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EXCEL spreadsheet lessons worksheets PDF

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EXCEL spreadsheet lessons worksheets PDF


Introduction to Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is a member of the spreadsheet family of software. Spreadsheet software is used to store information in columns and rows which can then be organized and/or processed. Spreadsheets are designed to work well with numbers but often include text. Sometimes text in a spreadsheet is called a label, because it is labeling columns and rows of numbers. Numbers are called values sometimes, and can include numbers for counts or measurements, dates, times, and calculations from numbers. Spreadsheets can help organize information, like alphabetizing a list of names or other text or reordering records according to a numeric field. However, spreadsheets are more often used for calculating, such as totaling a column of numbers or generating a more sophisticated formula to calculate some statistical measure on a list of numbers.

Spreadsheets and databases are in competition and have similar features. Yet the way they work in the background is different. When you work in a spreadsheet, you view the data you are entering as a section. In a database, you only see the data you are entering - you have to request a report or different display to see more of the information. Other differences are: (1) databases are more often used for applications with long textual entries, (2) very large applications (thousands of entries) are more often handled in databases; and (3) spreadsheets are easier to learn to use and get calculations from than a database program. This latter reason is why many researchers and students prefer spreadsheets for keeping track of their data over databases.

It is impossible to give a complete listing of applications that can be done in spreadsheets, but they include budgeting displays, checkbook registers, enrollment records, inventories, coded surveys, field and laboratory research data, and financial and accounting applications.

The capacities of Excel are as follows. You can have 256 columns of information. You can have up to 65,536 rows. That comes out to over 16,777,216 cells of information and that€™s only on the first sheet! You can have 16 sheets of information in one workbook, and the number of sheets can be increased, if needed. Excel refers to each file as a workbook, because there can be multiple sheets (pages) in one file.

Starting Excel 

There are 2 ways to start Microsoft Excel. 

From the desktop: Clicking the  icon if is present.

From the  button (located at leftmost bottom on your screen):

Press the start button on the keyboard or click it with the mouse and put the mouse        pointer over the word All Programs and click the  icon.

The Excel Window

Many items you see on the Excel XP screen are standard in most other Microsoft software programs like Word, PowerPoint and previous versions of Excel. Some elements are specific to Excel XP.


Also called a spreadsheet, the Workbook is a unique file created by Excel XP. Title bar

The Title bar displays both the name of the application and the name of the spreadsheet.

Menu bar

The Menu bar displays all the menus available for use in Excel XP. The contents of any menu can be displayed by clicking on the menu name with the left mouse button.

Each menu groups together related commands, sometimes using submenus to further group commands:

-    File : Create, open, save, print, and close workbooks. 

-    Edit : Perform editing functions on your workbook, including copying, cutting, and pasting data and objects, moving to various locations in a workbook, and undoing and redoing actions. 

-    View : Change the workbook's display size and style. 

-    Insert : Insert new worksheets, or additional space, such as new cells, columns, or rows; also insert charts, comments, functions, hyperlinks and other objects into your workbooks. 

-    Format : Apply formatting to worksheets and their contents. 

-    Tools : Use Excel's tools, such as the spell and grammar checker, macro recorder, and protection and collaboration features, and set your Microsoft Excel preferences. 

-    Data : Sort, filter, and otherwise arrange the data on your worksheets. 

-    Window : Switch between open workbook windows, or split the window of the current workbook. 

-    Help : Access Microsoft Excel's online help. 

To access a menu command, click the main menu to open it, and then select (click) the command. Excel hides those commands you don't use frequently, so if you don't see a command, click the double arrows at the bottom of the menu to expand it. Excel then displays all the available commands. Once you select a command, Excel includes it with the others you commonly use.

Some commands in the menus have pictures or icons associated with them. These pictures may also appear as shortcuts in the Toolbar.

Column Headings

Each Excel spreadsheet contains 256 columns. Each column is named by a letter or combination of letters.

Row Headings

Each spreadsheet contains 65,536 rows. Each row is named by a number. Name Box

Shows the address of the current selection or active cell.

Formula Bar

Displays information entered-or being entered as you type-in the current or active cell. The contents of a cell can also be edited in the Formula bar.


A cell is an intersection of a column and row. Each cell has a unique cell address. In the picture above, the cell address of the selected cell is B3. The heavy border around the selected cell is called the cell pointer. Navigation Buttons and Sheet Tabs

Navigation buttons allow you to move to another worksheet in an Excel workbook. Used to display the first, previous, next or last worksheets in the workbook.

Sheet tabs separate a workbook into specific worksheets. A Workbook defaults to three worksheets. A Workbook must contain at least one worksheet.


The Microsoft Excel toolbars group together shortcuts to common commands; these shortcuts take the form of buttons. You can click a toolbar button to quickly apply formatting, save or print a workbook, copy or paste data, or accomplish another of a variety of tasks.

To show or hide a toolbar, open the View menu, select Toolbars, and then select the toolbar you want to show or hide. You can also access the toolbar menu by right-clicking anywhere on a visible toolbar.

