In this article, we will introduce you to excel and discover its capabilities and how we can take advantage of them to enhance our productivity. We will cover the following topics.
What is Microsoft Excel?
Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program that is used to record and analyse numerical data. Think of a spreadsheet as a collection of columns and rows that form a table. Alphabetical letters are usually assigned to columns and numbers are usually assigned to rows. The point where a column and a row meet is called a cell. The address of a cell is given by the letter representing the column and the number representing a row. Let's illustrate this using the following image.
Why Should I Learn Microsoft Excel
We all deal with numbers in one way or the other. We all have daily expenses which we pay for from the monthly income that we earn. For one to spend wisely, they will need to know their income vs. expenditure. Microsoft Excel comes in handy when we want to record, analyze and store such numeric data.
Where can I get Microsoft Excel?
There are number of ways in which you can get Microsoft Excel. You can buy it from a hardware computer shop that also sells software. Microsoft Excel is part of the Microsoft Office suite of programs. Alternatively, you can download it from the Microsoft website but you will have to buy the license key.
Customization Microsoft Excel Environment
Personally I like the black colour, so my excel theme looks blackish. Your favourite colour could be blue, and you too can make your theme colour look blue-like. If you are not a programmer, you may not want to include ribbon tabs i.e. developer. All this is made possible via customizations. In this sub-section, we are going to look at;
- Customization the ribbon.
- Setting the colour theme.
- Settings for formulas.
- Proofing settings.
- Save settings.
Adding custom tabs to the ribbon
You can also add your own tab, give it a custom name and assign commands to it. Let's add a tab to the ribbon with the text Guru99
1. Right click on the ribbon and select Customize the Ribbon. The dialogue window shown above will appear.
2. Click on new tab button as illustrated in the animated image below.
3. Select the newly created tab 4. Click on Rename button.
5. Give it a name of Guru99.
6. Select the New Group (Custom) under Guru99 tab as shown in the image below.
7. Click on Rename button and give it a name of My Commands.
8. Let's now add commands to my ribbon bar.
9. The commands are listed on the middle panel.
10. Select All chart types command and click on Add button.
11. Click on OK.
Best Practices when working with Microsoft Excel
1. Save workbooks with backward compatibility in mind. If you are not using the latest features in higher versions of Excel, you should save your files in 2003 *.xls format for backwards compatibility.
2. Use description names for columns and worksheets in a workbook.
3. Avoid working with complex formulas with many variables. Try to break them down into small managed results that you can use to build on.
4. Use built-in functions whenever you can instead of writing your own formulas.