Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Getting to Know Excel**

Getting to

Know Excel

Working with Excel involves two basic tasks: building

a spreadsheet and then manipulating the data on the

spreadsheet. Building a spreadsheet involves adding

data such as numbers and text, creating formulas

that run calculations, and adding functions that

perform specific tasks. Manipulating spreadsheet

data involves calculating totals, adding data series,

organizing data into tables, and visualizing data with

charts.

This section just gives you an overview of these

tasks. You learn about each task in greater detail as

you work through the book.

Build a Spreadsheet

Add Data

You can insert numbers, text, and other characters into

any cell in the spreadsheet. Click the cell that you want

to work with and then type your data in the formula bar.

This is the large text box above the column letters. Your

typing appears in the cell that you selected. When you

are done, press Enter. To edit existing cell data, click the

cell and then edit the text in the formula bar.

Add a Formula

A
formula
is a collection of numbers, cell addresses, and

mathematical operators that performs a calculation. In Excel,

you enter a formula in a cell by typing an equal sign (
) and
=

then the formula text. For example, the formula =B1-B2

subtracts the value in cell B2 from the value in cell B1.

Add a Function

A
function
is a predefined formula that performs a specific task. For example, the

AVERAGE function calculates the average of a list of numbers, and the PMT

function calculates a loan or mortgage payment. You can use functions on their

own, preceded by =, or as part of a larger formula. Click
Insert Function
(

) to

see a list of the available functions.