Microsoft Office Excel 2007
There are several ways to start Excel. For "first-timers", the easiest way is from the Start button on the taskbar. Excel can be found under Start, Programs, Microsoft Office.
Putting an Excel shortcut on your desktop
Navigate to Excel 2007 on your Start Menu. Right click the item and select "Create Shortcut." When you recieve the error message that "A shortcut cannot be created here," click "Yes" to have it sent to your Desktop instead.
When in doubt, "ask" for Help
After you have Excel "up-and-running," Help can be found by:
- Pressing the "F1" key on the keyboard
- Clicking the blue question mark icon in the top right hand corner of the application, by the minimize, maximize and exit buttons.
What is what in Excel? The Excel display
- The title bar at the top of the window shows the name of the current document. It also contains the standard Windows control buttons: minimize, maximize/restore down and close.
- The Office Button takes you to what is usually the "File" Menu. Here you can open, save, or print a document.
- The Quick Access toolbar is immediately to the right of the option button and lets you save, undo or redo easily. You can change the location of these buttons by right-clicking.
- The Ribbon uses a tab format to present the various commands and options usually found in such menus as "Edit," "Tools," and "View." Alternatively, it is possible to revert to the Menu format as found in Excel 2003.
- The Home tab contains buttons and other controls that allow you to quickly change the appearance of a document by selecting a font, size, etc.
- Undeneath the Ribbon is a bar that contains the cell name box and cell edit box, which is used to type in cell contents or formulas.
- The Status bar (at the bottom of the window) provides scroll buttons, worksheet tabs, as well as the current settings and operations in progress.
- A new document is called a Workbook, each workbook contains one or more worksheets. Each worksheet is made up of columns (alphabetic) and rows (numeric) of "cells." Cells are storage places for data, formulas, etc.
- The worksheet tab (Sheet1) can be renamed to improve organization. By right-clicking the tab, you can add worksheets, delete, and move (or copy) worksheets.
Navigating in an Excel document
Excel worksheets are much larger than the screen. This can be an advantage when organizing your data. To view the other parts of the document, use the scroll bars at the right and on the bottom of the window. Scrolling will not change the selected box on the worksheet, so if there should be a change click the area where the change should occur. The arrow keys and page up or down keys will also allow movement within the worksheet.
Entering text in the worksheet
Entering text is similar to using a word processing program. Use keystrokes to produce a letter or symbol inside a selected cell. Excel categorizes data in a cell as text, number, date, etc. If you use numerals but want Excel to treat them as text, precede the entry with an apostrophe " ´ ".
Editing text in an existing worksheet
- Use the mouse pointer to select a cell in the worksheet. After highlighting the cell, click the status bar and highlight the changing text. Press the DELETE key on the keyboard, removing the text.
- To add text, use the mouse pointer to select a box in the worksheet. Place the pointer over the spot where text should be added and left-click to place the insertion point. Type the desired text.
Saving files regularly will prevent losing hours of hard work due to a power outage or system crash. To save a document, click on the save button located on the standard menu bar. If it is a new document, Excel will give you the option to name the document and designate where it should be saved. We recommend saving the information to your personal drive (H:\) to prevent data loss due to corrupt diskettes. To save the document as another name or to another location, click on "File" in the menu bar and then "Save As." Select the alternate name or location and press OK.
Better yet, you can get in the habit of pressing Ctrl+S to save quickly. Do this every five minutes or so, and you won't need to kick yourself for losing hours of work after a program crash or power failure.
Printing a worksheet
For simple jobs, first review the document, then use the print icon on the quick access toolbar or press Ctrl+P. For more complex worksheets, choose the Page Setup option from the Office Button to adjust the page orientation (portrait/landscape) and choose scaling options. You can also print sections of a large worksheet by selecting Print Area.
The most common formula used in spreadsheets is addition or "summation." Excel provides an AutoSum (?) button under the Formula tab to speed up this process. Next to the AutoSum button are other buttons that present functions by category.
Formulas are based on mathematic symbols and their order of operation. A formula in a cell is identified by the equal "=" symbol. Cell contents are identified by their coordinate name, i.e. A1. An example: =(A1 * B1)/C1, the number stored in cell A1 is multiplied by the number stored in B1 first (parenthesis) then divided by "/" the content of cell C1.
Common errors with the use of formulas are "#REF!", "#VALUE!", and "#DIV/0!".
- "#REF!" - a reference to a cell is not valid (the cell name is not valid).
- "#VALUE!" - the formula cell reference contains text instead of a number.
- "#DIV/0!" - the formula tries to divide by zero (a math no-no).
Select the columns and rows you wish to convert into a chart, then navigate to the Insert Tab and select your desired chart (e.g. line, pie, bar graph).
After you have generated the chart, the ribbon automatically brings you to new tabs where you can customize the Design, Layout, and Format of the chart.
This document last reviewed July 28th, 2010.
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