Archive for the ‘MS Excel’ Category

The First Encounter with Microsoft Excel – Part III

July 17, 2010

Continuing the lesson from Part II:

Khawla wants to add a title above the table in the center. She selects the cells in Row 2 that are exactly above the table …

Microsoft Excel 2003: Adding a Title

… and merges them. Then she writes inside “Personal Balance Sheet”, deselects the merged cells, right-clicks, selects Format Cells, clicks on the Font tab and makes the following changes:

Microsoft Excel 2003: Editing the Font

Clicking OK, the title looks as follows:

Microsoft Excel 2003: Adding a Title

Now, after finishing the first part of the table for year 2010, Khawla wants to add the part of the table for year 2011. She selects 2010 months …

Microsoft Excel 2003: Select 2010 Months

… and drags the mouse 12 cells down …

Microsoft Excel 2003: Dragging Down

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The First Encounter with Microsoft Excel – Part II

June 25, 2010

We continue our story from where we stopped last time.

Khawla was working on creating a Personal Balance Sheet to control her expenses and to help achieve her goal of accumulating at least AED100,000 in her bank account by the end of 2011. She drew a table for the balance sheet on a piece of paper and tried to recreate it beautifully in Microsoft Excel. She was able to draw the row containing the columns’ titles and here is a part of it:

Microsoft Excel 2003: Cells With Borders

“Since July, 2010 is coming soon, let me add it first in the table.” Khawla wrote “July” in Cell C5, and moved down to Cell C6 using the Down Arrow in her Keyboard and wrote “August”. And she continued until adding December. And here is how she got so far:

Microsoft Excel 2003: Adding 2010 Months

Again, she wants the months centered in the cells. To be exact, everything she is going to write later should be centered. “If there is a way with which the data will get centered beforehand!” Khawla looked at the sheet and noticed something. She noticed that there is a small rectangle between Column A and Row 1 …

Microsoft Excel 2003: Selecting All Cells

… and she clicked it. All the sheet cells have been selected:

Microsoft Excel 2003: All Cells Selected

She tries to right-click anywhere in the sheet and the menu containing Format cells appears:

Microsoft Excel 2003: All Cells Selected

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The First Encounter With Microsoft Excel – Part I

June 17, 2010

The 2003 Microsoft Excel interface is quite simpler than that of the 2007 version:

Microsoft Excel 2003 Interface

(Click to enlarge)

Here is a snapshot of the menus bar in the 2003 version of Microsoft Excel:

Microsoft Excel 2003 Menus Bar

(Click to enlarge)

Open Microsoft Excel. Select a range of cells. Note the shape of your mouse pointer which is a big white plus sign. It means you are going to select cells. Press Data in the menus bar and a drop-down menu appears:

Microsoft Excel 2003 Data Menu

Choose the Sort command. You will get an error message since you are working on a new empty sheet:

Microsoft Excel 2003 Error Message Due to Empty Sheet

So, you see, you have to fill cells with data before using some commands, such as Sort. But, if you want to make a ready-to-use formatted table, you can. Let us take the following issue as an example.

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Using Microsoft Excel for the First Time

June 16, 2010

When you get a new mobile phone, you first get very excited and switch it on. Then, you start checking the menu …

That is exactly what you should be doing when using Microsoft Excel for the first time.

And that is what I do whenever I install a new software on my system. It is not correct to directly go and enter some data in Microsoft Excel without knowing what options to use next. You are just going to waste your time.

Checking the Menus in Microsoft Excel:

Open Microsoft Excel in your computer. You will see the following interface depending on the version of your Office software (mine is 2007). Click to enlarge it:

Microsoft Excel 2007 Interface

Here is a snapshot of the menus. Click for a larger view:

Microsoft Excel 2007 Menus

It is really a good advice to check each menu in Microsoft Excel and guess each command and tool’s use. For example, let us see what is there in the Data menu. Clicking it reveals it. Here is a snapshot of it. Click to see it larger:

Microsoft Excel 2007 Data Menu

You will see many commands grouped in what appears to be divisions. There is among them the Sort & Filter division. Moving the mouse over the Sort command you will see a pop-up description for it:

Microsoft Excel 2007 Data Menu's Sort Command

So, now that you know the effect of the Sort command, when you need to sort out a group of data in a column, you will select the data and directly click on the Data menu and press the Sort command!

Go ahead and check the rest of the menus and the commands. Next time, I am going to write a similar preview of the menus in the 2003 version of Microsoft Excel.

Have fun getting to know and understand your new friend.