Certified Office Administrator Learning Resources MS-Excel

Learning Resources


MS-Excel 2003 is a Windows based application package. It is quite useful in entering, editing, analysis and storing of data.
Arithmetic operations with numerical data such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division can also be done with
Excel. You can sort the numbers/characters according to some given criteria (like ascending, descending etc.)and solve simple
financial, mathematical and  statistical formulas.

There are a number of features that are available in Excel to make your task easier.  Some of the main features are:
AutoFormat - lets you to choose many preset table formatting options.

  • AutoSum - helps you to add the contents of a cluster of adjacent cells.
  • List AutoFill - automatically extends cell formatting when a new item is added to the end of a list.
  • AutoFill - feature allows you to quickly fill cells with repetitive or sequential data such as chronological dates or numbers, and repeated text. AutoFill can also be used to copy functions. You can also alter text and numbers with this feature.
  • AutoShapes toolbar will allow you to draw a number of geometrical shapes, arrows, flowchart elements, stars and more.  With these shapes you can draw your own graphs.
  • Wizard - guides you to work effectively while you work by displaying various helpful tips and techniques based on what
  • you are doing.
  • Drag and Drop - feature will help you to reposition the data and text by simply dragging the data with the help of mouse.
  • Charts - features will help you in presenting a graphical representation of your data in the form of Pie, Bar, Line charts
  • and more.
  • PivotTable - flips and sums data in seconds and allows you to perform data analysis and generating reports like periodic
  • financial statements, statistical reports, etc.  You can also analyse complex data relationships graphically.
  • Shortcut Menus - commands that are appropriate to the task that you are doing appear by clicking the right mouse
  • button.


  • Click on (with the help of mouse) the Start button
  • Highlight the Programs item.  The program menu will open.
  • Select Microsoft Excel from the list of programs.
  • Click  on Microsoft Excel

Excel allows you to create worksheets much like paper ledgers that can perform automatic calculations. Each Excel file is a
workbook that can hold many worksheets. The worksheet is a grid of columns (designated by letters) and rows (designated by numbers). The letters and numbers of the columns and rows (called labels) are displayed in gray buttons across the top and
left side of the worksheet. The intersection of a column and a row is called a cell. Each cell on the spreadsheet has a cell address that is the column letter and the row number. Cells can contain either text, numbers, or mathematical formulas.

Selecting, Adding and Renaming Worksheets
The worksheets in a workbook are accessible by clicking the worksheet tabs just above the status bar. By default, three
worksheets are included in each workbook. To add a sheet, select Insert→Worksheet from the menu bar. To rename the worksheet
tab, move the cursor to sheet tab, right-click on the tab with the mouse and select Rename from the shortcut menu. Type the
new name and press the ENTER key.
Standard Toolbar
This toolbar is located just below the menu bar at the top of the screen and allows you to quickly access basic Excel commands.
New - Select File→New from the menu bar, or press CTRL+N, or click the New button to create a new workbook.
Open - Click File→Open from the menu bar, or press CTRL+O, or click the Open folder button to open an existing
Save - The first time you save a workbook, select File→Save As and name the file. After the file is named click File→Save,
or CTRL+S, or the Save button on the standard toolbar.
Print - Click the Print button to print the worksheet.
Print Preview - This feature will allow you to preview the worksheet before it prints.
Spell Check - Use the spell checker to correct spelling errors on the worksheet.
Cut, Copy, Paste, and Format Painter - These actions will be explained to you later in this lesson.
Undo and Redo - Click the backward Undo arrow to cancel the last action you performed like entering data into a cell, formatting a cell, entering a function, etc. Click the forward Redo arrow to cancel the undo action.
Insert Hyperlink - To insert a hyperlink to a web site on the Internet, type the text into a cell you want to be the link that can be clicked with the mouse. Then, click the Insert Hyperlink button and enter the web address you want the
text to link to and click OK.
Zoom - To change the size that the worksheet appears on the screen, choose a different percentage from the Zoom menu.

To enter data into your worksheet you must  first have a cell or range selected.  When you open an Excel worksheet, cell A1 is already active.  An active cell will appear to have a darker border around it than other cells on the worksheet.  The simplest way to select a cell is with your mouse pointer.  Move your mouse to the desired cell and click on it with right button.  Whatever you type goes into the cell.  To select a range of cells, click on one cell, hold down the left mouse button and drag the mouse pointer to the last cell of the range you want to select.  You can also use keyboard shortcuts given at the end of this lesson for selecting  cells.

You can advance through your worksheet by rows with the vertical scrollbar or by columns with the horizontal scrollbar. When you click and drag the thumb tab on the scrollbar, a Screen Tip will appear alongside the bar identifying the row or column to which your view is advancing.  You can also use keyboard shortcuts given at the end of this lesson for navigating
the worksheet.

You can enter various kinds of data in a cell.

Numbers:  Your numbers can be from the entire range of numeric values: whole numbers (example, 25), decimals (example, 25.67) and scientific notation (example, 0.2567E+2).  Excel displays scientific notation automatically if you enter a number that is too long to be viewed in its entirety  in a cell.  You may also see number signs (# # # # # #) when a cell entry is too long.  Widening the column that contains the cell with the above signs will allow you to read the number.

Text: First select the cell in which data has to be entered and type the text.  Press ENTER key to finish your text entry.
The text will be displayed in the active cell as well as in the Formula bar.  If you have numbers to be treated as text use
an apostrophe (‘)  as the first character.  You cannot do calculations with these kind of data entry.

