Understanding the Excel Window

When you click the Microsoft Excel icon, the Excel application window appears, displaying a blank workbook labeled Book1 (see Figure 1.1). On the right side of the Excel window is the Getting Started task pane. This task pane enables you to connect to Microsoft online. It also allows you to open existing Excel workbooks or create new workbooks (which is discussed later in the lesson).

Figure 1.1. Excel provides a new workbook and the menus and toolbars necessary for doing some serious number crunching .



Close the Task Pane If you would like a little more room in the Excel window to work on the current workbook sheet, click the Close ( X ) button on the task pane.

When you work in Excel, you use workbook files to hold your numerical data, formulas, and other objects, such as Excel charts . Each Excel workbook can consist of several sheets; each sheet is called a worksheet.


Workbook An Excel file is called a workbook. Each workbook consists of several worksheets made up of rows and columns of information.

You enter your numbers and formulas on one of the workbook's worksheets. Each worksheet consists of 256 columns. The columns begin with column A and proceed through the alphabet. The 27th column is AA, followed by AB, AC, and this convention for naming subsequent columns continues through the entire alphabet until you end up with the last column (column 256), which is designated IV.

Each worksheet also consists of 65,536 rows. The intersection of a column and a row on the worksheet is called a cell. Each cell has an address that consists of the column and row that intersect to make the cell. For example, the very first cell on a worksheet is in column A and row 1, so the cell 's address is A1.


Worksheet One sheet in an Excel workbook. Each worksheet consists of 256 columns and 65,536 rows (plenty of space to create even the most enormous spreadsheets).


Cell Where a row and column intersect, each cell has an address that consists of the column letter and row number (A1, B3, C4, and so on). You enter data and formulas in the cells to create your worksheets.

Figure 1.1 shows cell A1 highlighted in worksheet 1 (designated as Sheet1 on its tab) of Workbook 1 (designated in the title bar as Book1; this will change to a particular filename after you name the workbook using the Save function).

The Excel window shown here includes many of the various elements available in other Office applications, such as Word or PowerPoint. These elements include a menu bar (from which you select commands), a status bar (which displays the status of the current activity), and toolbars (which contain buttons and drop-down lists that provide quick access to various commands and features).

In addition, the window contains several elements that are unique to Excel, as shown in Table 1.1.

Table 1.1. Elements of the Excel Window



Formula bar

When you enter information into a cell, it appears in the Formula bar. You can use the Formula bar to edit the data later. The cell's location also appears in the Formula bar.

Column headings

The letters across the top of the worksheet, which identify the columns in the worksheet.

Row headings

The numbers down the side of the worksheet, which identify the rows in the worksheet.

Cell selector

The dark outline that indicates the active cell. (It highlights the cell you are currently working in.)

Worksheet tabs

These tabs help you move from worksheet to worksheet within the workbook.

Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Microsoft Office 2003 All-in-One
Year: 2002
Pages: 660
Authors: Joe Habraken

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