Guide - How to use excel on MacOS

Excel for Mac

Issue/Environment/User Group

A Student, Faculty, or Staff member using the Mac OS would like more information on Microsoft Office Excel.


The user is new to the platform, or would like to now more best practices for Excel.


New to Excel for Mac? Use this guide to learn the basics.mceclip0.png

Create something

Select “File” > “New” to get right to work. Or select “File” > “New from Templat” to save time by starting with a template that gives you a head start on structure and formatting.mceclip5.png

Find recent files

Whether you work with files stored on your Mac’s hard drive or you roam across various cloud services, select “File” > “Open Recent” to see your recently used workbooks and any files that you may have pinned to your list.                                                                                      mceclip6.png

Stay connected

Need to work on the go and across different devices? Sign in to easily access your recently used files anywhere, on any device, through seamless integration between Office for Mac, OneDrive for Business, and SharePoint.                                                                         mceclip7.png

Set your preferences

Something not working quite as expected? It’s easy to change and customize options at any time. On the menu bar, select “Excel” > “Preferences”, and then set up Excel the way you want.mceclip8.png

Discover contextual tools

You can display additional ribbon commands by selectin specific items in your workbook. For example, select a chart to reveal the “Chart Design” and “Format” ribbon tabs, or select a sparkline to reveal the “Design” tab.                                                                     mceclip9.png

Insert functions, build formulas

On the “Formula” tab, select “Insert Function” to display the “Formula Builder” pane. Here, you can search for and insert functions, look up the correct syntax, and even get additional, in-depth help about your selected functions.                                                                       mceclip10.png

Enable optional add-ins

Get all of the statistical functions you need to conduct in-depth analyses of your data with the included Analysis ToolPak and Solver add-ins. On the menu bar, select “Tools” > “Excel Add-Ins”, and then select the add-ins you want to enable.                                       mceclip11.png

Share your work with others

Select the ”Share” button in the top right corner to invite others to edit your current workbook, to copy a link to the file’s cloud location, or to send a copy as a file attachment from your preferred email service.mceclip12.png

Get help with Excel

On the menu bar, select “Help” > “Search” to search for the Excel features and commands that you need help with, or select “Help” > “Excel Help” to browse through popular content. To let us know if the information we’ve provided has been useful to you, use the feedback buttons at the bottom of each Help article.                                             mceclip13.png

Get other Quick Start Guides

Visit to download our free Quick Start Guides for versions of Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.

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