Basics of MS Excel


Basics of MS Excel

Basics of MS Excel

Basics of MS Excel

Introduction: MS-Excel 2000 is a window based spreadsheet package, which is used for entering, editing, analysing and storing of data. Arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division can also be performed with Excel. We can sort the numbers/characters according to some given criteria (like ascending, descending, etc), solve simple financial, mathematical and statistical formulas and also presents a graphical representation of data, such as in charts, bar diagram in MS-Excel. 

Some Basic Features Excel: 

1. AutoSum: It allows to add the contents of a cluster of adjacent cells. 

2. AutoFill: Allows to fill cells with repetitive or sequential data such as chronological dates or numbers. 

3. AutoShapes: Allows you to draw a number of geometrical shapes arrows, flowchart elements, stars and more. With these shapes, we can draw our own graphs. 

4. Wizards: It helps us to function effectively while we work by displaying various helpful tips and techniques based on what we are doing. 

5. Charts: Charts help us in presenting a graphical representation of data in the form of Pie, Bar, Line Charts, etc. 

7. PivotTable: It flips and sums data and allows to perform data analysis and generating reports. 

Starting Excel       

Click on the Start – Programs-MS Excel or 

Select Start- Programs-Microsoft Excel Commands from your menu bar. 

Excel Worksheet 

Excel allows us to create worksheets much like paper that can perform automatic calculations. Each Excel file is a workbook that can hold many worksheets. The worksheet is a grid of columns (denoted by letters) and rows (denoted by numbers). The letters and numbers of the columns and rows (called labels) are shown in grey 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 which is the column letter and the row number. A cell can contain either text, numbers, or mathematical formulas.

Basics of MS Excel  

Cell References:

Each worksheet contains a number of columns and rows. Each cell of the worksheet has a unique reference. For example, E7 refers to the cell containing column number E and row number 7. 

Selecting Cells and Ranges 

To enter data into our worksheet we must first select a cell or a range. When we open an Excel worksheet, cell A1 is already active. An active cell has a darker border around it than other cells. The easiest way to select a cell is with the mouse pointer. To the desired cell and click on it with right button 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 desire to select. You can also use keyboard shortcuts for selecting cells.

Data Entry: 

We can enter various kinds of data in a cell as- 

1. Numbers: Numbers can be firm numeric values: whole numbers (example-25), (decimals (example, 25.67) and scientific notation (example, 0.2567E+2). 

2. Text: Select the cell in which data has to be entered and then type the text, Press Enter key to complete your text entry. The entered text is displayed in the active cell as well as in the Formula bar. 

3. Date and Time: When we enter dates and times, Excel converts these entries into series, into serial numbers and keeps as background information. However, the dates and times are displayed to we on the worksheet in a format opted by us. 

Editing Data:

Editing Excel worksheet data is very simple. We can edit our data by a number of ways: 

1. Select the cell containing data to be edited and press F2. Use the Backspace key to delete the wrong entry and to retype the correct entry. 

2. Select the cell and retype the correct entry. 

3. If you want to clear the contents of the cell, select the cell and press Delete key. 

Modifying a worksheet: 

Adding Worksheets, Rows, and Columns follow the following-

1. Worksheets: To add a worksheet to a workbook, select Insert-Worksheet from the menu bar. 

2. 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.

3. Column: To add a column select Insert — Columns from the menu bar or highlight the column by clicking on the column label, right-click with the mouse and choose Insert.

Basics of MS Excel

Resizing Rows and Columns:

Rows and columns can be resized in two ways- 

1. Resize a row by dragging the line below the label of the row you wish to resize. Resize a column by dragging the line to the right of the label corresponding to the column you wish 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:   

Cells to select Mouse action: 

One cell  click the cell one time 

Entire row click the row label  

Entireclick the column label 

Entire work sheetclick the whole sheet button 

Group drag the 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. 

Entering a Formula: Entering a formula in an excel cell is different from what we normally do in mathematics. A formula in excel always begins with= and is always entered into the cell where the formula is desired to be obtained. To obtain the result of a formula type the formula in a cell and press Enter.

Basics of MS Excel 

Close and Exit Excel: 

When your work is finished and it has been saved properly. 

1.   Select File- Close command and then click the mouse to close your file 

2.   Select File-Exit command and then click the mouse to close your file. 

Keyboard Shortcuts

Open a file CTRL+O 

New file CTRL+N 

Save asF12 


Print                CTRL+P

Find                CTRL+F 


Basics of MS Excel 

Cursor Movement 

One cell up up arrow 

One Cell down down arrow 

One Cell rightTab 

One cell leftSHIFT + Tab 

Top of worksheet (cell A1) CTRL+Home 

End of worksheet CTRL+ End 

End of rowHome 

End of column + left arrow  

Move to next worksheet  CTRL+ PageDown 


Apply AutoSumALT+= 

Current date CTRL+:

Current timeCTRL+: 

Spelling F7 


Selecting Cells 

All cells left of current cell SHIFT + left arrow 

All cells right of current cellSHIFT+right arrow 

Entire ColumnCTRL+ Spacebar 

Entire column SHIFT+Spacebar 

Entire worksheet CTRL+A

Basics of MS Excel

Text style 

Blood CTRL+B 


Underline CTRL+U

Strikethrough CTRL+5 


Edit active cellF2 

Format as currency with  SHIFT+CTRL+$

2 decimal places 

Format as percent with no SHIFT+CNTRL+%

Decimal places 






Format cells dialog boxCTRL+1. 0 0 0

Basics of MS Excel

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