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Lesson 5 - Cells, Moving Around Workbooks, Exiting



These are without doubt the very backbone of Excel. On each Worksheet there are 16777216 cells. These are divided into 65,536 Rows and 256 Columns, as I mentioned earlier. The number of Rows and Columns in a Worksheet are fixed, which means we cannot add more and we cannot take any away, so as a consequence the number of cells are also fixed. This should never become a problem, as we can add a lot of Worksheets if we need to, each with 16777216 cells, so this should give us plenty!A cell is defined as the intersection of where a column and row meet, just like the coordinates on a road map.

The method that Excel uses to reference these cells (as a default) is called the A1 style reference. When we refer to a particular cell we use it's cell Address (or location) to nominate the cell. The method Excel uses to reference cells is a very simple, but highly effective method, often referred to as the grid pattern method, exactly the same as a road map.

Click in cell C6. It should be defined as your active cell, or the cell in which you are clicked, by the border of the cell or rectangle being different in some way, either bolded, or maybe a different color. Now have a look at the column heading letter. It should be defined in some way, either bolded, or highlighted in a color, it may even look pushed in like a button. Now look at the row number on the left of your screen which should also be defined in some way. This is telling you your cell reference. Now look above the column heading A and you will see the reference C6 in what is known as the Name box (discussed below).

In the situation above we have selected one cell only. We can select many more cells at one time if we wish. When we do so, we have selected what is known as Range of cells. A range can be one cell, or many cells.

To select a range of cells we simply select any one cell (position the cursor so a cross appears), then holding down our left mouse button, drag in the direction we wish to select. It is important to note here that although we have more than one cell selected (a range) there is only one Active cell and this will always be the first cell we select. There is no limit to the number of cells we can select on a Worksheet.

To select all cells on your worksheet either push Ctrl + A or the Select all button, (the empty grey rectangle in the upper-left corner of a Worksheet where the row and column headings meet). We can also select entire columns or rows by simply left clicking on the column letter or row number.

We mentioned above while looking at Toolbars that there is another shortcut menu in Excel, the right click menu. The right click menu is also known as the context-sensitive menu. This means that it will display options that are sensitive to the area in which you are clicked. To see this simply select any cell and (you guessed it!) right click. You will see a list of common options available in the area you are clicked in. We won't go into any detail on these at this stage but we most certainly will in later lessons.

While we are on the subject of the right click, you will notice as we go into Excel deeper that it has many of these right click menus. As stated above, the menu that we are presented with is wholly dependent on the area of Excel we are in at the time.


There are many ways that can be used to move around a Worksheet and the method used is purely user preference.

At the far right of your Worksheet window is what is known as a Vertical scroll bar. This bar has an upward pointing arrow at the top of it and a downward pointing arrow at the bottom of it. You can vertically scroll up and down through your document in any one of the common following ways (there are more!):

To get quickly back to the top of your Worksheet, push Ctrl + Home. This will always take you to cell A1.

At the bottom of your Worksheet window to the right is your Horizontal scroll Bar. The use of this is the same as with the Vertical scroll bar, except of course you move horizontally and you cannot use Page Up and Page Down.

If you happen to know the address of the cell you wish to go to we can use the Go To dialogue box.

What has popped up in front of your now is the Go To dialogue box. Note that your cursor is flashing in the Reference section of the box.  This is where you type the cell reference that you wish to Go to. The big box (Go To) is where Excel stores the last references used. If the reference is in here you would simply select it and click OK

Type in HS3156 in the Reference box and select OK (or hit Enter on your keyboard if you prefer). Excel will take us straight to the cell reference we typed.

To get back to the top left of the Worksheet, push Ctrl + Home. The Ctrl + Home method is simply a short cut key for typing A1 in the Reference box of the Go To dialog box.

While the Go To dialogue box can be handy for moving straight to any cell, there is an easier way!To see what I mean left click in the Name box (left of the Formula bar), type any cell address and push Enter.

You are no doubt wondering why this is called the Name box? We will cover this in detail later, but not in this lesson. MOVING THROUGH WORKSHEETS

The only area of navigation we need to look at now is the Worksheets themselves. This can be done in one of two ways. The most popular and probably the simplest method is to simply left click on the sheet name tab of the sheet you want. This will automatically activate the appropriate sheet.

The second method is probably best suited to when you have a lot of worksheets in the same Workbook.

You will notice to the far left of the sheet name tabs, you have four arrows. Place your mouse pointer over any one of these and then right click. You will see a pop up menu containing the names of all the Worksheets within the Workbook. You simply select the one you want with your left mouse button. The four arrows to the left of the sheet name tab are called Tab Scrolling Buttons. These four arrow buttons are to allow you to scroll through the Worksheet name tabs should your workbook contain more Worksheets than are currently visible. If you click the arrow with the vertical line after it, you will scroll so that your far right hand Worksheet name tab is visible. If you click the arrow without the vertical line, you will basically scroll one Worksheet tab at a time. EXITING

There are two ways to exit Microsoft Excel and close the program down. These are:

Select either of these options to close down Excel. If we wished to Exit Excel and we were working in a Workbook that we have made changes to, Excel will ask us (via a message box) if we wish to save the changes we have made. If we wished to Exit Excel and we had a Workbook that we had not made any changes to, no message will appear and Excel will Exit without saving.

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