MS Excel: An introduction
Developed by Microsoft, Excel is an electronic spreadsheet that can be used for storing and organizing data. Excel is a part of the MS Office Suite that apart from Excel includes Word and Powerpoint. Excel is compatible with macOS, Android, and iOS. Excel uses Visual Basic for Applications, a programing language developed by Microsoft.
Excel features some tools such as pivot tables for calculating and tabulating data. The VBA allows manipulation with the spreadsheet, which is almost impossible when using other spreadsheet techniques.
Excel Basic components:
Just like other spreadsheets, Excel features Workbooks that include one or more Worksheets. You can hide, delete or even rearrange your Worksheets, within your Workbooks. You can create one or more Worksheets within a Workbook by clicking the tab at the bottom end of the page. Workbooks can also store chart sheets that display charts.
Worksheets include cells that contain a formula, value or text. Every Worksheet has an invisible draw layer that can be used to manipulate charts, diagrams, and images.
The cell is the smallest, yet the most useful component of Excel. You can enter data in cells by either typing figures manually or copy-pasting them. You can customize the size, border, and background color of your cells. Every cell has a unique address that comprises of its column number and row number.
A few window components:
Active cells are the cells you select. To select a cell, click on it. To edit a cell, you need to double click on it or use F2.
A row is a horizontal set of cells. A worksheet contains more than a million rows. Every cell has a unique number.
A column is a vertical set of cells. Every worksheet contains more than 16,000 columns. For identification, every column is assigned a unique alphabet.
Title bar can be used to name workbooks.
Located just below the ribbon, Formula bar can be used to enter a particular formula in a cell.
Fill handle is represented by a dot at the lower end corner of an active cell. You can use fill handle to insert numeric values and serial numbers.
Quick access toolbar:
You can use Quick access toolbar to access frequently used options. You can also add new preferences.
Just like other applications, Excel has a File menu that includes some options such as Open, New, Print, Share, and Save).
Sum, as the name suggests, is used to add up numeric values.
The count is used to count numeric values in a cell. To get the count, you can either refer to the cells where the numeric value is displayed or insert values.
The Left function is used to extract characters from cells starting from the left.
The exact opposite of Left, the Right function is used to extract characters from cells starting from the right.
VLookUp is used to search numeric values in columns.
The If the function returns different values when a condition is true and when it is untrue.
Excel is primarily used for:
● Data entry and management
● Managing tasks
● Creating financial models
● Time management
● Helps save time and efforts
● Aids in decision making
● Provides access to a range of data at one place.
● Superior security