Microsoft Excel Basics Ben Johnson

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1 Microsoft Excel Basics Ben Johnson Topic...page # Basics...1 Workbook and worksheets...1 Sizing columns and rows...2 Auto Fill...2 Sort...2 Formatting Cells...3 Formulas...3 Percentage Button...4 Sum function...4 Decimal Button (increase/decrease)...4 Filtering Data...4 Inserting Comments...5 Auto Sum...5 Inserting the current time and date...5 Paste Linking...5 Chart Wizard...6 The Basics A cell is one rectangle in Excel. It is the intersection of a row and column. Cell A1 is shown at the right. A range is a block of cells. Excel uses a colon to denote a range. RangeA1:C3 is shown at the right. To enter information into a specific cell, click on the cell and begin typing. Press enter when you are finished. Workbook and worksheets A Microsoft workbook opens with three work sheets. The tabs at the bottom of the screen identify the worksheets. Usually, a workbook consists of several related worksheets. You can rename a worksheet by right clicking on the appropriate tab and selecting Rename. 1

2 You can add additional worksheets by clicking on the Insert menu and selecting Worksheet. Sizing columns and rows To size a column or row, position the mouse pointer on the border between columns. When you get the double headed arrow, drag the border of the cell to the desired position. You can automatically adjust the width by double clicking the double headed arrow. AutoFill The autofill feature can be used to quickly copy formulas, numbers, days, months, and dates. If Excel recognizes a list (days of the week, etc.) it will fill the cells with the appropriate information. To practice using this feature type Monday in a cell. Place your cursor over the small black square (fill handle) in the lower right-hand corner on the cell. Click and drag your cursor down six cells. All of the days of the week should appear. You can create your own custom lists by selecting the tools menu > options > custom lists. This is helpful if you find yourself typing the same list several times. Sort You can sort your lists in alphabetically or by number, by descending or ascending order. Highlight the list you would like to sort and click on the sort ascending or descending button. 2

3 Formatting Cells You can add formatting to your spreadsheet to make it easier to read. Change the background color of a cell by selection the cell and then clicking on the down arrow next to the paint bucket. Pick a color for the cell. You can place a borders around cells by selecting the cells then clicking on the down arrow next to the border button. Pick a border that meets your needs. You can change the font color by selecting the text then clicking on the down arrow next to the text color button. Pick a color that meets your needs. You can also use all the same text formatting tools just like you would in Microsoft Word. Formulas and functions (Absolute and Relative) Formulas and functions can be added to your spreadsheets to make calculations. Formulas start with an equal sign followed by a cell, operator, and another cell. For example: =B2+C2 will add the numbers in cell B2 and C2. Common operators are: + addition - subtraction * multiplication / division 3

4 After you have entered one formula you can quickly copy it to other cells by using the autofill feature. Exel will adjust the formula so that it is relative to the new cells which you copied it to. If you do not want Excel to adjust the formula you must place dollar signs before the cell letter and number. This is called an absolute formula. Using the convert to percentage button You can change the formatting to percentage quickly by highlighting the appropriate cells and clicking on the percentage button. Using the SUM function Typing =SUM(B4:B6)/3 will add cells B4 through B6 and then divide it by 3. Increase/decrease decimal button You can change the decimal position quickly using the increase/decrease decimal button. Filtering Data Select the top cell on the column that you would like to filter. Then select the Data menu>autofilter. You should notice down arrows on the right side of the cells. Find the column that you would like to filter and click on the down arrow. Choose Custom filter. 4

5 You can filter numbers that are equal to, less than, and greater than a number that you choose. To show all your data after you are finished filtering, click on the blue down arrow in the cell that has been filtered and select All. Comments You can add comments to any cell by right clicking on the cell and selecting Insert Comment. You comment will be represented by a red triangle in the upper right hand corner. When you run your cursor over this triangle your comment will appear. AutoSum To use the autosum tool select the cell where you would like the finished calculation to be placed. Then click on the autosum button. Excel will guess which numbers should be added. It is usually right but if it is wrong you can select the correct cells using your mouse pointer. Press enter after you have selected the cells you would like added. Inserting the current time and date Press cntrl and ; at the same time to enter the current date on your spreadsheet. Press cntrl, shift, and ; at the same time to enter the current time on your spreadsheet. Paste Linking Using the paste link options is helpful if you would like to copy data from one spreadsheet to another spreadsheet or document. As the data changes in the original spreadsheet it is automatically updated in the other documents and spreadsheets that it was paste linked to. 5

6 To use the paste link function simply highlight the data that you would like to paste link to another document. Go to the edit menu and choose copy. Open the new document. Go to the edit menu and choose paste special. Then click on the paste link button. Chart Wizard If you would like to produce a visual representation of your data you should use the chart wizard button. Highlight the data that you would like to create a chart of. Click on the chart wizard button. Select the type of chart you would like to use. Click on the next button. Choose if your data is set up in rows or columns. If your not sure click on both of them to see the graph each will produce. 6

7 Choose your chart options, if necessary. Click on the finish button and your chart will appear on the spreadsheet. You may want to paste link this chart into a Word document or Power Point slide show. If the chart or data changes in the spreadsheet the chart will automatically be updated in the documents that it was paste linked to. 7

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