Step-by-Step Microsoft Excel Tutorial for Beginners

This tutorial will have you focusing on the basics of Excel by creating a simple and practical worksheet. The lesson is broken up into six mini-tasks that take only minutes to accomplish. Learning Excel has never been so easy!

EXCEL TASK #1

Your goal is to save a workbook in Microsoft Excel.

What is a workbook? It’s an Excel file that consists of one or more worksheets.

What is a worksheet? It is a grid composed of cells. Cells are used to type in data, such as numbers or text.

Directions:

� Open Microsoft Excel.
âÂ?¢ The Title Bar should read Microsoft Excel – Book 1. Book 1 is the name used when a workbook has not yet been saved. This reminds you save your file.
� Create a new folder named Excel in your main folder, if you need to do so. (Hint: either use an Exploring Window or the Save As Dialog Box.)
âÂ?¢ Now it’s time to save your new workbook as First Workbook into your Excel folder.
� Look at the Title Bar. Notice that it now shows your saved filename.

EXCEL TASK #2

Your goal is to enter data into cells and resize columns.

What are columns? Vertical (up and down) divisions named using letters. For example: cell A3 is column A, row 3.

What are rows? Horizontal (left and right) divisions identified by numbers.

Directions:

� Open the workbook previously saved in Task #1.
� Find the Worksheet Tabs (lower left area of the screen). Double-click the Sheet1 tab. Rename it Pay. Press the Enter key to set this name.
� Click on cell A2. Type: My Weekly Earnings
� Click on cell A4. Type: Paycheck Date
� Use the Tab key to move to cell B4. Type: Gross Pay
� Tab to cell C4. Type: Net Pay. Press the Enter key.
âÂ?¢ Cell A4 isn’t wide enough to fit all of its data. Also, cells B4 and C4 have extra space. Let’s fix this.
� Select row 4 by clicking its Row Heading. This is the gray box to the left of the worksheet containing the number 4.
� Click on the Format menu (located on the Menu bar).
� Click on Column from its drop down list.
� Click on AutoFit Selection from second drop down list.
� Save your work.

EXCEL TASK #3

Your goal is to use a formula to calculate your net pay.

What is a formula? It’s data that performs a calculation. The formula to compute net pay is gross pay minus gross pay times whatever percentage of taxes are taken out. An example looks like this: $400.00 – ($400.00 * .25).

Directions:

� Open your First Workbook file, if necessary.
� Click on cell A6. Type: 6/1/2006
� Press the Tab key to move to cell B6. Type: $400.00
� Press the Enter key.
� You should now be in cell A7. Type: 6/8/2006
� Press the Tab key to move to cell B7. Type: $300.00
� Press the Enter key.
� Click on cell C6. Type: =b6-b6*.25
âÂ?¢ You’ve typed your first formula. This formula calculates $400.00 – $400.00 * 25%. Press Enter.
âÂ?¢ Oops! The cell shows ##### because the cell is not wide enough to fit in the data. To fix this, make sure the cell is selected. Now you can AutoFit this column. (Review Task #2 if you’ve forgotten what to do.)
� You should see $300.00 in cell C6. This is the net pay.
� Save your work.

EXCEL TASK #4

Your goal is to copy a formula by using the fill handle.

What is a fill handle? It’s a plus-sign shaped symbol in the lower right corner of an active cell. Clicking-and-dragging the fill handle can copy cell contents.

Directions:

� Open your First Workbook file, if necessary.
� You will copy the formula from cell C6 to C7.
� Click on cell C6 to make it active.
� Position the mouse pointer over the lower right corner of the cell.
� When you see the plus-sign shaped symbol click and drag to the lower right corner of cell C7.
� You should see the amount $225.00 in cell C7. This is the net pay for the paycheck dated 6/8/2006.
� Save your work.

EXCEL TASK #5

Your goal is to use the AutoSum button to quickly add up data in cells. In this task, you’ll add the total amounts for gross pay and for net pay.

How does the AutoSum button work? Excel basically “guesses” which cells should be added. The cells all must be in the same row or column for this feature to work.

Where is the AutoSum button? Located on the Standard toolbar, this button looks like a fancy letter E.

Directions:

� Open your First Workbook file, if necessary.
� Click on cell A9. Type: Totals
� Tab to cell B9. Click the AutoSum button. Press the Enter key. The gross pay amounts are added together to equal 700.00.
� Click on cell C9. Click the AutoSum button. Press Enter. The net pay amounts are added together to equal 525.00.
� Save your work.

EXCEL TASK #6

Your goal is to merge and format cells. In this task, you’ll make the title My Weekly Earnings centered with the rest of the worksheet and will change its text style.

What does it mean to merge cells? Merging cells allows two or more cells to become one big cell.

What’s a text style? This is how text looks. Is it bold? Is it blue? Is it Arial font? Is it font size 12?

Directions:

� Open your First Workbook file, if necessary.
� Highlight cells A2, B2, and C2.
� Click on the Format menu and choose Cells from the drop down list.
� The Format Cells dialog box opens. Click on the Alignment tab.
� Click in the Merge cells check box. Click on OK.
âÂ?¢ With the newly merged cell still selected, you’ll use the Formatting toolbar to change the title’s text style.
� Click on the Bold and Center buttons. Click on the Font Color button; choose a readable color. Change the font to Tempus Sans ITC. Make the font size 14.
� Save your work and admire the new look of your title (go ahead, stroke your ego; you deserve it).

Congratulations, you’ve just completed six basic tasks in Excel. Gook luck on your future endeavors in Microsoft Excel.

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