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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.
When you look in an Excel worksheet, it appears that the cells, rows, and columns are fixed, that you can't add, move, or delete them. In fact, you can do all those things. In this movie, I'll show you some techniques that will save you a lot of time by letting you fix mistakes with one or two clicks of your mouse, instead of tedious cutting and pasting. As an example, let's take a look at the data list I have here on the left. I have Month and Customers, but I have no entry for February. So if I wanted to move the data to make room for February, I would have to select all this data, copy it, and then past it exactly one row below.
But there is an easier way. What I need to do is insert cells in the space where there are B4 and C4 right now. In other words, I want February to go over March is, but I don't want to delete the March data. So what I do is I select these cells and then, on the Home tab of the Ribbon, in the cells group, click the Insert button's down arrow and click Insert Cells. When I do, the Insert dialog appears. I want everything else to move down; in another words I want March, April, May, and so on - all those months, and all of their associated values - to move down one row. Shift cells down is the currently selected option. That's what I want.
When I click Ok, Excel inserts cells where March was before, and also 1849, and it gives me a place to enter in the data for February. So I will type in February, and let's say we had 2,000 customers that month. If you want to insert a row into a worksheet, you can use a similar technique. In this case, let's say that for some reason I want to insert a row between the Month and Customers headers and January. To do that, I would Ctrl+Click the row three header. Notice that my mouse pointer changes to a right-pointing black arrow when I'm over the row header.
Hold down Ctrl+Left-click, and then I can click Insert. When I do, Excel adds row. If I want to get rid of a row, I can Ctrl+Click its header and click Delete. Now let's say that I want to add a column. I can do that the same way. When you add a column in Excel, Excel adds it to the left of the column header you selected. So I will select the header for column C. My mouse pointer changes to a downward- pointing black arrow. Ctrl+Click and then click Insert. Now I could add data such as Visitors, and if I wanted to, I could type in values for each of those months.
But now let's say that I want to get rid of the column. Well, you do the same thing you did for a row. You Ctrl+Click the column header, and click Delete. Now let's say that you have some data in a worksheet, and it's exactly right, except it's in the wrong place. So let's say that, for example, in January, we had 1,400 visitors - not Customers - but instead, visitors say to the web site. If I wanted to move this data from these two cells to these two cells here, F3 and G3, I could cut and paste, but an easier way to do it is to select those two cells and then move my mouse pointer over the edge of the cells until it turns into grabbing hand.
Then using the left mouse button, I can click and drag those cells to my target of F3 and G3, release it, and the cells have been moved. So, that's how you move cells; what do you do if you want to delete cells? Well, it's the opposite of inserting cells. What you do is you select the cells want to delete, in this case my duplicate December values, and then on the Home tab of the Ribbon, in the cells group, click Delete > Delete Cells, and then because you're deleting them, and there's no data around them, it doesn't really matter what you do, but in this case, I'll just allow the cells to Shift to the left.
Click OK and the cells have been deleted. Inserting, deleting, and moving worksheet cells, rows, and columns helps you reconfigure your worksheets quickly. Cutting and pasting works too, but the techniques I shown you just might save you some time.
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