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Excel 2007 Basics

If these some basics items are all you ever really master in Excel 2007, you will still be way ahead of the competition. When all is said and done, this top basics list lays out all the fundamental skills required to successfully use Excel 2007.

  • To exit Excel when you are done working with the program, click Office Button | Exit Excel or press Alt+FX. If the workbook you have open contains unsaved changes, Excel 2007 asks whether you want to save the workbook before closing Excel and returning to Windows. Before you shut off your computer, be sure to use the Shut Down command on the Start menu to shut down the Windows operating system.
  • To save a copy of your workbook on disk the first time around, click the Save button on the Quick Access toolbar or press Ctrl+S, then designate the drive and folder directory where the file should be located, replace the temporary Book1.xlsx filename in the File Name text box with your own filename (up to 255 characters long, including spaces), and then click the Save button. To save a workbook so that older versions of Excel can open it, highlight the Save As option on the Office pull-down menu, then click the Excel 97-2003 Workbook option in its submenu.
  • To choose one of the many Excel commands on the Ribbon, click the tab and then locate the group containing the command button and click it. (Or, press the Alt key to display the hot keys on the Ribbon and then type the letter of the tab you want to select followed by the letter(s) of the command button to use.) To choose a command on the File pulldown menu, click the Microsoft Office Button and then click its menu option or press Alt+F followed by the option's hot key letter. To choose a command on the Quick Access toolbar, click its command button.
  • To edit the stuff you have already entered into a cell, double-click the cell or position the cell pointer in the cell and press F2. Excel then locates the insertion point at the end of the cell entry and goes into Edit mode. When you finish correcting the entry, click the Enter button on the formula bar or press Tab or Enter or one of the arrow keys.
  • To enter stuff in a worksheet, select the cell where the information should appear, then begin typing. When you finish, click the Enter button on the Formula bar (the one with the check mark) or press Tab, Enter, or one of the arrow keys.
  • To activate an open workbook and display it on-screen (in front of any others you have open), click the Ribbon's View tab, then click the window to activate in the Switch Windows button's drop-down menu (or press Alt+WW followed by the window's number). To locate a particular worksheet in the active workbook, click that worksheet's sheet tab at the bottom of the workbook document window. To display more sheet tabs, click the sheet scrolling arrows on the left side of the bottom of the workbook window.
  • To start a new workbook (containing three blank worksheets) using the Excel default template, simply press Ctrl+N. To open a new workbook from another template, click Microsoft Office Button | New or press Alt+FN and then select the template to use in the New Workbook dialog box (you can also download new templates from Microsoft's Web site from this dialog box). To add a new worksheet to a workbook (should you need more than three), click the Insert Worksheet button to the immediate right of the last tab at the bottom of the Worksheet area.
  • To locate a part of a worksheet that you cannot see on-screen, click the scroll bars at the right and bottom of the workbook window to bring new parts of the worksheet into view.
  • To automatically launch Excel 2007 at the same time that you open an Excel workbook that needs editing (in the Documents window in Windows Vista or My Documents window in Windows XP), simply locate the folder containing the Excel workbook you want to edit and doubleclick its file icon.
  • To start Excel 2007 from the Windows Vista taskbar, click the Start button, type ex in the Start Search text box and then with Microsoft Office Excel 2007 selected in the Programs section, press Enter. To start the program from the Windows XP or 2000 taskbar, click the Start button, highlight All Programs on the Start menu, and then highlight Microsoft Office on the All Programs continuation menu. Finally, click Microsoft Office Excel on the Microsoft Office continuation menu.