When you look at the Excel screen you see a rectangular table or grid of rows and columns. The horizontal rows are identified by numbers (1,2,3) and the vertical columns with letters of the alphabet (A,B,C). For columns beyond 26, columns are identified by two or more letters such as AA, AB, AC.
The intersection point between a column and a row is a small rectangular box known as a cell. A cell is the basic unit for storing data in the spreadsheet. Because an Excel spreadsheet contains thousands of these cells, each is given a cell reference or address to identify it. The cell reference is a combination of the column letter and the row number such as A3, B6, AA345.
Data Types, Formulas, and Functions
The types of data that a cell can hold include numbers, text or formulas. Just as in math class, formulas are used for calculations usually involving data contained in other cells. Excel and other electronic spreadsheets include a number of built in formulas used for common tasks known as functions.
Excel and Financial Data
Spreadsheets are often used to store financial data. Formulas and functions that are used on this type of data include:
Excel's Other Uses
Other common operations that Excel can be used for include:
The information garnered in a spreadsheet can easily be incorporated into electronic presentations, web pages, or printed off in report form.
A quick look at setting up a simple spreadsheet in Excel complete with a chart. More tutorials to follow that will go into more detail on how to use the different features of MS Excel.