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Basic Excel 2003 Spreadsheet Tutorial

By Ted French, About.com Guide


Excel 2003 Step by Step Tutorial

Excel 2003 Spreadsheet Tutorial - Overview


This tutorial covers the steps to creating a basic spreadsheet in Excel 2003.
Related article: Basic Excel 2007 Spreadsheet Tutorial.
Completing the steps in the topics below will produce a spreadsheet similar to the image
above.
Tutorial Topics

Adding data to a spreadsheet

Widening Columns in Excel


Adding the Date and a Range Name
Adding formulas
Changing data alignment in cells
Number formatting - percent and currency
Changing cell background color
Changing font color

Entering Data into Excel 2003

Entering Data into Excel 2003


Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above.
Entering data into a spreadsheet is always a three step process. These steps are:
1. Click on the cell where you want the data to go.
2. Type your data into the cell.
3. Press the ENTER key on the keyboard or click on another cell with the mouse.
For this tutorial
To follow this tutorial, enter the data listed below into a blank spreadsheet using the
following steps:
1. Open a blank Excel spreadsheet file.
2. Select the cell indicated by the cell reference provided.
3. Type the corresponding data into the selected cell.
4. Press the Enter key on the keyboard or click on the next cell in the list with the
mouse.
Cell Data
A2 - Deduction Calculations for Employees
A8 - Last Name
A9 - Smith B.
A10 - Wilson C.

A11 - Thompson J.
A12 - James D.

B4 - Date:
B6 - Deduction Rate:
B8 - Gross Salary
B9 - 45789
B10 - 41245
B11 - 39876
B12 - 43211

C6 - .06
C8 - Deduction
D8 - Net Salary

Widening Columns in Excel 2003

Widening Columns in Excel 2003


Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above.
After entering the data you will probably find that several words, such as Deductions, are
too wide for a cell. To correct this so that the entire word is visible:
1. Place the mouse pointer on the line between columns C and D in the column
header.
2. The pointer will change to a double - headed arrow.
3. Click with the left mouse button and drag the double - headed arrow to the right to
widen column C.
4. Widen other columns to show data as needed.
Adding the Date and a Range Name

Adding the Date in Excel 2003


Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above.
It is normal to add the date to a spreadsheet. Built into Excel 2003 are a number of DATE
functions that can be used to do this. In this tutorial we will use the TODAY function.
1. Click on cell C4.
2. Type = TODAY ( )
3. Press the ENTER key on the keyboard.
4. The current date should appear in cell C4

Adding a Range Name in Excel 2003


1. Select cell C6 in the spreadsheet.
2. Click on the Name Box.
3. Type "rate" (no quotes) in the Name Box.
4. Cell C6 now has the name of "rate". We will use the name to simplify creating
formulas in the next step.
Adding Formulas in Excel 2003

Calculating employee deductions


Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above.
1. Click on cell C9.
2. Type in the formula = B9 * rate and press the Enter key on the keyboard.
Calculating net salary
1. Click on cell D9.
2. Type in the formula = B9 - C9 and press the Enter key on the keyboard.

Additional formula information:


Excel 2003 Formulas Step by Step Tutorial

Copying the formulas in cells C9 and D9 to other cells:


1. Click on cell C9 again.

2. Move the mouse pointer over the fill handle (a small black dot) in the bottom
right corner of the active cell.
3. When the pointer changes to a black "plus sign", click and hold down the left
mouse button and drag the fill handle down to cell C12. The formula in C9 will be
copied to cells C10 - C12.
4. Click on cell D9.
5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 and drag the fill handle down to cell D12. The formula in D9
will be copied to cells D10 - D12.
Excel 2003 Formatting - Changing Data Alignment

Excel 2003 Formatting - Changing Data Alignment


Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above.
This step involves using icons located on the Formatting toolbar, which is normally
located at the top of the Excel 2003 screen. If it is not present, this article, Finding Excel
Toolbars can help you locate it.
1. Drag select cells A2 - D2.
2. Click on the Merge and Center icon on the Formatting Toolbar to center the title.
3. Drag select cells B4 - B6.
4. Click on the Align text right option icon on the Formatting Toolbar to right align
the data in these cells.
5. Drag select cells A9 - A12.
6. Click on the Align text right icon on the Formatting Toolbar to right align the
data in these cells.
7. Drag select cells A8 - D8.
8. Click on the Center icon on the Formatting Toolbar to center the data in these
cells.
9. Drag select cells C4 - C6.
10. Click on the Center icon on the Formatting Toolbar to center the data in these
cells.
11. Drag select cells B9 - D12.
12. Click on the Center icon on the Formatting Toolbar to center the data in these
cells.

Excel 2003 Formatting - Number Formatting

Excel 2003 Formatting - number formatting


Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above.
Number formatting refers to the addition of currency symbols, decimal markers, percent
signs, and other symbols that help to identify the type of data present in a cell and to
make it easier to read.
In this step we add percent signs and currency symbols to our data.
Adding the percent symbol
1. Select cell C6.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Click on the Format menu to open the drop down list.


Click on Cells.. option to open the Format Cells dialog box.
Click on Percentage under the Category list.
Click OK.
The data in cell C6 should now read as 6 %.

Adding the currency symbol


1. Drag select cells B9 - D12.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 above.


Click on Currency under the Category list.
Click OK.
The data in cells B9 - D12 should now show the dollar symbol ( $ ) and two
decimal places.

Excel 2003 Formatting - Changing cell background color

Excel 2003 Formatting - Changing cell background color


Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above. This step involves using icons
located on the Formatting toolbar, which is normally located at the top of the Excel
2003 screen. If it is not present, this article, Finding Excel Toolbars can help you locate it.
1. Drag select cells A2 - D2 on the spreadsheet.
2. Click on the Fill Color icon on the Formatting Toolbar (looks like a paint can) to
open the background color drop down list.
3. Choose Green from the list to change the background color of cells A2 - D2 to
dark green.
4. Drag select cells A8 - D8 on the spreadsheet.
5. Repeat steps 2 and 3.
Excel 2003 Formatting - Changing Font Color

Excel 2003 Formatting - Changing font color


Note: For help on these steps, refer to the image above. This step involves using icons
located on the Formatting toolbar, which is normally located at the top of the Excel
2003 screen. If it is not present, this article, Finding Excel Toolbars can help you locate it.
1. Drag select cells A2 - D2 on the spreadsheet.

2. Click on the Font Color icon on the Formatting Toolbar (it is a large letter " A ")
to open the font color drop down list.
3. Choose White from the list to change the color of the text in cells A2 - D2 to
white.
4. Drag select cells A8 - D8 on the spreadsheet.
5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 above.
6. Drag select cells B4 - C6 on the spreadsheet.
7. Click on the Font Color icon on the Formatting Toolbar to open the font color
drop down list.
8. Choose Green from the list to change the color of the text in cells B4 - C6 to dark
green.
9. Drag select cells A9 - D12 on the spreadsheet.
10. Repeat steps 7 and 8 above.
11. At this point, if you have followed all the steps of this tutorial correctly, your
spreadsheet should resemble the spreadsheet pictured in Step 1 of this tutorial.