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Starting Excel 97 as a Beginner

What you will learn from this lesson

With Excel 97 you will:


What you should do before you start this lesson

Starting Excel 97

  1. Click the Start button in the lower-left corner.
  2. Position the mouse pointer on Programs.
  3. Click Microsoft Excel.

Exploring the lesson

Exploring the Excel 97 window

When you start working in Excel, you begin using a workbook that contains screens called worksheets. They are identified as Sheet1, Sheet2, and so on. (Screens may vary, depending on the Office 97 package you have.) As you become more familiar with the available options in Excel, you can customize the menus and add buttons to the toolbars.

Here is the initial screen you see when you open Excel 97.


Moving around in the Excel 97 worksheet

There are a number of ways to move around in a worksheet. Moving from one cell to another in Excel is quick and easy. The ways to move from cell to cell include clicking a cell or using the Go To command, the scroll bars, the arrow keys, or the home, end, page up, and page down keys.

Moving within a window

1. To select any cell, click it. For example, click cell A1.

  1. To move one cell to the right, press tab, or to move one cell to the left, press shift+tab.
  2. To move one cell down, right, up, or left, use the arrow keys.
  3. To move to the first column of the worksheet, press home.



Moving from window to window

  1. To move one window down, press page down.
  2. To move one window up, press page up.
  3. To move to the uppermost-left cell, A1; press ctrl+home.
  4. To move to any cell, on the Edit Menu, click Go To, and type J18 or any cell number.
  5. Press ctrl+home to return to cell A1.


Using Office Assistant

Microsoft Excel 97 in Office 97 has an Office Assistant that can answer your questions and give tips to help you improve your productivity. Wherever you are doing your task, your Office Assistant is available. Use it to learn more about and to discover faster and easier ways to use Microsoft Excel 97.

When you first install Excel 97, the Assistant looks like an expressive paper clip looking over your work.

Working with Office Assistant options

Before you begin this lesson, make sure you are in a new Excel 97 workbook. (To open a new workbook quickly, press ctrl+n.) If your Office Assistant is not visible, click the question mark button on the Standard toolbar, and Office Assistant appears.

Presetting topics for assistance

  1. To display the Office Assistant dialog box, click anywhere in the Office Assistant image box.
  2. Click Options, and select the check boxes next to the options you want to preset.
  3. Click Reset my tips, and then click OK.

Working with Office Assistant questions

You can use everyday language to ask specific questions, and Office Assistant gives you a choice of available information.

Asking a specific question

  1. To display the Office Assistant dialog box, click anywhere in the Office Assistant image box.
  2. Type workbook in the dialog box.
  3. Click Search.
  4. Click About workbooks and worksheets, and read the Help topic that appears.
  5. Close the Help window.

Selecting a different image

Although the paper clip is the default image for Office Assistant in Excel 97, you can choose other images as your Assistant. There is a cat, a bouncing ball, a kindly genius, and several others.

Choosing a different image

  1. Right-mouse click the Office Assistant image box.
  2. Click Choose Assistant.
  3. Click Next until you find the image you want for your Office Assistant.
  4. Click OK when you have made your selection.

Creating an Excel 97 workbook

Teachers can use worksheets to collect and analyze information, including student records, lesson notes, school activity budgets, professional organization information, and data. Students may use Excel 97 for scientific data, weather journals, financial reports, nutritional diaries, and legislative voting records. Each worksheet can be easily customized and enhanced with graphics and artistic additions.

Creating an Excel workbook

  1. On the File menu, click New.
  2. On the General tab, double-click Workbook to open a new one.
  3. Click cell B2, and type Student List.
  4. On the File menu, click Save, type Book 1, and click OK.

Saving your work

When you create a workbook, regardless of which method you use, you must save your work in a logical place on the computer. Just like filing a document in a file drawer, storing a computer document requires some attention to how you name the document and where you place it so you can easily find it again.

