Skills Earth Sciences


Excel is both a teaching and a learning tool for quantitative analysis. As a statistical program that is readily available to students and universities, Excel is used for many different educational applications from tutorials in courses to fieldwork. The graphical functions and computational ability of this program make it invaluable to the study of Earth Sciences.

The following module consists of resources and videos which provide some of the basic functioning and usage of Excel. These videos and links can be used as the starting point for some topics, and as a refresher for others. There are many valuable resources such as textbooks and YouTube videos which can be consulted for specific troubleshooting, but the aim here is to provide the first building blocks towards ease of use with Excel. Though these videos do not need to be watched in a particular order, they build upon each other content wise. Take a look through the table of contents and see if there’s anything you’re unclear about – or return here when working on exercises that are completed using Excel.

1. Navigating datasets1.1 Starting in Excel1.1.1 Cell addresses
1.1.2 Navigation tips
1.1.3 Click
1.1.4 CTRL + Shift
1.1.5 Bar, scroll
1.2 Organising cells1.2.1 Hiding columns
1.2.2 Freeze panes
1.3 Data Handling & Sorting1.3.1 Find and Replace
1.3.2 Sort and Filter
1.3.3 Finding anomalies
1.3.4 Copying (without blank cells)
1.3.5 Custom sorting
1.3.6 .csv/.txt data handling
1.4 Formatting Cells1.4.1 CTRL + 1
1.4.2 Tidying cells
2. Entering simple commands2.1 Excel as Calculator2.1.1 Excel as calculator
2.1.3 Absolute cells
2.2 Fill and series

2.2.1 Numbers, dates
2.2.2 Flash fill
3. Creating basic graphs in Excel3.1 Histograms without tool pack3.1.1 Format data
3.1.2 Create graph
3.1.3 Bin distribution
3.1.4 Axis labels and title
3.2 Histograms with tool pack3.2.1 Format data
3.2.2 Create graph
3.2.3 Bin distribution
3.2.4 Axis labels and title
3.3 Scatterplots3.3.1 Format data
3.3.2 Create graph
3.3.3 Format data labels
3.3.4 Chart elements
3.3.5 Formatting and recolouring