Learning the Basics of Microsoft Excel
For HCPS Teachers
PAGE 1 Created by HCPS Instructional Technology February 11, 2008
What are WORKBOOKS and WORKSHEETS?
Each Excel file is in a workbook with 3 worksheets as a default. These work‐
sheets are like pages for data which can be named and ordered.
What are the basic items on a spreadsheet in Excel?
How do I select an entire row or column?
To select a row, click on the number found in
front of the column. To select an entire column,
click on the letter at the top of the column.
How do I format COLUMN and ROW sizing?
To automatically make columns and rows size to the larg‐
est content, hover between the column/row. Then double‐click
when the double‐sided arrow is displayed.
How do I fill cells with data using AUTO FILL?
To use the auto fill tool, hover on the bottom right corner of
the cell with the desired fill data. Click and drag over fill area. Re‐
lease the click and fill the cells.
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How do I FORMAT cells?
Select desired cells for formatting. Right
click on the highlighted area and choose FORMAT
How do I format the data content of the cells?
Open cell formatting window. Choose cate‐
gory and style. Click OK.
How do I set my alignment?
Choose the vertical and horizontal align‐
ment of your cells within the Format Cells win‐
dow. You can also orient your content by slant‐
ing it. Setting the text wrapping and merging
can also be done on the Alignment Tab.
How do I outline my cells?
Use the Border Tab or the Border button to set the lines for
outlining the cells. You can also select styles and weights of the
How do I create a graph?
To create a graph, select the data to be in‐
cluded in the graph. Then click on the chart icon
and follow the wizard prompts.
How do I sort information?
Highlight the column to sort, then click on the
sort button. When the warn‐
ing box appears, choose to ex‐
pand the selection, or the
data will become separated.
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How do I COPY and PASTE?
To copy cells, highlight desired cells. Edit>Copy. Then click the area onto
which you wish to paste the data. You’ll notice the “marching ants.” Edit>Paste.
To move data, highlight cells. Edit>Cut. Then click on the desired are into
which you wish to move the data. Edit>Paste.
How do I insert a HEADER or FOOTER to print
on all my sheets?
Before printing, click on the magnifying
glass icon to preview the page. Make decisions
on page style, etc. Select File>Page Setup.
From this Header/Footer tab you can customize
your data to show up only in printing or pre‐
view. You may choose from the standard op‐
tions, or choose Custom Header/Custom Footer
for more personalization.
How do I use FUNCTIONS?
Excel is loaded with many options, enough to make your
head spin… But, Functions are ways in which you can manipulate,
calculate, and change your data. They are accessible through
the Function Toolbar. By selecting the cells you wish to calcu‐
late, or by selecting the cell into which you want to put the solu‐
tion to the calculation, you can put the Excel spreadsheet to
work for you!
How do I import data from another file type?
Open Excel. First navigate to the
location of the desired file. Then choose
ALL FILES as the file of type. This will
enable files other than those created
with Excel to display.
After selecting the file, a wizard
will open to assist you in importing the
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What is DELIMITED?
Select “delimited” for files
which you know are separated by a
character such as a comma. CSV files
are “Comma Separated Values”,
therefore these are delimited.
How does my imported data become
separated into columns and rows?
The second step in the Import
Wizard requires you to select the de‐
limiter for the imported data. After
selecting the proper delimiter, the text
will appear separated in the preview
How do I use SPLIT?
When there is a lot of data in a spreadsheet, it is sometimes difficult to navi‐
gate. By going to Window>Split, you can allow the column headers to stay put while
scrolling through the data in the bottom view.
How do I find more information?
Go to http://www.co.henderson.k12.nc.us/it‐web/excelbasics to find more
support in using EXCEL.
PAGE 5 Created by HCPS Instructional Technology February 11, 2008