IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding what Excel is used for
What's new for Excel 2010
Learning the parts of Excel's window
Introducing the Ribbon user interface, shortcut menus, and dialog boxes
Navigating Excel worksheets
Introducing Excel with a quick hands-on session
This chapter serves as an introductory overview of Excel 2010. If you're already familiar with a previous version of Excel, reading this chapter is still a good idea. You'll find that Excel 2010 is very similar to Excel 2007. However, both Excel 2007 and Excel 2010 are different from every previous version — very different.
Excel, as you probably know, is the world's most widely used spreadsheet program, and is part of the Microsoft Office suite. Other spreadsheet programs are available, but Excel is by far the most popular and has become the world standard.
Much of the appeal of Excel is due to the fact that it's so versatile. Excel's forte, of course, is performing numerical calculations, but Excel is also very useful for non-numeric applications. Here are just a few of the uses for Excel:
Number crunching: Create budgets, analyze survey results, and perform just about any type of financial analysis you can think of.
Creating charts: Create a wide variety of highly customizable charts.
Organizing lists: Use the row-and-column layout to store lists efficiently.
Accessing other data: Import data from a wide variety of sources.
Creating graphical dashboards: Summarize ...