Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Getting Acquainted with Excel
A worksheet works like an accountant’s ledger — only it’s much easier to
use. Notice how the worksheet is divided by gridlines into columns (A, B, C,
and so on) and rows (1, 2, 3, and so on). The rectangles where columns and
rows intersect are cells, and each cell can hold one data item, a formula for
calculating data, or nothing at all.
Each cell has a different cell address. In Figure 1-2, cell B7 holds 13, the amount
of rain that fell in Sonoma County in the winter. Meanwhile, as the Formula
bar at the top of the screen shows, cell F7, the active cell, holds the formula
=B7+C7+D7+E7, the sum of the numbers in cells — you guessed it — B7, C7,
D7, and E7.
The beauty of Excel is that the program does all the calculations and
recalculations for you after you enter the data. If I were to change the number
in cell B7, Excel would instantly recalculate the total amount of rainfall in
Sonoma County in cell F7. People like myself who struggled in math class will
be glad to know that you don’t have to worry about the math because Excel
does it for you. All you have to do is make sure that the data and the
formulas are entered correctly.
After you enter and label the data, enter the formulas, and turn your
worksheet into a little masterpiece, you can start analyzing the data. For example,
you can also generate charts like the one in Figure 1-3. Do you notice any
similarities between the worksheet in Figure 1-2 and the chart in Figure 1-3?
The chart is fashioned from data in the worksheet, and it took me about half
a minute to create that chart. (Book VIII, Chapter 4 explains how to create
charts in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint.)
Figure 1-3:
A chart
generated
from the
data in
Figure 1-2.
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