Excel Spreadsheet Help: How To Start Working With Excel

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This article will provide you with basic excel spreadsheet help to assist you in getting started with Microsoft Excel.

Learing objectives:

  • Creating a workbook
  • Enter data in a workbook
  • Manipulation of Data
  • Modification of Worksheet

So Lets Begin With The Excel Spreadsheet Help Topics

1. Creating a Workbook

To create a new workbook launch Microsoft Excel.

Microsoft Excel gives you a default workbook named “Book 1” when it is launched.

new microsoft excelworkbook

There are the 3 worksheets in the default workbook named Sheet 1, Sheet 2 and Sheet 3.

It is always advised to save your workbook with a suitable name otherwise you may lose the work done on it.

To save the workbook

  • Click the Microsoft Office Button
  • Click Save
  • Type a suitable name for the workbook
  • Click Save

how to save an excel workbook

Note: Keyboard Shortcut for SaveCtrl + S

You may need to use the Save As feature when you need to save the workbook under a different name or to save it for earlier versions of excel.

excel save as feature

Remember that older versions of Excel will not be able to open an Excel 2007 or newer version workbook unless you save it in Excel 97-2003 Format.

There are other features also like macro enabled and binary workbook but those are advanced topics to be covered in a separate post in future.

2. Entering Data into a Worksheet

There are different ways to enter data in excel

  • in an active Cell
  • in the Formula Bar

To enter data in an active cell

  • Click on the cell where you want to enter the data
  • Begin typing

Data entry by typing in a cell

To enter data in the Formula Bar

  • Click the cell where you would like the data
  • Place the cursor in the Formula Bar
  • Begin typing

data entry through formula bar

You can fill data in the cells as per your requirement.

Here is a sample data stored in a worksheet showing names and marks of some students in a class.

Sample data in a worksheet

The above data consists of 5 rows (1 to 5) and 3 columns (A to C).

Notice that the first row (i.e Cell A1 to C1) has been used to specify the nature of data that is stored in the three columns. These can be called column headings.

3. Manipulating Data entered into Worksheet

a. Cut, Copy and Paste

Excel allows you to move, copy and paste cell and cell content through

  • Move Data: Cut and Paste
  • Copy Data: Copy and Paste

Select Data

To move or copy data you need to select the cell or cells which contain the data by

Clicking on the Cell, or

Click on cell to select single cell

Click and drag the cursor to select more than one cell

click and drag to select multiple cells in excel

To select a full row or column, click on the row or column header

select a full row or column

Cut and Paste

To Cut and Paste data

Step 1: Select the Cell or Cells that you want to cut (as shown above)

Step 2: On the clipboard group of Home tab, click Cut

Cut option in home tab of ribbon

 

OR,  Right-click on the selected cell(s) and click Cut

cut option in right click

OR, Press Ctrl + X on the Keyboard to Cut

Step 3: Select the destination cell(s) where you want to move the data.

Step 4: On the clipboard group of Home tab, click Paste

paste option on home tab of ribbon

OR, right-click on the selected destination cell(s) and click Paste

paste option in right click

OR, press Ctrl + V on the keyboard to paste data.

Copy and Paste

Follow the same steps as shown in Cut and Paste. Just click on the Copy option instead of Cut. Then paste the data where ever you want it.

b. Undo and Redo

You can cancel your last actions using Undo.

For example, if you accidentally modified the contents of a cell or deleted something then you can revert back by clicking on Undo.

This option is very handy as it lets you quickly correct your mistakes.

The keyboard shortcut for Undo is Ctrl + Z. 

Sometimes it may so happen that you Undo something by mistake. In that case you can use the Redo option to cancel the effect of Undo. The Redo option will not be active unless you undo something.

Both the Undo and Redo options are found on the Quick Access Toolbar

Undo and Redo in excel

c. Auto Fill

The Auto Fill feature fills cell data or series of data in a worksheet into a selected range of cells.

Filling data of a particular cell into other cells using Auto fill

If you want the same data to be copied into the other cells, you need to

  • Select the Cell whose data you want to copy into other cells Auto fill cell selected
  • Place the mouse pointer on the Fill Handle (the tiny square dot on the bottom right corner of the selected cell). You will see the cursor turn into a + sign. 
  • Click and drag the Fill Handle to copy data to other cells Autofill with drag single cell

 

Filling a series of data into other cells using Auto fill

If you want to have a series of data ( for example, days of the Week) then

  • Fill in the first two values of the series in two consecutive cells
  • Select both the cells
  • Drag using the auto fill handle

autofill with drag data series

You can generate a series of numbers, name of months etc with auto fill feature of excel.

TIP: Open Excel and try generating a series of odd numbers by using the auto fill drag feature.

4. Modifying a Worksheet

a. Insert Cells, Rows and Columns

To insert cells, rows or columns in Excel:

  • Place the cursor in the row below where you want the new row, or in the column to the left of where you want the new column
  • Click the Insert button on the Cells group of the Home tab
  • Click the appropriate choice: Cell, Row or Column

Below you can see the insertion of a new row.

insert new row in excel

Same way you can insert a new column or cells into your worksheet.

b. Delete Cells, Rows and Columns

Just below the Insert button on the Cells group of the Home tab you will find the Delete option.

You can delete a cell, row and column easily by

  • Selecting the cell, row or column to be deleted
  • Click the Delete button on the Cells group of the Home tab
  • Click the appropriate choice: Cell, Row or Column

Remember: Here you are deleting the Cells, rows and columns directly. It means you will lose all data that was there in the cells or rows or columns. If you want to delete only the cell contents and not the cells then you can select the cells and press the delete button on the keyboard. This will not delete the cell but only the data contained in the cell.

Goodbye for Today

In this post I will end the discussion here. I hope that you must have learnt something from this post. You can try to practice these yourself to build your skills.

Hope that this tutorial relating to excel spreadsheet help will make your start with excel easy. Thanks for reading!

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