The most frequently used toolbars are the Standard toolbar and the Formatting toolbar.

The Standard toolbar contains buttons for opening, saving, printing, and editing workbooks.

The Formatting toolbar contains drop-down menus and buttons for applying formatting to worksheets.

By default, these two toolbars appear next to each other, just below the menu bar.

Other toolbars available in Excel are:

-    Chart : Create and work with charts. 

-    Clipboard : View and select the contents of the clipboard. 

-    Control Toolbox : Insert ActiveX controls into a form. 

-    Drawing : Insert and format drawing objects. 

-    External Data : Work with data imported from external sources. 

-    Forms : Insert form objects. 

-    Picture : Insert and format pictures. 

-    Pivot Table : Create and work with pivot tables, interactive tables for large amounts of data. 

-    Reviewing : Insert, edit, and delete comments for or by reviewers. 

-    Visual Basic : Record and run macros, and work with Microsoft Word Visual Basic code. 

-    Web : Navigate a Web document. 

-    WordArt : Insert and format WordArt. 

You can customize any of these toolbars by adding and removing buttons, or you can create your own toolbars to group your favorite commands: Just right-click one of the visible toolbars, select Customize from the menu that appears, and, in the Customize dialog, select the Commands tab to add or remove commands.

Each of Excel's toolbars can be moved simply by clicking and dragging the title bar (if the toolbar is floating) or the move handle (if the toolbar is docked).

The move handle is located at the left edge of the toolbar. When you move the mouse over it, the pointer changes to horizontal and vertical arrows, indicating you can drag the toolbar.

  1. Drag the toolbar off the row. The toolbar changes from docked to floating. 
  2. Click the title bar and drag the toolbar back into place. 

If you drag a toolbar to a full row, the surrounding toolbars will shrink to make room for it. To access a button that's no longer visible, click the chevrons at the right edge of the toolbar.


To quickly remove buttons you don't use, or add new buttons, select Add or Remove Buttons. In the menu, uncheck the buttons you don't need, or select new buttons to add. Select Customize to choose from all the available commands.

Workbooks and Worksheets

A Workbook automatically shows in the workspace when you open Microsoft Excel XP. Each workbook contains three worksheets. A worksheet is a grid of cells, consisting of 65,536 rows by 256 columns. Spreadsheet information--text, numbers or mathematical formulas--is entered in the different cells.

Column headings are referenced by alphabetic characters in the gray boxes that run across the Excel screen, beginning with the Column A and ending with Column IV.

Rows are referenced by numbers that appear on the left and then run down the Excel screen. The first row is named Row 1 and the last row is named Row 65536.

Important Terms

-    A workbook is made up of three worksheets. 

-    The worksheets are labeled Sheet1, Sheet2, and Sheet3. 

-    Each Excel worksheet is made up of columns and rows. 

-    In order to access a worksheet, click on the tab that says Sheet#. 

The Cell

An Excel worksheet is made up of columns and rows. Where these columns and rows intersect, they form little boxes called cells. The active cell, or the cell that can be acted upon, reveals a dark border. All other cells reveal a light gray border. Each cell has a name. Its name is comprised of two parts: the column letter and the row number.

In the following picture the cell C3, formed by the intersection of column C and row 3, contains the dark border. It is the active cell.

Important Terms

-    Each cell has a unique cell address composed of a cell's column and row. 

-    The active cell is the cell that receives the data or command you give it. 

-    A darkened border, called the cell pointer, identifies it. 

Moving Around the Worksheet

You can move around the spreadsheet in several different ways.

To Move the Cell Pointer:

-    To activate any cell, point to a cell with the mouse and click. 

-    To move the pointer one cell to the left, right, up, or down, use the keyboard arrow keys. 

To Scroll Through the worksheet:

The vertical scroll bar located along the right edge of the screen is used to move up or down the spreadsheet. The horizontal scroll bar located at the bottom of the screen is used to move left or right across the spreadsheet.

The PageUp and PageDown keys on the keyboard are used to move the cursor up or down one screen at a time. Other keys that move the active cell are Home, which moves to the first column on the current row, and Ctrl+Home, which moves the cursor to the top left corner of the spreadsheet or cell A1.

To Move between worksheets

As mentioned, each Workbook defaults to three worksheets. These worksheets are represented by tabs-named Sheet1, Sheet2 and Sheet3-that appear at the bottom of the Excel window.

To Move from one worksheet to another worksheet:

- Click on the sheet tab (Sheet1, Sheet2 or Sheet 3) that you want to display


-    Display the contents of every menu in the menu bar and note the icons associated with specific menu choices. Then, try and find the pictures or shortcuts in the standard toolbar. 

-    Click on each of the three worksheet tabs-Sheet1, Shhet2 and Sheet3-to become familiar moving from sheet-to-sheet in the workbook. 

-    Page Up (PgUp) and Page Down (PgDn) to get used to scrolling in a worksheet. 

-    Use the horizontal and vertical scrollbars to practices scrolling up, down, left and right in the worksheet.