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Microsoft Excel 2003 - A Beginners' Guide

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Introduction Starting the Computer Starting Excel o The Excel Screen o Getting Help o Moving Around the Worksheet Saving your Work Data Entry o Naming a Cell o Examining the Cell Contents Commands o Changing Column Width o Changing the Format o Clearing a Format o Inserting Blank Rows and Columns o Changing the Style of Text o Storing Numbers as Text o The Copy Command o Realigning Titles Functions o Calculating Totals - the SUM Function o The IF Function Graphs and Charts o Moving and Resizing a Chart o Altering the Chart Type o 3-D Rotation Borders and Gridlines o Removing the Gridlines Printing your Work o Print Preview o Page Setup Leaving Excel Appendix

See Document Conventions for information on the meaning of the text formatting used below. 1

Type in taxrate then press <Enter>. You can examine an individual formula by making its cell the active cell. Now. Move the active cell around and see what has been stored in each cell. The commands are to be found in the menus along the top of the screen. They can also be activated from the keyboard by holding down the <Alt> key and typing the appropriate letter (the one underlined in the menu). such as altering its layout or saving it. the tax rate (of 30%) could be held in a cell named taxrate and then referred to as such in any formulae. These are opened using the mouse. 1.. Click at the end of the bar then use <Backspace> to delete the 30%. type in 30% and press <Enter> 5.Naming a Cell Sometimes it is useful to reference a cell by name rather than by column and row. Commands Sometimes it is necessary to issue a command to tell the program to do something to the worksheet. The name will be highlighted 3.note that the current 6 . Hold down the mouse button and drag the column divider to the right . as above 2.. Changing Column Width Before proceeding further. This means that the content of the cell B5 is the formula B3-B4 and not 7000.the cursor changes becomes a double-headed arrow. amend the formula in cell B4 to read =B3*taxrate then press <Enter> Tip: It's easier to edit a formula on the Formula Bar rather than retype it into the cell. Click on the active cell name (A10) in the Name Box on the command line (just above the heading to column A). Move the mouse pointer onto the line between the letter A at the top of column A and B at the top of column B . Type in the new name of taxrate then press <Enter> 4. Take this opportunity to make sure you understand what is happening. Finally. as shown in the menus. For example. 1. you can issue a command simply by pressing the underlined letter. or by clicking the right button on the mouse. This is very rarely needed. Examining the Cell Contents Often you want to view a formula rather than its result. Note that you can display all the formulae (rather than the results) by setting one of the many Options. as displayed. Move to cell B5 and you will see =B3-B4 showing in the Formula Bar on the command line. once a menu is open. in cell A10. in this course. Move down to cell A10 (ie well away from the rest of your work) 2. however. The most commonly-used commands are also available from the toolbars and. use the arrow keys. change the layout so there is enough room to fit the whole of After-Tax Profit into its column. Some commands are also available through <Ctrl> key combinations. (on the View tab) via the Tools menu. If you ever need to move the typing position along the formula. you will be using these whenever possible.

0 . If cells contain numeric data and the column width becomes too narrow to display the numbers then Excel displays ####### instead. 8. For example. Note that you have only changed the display format. 9. 3.145 pixels) 3. To remove the decimal point and pence. so it's useful to demonstrate it here: 6. format the whole column). Move the mouse pointer to the dividing line between the column headings as before 5. which is equivalent to double-clicking on the column border. either with two decimal places (pounds and pence) or as whole numbers (pounds only). if the column has first been selected.0 Release the mouse button and ####### should appear in some or all the cells Use the [Undo] button to restore the column to its original width Changing the Format Currency: Percent: Comma: Euro: Increase Decimal: Decrease Decimal: The way data in a cell is displayed can be set using a format. Move the mouse pointer to the dividing line separating column B from C Hold down the mouse button and drag the divider to the left . In this next exercise. Click once on the letter B at the top of the column. The column should be highlighted (except for cell B1) Six commonly-used formats are provided on the Formatting toolbar. 4.set the width to less than 5. 7 . you will add a currency format to your data. Change the Income figure in B1 to 24444 then press <Enter> The resulting Tax and After-Tax Profit figures are now displayed with a single decimal place. The basic information held in the cell is identical. This looks a bit untidy as the other figures have no decimal places. To do this. widen the column. it's up to you how you want it displayed. Double click on the mouse button Note: Column width can also be set precisely from the Format menu using Column then Width.width is displayed as you move the divider (set the width to about 20. This submenu also has a command Autofit Selection. formats don't affect the stored data or accuracy to which calculations are made. It would be neater if all the numbers were shown as a currency. If ####### is displayed.444. you first have to select the cells (here. a date could be shown as 2512-04 or 25 Dec 04 or 25th December 2004 or in various other similar ways.. The first time you see this you will probably think an error has occurred. however. Click on the first formatting button for a [Currency] style What was 24444 should now be shown as £24.. Release the mouse button and the column is resized Getting the column width right using this method can be very time consuming.00. 1. 2.. To fit the column exactly to the data: 4. 7. click twice on the [Decrease Decimal] button The figures should now be displayed as whole numbers.

