Microsoft Office Excel 2007 A Beginner's Guide

Microsoft Office Excel 2007 A Beginner's Guide

by W. R. Mills

This book is not intended to be an "Everything you will ever need to know" about Microsoft Excel 2007, although in some cases it might be. It is, as the name implies, a "beginner's guide" to Excel 2007. This book has two purposes: First to provide the inexperienced user with a working knowledge of Excel 2007, so Excel becomes more than just a simple spreadsheet.… See more details below


This book is not intended to be an "Everything you will ever need to know" about Microsoft Excel 2007, although in some cases it might be. It is, as the name implies, a "beginner's guide" to Excel 2007. This book has two purposes: First to provide the inexperienced user with a working knowledge of Excel 2007, so Excel becomes more than just a simple spreadsheet. The second purpose is to explain the new user interface, the Ribbon. I hope this helps.

Product Details

Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.25(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.75(d)

Read an Excerpt

Microsoft Office Excel 2007 A Beginners Guide

A training book for Microsoft Excel 2007
By W.R. Mills


Copyright © 2009 W.R. Mills
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4490-3232-6

Chapter One

Microsoft Excel - The Basics

Microsoft Excel is a powerful spreadsheet application. Its power comes from being able to do very complicated and exact mathematical (numerical) calculations. Do you want to know what is even better? Excel 2007 is easy to use, as you will see. All you have to do is enter the data and tell Excel to perform the needed calculations. This can be used for financial reports, keeping statistics, even setting up your family budget.

The first thing you are going to notice is that this version of Excel looks different than any other version of Excel. This is because of the new user interface. You might ask why this is better than the version you are use to. Do you remember searching through a series of menus and submenus to find a command? That is all a thing of the past. Excel 2007 has the Ribbon. Wow! Are you excited yet? Is the Ribbon scary? Probably. Is it intimidating? More than likely. Is it better and easier to use? Yes definitely. The Ribbon is based more on how people actually use their computer.

The Ribbon is divided into Task Orientated Tabs. Each tab has groups of related commands. Everything you need is right at your fingertips. You will not have to search through menus and submenus until you want to pull your hair out, trying to find a command.

Do you remember the old days when you would copy a large database into an Excel spreadsheet only to find out that it couldn't hold all of the data? Well, I remember. In Excel 2007 you can have up to 1,048,576 rows and 16,384 columns. Life is getting better. Excel can now do faster calculations, since it uses multiple processors and multiple threads.

Enough of this, let's get started using Excel 2007.

Lesson 1 - 1 Starting Excel

The first thing you have to do is have your computer on and the desktop showing. I know, I didn't have to say that, but I did, too late to take it back now. The Excel program is located in the Microsoft Office folder.

Click on the Start Button

Select All Programs

Move the mouse to Microsoft Office and click on Microsoft Excel 2007 from the menu that slides out to the right side

In a few moments, Excel will appear on your screen. It should look similar to Figure 1-1. The options at the top may look slightly different on your screen; it depends on the available screen width of your monitor.

Excel 2007 is now ready for you to start entering data. From here you can enter data, format the data, and perform calculations.

Before we start doing any of these things, let's get use to the screen.

Lesson 1 - 2 Understanding the Excel Screen

The moment you start Excel 2007 you will notice some major changes. Microsoft completely redesigned the interface. Microsoft pretty much went back to the drawing board to design the way you use Excel. Now how it works is based on how most people actually use the program. Figure 1-2 shows the Excel screen.

Figure 1-3 shows a close-up view of the Office Button. It is actually located on the end of the Quick Access Toolbar. We will discuss the Office Button more in the next lesson.

Figure 1-4 shows the Quick Access Toolbar. We will discuss it in lesson 1-5.

The Ribbon is new and we will be using it extensively during almost every lesson in this book. Lesson 1-4 is devoted to explaining the various sections (Tabs) of the Ribbon.

Figure 1-5 shows the Cell Name box. We will be using this as we cover the upcoming lessons. This shows the name of the active cell, the one that is surrounded by a dark line and ready for you to enter data into.

