Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 11: Inside Excel 2010
In this section, we assume that you are using the standard Excel 2010 Workbook (.xlsx)
format. For a description of other available formats, see Table 4-2, “Supported File Formats in
Excel 2010,” on page 79.
A workbook consists of one or more worksheets, each of which is made up of a maximum
of 16,384 columns and 1,048,576 rows (although it’s highly unlikely you’ll ever create a
worksheet big enough to need all of those theoretically available 17 billion-something
cells). At the intersection of each row and column is a cell, which is identified by
combining the letter from its column heading and the number from its row heading. Cell A1 is in
the top left corner of every worksheet; C11 is the active cell if you move two columns over
and 10 rows down; XFD1048576 is in the lower right corner of the sheet. Click in any cell to
begin entering text, a number, or a formula that performs a calculation using a worksheet
function, with or without references to the contents of other cells. (We discuss formulas in
much greater detail later in this chapter.)
Figure 11-1 shows a packing slip created in Excel. An employee who pulls up this template
can ill in values in a few cells (or draw them directly from a database with a little
programming help) and print out the resulting sheet to include with a shipment. The bold black
lines identify the current cell, whose address, G2, appears in the Name box. The formula bar
indicates that the cell contains a formula that returns the value of today’s date. The formula
result (August 15, 2010, in this example) appears in the worksheet.
Excel also allows you to create specialized data structures on a worksheet. You can define a
range of cells as a table, for example, which lets you sort, filter, and format data arranged
as a list. You can use PivotTables and PivotCharts to slice, filter, and summarize large sets of
data. And you can create a chart from data on a worksheet to analyze trends and
relationships visually.
For a full discussion of tables and PivotTables, see Chapter 12, “Managing Lists and Data.” For
more details on how to create and use charts, see Chapter 13, “Charts and Data Analysis.”
Although you can put together a workbook using a single worksheet, using multiple
worksheets offers some notable advantages, especially in terms of organizing complex
collections of data. For a consolidated budget or financial report, you might keep the figures
for each department on a separate worksheet. Each department ills in its own numbers
using a standard template, and you “roll up” the results into a summary worksheet that
uses the same structure to calculate a grand total for each row and column. For a
workbook that contains details about a loan, you might keep the summary of interest rates,
principal amounts, and payments on one worksheet and display a full amortization table
on a separate sheet, where you can view and print it separately. As we discuss elsewhere in
this topic, you can display charts on their own worksheet, away from potentially distracting
source data, and you can reduce complex data sets to easy-to-read summaries by adding a
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