ExcelMicrosoft Excel is a spreadsheet program that is used incredibly widely. Having a good understanding of how Excel works is a key skill for any office worker today. Spreadsheets let you store and organise data in a grid of rows and columns. It lets you control and process your data by using formulas and functions. In it’s most simple applications, it can be used to summarise data showing totals, averages and also to very quickly produce graphs and charts. However, it is an extremely powerful and flexible tool and is used in a very wide variety of far more complicated applications. It is used for applications as different as producing full financial models for businesses or groups of businesses and statistically analysing scientific data.

Acuity’s Microsoft Excel training courses can take you from being a complete beginner, who has never used Microsoft Excel, all the way through to an advanced user who will then be able to make full use of the program’s capabilities. If you wish, you can then go on to learn to program in VBA (visual basic for applications) which will enable you to further automate tasks by building your own macros.

Led by highly experienced Excel trainers with many years of experience our hands-on courses mean that you will leave with practical experience as well as useful tips and tricks.

We run scheduled Excel training courses in Guildford and London at a number of levels. We usually train on version 2013 which is almost identical to 2010 and 2016, but we make a note of what version you use so that the trainer knows to make you aware if there are any  differences.

One-to-one or group bookings can also be arranged on dates to suit you and customised to your specific requirements.

We also frequently provide onsite training to companies. This is nationwide and not limited to businesses based in London and the South East.

Which level course would you like?


Our beginners Microsoft Excel course. Learn how to how to create, navigate around and format workbooks as well as lots of other time saving features.


This intermediate course will expand your Excel knowledge and skills. Focused on charts, formulae and Excel's list functions it'll take your skills to the next level.


Our advanced Excel course will show you how to use Excel's most powerful functions. Learn to build reports using PivotTables, edit and analyse complex data and record macros.

Excel VBA Training

This 2 day training course will show you how to use Excel VBA to customise and automate your Excel spreadsheets. It requires no prior knowledge of Excel macros or VBA. Delegates do need already be advanced users of Excel however.

Advanced Extra

Master the most advanced Excel functions and data analysis tools. Learn to use the expert functions in Excel and make the most of it's ability to analyse your data.

Combined (Ess & Int)

SAVE £55 Take advantage of our price reduction of £55 by taking our Excel Essentials and Excel Intermediate courses together on consecutive days

Intro to Macros

So you already have quite advanced knowledge of Excel but don't really want to get too deep into VBA, but know that there is more that it could do for you if you just knew that little bit more? This Excel Introduction to Macros is the course for you. You can dip your toes into learning a little bit of VBA to create macros to take you from simple recording to more advanced editing with VBA to speed up and automate your spreadsheets.

We use version 2013 to train on as this is virtually identical to other versions. If you book a private course with us at either our office or yours we are able to train in any version.
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Course Approach

These courses are focused on ensuring that we make you a faster and more relaxed Excel user. Given how widely Excel is used in business today we believe that being a comfortable and capable Excel user is a key career skill for everyone.

Whether you are a beginner tackling Excel for the first time, or an advanced user learning how to automate repetitive tasks using VBA, our courses are deliberately very hands-on. We believe that skills are developed through guided practice which reinforces learning and shows you how to apply what they are learning practically. Our exercises are carefully chosen to emphasise the key aspects of each lesson.

Excel’s key strength is that is it so flexible and configurable. However, this presents a challenge to the inexperienced user as this means that it offers large numbers of options, often within nested menus. It is not unusual for a user to know that something is possible within Excel but not be able to find the relevant menu. By encouraging delegates to working independently on Excel we allow them to become familiar with how menus are structured and where different options are accessed.


Our main training centre is in Guildford .

We also running Excel training courses in London, Reading and Basingstoke.

We are also very happy to provide on site Excel training at your premises.

Uses Of Excel

Excel is used extensively in business. It has obvious uses in finance but is used far more widely to track and manage information. It’s ability to hold, manage, present and summarise information  quickly and simply make it ubiquitous. The ability for Excel VBA to be used to build custom function means that it can be used to very quickly automate repetitive functions. A typical example of this would be generating monthly or weekly reports and graphs.

Financial models that are used to forecast business cashflow are often built using Excel spreadsheets that can, on occasion, become very large. It contains a large number of very useful functions which automate the analysis of the output, including IRR, XIRR, NPV and DCF.

Background & Overview

Excel is the spreadsheet function contained within the Microsoft Office suite of products. It is available within both Microsoft Office for Windows and also Office for Mac. However it is worth noting that Excel does not offer VBA functionality within Office for Mac 2008. It has been ubiquitous within the office environment since the mid 90’s when it took over from Lotus 1-2-3.

The recent most used versions of Excel are:

Excel 2003:

It was the last version of Excel to not have the ribbon system. It is becoming increasingly rare to see Excel 2003 these days.

This update to Excel (from Excel 2000) introduced new Tables functionality and also allowed information to be saved and modified using the XML data format. This made Excel 2003 far more compatible than previously as it made importing data from other sources far more simple.

Excel 2007:

This version of Excel introduced the ribbon. This was a major change to the appearance of Excel and many users struggled with the changes initially. Other changes that were introduced were making individual spreadsheets larger so that they could contain over a million rows (previously 65,536 rows) and up to 16,384 columns (previously 256). Further changes were also made to the Tables function. These changes made tables far more easily configurable.

Excel 2010:

Excel 2010 was a refinement of Excel 2007. The changes while meaningful were far less radical than the changes between the 2003 and 2007 versions. The key improvement was to security given the increasing use of Excel to distribute malware and viruses. The ability to avoid downloading harmful content but still preview a document using “Protected View’ was the key improvement. Changes were also made to the ribbon functionality to increase it’s flexibility and to pivot tables to make them more user friendly. The number of formulas included within the program was also increased substantially.

Excel 2013:

This version is again more of a refinement and expansion of 2010 than a wholesale change. There are multiple small changes and improvements through the program. Examples of new functionality include Quick Analysis, which creates tables very quickly and simply, and PowerPivot, which is a substantial expansion of the old pivot table functionality. PowerPivot allows very large externally held datasets (often held in Access or SQL databases) to be analysed using Excel. In doing this it moves to being a Business Intelligence (‘BI’).

Other Courses

Delegates interested in Excel training courses are also often interested in:

SQL Training Courses

R Training

Project Training Courses

Further References 

Further information on Excel can be found at the following websites:

Wikipedia:    Excel Article

Microsoft:   Excel Homepage

You may find the following articles that we have written on Excel useful as well.

The SEOs Guide To Excel

A Guide To Excel PowerPivot and PowerBI

Excel Infographic

An Introduction To Excel