Unless you specify otherwise, Excel 97 saves all workbooks to a default folder on your computer called My Documents.

Saving for the first time

When you save the file for the first time, you should name the file as descriptively but as briefly as possible. Sometimes, you will want to name it as a particular version, or as a type of workbook (i.e., Student Lists V.1.2).

Saving a new workbook

  1. On the File menu, click Save.
  2. Click the Save As arrow, and choose a location for your workbook.
  3. In the File name box, type Student List.
  4. To save the workbook, click Save.

Saving an existing workbook

Saving an existing file to the same file name, location, and format

  1. On the File menu, click Save.
  2. Click OK.
  3. Close the workbook.

Saving to a different location and changing the file name

Unless you specify otherwise, Excel 97 will save all files to a default sub-directory on your computer called My Documents.

Saving to a different name and folder or disk drive

  1. Open the file named Student List.
  2. On the File menu, click Save As.
  3. n the Save as dialog box, click Create New Folder.
  4. In the Name box, type Student List First Semester.
  5. Click OK, and click Save.


Saving your workbook as another file type

If you are saving your workbook to share with others that may have different versions of Excel or other types of spreadsheet programs, you may need to select a different file type. Saving your file as a specific type makes it possible for others to read your worksheet on their computer systems and software.

Saving workbooks as other file types

  1. With the file from the previous lesson open, click Save As on the File menu.
  2. Click Save as type to view other format types.
  3. Click template, and click cancel to return to Excel 97.


Opening an Excel 97 workbook

Using the Start menu

Opening an existing Excel 97 file

  1. Click the Start button on the desktop, and then move the mouse pointer to Documents.
  2. Click a file to open it.
  3. On the File menu, click Close, to close the workbook.

Opening a workbook from inside Excel 97

While using Excel 97, you can open another workbook.

Opening an existing file with the menu bar

  1. On the File menu, click Open.
    – or –
    Press ctrl+o.
  2. Double-click Book 1 (or any file you want to open).
    – or–
    Select the file name, and click Open.

Quitting Excel 97

There are several ways to quit Excel 97. Always follow proper procedures, or your work may not be saved. All Office 97 applications prompt you to save changes if you try to quit a program without saving your open workbooks.


Quitting using the Exit command

Quitting Excel 97 using the Exit command

  1. With the file from the previous lesson open, click Exit on the File menu.
  2. Click Yes if you want to save your workbook and quit Excel 97.
    – or –
    Click No if you do not want to save the workbook for future use, but you do want to quit Excel 97.
    – or –
    Click Cancel if you do not want to close this workbook.


Quitting Excel with keystrokes

Quitting Excel 97 with keystrokes

  1. Press alt+f+x.
    – or –
    Press alt+f4.
    – or –
    Double-click the Microsoft Excel 97 button in the top-left corner of the screen.
  2. Click Yes to confirm quitting the program.


How you can use what you learned

Using Excel 97, you can share workbooks with other teachers and save the data in the same workbook. You can route the workbook for comments or post it to a public folder. These features allow you and your students the opportunity to easily exchange information and incorporate a wider range of data in your lessons.


Using automatic fill

Using the automatic fill feature in Excel 97, you can quickly and easily design useful charts for your classroom. You can use this feature to create a calendar; a daily, weekly, or monthly checklist, or a special event or topic chart.

Creating a chart with automatic fill

  1. In cell C4, type Monday.
  2. Click and drag the fill handle to select the cells through cell G4.
  3. In cell C5, type Week 1.
  4. Click and drag the fill handle to cell G5.
  5. In cell B6, type September.
  6. Click and drag the fill handle to B14.
  7. Position the pointer in cell D2.
  8. On the Formatting toolbar, click the Bold button, and type Student 2-Minute Presentations.
  9. Press enter.
  10. Close the workbook without saving changes.


Summarizing what you learned

In this chapter you have explored and practiced: