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PART I: Getting to Know Microsoft Office 97.
Chapter 1: Getting Help from Microsoft Office 97 and the Office Assistant.
Chapter 2: Starting Microsoft Office 97.
Chapter 3: Binding Your Information Together.
PART II: Working with Word 97.
Chapter 4: Working with Word 97 Documents.
Chapter 5: Manipulating Your Words.
Chapter 6: Making Your Words Look Pretty.
Chapter 7: Creating Newsletters and Web Pages.
PART III: Playing the Numbers Game with Excel 97.
Chapter 8: The Basics of Spreadsheets: Numbers, Labels, and Formatting.
Chapter 9: Having Fun with Formulas and Functions.
Chapter 10: Charting Your Numbers.
Chapter 11: Working with Worksheets and Workbooks.
PART IV: Making Presentations with PowerPoint 97.
Chapter 12: Creating Slide Show Presentations.
Chapter 13: Adding Pictures and Colors to a Slide.
Chapter 14: Showing Off Your PowerPoint 97 Presentations.
PART V: Getting Organized with Outlook.
Chapter 15: Scheduling Your Time.
Chapter 16: Setting Tasks and Making Contacts.
Chapter 17: Organizing Your E-Mail.
PART VI: Using Access 97.
Chapter 18: Stuffing Information into a Database.
Chapter 19: Searching, Sorting, and Making Queries.
Chapter 20: Reporting Your Access 97 Data.
Chapter 21: Getting Paperwork Done with Access 97.
PART VII: Sharing Your Work.
Chapter 22: Sharing Information within Microsoft Office 97.
Chapter 23: Working with the World Wide Web.
PART VIII: The Part of Tens.
Chapter 24: Ten Common Microsoft Office 97 Keystrokes.
Chapter 25: Ten Tips for Using Microsoft Office 97.
Book Registration Information.
In This Chapter
Most folks who've been around computers for a few years credit (or blame) the first spreadsheet program for getting the computer revolution off the ground. By using a spreadsheet (such as Microsoft Excel 97), you can track budgets, inventories, or embezzlements on your own personal computer.
In the old days, accountants wrote long columns of numbers on sheets of green ledger paper divided by lines to make entering and organizing information in neat rows and columns easy. Essentially, a computer spreadsheet is just the electronic equivalent of green ledger paper. Instead of seeing rows and columns on a piece of paper, you see rows and columns on your computer screen.
Many people use the terms spreadsheet and worksheet interchangeably. When people talk about a spreadsheet, they may be talking about their program (such as Excel 97 or Lotus 1-2-3) or the actual data that they typed into their spreadsheet program. When people talk about a worksheet, they mean actual data that they typed into their spreadsheet program. Now isn't that clear?
The invention of the spreadsheet
In case you ever get asked this question during Trivial Pursuit or Jeopardy!, this is how the spreadsheet appeared. Back in 1979, two business students, Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston, decided that performing calculations with paper, pencil, and adding machines was a complete waste of time. Instead of griping about the tedious work like other graduate students, they decided to do something about it and wrote the world's first spreadsheet program for their Apple II computer.
They called this program VisiCalc, which stands for Visible Calculator. The idea behind VisiCalc (and every spreadsheet since then) was that all you had to do was type in numbers, define how to calculate new results based on those numbers, and let the spreadsheet do the hard work of calculating multiple formulas while you do the easy work of just typing in numbers.
Every spreadsheet program, including Excel 97, owes its existence to Dan and Bob and their VisiCalc program. So if you don't like Excel 97, now you know who to blame.
A spreadsheet consists of the following items, as shown in Figure 8-1:
A worksheet acts like a page where you can type numbers and labels. Each worksheet contains up to 256 vertical columns and 16,384 horizontal rows. Columns are identified by letters (A, B, C, and so on). Rows are numbered (1, 2, 3, and so on).
A cell is the intersection of a row and a column. When you type data into a worksheet, you have to type it in a cell. Cells are identified by their column letters followed by their row numbers. For example, the cell at the intersection of column G and row 12 is called cell G12.
Numbers can represent amounts, lengths, or quantities, such as $50.54, 309, or 0.094.
