This browser does not support basic Web standards, preventing the display of our site's intended design. May we suggest that you upgrade your browser?

Microsoft Excel 2003/2004

Getting Started with Excel

Excel worksheets adapt calculations from paper and the calculator to the computer. Well-designed worksheets can save hours of work and help you experiment with a wide variety of scenarios with little effort. Before creating a worksheet, you should do some initial planning. Although it is not difficult to change a worksheet, it can take a great deal of time making the necessary adjustments.

return to topOpening Excel

When Excel is opened, it opens a blank worksheet. An Excel worksheet file is called a workbook. A workbook is the Excel worksheet file in which related data and information for a specific project are stored. A workbook consists of many worksheets, or multiple layers, which are for listing and analyzing data. For more information on Excel terminology, refer to Worksheet Terms.

  1. Windows: From the Start menu, select All Programs » Microsoft Office » Microsoft Office Excel 2003
    Macintosh: Double click MACINTOSH HD, select Applications » Microsoft Office 2004 » Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel window

return to topCreating a Workbook

An Excel workbook contains multiple worksheets. Worksheets can be used to group information together. A worksheet can contain data, charts, or both. 

Creating a Workbook: Menu Option

Windows:

  1. From the File menu, select New…
    The New Workbook task pane appears.

  2. Under New, select Blank workbook
    A new workbook appears.

Macintosh:

  1. From the File menu, select New Workbook
    A new workbook appears.

Creating a Workbook: Toolbar Option

  1. On the Standard toolbar, click NEWNew buttonorNew Workbook button
    A new workbook appears.

return to topEntering Text 

A cell containing text and numbers or only text cannot be used in formulas, even if numbers exist with the alphabetic characters.

  1. Select the cell where you want to enter text

  2. Type the alpha-numeric text that should be in the cell

  3. Windows: To accept the information, press [Enter] or an [Arrow] key
    To force text to wrap at a specific point in a cell, press [Alt] + [Enter]
    Macintosh: To accept the information, press [return] or an [arrow] key
    To force text to wrap, in the Formatting Palette, under Alignment and Spacing, select Wrap Text

return to top Entering Numbers

Numeric cells can be used for calculations and functions. A numeric cell may contain numbers, plus (+), minus
(-), currency ($).

  1. Select the cell where you want to enter numbers

  2. Type the numeric information that should be in the cell
    HINT: To enter a fraction, type 0 and press [Space] before the fraction; otherwise, Excel will interpret the fraction as a date.

  3. Windows: To accept the information, press [Enter] or an [Arrow] key
    Macintosh: To accept the information, press [return] or an [arrow] key
    NOTES:
    Excel automatically right-aligns values and left-aligns text.
    Do not include spaces or alphabetic characters in a calculation cell.

Entering Numbers as Text

Text formatted cells are treated as text even when a number is in the cell. The cell is displayed as it is entered.

  1. From the Format menu, select Cells...
    The Format Cells dialog box appears.

  2. Select the Number tab

  3. From the Category scroll list, select Text

  4. Click OK

  5. Type the desired numbers and/or alphanumeric text that should be in the cell

  6. Windows: To force text to wrap at a specific point in a cell, press [Alt] + [Enter]
    Macintosh:To force text to wrap at a specific point in a cell, press [command] + [option] + [return]

  7. Windows: To accept the information, press [Enter] or an [Arrow] key
    Macintosh: To accept the information, press [return] or an [arrow] key

return to topEntering Dates or Times

Entering a Date or Time Manually

  1. Select the cell where you want to enter the date or time

  2. To enter a date, type the date in one of the following formats: 6/23/2004, 6-23-2004, or June 23, 2004
    To enter a time, type the time
    NOTE: To indicate AM or PM, leave a space and press [Shift] + [A] or [P], respectively.

  3. To accept the information, press [Enter] or [return]

Entering the Current Date or Time Automatically

Windows:

  1. To enter today's date, press [Ctrl] + [;]
    To enter the current time, press [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [;]

  2. To accept the information, press [Enter]

Macintosh:

  1. To enter today's date, press [control] + [;]
    To enter the current time, press [command] + [;]

  2. To accept the information, press [return]

return to topSaving Your Work

Saving for the First Time

The following steps should be used when you are saving a worksheet for the first time, when you want to save it to a new location (perhaps a backup), or when you want to save a copy with a different name.

  1. From the File menu, select Save As...
    The Save As dialog box appears.

  2. Windows: From the Save in pull-down list, select the desired save location
    Macintosh: From the Where pull down list, select the desired save location

  3. Windows: In the File name text box, type a filename
    Macintosh: In the Save As text box, type a filename
    NOTE: You do not need to type the file extension ".xls." The file extension will be automatically added to the filename.

  4. Click SAVE
    The file is saved.

Saving Subsequent Times

  1. From the File menu, select Save
    OR

  2. On the Standard toolbar, click SAVESave buttonorSave button
    The file is saved.

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.