Getting Started with Excel

Getting Started with Excel
Microsoft Excel combines the column-row layout of traditional paper spreadsheets with powerful tools for data calculation, analysis, and formatting. When used optimally, Excel saves a great deal of time performing a multitude of tasks. This document introduces some of the essential concepts that will help you design effective workbooks in Excel.


Opening Excel
To open Excel 2007, from the Start menu, select All Programs » Microsoft Office »
Microsoft Office Excel 2007

Creating a Workbook
An Excel file is called a workbook. By default, workbooks open with three blank worksheets, although you can add or delete worksheets at any time. The advantage of having multiple worksheets, or layers, is that a variety of data can be compiled, analyzed, and integrated in a single file. Worksheets can contain data, charts, or both.For more information on Excel terminology, refer to Worksheet Terms.

  1. In the top left corner of the Excel window, click FILE - The File menu appears
  2. From the File menu, select New... - The New Workbook dialog box appears.
  3. Under New Blank, double click BLANK WORKBOOK - A new workbook appears.


Entering Text
Excel allows you to enter text into cells.

  1. Select the cell where you want to enter text
  2. Type text into the cell
  3. To accept the text, press [Enter] or an [Arrow]
  4. To force text to wrap at a specific point in a cell, press [Alt] + [Enter]


Entering Numbers
Numeric cells can be used for calculations and functions. A numeric cell may contain numbers, a decimal point (.), plus (+) or minus (-) signs, and currency ($).

  1. Select the cell where you want to enter numbers
  2. Type the numeric information that should be in the cell HINT: To enter a fraction, type 0 and press [Space] before the fraction;
    otherwise, Excel will interpret the fraction as a date.
  3. To accept the information, press [Enter] or an [Arrow]
NOTES:Excel automatically right-aligns numerical values and left-aligns text. Do not include spaces or alphabetical characters in a calculation cell.


Entering Numbers Formatted as Text
When cells are formatted for text, all cell contents-letters, numerals, or alpha-numeric combinations-are treated as text. Information is displayed exactly as it is entered. There are two ways to enter numbers as text.

Entering Numbers Formatted as Text: Apostrophe Character
  1. Select the cell you want to enter information into
  2. Press ['], then type numeric information
  3. To accept the information, press [Enter] or an [Arrow]


Entering Numbers Formatted as Text: Dialog Box
NOTE: This method is especially useful when formatting multiple cells to display text.

  1. From the Ribbon, select the Home command tab
  2. In the Number group, click FORMAT CELLS B - the Format Cells dialog box appears.
  3. Select the Number tab
  4. From the Category scroll list, select Text
  5. Click OK
  6. Type the desired numbers and/or text in the cell
  7. To accept the text, press [Enter] or an [Arrow]
  8. To force text to wrap at a specific point in a cell, press [Alt] +
    [Enter]


Entering a Date and Time Manually

  1. Select the cell where you want to enter the date or time
  2. To enter a date, type the date in one of the following formats: 8/14/2006, 8-14-2006, or August 14, 2000
  3. To enter a time - Type the time Press [Space] - To indicate AM or PM, press [Shift] + [A] or [P],
    respectively
  4. 4.To accept the information, press [Enter]


Entering the Current Date and Time Automatically
For information on having Excel automatically insert dates and times, refer to Inserting Dates and Times.

Saving for the First Time The following steps should be used when you are saving a worksheet for the first time, when you want to save it to a new location (e.g., as a backup), or when you want to save a copy with a different name.

  1. In the top left corner of the Excel window, click FILE - The File menu appears
  2. From the File menu, select Save As... OR Press [Ctrl] + [S] - The Save As dialog box appears.
  3. From the Save in pull-down list, select the appropriate save location
  4. In the File name text box, type a filename - NOTE:
    To save your workbook in a format other than the default (.xlsx), from the Save as type pull-down list, select the desired format.
    This is an important consideration if you want your document to be able to open in Excel 97-2003.
  5. Click SAVE - The file is saved.


Saving Subsequent Times
  1. In the top left corner of the Excel window, click FILE - The File menu appears
  2. From the File menu, select Save OR Press [Ctrl] + [S] OR From the Quick Access toolbar, click SAVE - The file is saved.

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