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.