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Introduction to MS-Excel

  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 01 Jun, 2021

MS-EXCEL is a part of Microsoft Office suite software. It is an electronic spreadsheet with numerous rows and columns, used for organizing data, graphically represent data(s), and performing different calculations.  It consists of 1048576 rows and 16383 columns, a row and column together make a cell. Each cell has an address defined by column name and row number example A1, D2, etc. this is also known as a cell reference.

Cell references: The address or name of a cell or a range of cells is known as Cell reference. It helps the software to identify the cell from where the data/value is to be used in the formula. We can reference the cell of other worksheets and also of other programs.

  • Referencing the cell of other worksheets is known as External referencing.
  • Referencing the cell of other programs is known as Remote referencing.

There are three types of cell references in Excel:  

  1. Relative reference.
  2. Absolute reference.
  3. Mixed reference.

The Ribbon in MS-Excel is the topmost row of tabs that provide the user with different facilities/functionalities. These tabs are:



  1. Home Tab: It provides the basic facilities like changing the font, size of text, editing the cells in the spreadsheet, autosum, etc.
  2. Insert Tab: It provides the facilities like inserting tables, pivot tables, images, clip art, charts, links, etc.
  3. Page layout: It provides all the facilities related to the spreadsheet-like margins, orientation, height, width, background etc. The worksheet appearance will be the same in the hard copy as well.
  4. Formulas: It is a package of different in-built formulas/functions which can be used by user just by selecting the cell or range of cells for values.
  5. Data: The Data Tab helps to perform different operations on a vast set of data like analysis through what-if analysis tools and many other data analysis tools, removing duplicate data, transpose the row and column, etc. It also helps to access data(s) from different sources as well, such as from Ms-Access, from web, etc.
  6. Review: This tab provides the facility of thesaurus, checking spellings, translating the text, and helps to protect and share the worksheet and workbook.
  7. View: It contains the commands to manage the view of the workbook, show/hide ruler, gridlines, etc, freezing panes, and adding macros.

Creating a new spreadsheet: 

In Excel 3 sheets are already opened by default, now to add a new sheet :

  • In the lowermost pane in Excel, you can find a button.
  • Click on that button to add a new sheet.

  • We can also achieve the same by Right-clicking on the sheet number before which you want to insert the sheet.
  • Click on Insert.

  • Select Worksheet.
  • Click OK.

Opening previous spreadsheet: 

On the lowermost pane in Excel, you can find the name of the current sheet you have opened.

On the left side of this sheet, the name of previous sheets are also available like Sheet 2, Sheet 3 will be available at the left of sheet4, click on the number/name of the sheet you want to open and the sheet will open in the same workbook.

For example, we are on Sheet 4, and we want to open Sheet 2 then simply just click on Sheet2 to open it.

Managing the spreadsheets: 

You can easily manage the spreadsheets in Excel simply by :

  • Simply navigating between the sheets.

  • Right-clicking on the sheet name or number on the pane.
  • Choose among the various options available like, move, copy, rename, add, delete etc.
  • You can move/copy your sheet to other workbooks as well just by selecting the workbook in the To workbook and the sheet before you want to insert the sheet in Before sheet.

To save the workbook:

  1. Click on the Office Button or the File tab.
  2. Click on Save As option.
  3. Write the desired name of your file.
  4. Click OK.

To share your workbook:

  1. Click on the Review tab on the Ribbon.
  2. Click on the share workbook (under Changes group).
  3. If you want to protect your workbook and then make it available for another user then click on Protect and Share Workbook option.
  4. Now check the option “Allow changes by more than one user at the same time. This also allows workbook merging” in the Share Workbook dialog box.
  5. Many other options are also available in the Advanced like track, update changes.
  6. Click OK.

Ms-Excel shortcuts:

  1. Ctrl+N: To open a new workbook.
  2. Ctrl+O: To open a saved workbook.
  3. Ctrl+S: To save a workbook.
  4. Ctrl+C: To copy the selected cells.
  5. Ctrl+V: To paste the copied cells.
  6. Ctrl+X: To cut the selected cells.
  7. Ctrl+W: To close the workbook.
  8. Delete: To remove all the contents from the cell.
  9. Ctrl+P: To print the workbook.
  10. Ctrl+Z: To undo.
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