Excel is a spreadsheet program that allows you to store, organize, and analyze information. In this lesson, you will learn your way around the Excel 2010 environment, including the new Backstage view, which replaces the Microsoft Office button menu from Excel 2007.
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We will show you how to use and modify the Ribbon and the Quick Access toolbar, as well as how to create new workbooks and open existing ones. After this lesson, you will be ready to get started on your first workbook.
Getting to know Excel 2010
The Excel 2010 interface is similar to Excel 2007. There have been some changes we'll review later in this lesson, but if you're new to Excel first take some time to learn how to navigate an Excel workbook.
The Excel interface
Click the buttons in the interactive below for an overview of how to navigate an Excel workbook.
A row is a group of cells that runs from the left of the page to the right. In Excel, rows are identified by numbers. Row 15 is selected here.
The name box tells you the location or the name of a selected cell. In the image below, cell B4 is in the name box. Note how cell B4 is where column B and row 4 intersect.
The Quick Access toolbar lets you access common commands no matter which tab you are on. By default, it shows the Save, Undo, and Repeat commands. You can add other commands to make it more convenient for you.
Click and drag the slider to use the zoom control. The number to the left of the slider bar reflects the zoom percentage.
There are three ways to view a spreadsheet. Click a page view button to select it.
• Normal view is selected by default and shows you an unlimited number of cells and columns. It is highlighted in this image.
• Page Layout view divides your spreadsheet into pages.
• Page Break view lets you see an overview of your spreadsheet, which is helpful when you're adding page breaks.
You may have more data than you can see on the screen all at once. Click and hold the horizontal scroll bar and slide it to the left or right depending on which part of the page you want to see.
Excel files are called workbooks. Each workbook holds one or more worksheets (also known as spreadsheets).
Three worksheets appear by default when you open an Excel workbook. You can rename, add, and delete worksheets.
In the formula bar, you can enter or edit data, a formula, or a function that will appear in a specific cell. In this image, cell C1 is selected and 1984 is entered into the formula bar. Note how the data appears in both the formula bar and in cell C1.
A column is a group of cells that runs from the top of the page to the bottom. In Excel, columns are identified by letters. Column L is selected here.
The Ribbon contains all of the commands you will need in order to perform common tasks. It has multiple tabs, each with several groups of commands, and you can add your own tabs that contain your favorite commands. Some groups have an arrow in the bottom-right corner that you can click to see even more options.
Working with your Excel environment
The Ribbon and Quick Access toolbar are where you'll find the commands you need to perform common tasks in Excel. If you are familiar with Excel 2007, you will find that the main difference in the Excel 2010 Ribbon is that commands such as Open and Print are now housed in Backstage view.
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The Ribbon contains multiple tabs, each with several groups of commands. You can add your own tabs that contain your favorite commands.
Certain programs—such as Adobe Acrobat Reader—may install additional tabs to the Ribbon. These tabs are called add-ins.
To customize the Ribbon:
You can customize the Ribbon by creating your own tabs that house your desired commands. Commands are always housed within a group, and you can create as many groups as you need to keep your tabs organized. You can also add commands to any of the default tabs as long as you create a custom group within the tab.
Right-click the Ribbon, then select Customize the Ribbon. A dialog box will appear.
Right-clicking the Ribbon to customize it
Click New Tab. A new tab will be created with a new group inside it.Make sure the new group is selected.Select a command from the list on the left, then click Add. You can also drag commands directly into a group.When you are done adding commands, click OK.
The dialog box where you can customize the Ribbon
If you do not see the command you want, click the Choose commands drop-down box and select All Commands.
Displaying All Commands
To minimize and maximize the Ribbon:
The Ribbon is designed to be easy to use and responsive to your current tasks; however, if you find that it's taking up too much of your screen space, you can minimize it.
Click the arrow in the upper-right corner of the Ribbon to minimize it.
To maximize the Ribbon, click the arrow again.
When the Ribbon is minimized, you can make it reappear by clicking a tab. However, the Ribbon will disappear again when you're not using it.
The Quick Access toolbar
The Quick Access toolbar, above the Ribbon, lets you access common commands no matter which tab you are on. By default, it shows the Save, Undo, and Repeat commands. You can add other commands to make it more convenient for you.
To add commands to the Quick Access toolbar:Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the Quick Access toolbar.Select the command you want to add from the drop-down menu. To choose from more commands, select More Commands.
Backstage view gives you various options for saving, opening a file, printing, and sharing your document. It is similar to the Microsoft Office button menu from Excel 2007 and the File menu from earlier versions of Excel. However, instead of just a menu it's a full-page view, which makes it easier to work with.
To get to Backstage view:On the Ribbon, click the File tab.
Choose your desired option, or return to your workbook by clicking any tab on the Ribbon.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn about the different things you can do in Backstage view.
Here, you can change various Excel options. For example, you can control the spelling and grammar check settings, AutoRecover settings, and Language preferences.
From the Print pane, you can change the print settings and print your workbook. You can also see a preview of your workbook.
From here, you can create a new blank workbook, or you can choose from a large selection of templates.