Introduction to Microsoft Excel29th August 2018
Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet developed by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications. It has been a very widely applied spreadsheet for these platforms, especially since version 5 in 1993, and it has replaced Lotus 1-2-3 as the industry standard for spreadsheets. Excel forms part of Microsoft Office.
Microsoft Excel comes in handy when we want to record, analyze and store numeric data.
Understanding the layout of Microsoft Excel
the main spreadsheet
Ribbon start button – it is used to access commands i.e. creating new documents, saving existing work, printing, accessing the options for customizing Excel, etc.
Ribbon tabs – the tabs are used to group similar commands together. The home tab is used for basic commands such as formatting the data to make it more presentable, sorting and finding specific data within the spreadsheet.
Ribbon bar – the bars are used to group similar commands together. As an example, the Alignment ribbon bar is used to group all the commands that are used to align data together.
A worksheet is a collection of rows and columns. When a row and a column meet, they form a cell. Cells are used to record data. Each cell is uniquely identified using a cell address. Columns are usually labelled with letters while rows are usually numbers. A workbook is a collection of worksheets. By default, a workbook has three cells in Excel. You can delete or add more sheets to suit your requirements. By default, the sheets are named Sheet1, Sheet2 and so on and so forth. You can rename the sheet names to more meaningful names.
Important Excel shortcuts
|Ctrl + P||used to open the print dialogue window|
|Ctrl + N||creates a new workbook|
|Ctrl + S||saves the current workbook|
|Ctrl + C||copy contents of current select|
|Ctrl + V||paste data from the clipboard|
|SHIFT + F3||displays the function insert dialog window|
|SHIFT + F11||Creates a new worksheet|
|F2||Check formula and cell range covered|
Best use of Microsoft Excel
- Save workbooks with backward compatibility in mind. If you are not using the latest features in higher versions of Excel, you should save your files in 2003 *.xls format for backwards compatibility
- Use description names for columns and worksheets in a workbook
- Avoid working with complex formulas with many variables. Try to break them down into small managed results that you can use to build on
- Use built-in functions whenever you can instead of writing your own formulas
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