Labels identify what your spreadsheet numbers mean, in case you forget. Typical labels are "May," "Western Sales Region," and "Total Amount We Lost Through Fred's Stupidity."
Formulas let you calculate new results based on the numbers you type in. Formulas can be as simple as adding two numbers together or as complicated as calculating third-order differential equations that nobody really cares about. (Chapter 9 provides more information about creating formulas.)
Spreadsheets may mimic boring paper ledgers, but they also offer additional forecasting and budgeting capabilities that let you ask what-if questions such as "What would happen if the cost of oil went up 10 percent?" or "What would happen if our sales plummeted 90 percent?" or "What would happen if I gave myself a million-dollar raise despite the fact that sales have plummeted 90 percent?"
Excel 97 also lets you organize multiple worksheets in a collection called a workbook. Each workbook can hold up to 256 individual worksheets. For more information about using workbooks, see Chapter 11.
Before you can type any information into Excel 97, you have to start the program. In case you've forgotten how to do this, refer to Chapter 2 to refresh your memory.
Of course, after you start Excel 97, you see an empty worksheet. An empty worksheet is useless by itself, so you need to type data into the worksheet's cells. The three types of items that you can type into a cell are numbers, labels, and formulas.
To type data into a cell, follow these steps:
If you don't want to use the mouse, use the cursor keys to select the cell where you want to type your data.
Excel 97 highlights your cell with a dark border around the edges. The highlighted cell is called the active cell and is the Excel 97 way of telling you, "If you start typing something now, this is the cell where I'm going to put it."
As you type, Excel 97 displays what you're typing in your chosen cell and in the Formula Bar.
If you suddenly decide that you don't want your data to appear in the cell after all, press Esc or click the Cancel (red X) button, next to the Formula Bar.
If you need to type the names of months or days in adjacent cells, Excel 97 has a handy shortcut that can save you lots of typing. To use this shortcut, follow these steps:
The Fill Handle -- a black box -- appears at the bottom-right corner of the cell that you just typed in.
As you move the mouse, Excel 97 displays the month or day in each cell that you highlight.
Excel 97 automatically types the months or days in the range of cells that you selected.
You may sometimes need to edit what you typed in a cell, because you made a mistake or you just want to express your creative urges by typing something else in the cell. Or sometimes you just want to get that data out of there altogether.
To edit or delete data in a cell, follow these steps:
After you type numbers, labels, or formulas into a worksheet, you probably want to save the worksheet in a file so you won't have to type everything all over again.
To save a workbook, including all its worksheets, choose one of the following:
If you haven't saved the file before, the Save dialog box appears, asking you to choose a filename and a directory to store your file in.
Save your work at regular intervals -- say, every 10 or 20 minutes -- just to make sure you don't lose everything if the power goes out.
A single worksheet can contain up to 256 columns and 16,384 rows. Obviously, your tiny computer screen can't display such a large worksheet all at once, so you can see only part of a worksheet at any given time, much like viewing the ocean through a porthole.
If you create a huge worksheet, you need a way to navigate through the whole thing. Fortunately, Excel 97 provides several different ways to use the mouse or the keyboard to jump around a worksheet.
To jump around a worksheet with the mouse, you have two choices:
If you don't have Microsoft's newest mouse, which has a wheel in the middle of it, your only option for using the mouse is to click the vertical scroll bar. For the lucky few who own the latest Microsoft mouse, you have two ways to scroll through a document using the IntelliMouse. You can roll the IntelliMouse wheel up or down to scroll up or down a document. Or you can click the IntelliMouse wheel, which causes Excel 97 to scroll your document slowly down from top to bottom and display a black arrow pointing down in the vertical scroll bar. To make Excel 97 scroll your document in the opposite direction, move the IntelliMouse up so the black arrow in the vertical scroll bar points upwards. To make the IntelliMouse stop scrolling your document automatically, click the wheel.
If you want to jump around a document by using the vertical or horizontal scroll bar, you have these choices:
For those who hate the mouse or just prefer using the keyboard, here are the different ways to jump around your document by pressing keys:
Open a sample Excel 97 worksheet and practice using all the different methods of navigating around a worksheet. Then memorize the commands you find most useful and forget about the rest.