Figure 1-6 shows the Formula Bar. This will show any data that is entered into the active cell. This is also where you can edit any data or formula. We will be using the Formula Bar quite a lot as we continue. The Formula Bar actually starts at the end of the Cell Name box. The part with the X and the check mark are part of the Formula Bar.

The columns are identified by the letters at the top of the column. The far left is column A, and next to it is column B. This continues on until you do not need any additional columns. If you need columns beyond the letter Z the next column would be AA,

The rows are identified by the numbers on the left side of the row. The first row is number 1 and the second row is number 2. This sequence will continue down until you don't need any other rows.

A cell is referenced by the column and the row it is in. This is used in referencing data and is used extensively in formulas.

Lesson 1-3 The Office Button

The Office Button, for the most part, has taken the place of the old File section of the menu bar. As you can see the menu bar does not exist in this version of Excel. In this lesson we will examine the Office Button and see just how it works.

Using your mouse, click on the Office Button

When you click on the Office Button, a menu will drop down giving you several choices of what you are able to do. This is shown in Figure 1-7.

On the left side you will notice that many of the choices were the same as when you clicked on the file button of the older style menu bar. You can start a new worksheet or open an existing worksheet. You also have the Save and Save As choices. You may notice that the drop-down choices are divided into two sections. The most popular choices are put at the top. The lesser used options are placed toward the bottom.

If you needed to print the workbook, you would find the printer options under the print choice. The Prepare section is where you would look at the properties of the workbook as well as encrypt it so no one could open it or edit it without a password.

The Send option is where you could send the workbook as an e-mail or a fax.

The Publish section is where you would share the workbook with others or create a new site for the workbook.

In the Business Contact Manager, you can link this workbook to the communications history of a business record.

On the right side are several of the most recent workbooks that you have opened. To open one of these workbooks you simply click on it with the mouse.

The last choice on the left is where you click to close a workbook.

On the bottom right you will see that you can also exit Excel from this part of the menu.

Also on the bottom right is a button to access the Excel Options. The first screen of the available options is shown starting in Figure 1-8.

From this screen you can change the most popular options, such as changing the font and the font size as well as how many sheets will be in the workbook.

In the Formulas section, shown in Figure 1-9, you can work with the formulas and also with the error checking.

In the Proofing section, shown in Figure 1-10, you can change how Excel corrects formulas and text as you type. You can also change how the spell check is working.

In the Save section, you can customize how workbooks are saved. This screen is shown in Figure 1-11.

In the advanced section you can make changes to such things as: are the fill handles enabled and if you can edit directly inside a cell. You can also change where the new active cell will be when you press Enter on the keyboard. This screen is shown in Figure 1-12

The Customize section allows you to add and remove icons from the Quick Access Toolbar. You can also move the toolbar to below the Ribbon instead of having it above the Ribbon. See Figure 1-13 for the Customize screen.

This section will be covered in the Quick Access Toolbar lesson.

The add-ins section shows the "extra" things that have been added to help Excel work better. This is shown in Figure 1-14.

The Trust Center contains security and privacy settings. Microsoft recommends that you do not change these settings. See Figure 1-15 for the Trust Center.

The last section of the Excel Options is the Resource Center. From here you can get updates, contact Microsoft, etc. this screen is shown in Figure 1-16.

Lesson 1 - 4 The Ribbon - An Overview

The Ribbon has been designed to offer easy access to the commands that you (the user) use most often. You no longer have to search for a command embedded in a series of menus and submenus. The Ribbon has a series of Tabs and each tab is divided into several groups of related commands. Figure 1-17 shows the Ribbon across the top of the Excel program.

There are three major components to the Ribbon.


There are seven basic tabs across the top.

The Home Tab contains the commands that you use most often.

The Insert Tab contains all of the objects that can be inserted into a workbook.

The Page Layout Tab contains the choices for how each page will look.

The Formulas Tab contains the different formulas, names, functions, and lookup functions.

The Data Tab contains such things as getting external data, data tools, and filters available.

The Review Tab has things related to proofing, protecting, and comments.

