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Excel's menu System is extensive and well-organized. It's got a variety of icons and pop-up screens that eases your understanding of how Excel works. Called the Ribbon, it's located at the top of your screen and it consists of a series of tabs, Home, Insert, Page Layout, and others to the right. The Home Tab is the most important and probably the one that is going to be visible on your screen well over half of the time. It contains a lot of features that you tend to need often as you use Excel. Without talking about all of these in details, just take a quick look at a few of these.
The Insert Tab has a lot with adding additional features such as Charts, Pivot Tables, and Sparklines, features that you may or may not have heard about. Page Layout has a lot to do with printing and getting your printing organized. Formulas, as you might expect, has a lot to do, not only with formulas, but some of Excel's many built-in functions. The Data Tab has a lot to do with sorting and filtering and those data handling kinds of tools. Recognize too that as you are looking at the Ribbon, as you slide the mouse over of one of the features, you get a pop-up description, sometimes quite lengthy as we see here; and it enhances your learning capability with Excel as well.
There's a Review Tab with some specialized commands and the View Tab as well for those special kinds of visual arrangements of data that we sometimes deal with. Now, different from the others, but also a tab on this list is File. When you click the File button on the left- hand side, using the left mouse button, we're taken into what Microsoft calls the Backstage View. Many of the features here have to do with file handling capabilities, opening and closing and saving files, as well as printing and some other features here.
The idea of course is, here, we're dealing with information more at the file level, than at the cell level. We can easily escape from here by the Esc Key or simply clicking the Left Arrow at the top of the screen. Recognize also that when you are working with a specific tab, for example, the Home Tab, the icons below are divided into what are called "groups". Here's a Font group, here's an Alignment group, a Number group. If you had worked with Excel in prior versions, it's very comforting to know that when you see the arrows on the lower right-hand corner of a group, for example, here on the Font group, a pop -up description shows how you can go behind the scenes to get to other features.
This is called a Dialog Box Launcher. I'll click it now. There's a Dialog Box for formatting cells, bringing out other features that we don't see in that Font group. This is very similar to what Excel looked like in prior versions. We can easily click OK here and move on to others as well. So you won't see these as much as you will on the Home Tab, but again, it takes you behind the scenes to get to other features. In addition to these groups, also, you will see in the upper right-hand corner, a special arrow here for Ribbon Display Options.
When you click this, you do have the ability to auto-hide the ribbon. Now, as I'm about to do this, you might note on the bottom of the screen that I'm almost seeing all of row 23. If I auto-hide the ribbon, now I'm seeing all the way down into the part of row 31. There will be times when you work with Excel that you want to get that ribbon out of the way and that certainly is an option. If you then slide the mouse up top, if you made that choice, a banner will appear, just click it and then we have the ribbon appearing, at least temporarily.
You have another option here on that same button for showing the Tabs Only, and so now, as we work with Excel, we're seeing, for example, row 27 here, but whenever we need to get to the ribbon, we could click Home, for example, get to some of the buttons there. As soon as we click below this, the ribbon goes back to showing us just the tabs. The third choice, the default choice, the one that we will see throughout this course is called Show Tabs and Commands. That's the more or less standard view. Another way to temporarily hide the ribbon, and you might even do it by accident, is to click twice on the current tab.
For example, if I'm using the Home Tab and I want to quickly get it out of the way, I'll click it twice and it collapses, momentarily, while I do other things. To get this back, I will just go back to Home and double-click and it's back again. The menu System, the Ribbon, has a variety of tools, a variety of Help screens as well as you slide over them, and you'll use it extensively as you work with Excel.
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