A Brief Introduction to Microsoft Excel fi
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Brief Introduction to Microsoft Excel

In this A Brief Introduction to Microsoft Excel, readers will come to know, basics of MS Excel. After successful completion of this session, readers can expect to have a brief information about Microsoft Excel, generally known as MS Excel.

What is Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet by Microsoft company for Windows, macOS, Android and iOS. It features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications. Before MS Office, Lotus 1-2-3 was the industry standard for spreadsheets. There was a major increase in usage of MS Office in version 5 in 1993, still increasing with the passage of time. (Check complete version history & other details here on Wikipedia). Excel forms part of Microsoft Office.

Brief Introduction to Microsoft Excel

★ Interface of the MS Excel

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After starting Excel, you will see two windows – one within the other. The outer window is the Application Window and the inner window is the Workbook Window. When maximized, the Excel Workbook Window blends in with the Application Window.

MS Excel introductory window
  1. The Application Window: The Application Window provides the space for your worksheets and workbook elements such as charts. Check description of the components of the Application Window below;
  2. The Quick Access Toolbar: The Quick Access Toolbar lets you access common commands no matter which tab is selected. By default, it includes the Save, Undo, and Repeat commands. You can add other commands depending on your preference.

The Application Window of MS Office: 

★ The Ribbon

Excel 2013 uses a tabbed Ribbon system instead of traditional menus. The Ribbon contains multiple tabs, each with several groups of commands. You will use these tabs to perform the most common tasks in Excel.

MS Excel tabbed Ribbon system

To minimize and maximize the Ribbon: The Ribbon is designed to respond to your current task, but you can choose to minimize it if you find that it takes up too much screen space.

  • Click the Ribbon Display Options arrow in the upper-right corner of the Ribbon.
MS Excel tabbed Ribbon system 2
  • Select the desired minimizing option from the drop-down menu:

Auto-hide Ribbon: Auto-hide displays your workbook in full-screen mode and completely hides the Ribbon. To show the Ribbon, click the Expand Ribbon command at the top of screen.

MS Excel tabbed auto hide Ribbon
  • Show Tabs: This option hides all command groups when not in use, but tabs will remain visible. To show the Ribbon, simply click a tab.
  • Show Tabs and Commands: This option maximizes the Ribbon. All of the tabs and commands will be visible. This option is selected by default when you open Excel for the first time.

Making MS Excel Learning Easy with the help of screenshots

★ The Formula Bar

In the formula bar, you can enter or edit data, a formula, or a function that will appear in a specific cell.

In the image below, cell C1 is selected and 1984 is entered into the formula bar. Note how the data appears in both the formula bar and in cell C1.

MS Excel formula bar

★ The Name Box

The Name box displays the location, or “name” of a selected cell.

In the image below, cell B4 is selected. Note that cell B4 is where column B and row 4 intersect.

MS Excel name box

★ The Backstage View (The File Menu)

Click the File tab on the Ribbon. Backstage view will appear.

MS Excel backstage view
MS Excel backstage view file menu

★ The Worksheet Views

Excel has a variety of viewing options that change how your workbook is displayed. You can choose to view any workbook in Normal view, Page Layout view, or Page Break view. These views can be useful for various tasks, especially if you’re planning to print the spreadsheet.

To change worksheet views, locate and select the desired worksheet view command in the bottom-right corner of the Excel window.

★ Zoom Control

To use the Zoom control, click and drag the slider. The number to the right of the slider reflects the zoom percentage.

MS Excel zoom control
The Workbook Window of MS Excel:

In MS Excel, when you open up a new workbook it now contains only 1 worksheet There can be a max of 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns in an excel work sheet.

★ The Worksheet

What is Worksheet? A worksheet is a grid of columns and rows where columns are designated by letters running across the top of the worksheet and rows are designated by numbers running down the left side of the worksheet.

Excel files are called workbooks. Each workbook holds one or more worksheets (also known as “spreadsheets”).

Whenever you create a new Excel workbook, it will contain one worksheet named Sheet 1.

MS Excel worksheet

When working with a large amount of data, you can create multiple worksheets to help organize your workbook and make it easier to find content. You can also group worksheets to quickly add information to multiple worksheets at the same time.

To rename a worksheet:

Whenever you create a new Excel workbook, it will contain one worksheet named Sheet 1. You can rename a worksheet to better reflect its content. In our example, we will create a training log organized by month.

  • Right-click the worksheet you wish to rename, then select Rename from the worksheet menu.
  • Type the desired name for the worksheet.
  • Click anywhere outside of the worksheet, or press Enter on your keyboard. The worksheet will be renamed.
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To copy a worksheet:

If you need to duplicate the content of one worksheet to another, Excel allows you to copy an existing

  • Right-click the worksheet you want to copy, then select Move or Copy from the worksheet menu.
  • The Move or Copy dialog box will appear. Choose where the sheet will appear in the Before sheet: field. In our example, we’ll choose (move to end) to place the worksheet to the right of the existing worksheet.
  • Check the box next to Create a copy, then click OK.
MS Excel copy worksheet
  • The worksheet will be copied. It will have the same title as the original worksheet, as well as a version number.

Here we close our Brief Introduction to Microsoft Excel topic. If you’ve any query, don’t forget to comment below or contact us.

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