Introduction to Excel 2002 1
Introduction to Excel 2002
Introduction to Excel 2002 2
Introduction to Excel 2002
This lesson will cover:
• What is Excel 2002?
• Spreadsheet Basics
• Starting Excel
• Understanding the Excel Window
• Shortcut Menus and Tool bars
• On-Line Help
• Exiting Excel
These topics are from Chapter 1 of the text...
…Exploring Spreadsheet Software
Introduction to Excel 2002 3
What is Excel 2002?
Excel is an electronic spreadsheet program. The next few slides will explain
what this means… Excel is developed by Microsoft, and is currently the most
widely used spreadsheet program in the world. It is the defacto standard, so
Excel was one of the first spreadsheets to use a graphical interface with pull
down menus that could be used with a mouse. It was originally written for
the Apple Macintosh and released in 1984. The Excel spreadsheet with a
graphical user interface was easier to use than the command line interface of
DOS spreadsheet products, such as VisiCalc and Lotus 1-2-3. Many people
bought Apple Macintoshes just so they could use Excel. Microsoft launched
the first PC (MS-DOS ) version of Excel (version 2.0) in 1987, up to that
point it was strictly an Apple product.
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If Excel Were a Car...
• It would crash two or three times per day for no apparent reason. The driver is often hurt,
but the car itself receives no permanent damage. You'd just accept this fact, restart the
car, and begin your trip again.
• Occasionally, your car would fail to restart after a crash, and you'd have to reinstall the
engine. For some strange reason, you'd just accept this too.
• You would be forced to buy a new model every 18 months, and your old model would
have no resale value. Each new model would be bigger that the previous one, require
more gas, and would operate differently. Furthermore, parts from the old car would not be
interchangeable with the new car.
• You could call a special phone number when you had a problem. The phone would be
staffed by people who know less about your car than you do.
• There would be a special Macintosh model, powered by the sun. However, it would only
run on 5 percent of the roads and require different driving skills.
• You would have to spend additional money to buy the operating manuals.
• Before engaging, the airbag system would display a message, "Are you sure?"
• Every time you looked under the hood, an obnoxious cartoon character would appear
and ask if you need help. No matter how many times you refused help, it would keep
Introduction to Excel 2002 5
For a history on spreadsheets visit this website:
Paper based spreadsheets have been used by accountants and other “number
crunchers” for many years. They are basically tables or matrices of values
that present data in an easily read or understood manner. Some of the more
common uses for spreadsheets are to present balance sheets, or financial
statements and analyses, but they can also include more complex data such
as the results of research experiments or tests.
Spreadsheets are arranged in a matrix of
Columns and Rows. Data is entered into
Cells that are the intersection of a column and
a row. Electronic spreadsheets use this
framework a bit more liberally and actually
override it by adding graphics and merging or
Introduction to Excel 2002 6
Test Results Presented in a Spreadsheet
Introduction to Excel 2002 7
A little History…
The “Spreadsheet Page” has very good information on spreadsheets in general:
The first electronic spreadsheet for the PC was VisiCalc, which appeared on
the market in 1979. It was soon followed by Lotus 1-2-3 and others. The
advantage of computer based (or electronic) spreadsheets is that they can
display data graphically or textually or both; and they can easily recalculate
hundreds of values as needed.
Lotus 1-2-3 was at one time (in the late eighties and very
early nineties) the unchallenged leader of PC
spreadsheets. It pioneered the abilities to use spreadsheet
functions, graphics and data management tools in one
program (that’s the 1, 2, 3 of it). Somewhere along the
way (probably with the introduction of Windows 3.1)
Excel took the lead and now is by far the most widely
used spreadsheet program
Introduction to Excel 2002 8
Excel can be started from
the Programs Menu…the
menu item may be under
Microsoft Office or it may
be on the menu by itself…
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Wherever the shortcut is, the
icon will usually look like
The shortcut may even be on the
taskbar Quick Launch Menu…
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When Excel starts up you will see a window
similar to this…a default (empty) spreadsheet
will be displayed showing many familiar
Introduction to Excel 2002 11
Understanding the Excel Window
… when you open Excel it will generally
open a “blank” spreadsheet named Book 1.
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The Excel window will have
Menus and Toolbars as usual…
…along with a title bar and
control buttons…the title bar
shows the name of the current
spreadsheet, a generic one
supplied by Excel, “Book1”.
…a status bar at the bottom of the
Excel window will display various
types of information…right now it just
lets you know Excel is “Ready”…
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The intersection of a column and a row is
a Cell…it is named by its column and
row…this one is A1.
The “Worksheet” is a grid, table or matrix
of columns and rows …
Row numbers …
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The active cell is the basic work area of a
spreadsheet. Numbers, text, formulas or
complex functions can be inserted in a cell by
entering them in the input box located just
below the Formatting bar…
This is cell D11 …
Notice the mouse pointer has become a “plus” sign.