When you want to jump to a specific cell in your worksheet, the Go To command is a lot faster than either the mouse or the keyboard.
To use the Go To command, follow these steps:
The Go To dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 8-2.
If you don't like referring to cells as E4 or H31, you can assign more meaningful names to a single cell or range of cells. Assigning names can make finding portions of a worksheet much easier. For example, finding your budget's 1997 income cell is a lot easier if it's called "income97" instead of F22.
To assign a name to a cell or range of cells, follow these steps:
The cell is highlighted as the active cell. (Or the range is highlighted, and the first cell in the range becomes the active cell.) The active cell's address appears in the Name Box.
Excel 97 highlights the cell address.
The name that you assigned appears in the Name Box.
Names must start with a letter and must be one word. "MyIncome" is a valid cell name, but "My Income for 1997" is not, because of the spaces between the words.
To see a list of all the named cells or cell ranges in a worksheet, click the downward-pointing arrow in the Name Box.
After you name a cell or cell range, you can jump to it by following these steps:
Excel 97 displays a list of all named cells or cell ranges in the current workbook, as shown in Figure 8-3.
Excel 97 highlights the cell represented by the name you chose.
You may later decide that you don't need a name to represent a particular cell or cell range. To delete a cell name, follow these steps:
The Define Name dialog box appears.
Rows and columns of endless numbers and labels can look pretty dull. Because a plain, boring worksheet can be as hard to understand as a tax form, Excel 97 gives you the option of formatting your cells.
By formatting different parts of your worksheet, you can turn a lifeless worksheet into a powerful persuasion tool that can convince your boss to approve your budget proposals and give him the impression that you gave it more thought than you really did.
Excel 97 offers an almost unlimited variety of formatting options. You can change fonts, borders, number styles, and alignment to make your worksheets look pretty.
If you aren't a designer but want fancy formatting without a lot of effort on your part, use the Excel 97 AutoFormat feature. AutoFormat can automatically format a range of cells for you, according to one of many formatting styles.
To use AutoFormat, follow these steps:
The AutoFormat dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 8-4.
The Sample box shows you what formatting you chose.
Excel 97 automatically formats the range of cells that you selected in Step 1.
If you want to restrict the types of formatting that AutoFormat can apply, click Options in the AutoFormat dialog box and then deselect the Formats to apply options that you don't want AutoFormat to use. For example, if you don't want Excel 97 to change fonts, remove the check from the Font check box by clicking it.
AutoFormat makes formating cells easy, but you may like the freedom to choose your own fonts for your cells. For example, you may want to display your profits in a large font and your losses in a much smaller font (so nobody notices that your company has been losing money consistently for the past three years).
To change the font, follow these steps:
Normally, when you type a number in a cell, Excel 97 displays it as a plain, simple number, like 54 or 908.83. This option is okay for most purposes, but sometimes you may want to display numbers as currency (such as $3.90), percentages (such as 83.2%), fractions (such as 1/2), or as scientific notation (such as 5.09E+05).
To format your numbers, follow these steps:
The Format Cells dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 8-5.
Unless you specify otherwise, Excel 97 displays all columns in equal widths. However, you may soon find that some of your data appears truncated, scrunched, weird, or otherwise not displayed the way you intended. This problem occurs when your columns are too narrow.
To fix this problem, you can adjust columns to make them wider or narrower. To adjust the column widths in your worksheet, follow these steps:
For example, if you want to adjust the width of column B, move the mouse cursor over the border between columns B and C.
The mouse cursor appears as a double-headed arrow. Excel 97 also displays a dotted vertical line to show you the approximate width of your column.
If you double-click the border between column headings, Excel 97 automatically modifies the column on the left to make it just wide enough to display the longest entry in that column.
When you decide to print out your worksheet, Excel 97 gives you a variety of ways to do so. Follow these steps:
If you want to print your entire worksheet right away, click the Print button on the Standard toolbar. If you want to specify which pages you want to print and how many copies, choose one of the other methods (Ctrl+P, File-->Print, or Section-->Print).