Carpe diem: Excel - Basics

Excel Basics

I created a forum in the Carpe diem Cubit for discussion and questions about Excel  Excel Discussions.  Please ask your questions there.

This tutorial starts with the very BASICS of Excel, as if you have never used the program at all.  I hope to continue with small excerpts and build on this knowledge.  So, if you use Excel, you will already know these steps!

There are several versions of Excel with newer ones introduced frequently.  I will show you using the version I have, 2007.  If you have an older version, 2003, your program will look different from the pictures I will use.  The older version will do the same things but you will have to find the features.  I do not have the older version at home but maybe when I get back to work, I can use a computer there to get pictures and show you where the features are located.  There are many ways to do the same thing so if you know a shortcut, use it. 

When you open Excel and start a spreadsheet and save it, you have created a workbook.  Within that workbook are worksheets.  Example:  A Workbook named Plants can contain many sheets and each can be a specific plant.  Use the ALL button to highlight the entire worksheet, you will use this later. 
The highlighted cell is A,1.


Now you want to make column headers or titles.  In my example using plants, I will work on the sheet Brugmansia and use only a few columns and rows but you can have as many you want.  When you type in your titles, they won’t all fit.  We will fix that and you have choices of how you want it to look.  I put the titles Common Name, Date of Purchase and Vendor.  Then I added a few plants, dates etc.  Don’t worry about them being in the correct order.  We will later learn to sort and filter
them just like you want them.

This picture shows you how to size your columns to see all the text.  There are several ways to do this.


Next, highlight your columns (just the ones you want to work on or the ALL button if you are doing the whole sheet) and format them.  Use the formatting tools just like in Word.  You can center, change the text font, color, cell color, etc.


If you want to rotate your first row of titles to be vertical and save space see the next picture.  First you highlight Row 1, just click on the number one and it will highlight the Row.  Click on the abc that is at an angle and choose rotate text up.  You can also wrap the text.


Here are my column titles vertical and wrapped.


That is all for now!  Much more to come.  Please ask questions in the
Excel Discussions Forum and if there is a particular thing you need to know, I will do my best to tell you how or we will find out. 
I like to learn more about this program too!


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