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Excel 2003 Essential Training with Mark Swift is a movie-based workshop for users who are new to working with spreadsheets, or those wanting to improve their skills. This workshop begins with a basic overview of the application and quickly advances to cover useful formulas, functions, techniques for enhancing spreadsheets, charts, and much more. Exercise files accompany the training, allowing you to follow along and learn at your own pace.
Something that's been dramatically enhanced in the last few versions, is Microsoft Excel's ability to handle graphics, and develop its own graphics, and there's some pretty neat drawing tools. If you go up to the Insert menu, choose Picture and the first thing we're going look at is the AutoShapes. Choose AutoShapes. We have our little AutoShapes toolbar, just one of the many, many extra toolbars that are hidden in there, and again as a reminder, to bring up various toolbars you simply right- click in an empty area of your toolbox or menu bar, and you'll see a complete list of the toolbars that you can open up.
Right now we have our AutoShapes toolbar here and the Drawing toolbar down here. Let's open up one of the AutoShapes libraries and see what we've got. Oh, let's choose the sun, and I'll click and drag a sun shape over here. With every shape that you create, you have some basic tools that are familiar to any picture or shape drawing. For example, you have your control handles, which allow you to size your shape. The handles on the sides and the top and bottom allow you to squish or stretch your image. The handles on the corner allow you to shrink or grow your image. This green handle above allows you to rotate your image, and the yellow handle in the middle allows you to automatically apply some kind of a transformation. Because we're working with AutoShapes, the yellow handle will have a very specific application to this shape. I'm sure that not every AutoShape has a yellow handle, but those that do will allow you to manipulate the shapes in very specific ways. Once we've selected an AutoShape from our AutoShape menu, you can use the Draw toolbar down below to enhance that shape with color, here's your fill colors. You can see that if we open that up, we have a number of Fill Colors that we can use. Or we can use the More Fill Colors option to gain even more standard fill colors, as you see here, or go to the Custom Colors and you can simply select from your RGB palette, all 16.7 million. Let's choose a sunnier color here. Aside from the tons of colors that we have at our disposal, we also have some fill effects. If you go into that dialog box, you're going to see Gradient Fill effects, they're called Variants here, as well as presets for Transparency. Let's apply a two color gradient starting from yellow and going to a richer yellow and we'll work from 50% roughly to 100% transparent. And as you can see, the color is hardly visible here. Let's back in there and get rid of some of that transparency.
There we go, from 50% to 100%, and that really accentuates the difference in our colors. You can also affect the outline color here. Let's make the outline color an orange. Here's our preset for the line thickness, or line style, as well as broken lines, dashed line style, and we can apply in arrowheads to our single lines. Of course we don't have any of those yet. One of the coolest things that you can do to your own shapes is to either add shadows. Here in your Shadow Style you have several shadow presets. Let's try that one. See, it's hovering down below the sun. Or you can add a 3-D style. Let's try that one on for size. Unfortunately you can't have a shadow and a 3-D effect both applied at the same time, but either one should enhance your graphic enough to affect your worksheet. There are a few basic drawing tools down below. We have our lines and arrows, rectangles and ellipses. Let's create a rectangle here.
And there again, we start with a blank slate which we can add color to and we also have some basic options here under the Draw menu, which allow us to affect the order of our objects. Since I have the rectangle selected, I could send that to the back. And we can look at Rotating with specific values, Nudging our objects up and down, you can use the arrow keys for that, and the Align and Distribute tools will allow you to lineup objects if you have more than one selected. One more thing that's sure to enhance any spreadsheet is WordArt.
Here if I use my Insert WordArt button on the Draw toolbar, I can select from the various presets. I think this one is very attractive. Let's enter some text of our own here. You can effect the font and the size now, bold and italic, or you can get back to these settings later, so let's just say OK and see what we have. Very attractive. This WordArt has its own toolbar, as you'll see that's popped up, where we can go through various effects. For instance we can format our WordArt, we can get to a very detailed dialog box looking at color and transparency, size, other properties that are associated with creating a button, and web attributes in case we're publishing this spreadsheet out to the web. We also have WordArt shape, where we can go back and look at the container that this text has been fit into, change that. And we have some other effects.
We can put uniform characters onto our text, or we can have our text be vertical and we can control the character spacing. Let's bring our text back to horizontal and character spacing, right now it's normal, which is at 100%. We can tighten that up and squish it together or we can make it very loose and have it be separated. Or we can go down to Custom and control the percentage. This is very similar to kerning. A lot of very powerful tools that you have for working with text right inside your spreadsheet, and you don't even have to leave Excel.
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