Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
The Excel User Interface
For example, a keystroke sequence of Alt+HBB adds a double border to the bottom of the
selection. The Alt key activates the shortcut letters, the H shortcut activates the Home tab, the B
shortcut activates the Borders tool menu, and the second B shortcut executes the Bottom Double
Border command. Note that it’s not necessary to keep the Alt key depressed while you press the
The Ribbon contains tabs that are visible only when they are needed. Generally, when a
previously hidden tab appears, it’s because you selected an object or a range with special
characteristics (like a chart or a pivot table). A typical example is the Drawing Tools contextual tab. When
you select a shape or WordArt object, the Drawing Tools tab is made visible and active. It
contains many tools that are only applicable to shapes, such as shape-formatting tools.
ScreenTips and dialog box launchers
Hovering over a tool on the Ribbon displays a ScreenTip that explains the command the tool will
execute. ScreenTips are larger and, in most cases, wordier than the ToolTips from previous
At the bottom of many of the groups is a small box icon (a dialog box launcher ) that opens a
dialog box related to that group. Users of previous versions of Excel will recognize these dialog
boxes, many of which are unchanged. Some of the icons open the same dialog boxes but to
different areas. For instance, the Font group icon opens the Format Cells dialog box with the Font
tab activated. The Alignment group opens the same dialog box but activates the Alignment tab.
The Ribbon makes using dialog boxes a far less-frequent activity than in the past because most
of the commonly used operations can be done directly on the Ribbon.
Galleries and Live Preview
A gallery is a large collection of tools that look like the choice they represent. If you’ve used
previous versions of Excel, you may have noticed that the font names in the drop-down list box on
the Formatting toolbar were in their own font. Galleries are an extension of that feature. The
Styles gallery, for example, does not just list the name of the style, but lists it in the same
formatting that will be applied to the cell.
Although galleries help to give you an idea of what your object will look like when an option is
selected, Live Preview takes it to the next level. Live Preview displays your object or data as it
will look right on the worksheet when you hover over the gallery tool. By hovering over the
various tools in the Format Table gallery, you can see exactly what your table will look like before
you commit to a format.
The big round Office Button in Excel 2007 has been replaced by a File tab that takes you to the
Backstage View (see Figure 1-3). This is where you perform most of the document-related
activities: creating new workbooks, opening files, saving files, printing, and so on.