Make sure you know these important Excel basics

Excel is used in every business.  The tool is not just for making accounts, it has some very powerful chart and graphic facilities and it can even be used to do Data Science.  Make sure you know these basics to keep your skills up to date. 

Workbook and Worksheet, what’s the difference?

A new Excel file is called a Workbook and comes with one Worksheet.  The Workbook can have up to 255 Worksheets, although this mightn’t be a good idea.  Each Worksheet has approximately 16 million cells, so you won’t run out.  

If you are working on something with related tables, then adding a new Worksheet might make it easier to manage.  Hit Shift + F11 to add a new worksheet.  Your worksheets are shown in tabs on the bottom left.  By default, these will be called sheet 1, sheet 2 etc. but you can right click on them to rename and make them easier to understand. 

To move between worksheets just click on the tab, or hit CTRL + Page Up or CTRL + Page Down to move between worksheets.

Inserting rows and columns in Excel

Hit CTRL, Shift and the + Key to open the insert box.  This box lets you add rows or columns as well as shifting selected cells around the worksheet.  Remember if you do something wrong, keep hitting CTRL + Z to undo. 

Select text in Excel

Sometimes you need to do an operation on an entire row or column.  To select the entire row, go to the row and hit Shift and Space.  To select a column, go to the column and hit CTRL and Space. 

Autofill cells. 

If you want the same piece of text to fill an entire row or column, it’s easy.  Simply write the data in one cell, then move the mouse over the little square at the bottom right of the cell.  When the mouse turns from a large plus to a small plus, click and drag to where you want the text to be added to. 

What would you like to know about Excel?  Anything you are having difficulty with?  Leave a comment and we’ll write more blog posts answering your questions.