How To Use Microsoft Excel Help Effectively

How do we use the help feature in Microsoft Excel if we need contextual help i. e. help related to our present analysis or calculation that we are carrying out. Let’s say I’m a teacher and have the data of students names, their marks, calculated totals and their grades. .Let’s say I wish to use Vlookup to find the grade of a specific from my Excel data and I’m having a problem understanding the different parameters that I need to enter for Vlookup to give me the correct result,
How do I use the help feature in MS Excel:

  • We start writing our formula =’Vlookup(‘ in an Excel cell
  • Immediately the complete parameters become visible
  • Now if I click on Vlookup which has a link I can view contextual help
  • I can see the complete syntax of vlookup, each parameter is explained in detail and many worked out examples are also given
Vlookup Using Help

Vlookup Using Help

Vlookup Function

Vlookup Function

Vlookup Syntax

Vlookup Syntax

Vlookup Example

Vlookup Example

  • Now you say to yourself I understand the details but I still have problems implementing the function on my own
  • You get more specific help on how and what data type you should enter for each parameter
  • You can click on the drop down arrow next to Autosum (Sigma sign) in the Home tab in the Editing group
  • Select More Functions…
  • You’ll be brought to a new window wit the title Function Arguments under which you’ll see Vlookup
  • Each of the parameters is listed on the left with a text box on the right in which you can enter the parameters or arguments need for Vlookup to work perfectly
  • Below the parameters you’ll see a definition of what Vlookup does
  • Now click on the collapse button on the right of the text box
  • Select Barbara from your worksheet data
  • Uncollapse the window by clicking again on the collapse button
  • The Function Arguments windows becomes big and Barbara is entered in the text box and “Barbara” is displayed on the right of the collapse button
  • Also at the bottom of the window below the Vlookup definition you’ll see a thorough explanation about the Lookup_value parameter
  • Now do the same for Table_Array, Col_Index_num and Range_lookup parameters as shown in the video
  • You’ll notice that the result “C’ is displayed in the Functions Arguments window itself
  • Click on OK
  • You’ll see the result “C” also displayed in the worksheet cell

Vlookup has found the information for the lookup value Barbara in column 1 from the column 7 (Grade) in the same row.
The MS Excel help feature is therefore excellent.

View the Excel training video below:

6 thoughts on “How To Use Microsoft Excel Help Effectively

  1. Mellie

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