Centre for Continuing Education

Microsoft Excel Course: Level 2

Microsoft Excel. Unlock insights and tell the story in your data.

Learn Microsoft Excel the smart way with Microsoft Excel courses at CCE, The University of Sydney.


This short course extends the learner’s basic knowledge of Excel beyond Microsoft Excel Course: Level 1 and provides you with skills and knowledge to produce more effective and productive workbooks. The short course covers formulas and function techniques, more intricate formatting, setting complex printing options, using intricate charting features and working more effectively with existing worksheets and workbooks. Completion of this course provides sufficient knowledge to progress on to Microsoft Excel Course: Level 3.


Upon completion of this short course, you should be able to:

  1. Use the fill operations available to fill a data series.
  2. Move the contents of cells and ranges within and between workbooks.
  3. Work with logical functions.
  4. Create more complex formulas and functions.
  5. Apply a range of number formatting techniques to worksheet cells.
  6. Apply conditional formatting to ranges in a worksheet.
  7. Apply borders to cells and ranges in a worksheet.
  8. Apply a variety of page setup techniques.
  9. Work with elements that make up the structure of a worksheet.
  10. Use a range of techniques to work with worksheets.
  11. Use a range of find and replace techniques.
  12. Sort data in a list in a worksheet.
  13. Filter data in a table.
  14. Use a range of elements and features to enhance charts.
  15. Select and change the format of objects in a chart.


This short course covers the following topics:

Filling data

  • Understanding Filling.
  • Filling A Series.
  • Filling A Growth Series.
  • Filling A Series Backwards.
  • Filling Using Options.
  • Creating A Custom Fill List.
  • Modifying A Custom Fill List.
  • Deleting A Custom Fill List.
  • Extracting With Flash Fill.
  • More Complex Flash Fill Extractions.
  • Extracting Dates And Numbers.

Logical functions

  • Understanding Logical Functions.
  • Using IF With Text.
  • Using IF With Numbers.
  • Nesting IF Functions.
  • Using IFERROR.
  • Using TRUE And FALSE.
  • Using AND.
  • Using OR.
  • Using NOT.

Complex formulas

  • Scoping A Formula.
  • Long-Hand Formulas.
  • Preparing For Complex Formulas.
  • Creating The Base Formula.
  • Adding More Operations.
  • Editing A Complex Formula.
  • Adding More Complexity.
  • Copying Nested Functions.
  • Switching To Manual Recalculation.
  • Pasting Values From Formulas.
  • Documenting Formulas.

Number formatting techniques

  • Applying Alternate Currencies.
  • Applying Alternate Date Formats.
  • Formatting Clock Time.
  • Formatting Calculated Time.
  • Understanding Number Formatting.
  • Understanding Format Codes.
  • Creating Descriptive Custom Formats.
  • Custom Formatting Large Numbers.
  • Custom Formatting For Fractions.
  • Padding Numbers Using Custom Formatting.
  • Aligning Numbers Using Custom Formats.
  • Customising The Display Of Negative Values.

Conditional formatting

  • Understanding Conditional Formatting.
  • Formatting Cells Containing Values.
  • Clearing Conditional Formatting.
  • More Cell Formatting Options.
  • Top Ten Items.
  • More Top And Bottom Formatting Options.
  • Working With Data Bars.
  • Working With Colour Scales.
  • Working With Icon Sets.
  • Understanding Sparklines.
  • Creating Sparklines.
  • Editing Sparklines.

Working with a worksheet

  • Understanding Worksheets.
  • Changing The Worksheet View.
  • Worksheet Zooming.
  • Viewing The Formula Bar.
  • Viewing Worksheet Gridlines.
  • Viewing The Ruler.
  • Inserting Cells Into A Worksheet.
  • Deleting Cells From A Worksheet.
  • Inserting Columns Into A Worksheet.
  • Inserting Rows Into A Worksheet.
  • Deleting Rows And Columns.
  • More Than One Worksheet.
  • Worksheet Wisdom.

Worksheet techniques

  • Inserting And Deleting Worksheets.
  • Copying A Worksheet.
  • Renaming A Worksheet.
  • Moving A Worksheet.
  • Hiding A Worksheet.
  • Unhiding A Worksheet.
  • Copying A Sheet To Another Workbook.
  • Moving A Sheet To Another Workbook.
  • Changing Worksheet Tab Colours.
  • Grouping Worksheets.
  • Hiding Rows And Columns.
  • Unhiding Rows And Columns.
  • Freezing Rows And Columns.
  • Splitting Windows.

Finding and replacing

  • Understanding Find And Replace Operations.
  • Finding Text.
  • Finding Cell References In Formulas.
  • Replacing Values.
  • Using Replace To Change Formulas.
  • Replacing Within A Range.
  • Finding Formats.
  • Finding Constants Using Go To Special.
  • Finding Formulas Using Go To Special.
  • Finding The Current Region.
  • Finding The Last Cell.

Sorting data

  • Understanding Lists.
  • Performing An Alphabetical Sort.
  • Performing A Numerical Sort.
  • Sorting On More Than One Column.
  • Sorting Numbered Lists.
  • Sorting By Rows.

Filtering data

  • Understanding Filtering.
  • Applying And Using A Filter.
  • Clearing A Filter.
  • Creating Compound Filters.
  • Multiple Value Filters.
  • Creating Custom Filters.
  • Using Wildcards.

