Spreadsheet Basics

Help Center Microsoft Excel (XP) Spreadsheet Basics

Excel allows you to create spreadsheets much like old paper ledgers that can perform automatic calculations. Each Excel file is a workbook that can hold many worksheets. The worksheet is a grid of columns (designated by letters) and rows (designated by numbers). The letters and numbers of the columns and rows (called labels) are displayed in gray buttons across the top and left side of the worksheet. The intersection of a column and a row is called a cell. Each cell on the spreadsheet has a cell address that is the column letter and the row number. Cells can contain text, numbers, or mathematical formulas.

Microsoft Excel XP Screen Elements

Excel Window

Adding and Renaming Worksheets

The worksheets in a workbook are accessible by clicking the worksheet tabs just above the status bar. By default, three worksheets are included in each workbook. To add a sheet, select Insert > Worksheet from the menu bar. To rename the worksheet tab, right-click on the tab with the mouse and select Rename from the shortcut menu. Type the new name and press .

The Standard Toolbar

This toolbar is located just below the menu bar at the top of the screen and allows you to quickly access basic Excel commands.

Standard Toolbar

New - Select File > New from the menu bar, press N, or click the New button to create a new workbook.

Open - Click File > Open from the menu bar, press O, or click the Open folder button to open an existing workbook.

Save - The first time you save a workbook, select File > Save As and name the file. After the file is named click File > Save, S, or the Save button on the standard toolbar.

Print - Click the Print button to print the worksheet.

Print Preview - This feature previews the worksheet before it prints.

Spell Check - Use the spell checker to correct spelling errors in the worksheet.

Cut, Copy, Paste, and Format Painter - These actions are explained in the Modifying A Worksheet section.

Undo/Redo - Click the backward Undo arrow to cancel the last action you performed, whether it be entering data into a cell, formatting a cell, entering a function, etc. Click the forward Redo arrow to cancel the undo action.

Insert Hyperlink - To insert a hyperlink to a Web site on the Internet, type the text into a cell you want to be the link that can be clicked with the mouse. Then, click the Insert Hyperlink button and enter the Web address you want the text to link to and click OK.

Autosum, Function Wizard, and Sorting - These features are discussed in detail in the Functions section.

Zoom - To change the size that the worksheet appears on the screen, choose a different percentage from the Zoom menu.

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