To start the application Microsoft Excel you click on ‘Start’, select ‘All Programs’ and hover your mouse over ‘Microsoft Office’. You get a menu showing all the sub applications available in the Microsoft Office Suite. Select Microsoft Office Excel by clicking on it and the application starts and you are shown the Excel interface.
At the left top you have the Microsoft Office button which will be discussed in the coming videos thoroughly but to give you an idea: from here you can open a file, save a file, print a file, etc. Next to MS Office button you have the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) from where you can access certain commands quickly. In fact, you can customize the QAT to perform tasks like printing and saving with a single click. Next to the QAT is the Title bar which indicates the name of the file and the application you are working with. On the extreme left of the title bar you have the minimize, maximize (restore) and the close buttons for their respective actions.
Below the title bar you have the Microsoft Office Ribbon which has tabs like ‘Home’, ‘Insert’, ‘Page Layout’, etc. This is a major interface change from MS Office 2003. Some find this change useful and some find it confusing but it’s a matter of time and use before you start feeling comfortable with this user-interface and you know that Microsoft is well known for its design of excellent user-interfaces.
Each tab has a group below it. For example, the ‘Home’ tab has the groups ‘Clipboard’, ‘Font’, ‘Alignment’, etc. which helps the user find a command quickly to perform an activity like ‘Paste’ or make a font bold or align the text or picture in the manner he likes.
Below the ribbon is the ‘Name Box’ on the left which indicates the cell address on the Excel worksheet which is selected or ative, i. e. ready to receive the data through the keyboard. On the right of the name box is the ‘Formula Bar’. When you enter data in a cell it is also shown in the formula bar.
Below these ‘bars’ is the Excel worksheet which is divided into rectangular cells. Each cell is defined by an ‘address’. For example, if you click with the mouse in column C and row 2, the name box displays ‘C2’, indicating the cell address. You will notice that the column header C at the top and row 2 at the left change their colour. In our case they become orange.
Right below the spreadsheet cells on the left are the navigation arrows. The arrow |< will take you to the first sheet on clicking on it. The ‘<‘ will take you to the next sheet to the left, i. e if you are on ‘Sheet2’ you will be brought to ‘Sheet1’. The ‘>’ will take you to the next sheet to the right, i. e. if you are on ‘Sheet1’ you will be brought to ‘Sheet2’. The ‘>|’ will take you to the last sheet.
On the right of the navigation arrows are the 3 standard sheets ‘Sheet1’, ‘Sheet2’ and ‘Sheet3’. Normally these 3 sheets are displayed when you start MS Excel unless you have defined a customized setting. Next to the third sheet ‘Sheet3’ is an icon called ‘Insert Worksheet’. If you click on it Excel will display ‘Sheet4’ because a new sheet will be inserted.
The horizontal scroll bar on the right of the ‘insert worksheet’ icon allows you to view data horizontally on the worksheet which may not be visible by clicking on the arrows on the left and right of it or by clicking and dragging the scroll bar.
The vertical scroll bar on the right-most side allows you to view data that may be hidden by scrolling it up or down through dragging or clicking on the arrows above and below it.
Below the name of the sheets is the status bar with a ‘Ready’ message, the macros icon, the page layout icons and the zoom bar which allows you to increase and decrease the size of the worksheet cells.
In the worksheet cells you can enter text, numbers, formulas, functions, dates and times. We perform the calculations using the cell addresses because if we make a mistake, let’s say, in an entry we can correct it and if this entry is related to other cells through formulas or functions all the cells get updated automatically and this is truly the greatest advantage of Microsoft Excel. You can also perform calculations in Excel using the values in the cells but that offers no advantages and you are now using this powerful application like a simple calculator as shown in the training video.
View the training video:
Microsoft Excel 2007 Tutorial — Free & Online