Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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Introducing Excel
Introducing Excel
Before you begin working in Excel, you will review some of the features, key terms, and
concepts associated with spreadsheets.
Understanding Spreadsheets
A spreadsheet is a collection of text and numbers laid out in a rectangular grid.
Spreadsheets are often used in business for budgeting, inventory management, and
decision making. They can also be used to manage personal budgets and track household
assets. Excel is a computer program used to create electronic versions of spreadsheets.
For example, the spreadsheet in Figure 1-1 shows a cash fl ow report. The spreadsheet
records the estimated and actual cash fl ow for the month of January. Each line, or row,
displays a different value, such as the starting cash balance or cash sales for the month.
Each column displays the budgeted or actual numbers, or text that describes those values.
The total cash expenditures, net cash fl ow, and closing cash balance for the month are
not entered directly, but calculated from other numbers in the spreadsheet. For example,
the total cash expenditure is equal to the expenditures on advertising, wages, and
supplies. This allows you to use Excel to perform a what-if analysis in which you change
one or more values in a spreadsheet and then assess the effect those changes have on
the calculated values. You can also use Excel to store data, generate reports, and analyze
data values using a variety of statistical tools.
Figure 1-1
Spreadsheet data in Excel
Exploring the Excel Window
Before entering Amanda’s data, you’ll review the different parts of the Excel window. The
Excel window contains many of the elements that you fi nd in other Offi ce 2010
programs, including a title bar, the Ribbon, scroll bars, and a status bar. The Excel window
also contains features that are unique to Excel.
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