Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
the name box (and why it’s called the name box is to be explained a bit later) records the whereabouts of
the cell pointer; and the two kinds of indicators—the column/row-heading color change and the name
box cell reference—make it easy to know exactly where you’ve situated the cell pointer.
And as for the cell pointer itself, its position marks that point in the worksheet where data will go
when you begin to type. Thus if I type the number 56 in our screenshot, it will be posted to cell C7.
And as we earlier observed, the worksheet is large—very, very large, consisting of 16,384 columns
and exactly 1,048,576 rows. Do the math and you wind up with over 17 billion cells, a preposterously
huge number that will likely far, far exceed any purpose you and I might bring to a workbook; and given
your computer’s memory allotment, you probably couldn’t fill all those cells even if you wanted to. Put
another way—if I wanted to view the entire worksheet at one time on my screen, I’d need a display about
800 feet wide and 1.6 miles long, give or take a football field—and try to sit with that in economy class.
And remember just for the record that each worksheet in the workbook boasts another 17 billion cells—
so if you need to catalogue the stars in the Milky Way, for example, you’ve come to the right place. Just
make sure you get a RAM transplant first.
But you may be bothered by a more practical issue: since we run out of letters at the 26 th column—
letter Z, that is—what do we call column 27, for starters? Answer: That column is assigned letters AA,
followed by AB in column 28, etc. Sidle over to the 53 rd column and you get BA, and so on. By the time
you puff into column 701—ZZ—your next stop is AAA, with the lettering finally coming to rest at XFD—
the 16,384 th column. Thus an address such as
is perfectly legal, even if you never park your mouse in that cell—and you probably never will.
In any event, you’ll need to know about the ways in which you can transport the cell pointer to the
various cells across the worksheet. Perhaps the simplest means for doing so—and you may well be able
to figure out some of these techniques by yourself—is to click your mouse on any cell you wish. But if
you need to click a distant cell—say, LA345—you need to get there first, and you’ll find yourself a long
way from that locale when you first get into Excel and find yourself in cell A1. One way to traverse all that
space is to click any of the four horizontal or vertical scroll buttons lining the far and lower-right sides of
the workbook, as in Figure 2–4: