How to Make a Spreadsheet in Excel. . . . First let’s understand what is a spreadsheet. A spreadsheet is a document made of columns and rows of cells that can be used to sort and manipulate data.
Each cell is designated to hold one piece of data, like numbers, letters, and/or formulas that reference other cells. The data can then be arranged, formatted, graphed, and referenced in other documents.
Once getting familiar with spreadsheets, you can have your skills tested by creating a home inventory and/or a monthly budget. Now, let’s check out the basics of creating a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.
Open Microsoft Excel which is in the Start menu (Windows) or in the Applications folder (macOS). The app will open to a screen that offers you to create or select a document.
If you don’t possess a paid version of Microsoft Office, you can utilize the free online version at https://www.office.com to create a basic spreadsheet. You are just needed to sign in with the Microsoft account and click Excel in the row of icons.
Click Blank workbook to create a new workbook. A workbook is the name of the document that contains the spreadsheet(s). This creates a blank spreadsheet called Sheet1, that you will be able to see on the tab at the bottom of the sheet.
When you create more complex spreadsheets, you may add another sheet by clicking + next to the first sheet. Use the bottom tabs to switch between spreadsheets.
Familiarize yourself with the spreadsheet’s layout. The first thing you’ll notice is that the spreadsheet contains hundreds of rectangular cells organized into vertical columns and horizontal rows. Some important things to note about this layout:
All rows are labeled with numbers along the side of the spreadsheet, while the columns are labeled with letters along the top.
Each cell has an address consisting of the column letter followed by the row number. For example, the address of the cell in the first column (A), first row (1) is A1. The address of the cell in column B row 3 is B3.
Enter some data by clicking any cell one time and start typing immediately. When you’re finished with that cell, press the Tab ↹ key to move to the next cell in the row, or the ↵ Enter key to the next cell in the column.
Notice that when you type into the cell, the content also appears in the bar that runs across the top of the spreadsheet. This bar is called the Formula Bar and is useful for when entering long strings of data and/or formulas.
To edit a cell that has a pre-existing data, double-click it to bring back the cursor. Alternatively, you can click the cell once and make your changes in the formula bar.
To delete the data from one cell, click the cell once, and then press Del. This returns the cell to a blank one without messing up the data in other rows or columns. To delete multiple cell values at once, press Ctrl (PC) or ⌘ Cmd (Mac) as you click each cell you want to delete, and then press Del.
To add a new blank column between existing columns, right-click the letter above the column after where you’d like the new one to appear, and then click Insert on the context menu.
To add a new blank row between existing rows, right-click the row number for the row after the desired location, and then click Insert on the menu.
Check out the functions available for advanced uses.
One of the most useful features of Excel is its ability to look up data and perform calculations based on mathematical formulas. Each formula you create contains an Excel function, which is the “action” you’re performing. Formulas always begin with an equal (=) sign followed by the function name (e.g., =SUM, =LOOKUP, =SIN). After that, the parameters should be entered between a set of parentheses (). Follow these steps to get an idea of the type of functions you can use in Excel:
Click the Formulas tab at the top of the screen. You’ll notice several icons in the toolbar at the top of the application in the panel labeled “Function Library.” Once you know how the different functions work, you can easily browse the library using those icons.
Click the Insert Function icon, which also displays an fx. It should be the first icon on the bar. This opens the Insert Function panel, which offers you to search for what you want to do or browse by category.
Select a category from the “Or select a category” menu. The default category is “Most Recently Used.” For example, to see the math functions, you might select Math & Trig.
Click any function in the “Select a function” panel to view its syntax, as well as a description of what the function does. For more info on a function, click the Help on this function.
Click Cancel when you’re done browsing.
Save your file when you’re finished editing. To save the file, click the File menu at the top-left corner, and then select Save As. Depending on your version of Excel, you’ll usually have the option to save the file to your computer or OneDrive.