Excel. Explained.

EXCEL. What is it?

Is it the Exhibition Centre in London?

Is it when you do something well, better than others?
Well yes, it could be.

But in this case, it's Microsoft software used to create spreadsheets.

And a spreadsheet?

That's a document where data is input into cells.
Cells are arranged in rows and columns.
You can add data to cells, move it around, manipulate it and calculate it.

It's also where we build all of the Flourish Templates and Calculators.
But you can easily convert to the FREE Google Sheets program.

THAT'S Excel.

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look & feel

  • Excel creates a file called a workbook.
  • Just like a physical book, there are pages, or worksheets.
  • And like a book, you can have multiple worksheets.
  • You'll see them in the bottom left-hand corner.
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  • Across the top of your worksheet are Columns, which run vertically.
    Lettered from A to XFD - that's an astounding 16,384 columns.
  • Down the side of your worksheet are Rows, which run horizontally.
    These go from 1 to 1,048,576. Wow.
  • The point where a Column and a Row intersect is called a Cell. 
    Each cell has its own identity, made up of the column letter and row number, i.e. C5. This is known as a cell reference.

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OPEN A flourish template or WoRKBOOK

  • When you buy a Flourish Template or Calculator, you will find it in your Downloads folder.
  • In the Menu Bar at the top, select File.
  • Select Open from the drop-down menu.
    A dialog box will appear.
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  • Select your folder from the left-hand side (e.g. Downloads).
  • Your files will appear.
  • Find the file you want to open from your list.
  • Click the file with your cursor to select it.
  • Click Open in the bottom right-hand corner.
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  • Once you have opened your Flourish Template, you'll want to save it.
  • With the workbook open, select File from the Menu Bar at the top.
  • Select Save from the drop-down menu.
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  • If you haven't saved it before, a dialog box will appear.
  • In the Save As box, a name will be showing, based on it either being a new workbook (e.g. Book1) or a download (e.g. Pricing Calculator).
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  • Want to re-name your workbook?
    Type your new name in the Save As box.
  • Where do you want it to save?
    The aptly named Where box lets you choose your folder, click on the blue arrows.
  • Happy with the name & folder?
    Click the Save button in the bottom right-hand corner.
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  • If you haven't saved it before, a dialog box will appear.
  • In the Save As box, a name will be showing, based on it either being a new workbook (e.g. Book1) or a download (e.g. Pricing Calculator).
  • Want to re-name your workbook?
    Type your new name in the File Name box.
  • Where do you want it to save?
    Your folders will be showing on the left-hand side.
    Select your location by clicking on the folder (e.g. documents)
  • Happy with the name & folder?
    Click the Save button in the bottom right-hand corner.
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  • In the Menu Bar at the top, select File.
  • Select New from the drop-down menu.
  • Your new workbook will appear.
  • Get started!
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  • Select your cell by pointing your cursor and clicking on it.
    In the example below, this is cell B2.
  • Type your text or number into the cell.
    The same information will appear in the Formula Bar, above the column headers.
  • To finish, click out of the cell into another one.
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  • If you've already saved your sheet, quickly save your changes by clicking on the floppy disk icon. So retro.
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  • In some of your templates, you will notice hidden rows or columns.
  • There will be a gap in the sequence of numbers (rows) or letters (columns), and you will see a small '+' sign above or to the left of the sheet.
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  • Clicking on the  '+' icons will unhide the relevant rows or columns
    (i.e. D, F & I).
  • Or unhide them all by clicking on the small '2' icon on the left-hand side.
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  • They will now have the '-' icon and a line above the column(s) or next to the row(s) included in the grouping.
  • Want to hide them again?
    Just click on the relevant '-' icons, or hide them all by clicking the small '1' icon on the left-hand side.


  • NOTE:
  • Some columns contain data for formulas, so there's no need to expand them. If you accidentally unhide them, you'll spot HIDE above them.
  • Others are hidden to save space on the worksheet, and you will have instructions for these with your Template or Calculator.

Back to Quick Guide


  • A filter lets you specify criteria.
    Any rows which meet the criteria are shown, any which don't are hidden.
    Handy if you have a lot of data and need to find something!
  • To add filters, select the Data tab and click the Filter icon in the toolbar.
  • Small arrow icons will now appear next to each column heading.
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  • Choose which column you would like to filter on (e.g. Product Category)
  • A dialog box will appear with all of the options within the column
    (e.g. Cushions, Lampshades, Rugs, (Blanks))
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  • Click the Select All box to uncheck all the options.
  • Then select your criteria by clicking the relevant box (e.g. Cushions).
  • A blue tick will appear, and your data will filter as shown below.
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  • You can filter by more than one criteria, just select the options
    (e.g. Cushions AND Rugs).
  • Rows containing those options will be displayed, while the other, unchecked options will remain hidden.
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  • To show all of your data again, click the Select All box.
  • Voila! You'll be able to see all of your data again.
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  • You can also filter by more than one column.
  • Each new filter is based on the choices you have already made
    (e.g. Cushions > Plain Cushions), so the data will keep reducing.
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  • To remove your Filters, go back to the Data tab and click the Filter icon again.
  • All of your Filters will be removed, and the small arrow icons will disappear.
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There are some clever sorting elves embedded in our Flourish Templates, which means that your Analysis will always show you sales from highest to lowest.

But if you'd like to do your own sort, here's how:

  • Select the Data tab and click the Sort icon in the toolbar.
  • A dialog box will appear.
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  • Select which column you want to sort your data by, by clicking on the drop-down menu, use the up & down arrows.
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  • You can also choose what to 'Sort On' e.g. Values, Cell Colours etc.
  • Finally select the 'Order' you want to sort your data in.
    Descending (A-Z), Ascending (Z-A), or a Custom option.
  • Once selected, click 'OK.'
  • The data will be highlighted and sorted against your selection.
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  • To undo the Sort, click the 'Undo' button above the Formulas tab.
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Add a row. GRowing your table

  • In some of your trackers, you may want to add additional rows to 'grow' your table.
  • Select the last cell of the table by pointing your cursor and clicking on it.
  • Press 'Tab' on your keyboard (->|).
  • The new row will appear, complete with all of the formulas and formatting.
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  • Your worksheets are on tabs at the bottom of your workbook.
  • To move between them, click the worksheet tab you want to display.
  • The selected worksheet will appear on the screen.
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  • You can re-order the worksheets within your workbook.
  • Hold your cursor down on the worksheet tab that you would like to move.
  • A small black arrowhead will appear.
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  • Drag (click and hold-down left mouse button) the worksheet tab across to its new position, then release your cursor.
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When you are using your Flourish Templates and Calculators, you might spot some small red triangles in the corners of cells. These are comments, usually an explanation, calculation or helpful tip for you to use.

  • Hover your cursor over the red triangle to see the comment.
    Move away, and it will disappear.
  • Can't see the comment by hovering? 
    Right-click on the cell and select 'Show Comment' from the
    drop-down menu.
    To hide it again, right click on the cell and select 'Hide Comment.'
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A formula is how you tell your worksheet to do a mathematical calculation or an action on the data you have entered.
In Excel, you can write your formulas, or use pre-defined ones, called Functions.

A formula always starts with an equal sign (=). You can type it directly into the cell or into the Formula Bar just above your column headers*. 

*Some of the formulas in your Tool Kit will be hidden or locked, so you don't accidentally change or get distracted by them. Some of them are pretty long!

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All of the Flourish templates and calculators have formulas which will save you time and give you the perfect answer.

Back to Quick Guide


  • You can create graphs and charts in Excel, helping you identify trends and make the best decisions for your business.
  • Learn more in our Sales & Analysis Insight.
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Excel vs. Google sheets

Google Sheets.
Billed as a 'lightweight' alternative to Excel, but popular because it is...

  • A FREE alternative to Excel (always a winner);
  • Easy to use and includes tips in the web application;
  • Accessible in a web browser through Google Drive, automatically storing and
    saving your files into the cloud;
  • Collaborative, allowing users to be in the same sheet, working together in real time.


But which one do you use?

Answer: Whichever is right for you.

You don't need to have Excel to access the Flourish Tool Kit. Hoorah!
Once downloaded, its easy to upload and convert from Excel, into Sheets and back again.

Converting a spreadsheet from
Excel to Google Sheets

  • Go to Google Drive
  • Don't have a Google account? No problem.
    It's FREE to create and will give you access to all the web-based Google apps.
    Grab yours here.

Once you're in your account, head over to Google Apps.
You'll find it in the top right-hand corner. It's the square of squares.

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Click on Drive

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Once you're in Google Drive, click on
New & choose File Upload

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Find your Excel spreadsheet in your browser.
If you've bought a Flourish Template, this will usually be automatically saved to Downloads. 

Choose the file to upload.
Double-click on the file to open a preview.

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At the top of the window, you will see
Open with Google Sheets.
Either double-click or select
Google Sheets from the drop-down.

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You have converted your Excel document into a Sheets format!

You can start working on the document in your web browser. Any changes will automatically save to the cloud.

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Converting a spreadsheet from
Google Sheets to excel

  • Made some changes in Google Sheets?
  • Want to send your workbook back to Excel?
  • Follow these simple steps.

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Open Google Drive.

Select your File.
Make sure you select the Sheets version, shown with the icon.

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Right click to show the drop-down menu.

Select 'Download.'

Your sheets version will convert back into Excel.

Access it via your Downloads Folder.