Excel overview

Excel basics

Below is a picture of what Microsoft Excel's main screen may look like. As you can notice the working environment is a several boxes or what are referred to as cells. Across the top you will notice alphabetic letters which represent columns. Columns are rows that lay vertically. Along the left hand side of the screen you notice numbers these are to represent the rows which go horizontally or left to right.

Excel

Formatting cells

Before creating the spread sheet the user must decide how the spread sheet is going to work and what its function is. We are going to create a layout of a basic checking account spread sheet to show you some key features of Excel. As you can notice with the bottom example we have created a blue bar to distinguish the categories of the checking account. To change the colors of cells you first must highlight the cells you want to change colors. Hint if you want to highlight the whole row or column click on the letter or number of the row or column that you want to highlight. Once the selected cells have been highlighted on the main tool bar click on Format / Cells / Patterns, under pattern select the color that you would like the cells to be if you do not want the cells to be a completely blue you can also select the pattern in this window as well.

Excel

Formulas

Spread sheets are most popular for their capability of being able to calculate other cells with formulas without you having to do all the hard work and be automatically updated if any cell is changed. In the image below we have given and example of a simple formula that can be extended or used in your own spread sheets. As you can notice in the below illustration in the top right hand corner of the box =SUM(A2:B2), SUM is inputted. This is an example of an Excel formula. In Parentheses you notice A2:B2 these are references to the cells A2 which = 10 and B2 which = 20 when added together which is represented in this case by a colon they equal 30 which will then be displayed automatically in C2 which is where the formula is. So if the A2 was to change to 20 C3 would automatically be updated to 40 because 20 + 20 = 40.

Excel overview

Numbering

When creating information on the spread sheets changing the number format may be required to create a dollar format such as $5.45 instead of 5.45 to help readers understand the format. Select the cells you want to change the format of and click Format / and within the Number tab as shown below notice the category box that allows you to choose the scheme for the numbers. Currently selected is Currency, once selected additional options can be set such as as setting the decimal placing value in this case we set the standard decimal of 2, we have also set the symbol to $ to other currencies around the world.

Note: If you did not highlight a cell with a number format you will not get an example as shown below.

Excel

Charts

In the example below there are many aspects to point out, first before attempting to create a chart you will find it much easier to highlight the values that you want to chart in the example below you notice we have a small spread sheet to the left of the picture which is represented by #1 which as you can see are all highlighted. Once   highlighted click on the chart wizard icon which is represented by #2 at the top of the picture. Once you have clicked on the chart wizard button it will bring up a simple wizard that will help you go through the process. To the left of the window represented by #3 you notice a chart type window which allows you to select the chart you want to use such as bar, pie, stock, etc. Once the bar graph has been select you will want to choose the sub chart you want to create represented by #4. A special note once you believe you have found the chart you want before clicking on next click and hold on the button represented by #5 that says "Press and hold to view sample" This shows you what your graph is going to look like before clicking next. Once you have finished with this screen click Next and continue on through out the wizard for additional features. Or click finish to complete the chart.

Excel

Freeze

Freeze is an extremely nice feature that allows you to work with very large spread sheets without losing the capability of seeing what each row represents. To create a freeze first highlight the row under the row(s) that you want to freeze. For example if you wanted to freeze row number one you would highlight row number two by clicking on number two. Once the row has been highlighted click on the drop down menu at the top of the screen that says window then click on freeze. Now if you were to put a bunch of information on column and scroll down you will notice that all rows scroll but number one. An example of how you can use this is to put your checking account information across as shown in the example below.then freeze row number one then you can have several pages of information that you can scroll down and never lose track of what each column represents.

Excel

Additional information