A GUIDE TO USING MICROSOFT EXCEL

EXCEL is a spreadsheet program - a large grid or table, made up of rows and columns, which acts as a calculator. Various facilities are provided via drop-down menus in the menu bar and buttons in the toolbar, which are found at the top of the screen. Context menus, obtained by right clicking with the mouse are also very useful as they only give you what you probably want.

Microsoft Excel

SELECTING AN AREA: Point and click with the mouse then, holding the mouse button down, drag the mouse over the cells to be selected (they change to black). To select whole columns or rows: click or drag over the label bars. To select the whole spreadsheet: point & click on the corner box, which is shown in the diagram by the current position of the pointer:
ENTERING DATA:
  1. Select the cell required.
  2. Type the number or word required.
  3. Press the <Enter> key when done.
ENTERING FORMULA:
  1. Select the cell where the formula is required.
  2. Type the equal sign [ = ]
  3. Point & click at the cell whose reference is required.
  4. Type + (add), - (subtract), * (multiply), or / (divide).
  5. Point & click at the next cell whose reference is required or type a number. (If required insert the absolute reference character ($), eg. $A1, A$1 or $A$1 to prevent a reference changing when you copy it to other cells.)
  6. Press the <Enter> key when done or point and click on the tick in the formula bar.

Note: for long addition of a row or column use a formula like SUM(A1:A9) or simply click the auto sum button in the tool bar.

COPY ING:
  1. Select the cell or the area to be copied from.
  2. Select Edit/Copy from the menu bar or click on the copy button.
  3. Select the cell or the area to be copied to.
  4. Press the <Enter> key or select Edit/Paste or click on the paste button.

Note: if copying a formula the cell references will change automatically unless you insert the absolute reference character ($), eg. $A1, A$1 or $A$1

SORTING:
  1. Select the area of cells to be sorted.
  2. Select Data/Sort from the menu bar or click on one of the sort buttons in the tool bar(which sorts on first column only).
  3. Select the column to be sorted by then click on OK.
INSERTING ROWS or COLUMNS:
  1. Select the whole row or column where the new one is to be inserted.
  2. Select Insert/Rows or Insert Columns from the menu bar.
REMOVING ROWS or COLUMNS:
  1. Select the whole row or column to be removed.
  2. Select Edit/Delete from the menu bar.
CHANGING COLUMN WIDTH:
  1. Point at the border line between the columns in the label bar so that the pointer changes shape as shown:
  2. Drag the border line to the right or to the left as required.
ADDING BORDERS:
  1. Select the cell or the area to be changed.
  2. Select Format/Cells from the menu bar then Borders or click on the button in the tool bar (on the arrow to change the options).
CHANGING NUMBER FORMAT:
  1. Select the cell or the area to be changed.
  2. Select Format/Cells from the menu bar then Number/ Number or click on one of the decimal buttons in the tool bar.
  3. Select the number of decimal places required then click OK.
CHANGING ALIGNMENT:
  1. Select the cell or the area to be changed.
  2. Select Format/Cells from the menu bar then Alignment or click on one of the buttons in the tool bar.
  3. Select Right, Left, or Centre then click OK.
LOADING A FILE:
  1. Select File/Open from the menu bar or the button on the tool bar.
  2. Select the drive and directory (if required) from the list provided.
  3. Select a filename from the list provided then click OK.
SAVING A FILE:
  1. Select File/Save from the menu or the button on the tool bar (or select File/Save As to save another named copy)
  2. Type a filename (if it is your first save or a save as).
  3. Press the <Enter> key.
DISPLAY FORMULA: Select Tools/Options from the menu bar then View/Formula/OK.
PRINTING A FILE: First check how your work will appear when printed and how many pages by selecting File/Print Preview from the menu bar or the printer preview button on the tool bar.

If necessary either make the columns narrower or turn the paper around by selecting File/Print then Properties/Paper then Landscape orientation.

MAKING A CHART:
  1. Select the rows containing the data to be plotted. (if rows are not adjacent - hold down <Ctrl> key at the same time)
  2. Select Insert/Chart/On This Sheet or As New Sheet from the menu bar or click on the chart wizard button.
  3. Follow the instructions provided.
FINISHING EXCEL: Select File/Exit from the menu bar or click on the upper of the two buttons in the very top right-hand corner of the screen.

Page last updated 23/05/2003 Copyright, I.D.Lee, Didcot Girls' School.
All rights reserved. The original material provided on this site may not be copied or redistributed without written consent from the school.