Getting Started With Excel

 Self-Paced Overview

The Worksheet and Cells

Microsoft® Excel is a spreadsheet application. Work performed in Excel is done on a worksheet which is a grid of rows and columns. The rows are numbered along the left of the grid while the columns are headed by letters along the top. Each intersection of a row and a column is called a cell and has a unique reference identifying it. For example, the cell where column B and row 5 intersect is cell B5. Cells are used to store data such as labels and numbers, and cell references are used when writing formulas or referring to cells.

Data is entered into single cells. The cell that has been selected to enter data is called the active cell and is identified by a heavy border.

Microsoft Excel

Changing the Active Cell

To change the active cell, move the mouse pointer into a cell and click. For example, if we wanted B4 to be the active cell, simply click that cell. Upon selecting B4, the formula bar would display the contents of that cell or, in the illustration above, 67800. Demonstrated in the illustration is cell E4 as the active cell and the formula =C4/D4 displayed in the formula bar since the contents of cell E4 is the formula dividing the contents of C4 or $489,000.00 by D4 or $225,000.00.

Scrolling Through the Worksheet

There are several methods that can be used to scroll through the worksheet:

  • Move the pointer to the down arrow in the vertical scroll bar on the right edge of the window and click. The worksheet scrolls down.
  • Move the pointer to the right arrow in the horizontal scroll bar on the bottom of the window and click. The worksheet scrolls to the right.
  • Click, hold and drag either the vertical or horizontal scroll bars. This scrolls through the worksheet for as long as you hold the scroll bar. is maintained by Dr. Sharon Garrison
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