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Data entered here…
…is actually being entered into the
active cell here.
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..the look of the text can be changed by selecting
different fonts, font sizes or font effects (such as
Bold or Italic) from the Formatting bar. Or you
could select a cell formatting option from the
Format menu item. Usually there is more than
one way to do something in Excel…
Font colors can be
from the Format
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Each “Worksheet” has tabs…and there
are also scroll bars to move about…
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The Window is actually a window within a window…if
you click the Restore Window button …from the
lower set of controls buttons…you will see this better….
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Now the window has become “detached”…it was
really just maximized inside the Excel window before.
This way you can have several spreadsheets open at
this same time while only having one instance of
Excel open. Clicking the Minimize button on this
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…will reduce the spreadsheet window down to
the bottom of the Excel window…it has been
minimized. You can Restore it to its full size or
Close it by using the control buttons…
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Excel has all the usual pop-up and
drop down menus…right-clicking on
an object, like a cell, will open context
based help for specifically for that
object and its current state.
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If you right click on the
Formatting or toolbar the
following menu will appear.
From this menu you can add or
remove toolbars or menus…say
for example, you clicked on the
WordArt menu item…
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…the WordArt toolbar would appear…it actually could
appear as a “floating” toolbar as shown here. You can
move it to the other toolbars so that it will “dock” and
become like the Formatting bar. It could also be docked
on the bottom or the sides of the Excel window.
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The WordArt toolbar is now
Introduction to Excel 2002 25
You can also access the
Customize menu or window
from this pop-up menu…from
there you can also change
Excel’s “look and feel”.
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You can add or remove toolbars from the “Toolbars”
tab of the window…
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…and change some of Excel’s display options from the
“Options” tab…most of the other options that Excel
makes available for you to personalize are accessed
through the Tools > Options menu…
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…the options displayed here are more complex, and relate to
the actual operation of the program…
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If using Excel isn’t tough enough for you…there’s always
Clippy to deal with…
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When you open a spreadsheet in Excel a strange thing
happens…this real annoying paper clip thingy
appears (that is, unless someone has disabled him)
and tries to “help” you…that thingy is Clippy the
Office Assistant…if you need help, pressing the F1
shortcut key or selecting Help from the menu will
display a balloon window…
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The best thing about Clippy is that he
“understands” natural language commands…for
example, if I wanted to find out how to “Close the
Office Assistant”, I would type that phrase into
the input box in the “balloon”...
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And then I click Search and Clippy
starts to find an answer from within the
Excel help system.
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Next Clippy displays some options for
you to select…“What would you like to
do?”, he isn’t perfect, you still need to
make some choices, but they have been
limited. To view the help you simply
click on one of the choices in the list. If I
click on the first item…
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…the actual Excel Help window
appears…Clippy is just a gateway
to Excel’s complex help. The
help here is just like Windows
help, an HTML help system.
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You could also customize or
Hide Clippy from the pop-up
menu that appears when you
right click on him…
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Selecting Options from the Office Assistant’s pop-up
menu displays this dialog box…from here you can
make the Assistant behave as you wish…or even
select another character all together.
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Of course Excel Help is available from the Help
menu or by pressing F1…whether the Assistant
is disabled or not.
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From the Help menu…selecting Microsoft
Excel Help will open the Help window (or
viewer). Notice the shortcut key!
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There is a lot of information here, but it can be searched by
using the Table of Contents, the Index or the Answer
Wizard…the Wizard provides the same results as does the
Assistant, but without the animation and sound effects…
The Excel help window acts like a web browser…
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…and even hyperlinks, that will move you to other topics, or even
to more help on the Internet.
The Excel help window works somewhat like a web browser…it
has back and forward buttons…
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…clicking on any of the matches displays the help topic or more links in
the pane on the right.
To find help on a topic, enter a word, a question or a phrase in
the “What would you like to do?” box…Click the search button
and a list of possible answers appears below…
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Clicking on any link that begins with any arrow expands it……
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The Viewer can be expanded because it is actually a
separate program running on its own, just like the
Windows Help Viewer…it can be minimized to the
taskbar while you continue to work in Excel.
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The idea is to exit safely…and with grace…
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To exit Excel, or just close the
current spreadsheet use the
File menu…to Close the
current spreadsheet select
To Exit the program, which will also close the
current spreadsheet…select Exit…remember to
save your work if necessary.
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If you select Exit with an “unsaved” spreadsheet
you will be prompted to save it…
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Links for Excel on the Web
Excel 2002 Assistance center
Excel 2002 tour from Microsoft
Excellent Excel online tutorial
…another good online tutorial