Apply the format . Move to B1 (press <left arrow>) and retype the original value of 25000 (Excel will add the formatting) . E and F (which you will be using later) also need to be formatted similarly. 7. To display the information as a number you have to clear the format. 2.. Click on the [Format Painter] button You will find that the blocked cells have a moving boundary while the mouse cursor now has a little brush attached. Note that the current format being used (on the [Number] tab) is under the Category: Custom. Open up the Format menu and choose Cells... To do this: 8 . 11. 12. Select the other columns by dragging across the column headings C to F 15. D.. Move to cell A7 and type in 25/12 then press <Enter> Because you forgot the equals sign denoting a calculation. Choose the last format for Negative numbers: -£1234 in red 10. The simplest way to do this is to copy the format from column B to the other columns. Release the mouse button and the new format is copied across (the brush disappears) Only when you enter data into these cells will the new format become apparent. Excel interprets this as a date.. 14. Make sure column B is still selected 6. 16. Set the number of Decimal places: to 0 and the currency Symbol: to £ (or choose your own) 9. Reduce the column width by double clicking on the dividing line between the column B and C headings Format Painter: Columns C.press <Enter> or click on [OK] This produces much the same result as before except that the pound sign will be next to the figures while any negative values will appear in red (you'll see this later). Move back to A7 and correct your mistake (type =25/12 and press <Ctrl Enter>) You will find that the result is still translated into a date (Excel has assigned a date format to the cell). As an example: 1.A wider range of cell formats is available from the Format menu under Cells.press <Ctrl Enter> this time and note how B1 remains the active cell Clearing a Format Cell formats can sometimes cause confusion to the new Excel user. Try this next: 5. Click on Currency instead 8. Make sure column B is still selected 13.

In C3. extend the model over time. numeric text isn't included in calculations . you can just Copy a cell (or range of cells). This will prevent the year 2005 being displayed as £2.if you were adding up a column of figures. for example. 2. 1. Press <right arrow> to move to C5 and press <Enter> 10 . You can copy a range of cells in the same way.press <Ctrl Enter> The Copy Command Cut: Copy: Paste: Where one formula is essentially exactly the same as another (except that the calculations are being made in a different row or column. Imagine you want to project the profit and loss figures over a four year period. you can copy it and Excel will automatically adjust it to account for its new position. If you do use Paste then the moving border is still displayed.000 since the display format for numeric data has been set to a currency.this tells Excel that although 2005 looks like a number. 3. and can be copied across: 1. Firstly. D2 and E2 Assume that both income and costs will grow by 20% in 2006 from their 2005 figure. Next type '2006. it should be treated as text. Here. you don't have to use Paste at all. Instead. 4. enter =B3*120% . you need some labels to show which year is which. the Pre-Tax Profit. based on some simple assumptions about what is going to happen to income and costs. Drag through the cells required (here from B5 to B7) The three cells should now be blocked (with a single darker border around them).the cells will be surrounded by a moving border 5. Also. Click on the [Copy] button . move to where you want to paste and press <Enter>. Move down to C4 then press <Enter> IMPORTANT: When pasting formulae in Excel.the cells will be surrounded by a moving border 2. on different cells). Assuming costs also rise by 20%. turning off the moving border and removing the data from the Clipboard.Storing Numbers as Text Next. Get used to using <Enter> for a single copy/paste and Paste for multiple ones (remembering to use <Enter> for the final one in the sequence). indicating that you can Paste again (should you need to). the formula for C4 is almost identical to that for C3. Tax and After-Tax Profit formulae for 2006 are essentially the same as those for 2005: 3. This completes the copy/paste process. Check you are in cell C3 then click on the [Copy] button (or press <Ctrl c> or use Copy from the Edit menu) . Move to cell B2 and type '2005 then move to C2 (press <right arrow>) Don't miss out the single quote (at the beginning) . '2007 and '2008 into cells C2. Note how the formula which was =B3*120% in C3 has been modified to =B4*120% in C4.

