Excel is a spreadsheet program that allows you to store, organize, and analyze information. While you may believe Excel is only used by certain people to process complicated data, anyone can learn how to take advantage of the program’s powerful features. Whether you’re keeping a budget, organizing a training log, or creating an invoice, Excel makes it easy to work with different types of data.
Watch the video below to learn more about Excel.
Getting to know Excel
If you’ve previously used Excel 2010 or Excel 2013, then Excel 2016 should feel familiar. If you are new to Excel or have more experience with older versions, you should first take some time to become familiar with the Excel interface.
The Excel interface
When you open Excel 2016 for the first time, the Excel Start Screen will appear. From here, you’ll be able to create a new workbook, choose a template, and access your recently edited workbooks.
- From the Excel Start Screen, locate and select Blank workbook to access the Excel interface.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to become familiar with the Excel interface.
Working with the Excel environment
The Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar are where you will find the commands to perform common tasks in Excel. The Backstage view gives you various options for saving, opening a file, printing, and sharing your document.
Excel 2016 uses a tabbed Ribbon system instead of traditional menus. The Ribboncontains multiple tabs, each with several groups of commands. You will use these tabs to perform the most common tasks in Excel.
- Each tab will have one or more groups.
- Some groups will have an arrow you can click for more options.
- Click a tab to see more commands.
- You can adjust how the Ribbon is displayed with the Ribbon Display Options.
Certain programs, such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, may install additional tabs to the Ribbon. These tabs are called add-ins.
To change the Ribbon Display Options:
The Ribbon is designed to respond to your current task, but you can choose to minimizeit if you find that it takes up too much screen space. Click the Ribbon Display Optionsarrow in the upper-right corner of the Ribbon to display the drop-down menu.
There are three modes in the Ribbon Display Options menu:
- Auto-hide Ribbon: Auto-hide displays your workbook in full-screen mode and completely hides the Ribbon. To show the Ribbon, click the Expand Ribbon command at the top of screen.
- Show Tabs: This option hides all command groups when they’re not in use, but tabs will remain visible. To show the Ribbon, simply click a tab.
- Show Tabs and Commands: This option maximizes the Ribbon. All of the tabs and commands will be visible. This option is selected by default when you open Excel for the first time.
The Quick Access Toolbar
Located just above the Ribbon, the Quick Access Toolbar lets you access common commands no matter which tab is selected. By default, it includes the Save, Undo, and Repeat commands. You can add other commands depending on your preference.
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