The View Tab allows you to change to the different views that are available.


Each Tab has several Groups that show related item together.

Look at the Home Tab to see an example of the related Groups.

The Home Tab has the following Groups: Clipboard, Font, Alignment, Number, Styles, Cells, and Editing.


A Command is a button, a box to enter information, or a menu.

The Clipboard Group, for example, has the following commands in it: Cut, Copy, Paste, and Format Painter.

When you first glance at a group, you may not see a command that was available from the menus of the previous versions of Excel. If this is the case you need not worry. Some Groups have a small box with an arrow in the lower right side of the Group. See figure 1-18 for a view of a group with this arrow.

This small arrow is called the Dialog Box Launcher. If you click on it, you will see more options related to that Group. These options will usually appear in the form of a Dialog Box. You will probably recognize the dialog box from previous versions of Excel. These options may also appear in the form of a task pane. Figure 1-19 shows the Font Dialog Box.

Speaking of previous versions, if you are wondering whether you can get the look and feel of the older versions of Excel back, the answer is simple, no you can't.

The good news is that after playing with and using the Ribbon, you will probably like it even better. It really does make working with the spreadsheet easier. The Ribbon will be used extensively and each tab covered in more detail later as we go through this book.

Lesson 1 - 5 The Quick Access Toolbar

The Ribbon, as you will find out, is wonderful, but what if you want some commands to always be right at your fingertips without having to go from one tab to another? Microsoft gave us a toolbar for just that purpose. This toolbar is called the Quick Access Toolbar and is located just above, or below, and to the left end of the Ribbon. The Quick Access Toolbar is shown in Figure 1-20.

The Quick Access Toolbar contains such things as the Save button, the Undo and Redo button, the Quick Print button, and Spell Check button. These are things that you normally use over and over and you will want them available all of the time.

There is even more good news, if you want to add an item to the toolbar, the process is very simple. At the right end of the toolbar is an arrow pointing downwards. If you click on this arrow, a new drop down menu will come onto the screen, as shown in Figure 1-21.

From this menu you can choose from the standard choices or you can customize the toolbar to suit your needs by clicking on the More Commands choice.

You can also choose to show the tool bar below the Ribbon instead of above it. I have my computer set to show the Quick Access Toolbar below the Ribbon, probably because the toolbars were always below the menu bar in the older versions.

If you want to add an item from the standard choices all you have to do is click on the item you want to add. The drop down menu will disappear and the new item will be added to the toolbar.

Add the items that are checked in Figure 1-21 to your Quick Access Toolbar

If the option you want to add is not listed in the standard choices, all of the available options are listed under the More Commands.

Figure 1-22 shows the Excel Options Dialog box that will come to the screen if you choose the More Commands option.

If you wish to add an item to the Quick Access Toolbar, all you need to do is click on the option on the left and then click the Add button in the center. When you are finished adding items, click the OK button to place them in the toolbar. You will probably find that there are several things that you will use over and over with every workbook and you will want to place them in the Quick Access Toolbar just because this will save you so much time.

Lesson 1-6 Using the Keyboard

What about all of you people who prefer to use the Keyboard over the mouse? I have not forgotten about you, and this lesson is just for you. People who prefer the keyboard over the mouse often started way back with DOS. Back then, in the olden days, you had to use the keyboard to do everything. That is a hard habit to break. As you have more than likely noticed the old menu bars are not there anymore. Before you break down and the tears start to roll, let's see what we can do.

Microsoft gave us some options for the keyboard user. Although the menus are not there, you can use the keyboard to access the different parts of the Ribbon. Not only can you access the Ribbon, but the old shortcuts (using the CTRL button) you have become accustomed to are still there and still working.

A complete list of the available shortcuts is on your computer in the Help section. If you want to see the complete list, click on the help button and type keyboard shortcuts in the search box. The Help button is the small question mark on the upper right side of the screen. Part of this list is reproduced below.


Excerpted from Microsoft Office Excel 2007 A Beginners Guide by W.R. Mills Copyright © 2009 by W.R. Mills. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >