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Student Handouts on Using Excel in Economics Projects

Author: David Allen, University of the West of England, Bristol

We're grateful to David Allen for sharing this "Using Excel in your economics assignments" guide from his 3rd year course. It is provided here as a .doc file and as individual sections (below) that can be edited and adapted for other courses. It makes extensive use of screen shots and word art to take students through the stages of preparing graphs for incorporation in a report.


  1. To introduce you to the use of Excel spreadsheets to plot and analyse time series data.
  2. Demonstrate how diagrams can be created in Word using the drawing features found in this software.


  1. Importing data from a Word table in to an Excel file
  2. Plotting time series data using Excel's chart wizard
  3. Formatting a data plot (the Excel chart)
  4. Creating a duplicate data plot
  5. Transferring an Excel chart to a Word document
  6. From time series data create a scatter plot and fit a trend line (line of best fit)
  7. Creating a diagram in Word using 'Insert Object'

Or download the whole document (18 pages)

See also: animated tips on How to freeze column or row headers in Excel and How to customise Excel toolbars