amend these then copy down to D4 and E4. The cells to be copied (C5 to C7) should still be selected .Appropriately modified formulae appear in the cells with the results displayed. Release the mouse button and the formulae are copied across Your screen should now look like this: Don't worry about the £0's for 2007 and 2008 because. there are no income or costs figures in D3. Examine the formulae which underlie the figures by moving the active cell around and looking at the Formula Bar. The key is the cell handle .if not. Income and Costs will increase by 10% over the 2006 values • in 2008. and =E3-E4 in 2008. Work out formulae for D3. given the following assumptions: • in 2007. This you can do via the Edit menu with Paste Special. Copying formulae (or values) between cells is such a common requirement that Excel provides a special facility (called autofill) for doing this. Hold down the left mouse button and drag the handle over the area you wish to fill (across to E7). drag through them 7. Notice how the Pre-Tax Profit formula (which was =B3-B4 in 2005) has changed to =C3-C4 in 2006. 9. E3 and E4 yourself. Income and Costs will increase by 5% over the 2007 values Hint: Copy the formula from C3 to D3 and E3. E3 or E4 to work on. Move the mouse cursor over the small black handle at the bottom right of the selection (in cell C7) . Very occasionally you might want to copy the values themselves rather than the formulae. just paste in the top left cell of the destination area. Note that you do not have to select a block of cells to paste a range. Try using this for the 2007 and 2008 formulae: 6. The screen should look like this (see the Appendix or use the links above to check the formulae): 11 . D4. Next provide the model with some Income and Costs figures for 2007 and 2008. D4.the small black square at the bottom right corner of the active cell (or active range). although the formulae are there.the cursor will change shape to a simple cross 8.

12 . numbers (including dates and times) on the right. while additional help is available via the Help on this function link. are denoted by using brackets after the function name..try this for your main title: 4. 2006 etc) were in bold text in the centre of the columns and the main title (Profit and Loss) was centred across the figures below. even though it is still stored in cell A1. Select row 2 (by clicking on the number 2 on the left hand side) 2. as in mathematics. Tip: If you want to force text onto more than one line in a cell. just note what's available. From Or select a category: choose All 3. click on the [Center] button on the Formatting Toolbar The justification commands are also available from the Format menu on the [Alignment] tab under Cells. Another option. hold down the <Alt> key and press <Enter> where you want each new line to begin. cells B1 to F1 no longer exist. With the cells still highlighted. Click on the [Merge and Center] button The title will now appear in the centre of the selected range.. 1. Functions Insert Function: AutoSum: Excel has hundreds of built-in functions which. Your model would look much neater if the year headings (2005. Here you can justify cell contents vertically as well as horizontally. [Merge and Center] is used to centre text across several columns . Select cells A1 to F1 (column F will be used shortly) 5. Wrap text. 1. Move to an empty cell and click on the [Insert Function] button 2. These can be seen via the [Insert Function] button on the Formula Bar. text is displayed on the left of a cell.Realigning Titles Align Left: Center: Align Right: Merge and Center: By default.. allows text to flow onto several lines (the row height increases to accommodate it). Click on the [Bold] button to make the text bold 3. Scroll down the Select a function: list to get an idea of what's provided Note that information about any function selected is given at the foot of the Insert Function Window. Don't try inserting any of the functions into your empty cell. Incidentally.

the remaining totals are filled in Sometimes Excel guesses the range of cells to be summed incorrectly.650 so the business would make a small loss. However.as 13 . 1. for example).note the range is incorrect 7. or a thousand! Instead. 2. See what happens by recalculating the total in F7. What would happen if. the cell or range of cells to which it is to be applied. there was an exceptional Costs bill of £35. Select F4 to F7 4. in brackets. function is IF. This works . Move to F7 (<Ctrl down_arrow> takes you straight there) and press <Delete> to clear the cell 6. Income is only £34. Type a new Costs figure of 35000 into cell E4 and press <Enter> Note that the Pre-Tax Profit is correctly shown as negative. Press <Esc> or click on [Cancel] to close the window Calculating Totals . To signify a cell range. One way of calculating this for row 3 would be to use the formula =B3+C3+D3+E3.4. which lets you test whether something is true or not and take different action as appropriate.press <Enter> to carry out the calculation If ####### appears. 5. the Tax figure is also negative . To specify a function you type its name then. you can use a function to work out the value. Click on the [AutoSum] button .but imagine you had twenty items to add up. in 2008.000 (for new equipment or premises. This next example shows you how it works. The default is to total down a column rather than across a row. Using this. Type the heading Totals into cell F2 and press <Enter> Next you need to add up the figures across each row. you can calculate the missing total figures in one go: 3. Drag through the correct cells (B7 to E7) to amend the range then press <Enter> to complete the calculation The IF Function Another. slightly different. you will need to widen the column to display the answer. The SUM() function (and other commonly-used ones) is also available from the [AutoSum] button. a colon is used to separate the starting cell from the end cell. In cell F3 type =SUM(B3:E3) .the SUM Function Imagine you want to work out four-year totals. Click on the [AutoSum] button . so that your model looks like this: 1.

