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In Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training, author Curt Frye gives a comprehensive overview of Excel, the full-featured spreadsheet software from Microsoft. The course covers key skills such as manipulating workbook and cell data, using functions, automating actions, printing worksheets, and collaborating with others. Exercise files accompany the course.
Excel is a powerful program with lots of capabilities. The good news is that you can do lots of things with it, but the bad news is that it's impossible to cover everything in a course like this one. Fortunately, Excel comes with Help files, samples, and videos you can view on your computer, or on the official Help site. In this movie, I'll show you how to use the Help system to find the information you need. And for those of you who are watching movies in sequence, you'll notice that I've changed my Ribbon color and the Tab order back to the original Preferences. So you want to get help on something in Excel. The first question, of course, is, how do you know what to look for.
One way to get more information as to hover the mouse pointer over a toolbar button or Ribbon button, read the text, and then type the text on to the Help system. So let's say, for example, that you wanted to work with some formatting on the Home tab, and you didn't know what this button did here. When you hover the mouse pointer over the button, it gives you the words 'Fill Color', and that's some important information already, but how do you look up that information in the Help system? Here is how you do it. To open up the Help dialog, you click either the Help button, which is this purple question mark button here on the main toolbar, or you can click Help and search here or click Excel Help.
In this case, what I am going to do is open up the Excel Help dialog box. The Excel Help dialog displays a list of topics, so, for example, if you need help on printing, you can click Printing and display the topics that are available. If you want go back, it's exactly like your web browser. You can click the back button here, at the top left, and it will take you back to the previous screen. But in this case, we're interested in getting help on fill color. To do that, you can go here. Click so that the cursor is flashing there. You have an insertion point, and then type in the words 'fill color,' which is what you saw when you hovered your mouse pointer over the button on the Ribbon. When you press Return, Excel displays all the help topics that are related to fill color.
And in this case, at the bottom of the list, you'll see that we have Add or change the fill color, which is listed as a help topic. To display the topic, move your mouse pointer over it and click. When you click a Help topic, Excel displays the options underneath that. So, for example, you can do any of the following, add or change the fill color, which is most likely what we want to do, so I will click it, and you see the information that you need to make the change. If you want more information than you're getting here in the Help system, you can go online. To do that, you can click the Go Online button here in the top-right corner of the Excel Help window.
When you do, your web browser opens and displays the Help page, and you can minimize the Excel Help window. And then after I close the Help dialog, I'll open it up a little more, take up the fullscreen, and now, within Firefox, or your web browser choice, you can look through the Excel Help topics. So, for example, if you want to get information on working with charts and graphics, you can click that, and you'll get help topics that are related to charts and graphics. You'll also be able to go through the rest of the Office for Mac web site, for example going to its Homepage where you can find information about the product, and so on.
Now I will close Firefox and go back into Excel. And to bring in the Help dialog box back, I'll just click the Help button, which redisplays the dialog box in the state that I had it before. A few other items I'll mention, about the Help dialog box itself. First, is you have the Back and Forward buttons. So let's say, for example, that I open up a topic. If I want go back, I can click the Back button. If I want to go forward and revisit the previous page, I can click the forward button.
If I want to go Home, in other words go back to the main Excel Help page, the one that appears when you open the dialog box for the first time, I can click the Home button, and that'll take me there. If I want to change the Excel Help dialog box's options, for example making the text larger, making the text smaller, printing a Help topic, you do all that by clicking the Help Options button. And finally, if you want to close the Help dialog box just click the close button here. The Excel 2011 Help system provides a complete reference for all of the program's capabilities. If you forget how to do something, or if you want to delve more deeply into an Excel capability, searching the Help system will provide the information you need.
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