Date and Time:  When you enter dates and times, Excel converts these entries into serial numbers and kept as background information.  However, the dates and times will be displayed to you on the worksheet in a format opted by you.  

Data in Series:  You can fill a range of cells either with the same value or with a series of values with the help of AutoFill.

Editing your Excel worksheet data is very easy.  You can edit your data by any of the following ways:
1. Select the cell containing data to be edited.  Press F2.  Use Backspace key and erase the wrong entry.  Retype the correct
2. Select the cell and simply retype the correct entry.
3. If you want only to clear the contents of the cell, select the cell and press Delete key.
4. To bring back the previous entry, either click on Undo button on standard Toolbar or select Edit→Undo command or use
keyboard shortcuts CTRL+Z.

Each worksheet contains a number of columns and rows.  Each cell of the worksheet has a unique reference.  For example, D5,
refers to the cell containing column number D and row number 5.

You may want to locate a number or text that is already typed in the worksheet.  This is done through Edit→Find.  You can also locate your data and replace with new data with Edit→Find→Replace.

Adding Worksheets, Rows, and Columns
Worksheets - Add a worksheet to a workbook by selecting Insert→Worksheet from the menu bar.
Row - To add a row to a worksheet, select Insert→Rows from the menu bar, or highlight the row by clicking on the
row label, right-click with the mouse, and choose Insert.
Column - Add a column by selecting Insert→Columns from the menu bar, or highlight the column by click on the col-umn label, right-click with the mouse, and choose Insert.

Resizing Rows and Columns
There are two ways to resize rows and columns.
1. Resize a row by dragging the line below the label of the row you would like to resize. Resize a column in a similar man-ner by dragging the line to the right of the label correspond-ing to the column you want to resize.
2. Click the row or column label and select Format→Row→Height or Format→Column→Width from the menu bar to enter a numerical value for the height of the row or width of the column.

Selecting Cells

  • Before a cell can be modified or formatted, it must first be selected (highlighted). Refer to the table below for selecting groups of cells. Cells to select Mouse action:
  • One cell click once in the cell
  • Entire row click the row label
  • Entire column click the column label
  • Entire worksheet click the whole sheet button (at the intersection of rows and columns)
  • Cluster of cells drag mouse over the cells or hold down the SHIFT key while using the arrow keys
  • To activate the contents of a cell, double-click on the cell or click once and press F2.

Moving and Copying Cells
1. Moving Cells
To cut cell contents that will be moved to another cell select Edit→Cut from the menu bar or click the Cut button on the
standard toolbar.
2. Copying Cells
To copy the cell contents, select Edit→Copy from the menu bar or click the Copy button on the standard toolbar.
3. Pasting Cut and Copied Cells
Highlight the cell you want to paste the cut or copied content into and select Edit→Paste from the menu bar or click the
Paste button on the standard toolbar.
4. Drag and Drop
If you are moving the cell contents only a short distance, the drag-and-drop method may be easier. Simply drag the highlighted border of the selected cell to the destination cell with the mouse.
5. Freeze Panes
If you have a large worksheet with column and row headings, those headings will disappear as the worksheet is scrolled.
By using the Freeze Panes feature, the headings can be visible at all times.
1. Click the label of the row below the row that should re-main frozen at the top of the worksheet.
2. Select Window→Freeze Panes from the menu bar.
3. To remove the frozen panes, select Window→Unfreeze Panes.

Freeze panes has been added to row 2 in the image above. No-tice that the row numbers skip from 3 to 8. As the worksheet is
scrolled, rows 1 and 2 will remain stationary while the remain-ing rows will move.   Following similar steps you can Freeze or Unfreeze selected columns.

To set page breaks within the worksheet, select the row you want to appear just below the page break by clicking the row’s
label. Then choose Insert→Page Break from the menu bar. You may need to click the double down arrow at the bottom of the
menu list to view this option.

Select File→Page Setup from the menu bar to format the page, set margins, and add headers and footers.

1. Page:  The page option allows you to set the paper size, orientation of the data, scaling of the area, print quality, etc.
Select the Orientation under the Page tab in the Page Setup window to make the page Landscape or Portrait. The size of
the worksheet on the page can also be formatted using Scaling. To force a worksheet to print only one page wide so that all the columns appear on the same page, select Fit to 1 page(s) wide.

2. Margins Change the top, bottom, left, and right margins under the Margins tab. Enter values in the header and footer
fields to indicate how far from the edge of the page this text should appear. Check the boxes for centering horizontally
or vertically on the page.

3. Header/Footer tab gives you the option to set the Header (which will be displayed on the top of every page) and the
Footer (which will be displayed on the bottom of every page). Add preset headers and footers to the page by clicking the
drop-down menus under the Header/Footer tab.

To modify a preset header or footer, or to make your own, click the Custom Header and Custom Footer buttons. A new window will open allowing you to enter text in the left, center, or right on the page.

Format Text - Click this button after highlighting the text to change the font, size, and style.
Page Number - Insert the page number of each page.
Total Number of Pages - Use this feature along with the page number to create strings such as “page 5 of 10”.
Date - Add the current date.
Time - Add the current time.
File Name - Add the name of the workbook file.
Tab Name - Add the name of the worksheet’s tab.

4. Sheet  tab has the option to select the area to be printed (that is, range of cells).  Check Gridlines if you want the
gridlines dividing the cells to be printed on the page. If the worksheet is several pages long and only the first page in-cludes titles for the columns, select Rows to repeat at top to choose a title row that will be printed at the top of each page.

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