Chart elements

  • Understanding Chart Elements.
  • Adding A Chart Title.
  • Adding Axes Titles.
  • Repositioning The Legend.
  • Showing Data Labels.
  • Showing Gridlines.
  • Formatting The Chart Area.
  • Adding A Trendline.
  • Adding Error Bars.
  • Adding A Data Table.

Chart object formatting

  • Understanding Chart Formatting.
  • Selecting Chart Objects.
  • Using Shape Styles.
  • Changing Column Colour Schemes.
  • Changing The Colour Of A Series.
  • Changing Line Chart Colours.
  • Using Shape Effects.
  • Colouring The Chart Background.
  • Understanding The Format Pane.
  • Using The Format Pane.
  • Exploding Pie Slices.
  • Changing Individual Bar Colours.
  • Formatting Text.
  • Formatting With WordArt.
  • Changing WordArt Fill.
  • Changing WordArt Effects.

Delivery Style

This short course is delivered as presenter-taught computer-based training in a Microsoft Windows environment.

Intended Audience

This short course is designed for existing users of Excel who would like to expand their skills and knowledge and learn more of the techniques associated with creating better and more productive workbooks. This short course assumes the learner has the skills and knowledge required to create, edit, print and chart simple worksheets. Understanding ranges and the copying process is important.

You should be familiar with the basic functions of a computer operating system such as navigating the environment using a mouse and keyboard, starting applications, copying and pasting objects, formatting text, creating folders, opening files, saving files, familiarity with the accessing the Internet and use of common web browsers. If you do not have these skills, we recommend attending Basic Computer Skills Course and Effective Internet Use before attempting this course.


  • Free repeat class - Conditions apply
  • Free USB flash drive
  • Expert trainer
  • Dedicated computer for every student
  • Small class size
  • Student notes – yours to keep
  • Certificate of completion

What others say.

  • I attended the Excel Level 2 Course, and I was so impressed with the trainer. I’ve been in IT for 30 years and have attended many courses. This tutor so far has been the best trainer I have had and really knows the product, and cares that all participants understand the content.

  • The teacher was great and was highly informative, and able to speak in simple language. I personally felt this tutor was extremely competent.

  • I found the course extremely good. Not only did I learn new ways to do things in Excel I also learnt quicker and more efficient ways to create formulas, tables, pivot tables, charts, etc. The instructor was excellent and the course well paced. I have already recommended this course to colleagues and am booked into Excel Level 3.

  • The facilitator was great – very patient, and clear with instructions, particularly for a person like me who isn’t computer savvy. Plus really helpful.

  • This is honestly one of the best courses I have been to. Relevant, engaging, interesting and will really change vital tasks and increase efficiency at work. The teaching was straight forward, entertaining and perfectly suited to the level of the attendees. The best tutor, I couldn’t recommend highly enough. I learned more today than in years of using Excel.

  • The course challenged my thinking and helped ease my mind about a few Excel tasks that I have long felt daunted by. Not daunted any longer mainly due to the tutors intelligent and crisp presentation style, who seemed to gauge the level of our Excel skills and tailored the presentation accordingly. I walked away with a bagful of resources and a lot more confidence in my new found Excel abilities. Thank you from a 55 year old who is looking forward to my next course.

  • We had a very good and personable teacher who was able to cover a lot of content without leaving any student unsure or confused, assisting them along the way if need be. I feel this way of teaching was really understandable and I thoroughly enjoyed the class that day.

  • It was a great class. Easy for everyone to keep up with. Our teacher was very clear and made sure we all understood before moving onto something new, whilst still sticking to the schedule.

  • Great class. I learnt a lot, the tutor was very knowledgeable about Excel and made sure that everyone was on the same page and understood the content before moving on to the next topic.

  • The tutor was fantastic. Obviously very knowledgeable and has a great manner for teaching people with such a variation in Excel skills.

  • Course was pitched at exactly the right level so I personally got a lot out of it – looking forward to following up with Level 3 in a few weeks. Very happy with the training materials so I can refresh when required. Would highly recommend to colleagues.

  • Great course with fantastic and enthusiastic instructor. Would definitely recommend and take another course!

  • We had a very good tutor who had excellent knowledge of Excel and was able to explain all concepts clearly and in terms that were understandable to the class – and also seemed to be very kind and non-intimidating. Was very impressed with the tutor. The concepts covered in class and the facilities were also excellent – overall I was very happy with the course.

  • The course information booklets and USB are great resources and the practice sessions inside are valuable. The tutor was very clear with the explanation of things and was happy to assist individuals with their own queries.

  • The tutor was wonderful; experienced, educative, approachable and knowledgeable – and kept us working all day at a pace that worked for the whole class and covered more than just the course material.

  • Course was really good. Great pace and good amount of content that was reflective of the course overview.

  • The tutor was very good, teaching the content in the book and going beyond by giving us shortcut keys and skills learnt from work experiences. A very articulate presentation and taught at a good pace.

  • A fantastic tutor who remained both engaging and persistent with the teaching approach. This course should better allow me to practice and implement Excel techniques in a financial work environment.

  • Our tutor was brilliant and even helped me figure out a question after the course, which will help me so much at work. I was very pleased with the way the course was conducted with everything explained thoroughly and then reconfirmed what we had learnt. It was wonderful to be in a class taught so well and I will definitely come back to another course.

  • Our tutor was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. I would recommend the Excel Level 2 course to anyone wanting to improve their efficiency in working with Excel. As a previously self-taught Excel user, the course filled the gaps in my knowledge and provided practical information and skills which I can use every day.

  • I felt the tutor was an excellent presenter, was very informative and went out of their way to answer questions to ensure everyone had the correct understanding.

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