Introduction to Ms-excel


MS-Excel is a window based spreadsheet developed by Microsoft corporation. It includes all features of a spreadsheet package like recalculation, graphs & functions. It also provides many Mathematical, Financial & Statistical functions. Thus it is used in many scientific and engineering environments for analyzing data. Excel can even hold graphic objects like pictures & images.



Some important features of MS-Excel:


1. Window based application: Excel like all other applications has Toolbars, Shortcut Menus, Auto correct, Online help and Wizards.


2. Workbooks: Workbooks are the files in which worksheets related to a project are held.


3. OLE support: Object linking and Embedding is a feature through which Excel can contain any object like a document, a picture etc.


4. Maintaining high volume of data: Excel can contain large volume of data. A worksheet can contain 65536 rows and 256 columns. A single cell can contain a maximum of 255 characters. One workbook can contain a maximum of 256 worksheets.


5. Availability of functions: Several Mathematical, financial & statistical functions are available in an Excel package.


6. Availability of Charts & Graphs: MS-Excel allows users to view data entered as tables in a graphical form as charts, which helps the user to easily understand, analyze data & compare data.


7. Data Analysis Tools: MS-Excel provides a set of data analysis tools called Analysis Tool pack.


8. Sorting capability: Excel has the capability of sorting any data in Ascending or Descending



9. Auto fill feature: Excel has the feature which allows to fill cells with repetitive data such as

chronological dates or numbers and repeated text.


Components of the Excel window:

An Excel window has several unique elements identified in the figure below:

excel window

  • · Rows, columns & cell: In a worksheet rows are numbered from top to bottom. The columns are labeled with letters from left to right. Rows are numbered from 1 to 65,536 and columns labeled from A to IV (256 columns).
  • · Title bar: The title bar contains the name of the program Microsoft Excel and the default name of the workbook Book1 that would change as soon as you save your file and give another name.
  • · Menu bar : The Menu bar contains menus that include all the commands you need to use towork your way through Excel such as File, Edit, View, Insert, Format, Tools, Data, Window and Help.
  • · Tool Bar: Tool Bars are usually shortcuts for menu items. Standard and formatting toolbars are displayed by default.
  • · Active cell: The cell in which you are currently working.
  • · Formula bar: displays the contents of the active cell.
  • · Name box: displays the cell address of the active cell. Column letter followed by the row number. Ex: B6
  • · Worksheet area: The middle portion of screen which occupies a major area is called worksheet area. In this area, information or data (i.e.) either textual or numerical can be entered and the results can be displayed. A worksheet is a large work area of 65,536 rows and 256 columns.
  • · Status bar: located at the very bottom of the screen displays brief information about  activating features within the worksheet area.
  • · Sheet tabs: appear above the status bar displaying the names of the worksheets.





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