strTOC = "TOC"
strCell = "A1"
Set wsA = ActiveSheet

On Error Resume Next
Set wsTOC = Sheets(strTOC)
On Error GoTo errHandler

If wsTOC Is Nothing Then
  Set wsTOC = Sheets.Add(Before:=Sheets(1))
  wsTOC.Name = strTOC
Else
  wsTOC.Cells.Clear
End If

With wsTOC
  .Range("B1").Value = "Sheet Name"
  lRow = 2
  For Each ws In ActiveWorkbook.Worksheets
    If ws.Visible = xlSheetVisible _
          And ws.Name <> strTOC Then
      .Cells(lRow, 2).Value = ws.Name
      .Hyperlinks.Add _
          Anchor:=.Cells(lRow, 2), _
          Address:="", _
          SubAddress:="'" & ws.Name _
            & "'!" & strCell, _
          ScreenTip:=ws.Name, _
          TextToDisplay:=ws.Name
      lRow = lRow + 1
    End If
  Next ws
  
  Set rngList = .Cells(1, 2).CurrentRegion
  rngList.EntireColumn.AutoFit
  .Rows(1).Font.Bold = True
End With

Application.ScreenUpdating = True
wsTOC.Activate
wsTOC.Cells(1, 2).Activate

exitHandler:
  Application.EnableEvents = True
  Application.ScreenUpdating = True
  Application.Calculation = lCalc
  Set rngList = Nothing
  Set wsTOC = Nothing
  Set ws = Nothing
  Set wsA = Nothing
  Exit Sub
errHandler:
  MsgBox "Could not create list"
  Resume exitHandler
End Sub

Create Fake Hyperlinks in Pivot Table

Hyperlinks can’t be added to a pivot table, even if there are hyperlinks in the source data. In this video, you’ll see how to create fake hyperlinks in a pivot table, by using a few lines of Excel VBA code.

The code is shown below the video, and the code has been updated to handle email addresses too.

Create Fake Hyperlinks in Pivot Table

To create fake hyperlinks in a pivot table, you can use a few lines of code on the worksheet’s module. Copy this code, and change the field name, to match the name in your pivot table. You can also get this code in a sample file — look for download #2 in the list below

Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange _
  (ByVal Target As Range)
Dim selPF As PivotField
Dim strField As String
Dim strAdd As String
Dim myVal As String
strField = "Site"

On Error Resume Next
Set selPF = Target.PivotField
If Not selPF Is Nothing And _
    selPF.Name = strField Then
  myVal = Target.Value
  If InStr(1, myVal, "@") > 0 Then
    strAdd = "mailto:"
  End If
  ThisWorkbook.FollowHyperlink _
    Address:=strAdd & myVal, _
    NewWindow:=True
End If

End Sub

Extract Hyperlink Address

You can use a macro or a User Defined function (UDF) to extract the address from a hyperlink.

Macro to Extract Address to Adjacent Cell

You can use a macro to extract the address from each hyperlink on a worksheet, and store it in the cell to the right of each hyperlink cell. Thanks to Fabio Puccinelli for this example.

NOTE: Hyperlinks that you create with the HYPERLINK function are not recognized as worksheet Hyperlinks. Only hyperlinks that you type or insert are recognized.

Sub ExtractHL_AdjacentCell()
Dim HL As Hyperlink
For Each HL In ActiveSheet.Hyperlinks
    HL.Range.Offset(0, 1).Value = HL.Address
Next
End Sub

Create Function to Extract Hyperlink Address

There’s no built in function to extract the URL or email address from a hyperlink. You can create your own Excel function — a User Defined Function (UDF) — to extract the address.

To see a quick overview of how you can create your own UDF to extract a hyperlink location, you can watch this short video. The written instructions are below the video.

NOTE: Hyperlinks that you create with the HYPERLINK function are not recognized as worksheet Hyperlinks.

Create a Hyperlink User Defined Function (UDF)

Copy this code into a regular module in your workbook, then use the HLink function in that workbook, just like any other function. For example, to find the URL for a hyperlink in cell B3, use this formula:

=HLink(B3)

Note: If multiple cells are selected, the formula will show the hyperlink (if any) from the first cell in the selected range.

Function HLink(rng As Range) As String
'extract URL from hyperlink - posted by Rick Rothstein
  If rng(1).Hyperlinks.Count Then
      HLink = rng.Hyperlinks(1).Address
  End If
End Function
hyperlink extract

Hide Sheets After Hyperlink

In a large workbook, you can use hyperlinks as a table of contents to quickly go to a specific sheet. Then, on each worksheet, have another hyperlink, to go back to the table of contents.

To keep things looking tidy, you can use code that hides each sheet, after you click a hyperlink on that sheet. Thanks to Jim Williams for suggesting this technique.

The following code is stored on the ThisWorkbook module, and it runs when a hyperlink is clicked on an worksheet in that workbook. You can also get this code in a sample file — look for download #4 in the list below

Private Sub Workbook_SheetFollowHyperlink _
  (ByVal Sh As Object, ByVal Target As Hyperlink)
'shows hidden target sheet and
  'hides sheet where hyperlink was clicked
Dim strWs As String
Dim strTgt As String
Dim strRng As String
Dim strMsg As String
Dim lCut As Long
On Error GoTo errHandler

strMsg = "Problem with follow hyperlink code"
Select Case Sh.Name
  Case "Instructions", "MyLinks"
    GoTo exitHandler
  Case Else
    strWs = Target.Parent
    If ActiveSheet.Name <> strWs Then
      'get the target cell/range
      strTgt = Target.SubAddress
      lCut = InStr(1, strTgt, "!")
      strRng = Right(strTgt, Len(strTgt) - lCut)
      
      With Sheets(strWs)
        strMsg = "Could not select the target"
        .Visible = True
        .Activate
        .Range(strRng).Activate
      End With
    End If
    strMsg = "Could not hide the sheet"
    Sh.Visible = False
End Select

exitHandler:
  Exit Sub
errHandler:
  MsgBox strMsg
  Resume exitHandler

End Sub
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