Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool that is used by many professionals for data analysis, financial planning, and project management. However, many people are not familiar with all of the features and functions that it has to offer. In this article, we will be discussing how to access the various menus and icons in Microsoft Excel, as well as some of the key features and functions that you need to know.

Menu and Icon Navigation in Microsoft Excel

The first thing that you need to know when working with Microsoft Excel is how to access the various menus and icons. There are a number of different ways to do this, but the most common method is to use the ribbon. The ribbon is located at the top of the Excel window and contains all of the menus and icons that you will need to use when working with the program.

Working with Menus

When working with menus in Microsoft Excel, there are a few things that you need to know. First, each menu contains a list of commands that you can use to perform various functions in the program. These commands are organized into groups, which are displayed as buttons on the menu.

Working with Icons

The icons in Microsoft Excel are used to perform specific functions in the program. They are located on the ribbon and can be accessed by clicking on the appropriate tab. There are several different types of icons in Excel, including formatting icons, chart icons, and function icons.

Using Excel for Financial Modeling

The ability to create financial models in Microsoft Excel is one of the program’s most powerful features. A financial model is a representation of a company’s financial situation that can be used to make informed decisions about the future of the business. In order to create an effective financial model, you need to have a good understanding of the various functions and features that Excel has to offer.

Key Excel Functions for Financial Modeling


VLOOKUP is a function that is used to search for a value in a table, and then return the corresponding value from another column in the same row. This function is useful in financial modeling because it allows you to quickly lookup and match data from different sources.


SUMIF is a function that is used to sum a range of values based on a specific condition. This function is useful in financial modeling because it allows you to quickly calculate totals for a specific category or group within your data.


1. Can I use Excel to create charts and graphs?

Yes, Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool for creating charts and graphs. You can use the chart and graph icons in the ribbon to create a variety of different chart types, including bar charts, pie charts, and line charts. Additionally, you can customize your charts and graphs with a variety of different formatting options, such as color schemes, chart titles, and axis labels.


2. How can I use Excel to perform what-if analysis?

Excel is a great tool for performing what-if analysis, which is the process of changing one or more input values in your data to see how they affect the output. You can use the data tables function in Excel to create a table that shows how changes in one or more input values affect a specific output value. Additionally, you can use the scenario manager function to create different scenarios that show how changes in multiple input values affect multiple output values at the same time.

Video Tutorial

For those who prefer a video tutorial, here is a great tutorial on mastering Microsoft Excel: