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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 create an Excel workbook, the program records your username, the date and time you created the file, and when the file was last modified. These bits of information are called properties. If you use Excel at work, you'll probably run into situations where you're on vacation and one of your colleagues needs to find a file that contains data for a project. When you store your files on a server, you can assign values to properties that make it easier for you and your colleagues to find the files related to a project. To open the Properties dialog, you click the File menu header, which is here on the menu bar, and then all the way to the bottom of the list you click Properties.
On the Summary page of the Properties dialog, you can enter in an item, such as a title for your workbook. So let's say that you wanted to call it 'Warehouse Capacity.' And all of these properties are optional; you don't have to enter any of them. And we'll change the name of the Company to lynda.com. For the Category, we'll have Facilities Management, and the next property is the one that allows for better searching when you save your files on a server.
So, for example, if you were working in a workbook like this one, which deals with warehouse capacity, you use the keywords 'warehouse,' followed by comma, 'capacity, storage, and facilities.' To move down to the Comments field, I'll press the tab key, and I can type in a comment. For example, this could be, 'Before expansion of Spring 2011.' The hyperlink-based property, you don't need worry about, so I won't make any changes to it.
If you're looking for more general information about your file, you can click the General header here to display the general page of the Properties dialog. This gives you the name of file, the type of file, the location where it's stored - in this case, it's in my Chapter02 folder - its current size, when it was created, and when it was last modified. The Statistics page of the Properties dialog, gives you information about the file. This is a pretty new file, so it hasn't had that many changes to it, so the information is kind of boring. But it does tell you when it was created, when it was last modified, and when it was last saved, and who saved it last.
In this case, the machine I'm on has the user name of producer, so that's what you see there. The Contents page shows you what the workbook contains. In this case, there's only one worksheet, Sheet number 1. If there were other worksheets, or for example sheets with charts on them, or PivotTables, those would all be listed there. The final page of the Properties dialog that I want to talk about is the Custom page, and this is where you can add your own custom information. So, for example, if you wanted to create your own properties, you could do that here. But you might not have to, because Excel comes with quite a few custom properties already created.
So, for example, let's say that you wanted to assign this workbook to a department. To do that, you can click the Department property - it appears here - and then you can set the type of value that you want contained in that property. In this case, Text is fine, but you can make it a date, a number or make it a yes or no field. You can then type a value for the department. In this case, it's about warehouses, so that would deal with the Facilities department, and when you've typed in the value, you can click Add, and that value for the custom property appears here in the Properties pane.
If you want to create a new custom property, just completely from scratch, you can do that by typing a name here in the Name box. So you click in that, highlight the text that's already there, and let's say that I want to type in year. I'll do that, change the Type to a Number and type in the value of 2010, click Add, and that property appears as well. If you want to delete a property, say, for example, the Year property I just created, you can click the property here in the Properties pane and then click the Delete button. When you do, the property goes away.
When you're done making your changes, you can click OK, and close the Custom Properties dialog box. Reviewing a workbook's properties provides a lot of useful information. You can add even more information to your workbooks by adding keywords or assigning values to other properties.
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