Click on [Next>] to select the default Column graph • Step 2 . To graph by Year: 5.cells A2 to E7 (ie missing out the Totals and main heading) 2. it's easiest to first select the data to be plotted. 3. 1. you first drag through one area and then use control select (hold down <Ctrl> as you drag through further areas). Copy the new formula from E6 into D6 to B6 by dragging the cell handle backwards 5. The stages are: • Step 1 . type A2:E7 as the Data range: The sample chart shows Income. Costs etc along the x-axis. This can be very useful when entering a complicated function. It's important to include the column and row headings (if there are any) as these are used for the category (x) and value (y) names. These allow you to change the default settings if you want. The default is for a column chart. may break down under special conditions.press <Enter> or click on [Next>] 14 .move to E3 then drag the cell handle down to E4 Tip: If you use the [Insert Function] button you can see whether Excel has understood what you have typed (and it also provides help). otherwise. This example should teach you that spreadsheet models. Type =IF(E5>0.E5*taxrate. To preview a particular chart.Chart Type There are 14 different standard types (plus a further 20 built-in custom types) to choose from. This produces a zero tax figure when the Pre-Tax Profit is in fact a loss. Tip: To select non-adjacent areas. Reset the original formula in E4 . Click on the [Chart Wizard] button The Chart Wizard takes you through four steps before it draws the graph. If you didn't previously select the data. Select the required data area . a [Press and Hold to View Sample] button is provided. even if they behave correctly in most circumstances. Graphs and Charts Chart Wizard: When plotting a graph. This doesn't usually happen! To make the model behave correctly you need to alter the formula in the 2008 Tax cell E6: 2. the tax paid is equal to 30% of Pre-Tax Profit.0) and press <Enter> This means that if the contents of E5 (the Pre-Tax Profit) are more than (>) zero. with the various years shown by different coloured bars. Change Series in: from Columns to Rows .Chart Source Data 4. Move to E6 3. the tax is zero.if the tax collector was giving the business money for making a loss. 4. of which there are 7 sub-types.

point the mouse to one of the corner or side handles. Click in the Chart title: box then type Financial Statistics 2005/08 . In the Category (X) axis: box type Year . you can copy additional values directly from the worksheet and paste the data straight onto the graph. the graph would immediately be updated. here. If you were to alter any of the original data. To move and rescale the chart rectangle: 1. move the top left corner into cell G1 2. hold down the mouse button and drag the rectangle to its required size . that is still all there. Point inside the chart rectangle.. hold down the left mouse button and drag the chart to the required position .here.press <Enter> or click on [Next>] • Step 4 .here. Press <Enter> or click on [Finish] Your graph should now appear in the centre of the screen. Next.• Step 3 . Open the Chart menu and choose Location. Use the Titles tab to add titles to your graph: 6. accept the default: 8. and is no longer dominated by the Legend. Altering the Chart Type 15 . 4.press <Enter> for [OK] The chart is much bigger and clearer on a separate sheet.you can explore these later. in your own time. Often it's better to separate out charts from the rest of your work but. Set Place chart to As new sheet: . Further.. drag the bottom right handle to cell L23 To move the chart onto its own chart sheet: 3.press <Tab> 7. as below: Moving and Resizing a Chart Don't worry if a chart partly covers the data.Chart Options This allows you to change many different options on your chart .Chart Location The final step of the wizard asks whether the chart is to be placed on a separate chart sheet or as an object on the current worksheet. indeed the two are intricately linked.

Using the list arrow attached to the [Chart Objects] button (the first on the toolbar) choose Corners .black corner handles should appear on the chart and the mouse pointer becomes a cross when held over one of these handles The mouse can now be used to rotate the graph. Using the mouse. To change the type. For example. to change the angle of tilt Another way to display the profit figures would be to reverse the axis values: 5. if necessary. Point to a different corner. To rectify this: 2. to see what is available. Borders and Gridlines Borders: Another format you can apply to a range of cells (or single cell) is to put a border round them. it can be switched on via the View menu . the Profit figures are hidden by the Income and Costs. [Undo] the rotation then double click on the axis with the labels Income etc 6. 3-D Rotation Excel allows you to rotate a 3-D graph to whatever angle and pitch you require. Move back to Sheet1 by clicking on its tab on the left at the foot of the screen 16 . This appears automatically when a chart is active (on a chart sheet or when clicked on on a worksheet). you might want your screen to look like this: 1. select some of the different chart types shown. If the toolbar isn't displayed. The procedure is as follows: 1.Chart Type: There are over a hundred different styles of graph which Excel can produce. Double clicking on chart elements like this is the way to change their settings. Point to one of the Corners and hold down the mouse button. Change the chart to a 3D-Area Column (the middle graph in the third row) Sadly.choose Toolbars and then Chart. 3. which can be very useful when some data values are hidden behind others. Move to the Scale tab and turn on Series in reverse order . use the list arrow attached to the [Chart Type] button on the Chart Toolbar. As you move the mouse around. This is covered in more detail in the Intermediate Guide.press <Enter> for [OK] You should now be able to see the hidden values. the graph will rotate 4.