Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
The number format doesn't affect the actual value stored in the cell. For example, suppose that a cell contains
the value 3.14159. If you apply a format to display two decimal places, the number appears as 3.14. When you
use the cell in a formula, however, the actual value (3.14159) — not the displayed value — is used.
Stylistic formatting refers to the cosmetic formatting (colors, shading, fonts, borders, and so on) that you apply
to make your work look good. The Home ⇒ Font and Home ⇒ Styles groups contain commands to format your
cells and ranges.
A formatting concept introduced in Excel 2007 is document themes. Basically, themes allow you to set many
formatting options at once, such as font, colors, and cell styles. The formatting options contained in a theme are
designed to work well together. If you're not feeling particularly artistic, you can apply a theme and know the
colors won't clash. All the commands for themes are in the Themes group of the Page Layout tab.
Don't overlook Excel's conditional formatting feature. This handy tool enables you to specify formatting that
appears only when certain conditions are met. For example, you can make the cell's interior red if the cell con-
tains a negative number.
See Chapter 19 for more information on conditional formatting.
A table is a specially designated range in a worksheet. Converting a range into a table makes it easier to per-
form many operations on that data.
The data in a table is related in a specific way. The rows represent related objects, and the columns represent
specific pieces of information about each of those objects. If, for instance, you have a table of library books,
each row would hold the information for one book. Columns might include title, author, publisher, date, and so
on. In database terminology, the rows are records, and the columns are fields.
If your data is arranged in this fashion, you can designate it as a table by selecting the range or a cell in the
range and then choosing Insert ⇒ Tables ⇒ Table. Excel inserts generic column headings if none exist; the column
heading includes drop-down controls. These drop-down controls, as well as the Table Tools context tab on the
Ribbon, provide quick access to many table-related features like sorting, filtering, and formatting. In addition,
using formulas within a table offers some clear advantages.
See Chapter 9 for more information about using tables.
Worksheet Formulas and Functions