Chapter 14. Creating Your First Spreadsheet

Every Excel grandmaster needs to start somewhere. In this chapter, you’ll learn how to create a basic spreadsheet.

First, you’ll learn to move around Excel’s grid of cells, typing in numbers and text as you go. Next, you’ll take a quick tour of the Excel window, stopping to meet the different tabs in the ribbon and take a quick peek at the formula bar. Finally, you’ll get a tour of Excel’s innovative Backstage view—the file-management hub where you can print your creations, save your work for posterity, open recent files, and tweak Excel options.


Even if you’re an Excel old-timer, don’t bypass this chapter. Although you already know how to fill in a simple spreadsheet, you haven’t seen Excel’s Backstage view, which is a completely new feature in Excel 2010. It gives you a single, streamlined place to perform a whole variety of tasks, most of which have to do with managing your files.

Creating a Basic Worksheet

When you first launch Excel, it starts you off with a new, blank worksheet, as shown in Figure 14-1. A worksheet is the grid of cells where you type your information and formulas. This grid takes up most of the Excel window. It’s where you’ll perform all your work, such as entering data, writing formulas, and reviewing the results.

Here are a few basics about Excel’s grid:

  • The grid divides your worksheet into rows and columns. Columns are identified with letters (A, B, C…), while rows are identified with numbers (1, 2, 3…).

  • The smallest ...

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