Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video The user interface, part of Excel 2008 for Mac Essential Training.
So we've launched Microsoft Excel, we've bypassed the Project Gallery for now; we'll get back to that later one. We've got a blank workbook on our screen here in Microsoft Excel and it's time now to get comfortable in your surroundings. So we are going to take a tour of the user interface. Now I wouldn't expect you to memorize everything we are going to go through here because we'll be revisiting a number of the features and functions that you find here on the user interface as we move through the titles in this lesson. So let's start at the very top because up at the very top people, who have used Excel for a long time, will be familiar with the menu bar.
So up here, we've got File, Edit, View etcetera all the way over to Help. As we click on the menu headings, we see the pull down menus, some of which have submenus. Anytime we see a little triangle, we know there's a submenu here. Here is another one down below for Print Area, Send To, for example and like I said, we'll be coming back to these. Under the Edit menu, you'll find editing commands like Cut, Copy, and Paste and you've got deleting and the Find feature as well. Now under View, it's very important menu when it comes to explain our user interface because here is where we'll see what's currently being shown to us on our user interface and what is not.
For example, you'll see at the top here, we've got two options: Normal and Page Layout views. The Page Layout view has a checkmark next to it representing this is our current view and it is the default view but we can switch back to Normal view which will be a more traditional view if you are used to using previous versions of Microsoft Excel. So let's give that a click, we'll click Normal. So right away now, it's just one big spreadsheet, we do see a dotted line representing a page break. But down below in the bottom left-hand corner are the view buttons; the very first one representing Normal view, the second one are Page Layout view.
You'll see just down below here on the status bar as we hover over these buttons, we get a sneak peek at what they represent. So let's go back to Page Layout view by clicking this button. There we go. Now back up to the View menu for a second because I want you to see that there is a Toolbox section here and the checkmark next to Formatting palette means that over here on the right-hand side of our screen, where our toolbox is, we've got a number of buttons and we now have the Formatting palette in here which is currently selected. So a lot of the formatting options when it comes to working with the content in your workbooks, in your spreadsheets, will be able to adjust those things right from here.
You will notice there are a number of sections like font and number. We've got Alignment, Borders, Page Setup. Down below we've got Document Theme. Some of these are expanded currently, some are collapsed. The neat thing about the Formatting palette over here in the Toolbox is that as we work on different components in our spreadsheet, for example, for working on charts, for example, this will change. So its context sensitive meaning, you'll always see the tools you need when you need them. Now there are some other ones here including the Object Palette. There is a Formula Builder that we'll be talking about later.
There is our Scrapbook, Reference Tools, Compatibility Report and our Project Palette and each of these are represented by the buttons across the top of our toolbox here. So we can move between those just by clicking these buttons. So one click closes up the menu, another click takes us to our Object Palette. In here you can see, we've got sections; Shapes, Clip Art, Symbols and Photos. Now as I go back to my View menu, you'll notice the checkmark is next to the Object Palette just telling me what I am looking at right now. So I can switch back to the Formatting palette right from here if I wanted to just by clicking Formatting palette.
Back up to View just for a minute, something brand new to Excel 2008 is the Elements Gallery. The Elements Gallery is currently collapsed meaning we are not seeing the contents of the Elements Gallery in behind this menu. So I am just going to click out here my spreadsheet and show you that the Elements Gallery is made up of tabs; you've got Sheets, Charts, SmartArt Graphics, and WordArt. Just below our menu bar is our Standard toolbar. If you'd used Excel in the past, you know how these buttons work, the shortcuts for the commands we find up here in the menus.
So for example, this section here that represents -- commands we find in the File menu like -- in the File menu. The next section are editing commands like Copy, Paste and Format. It has also got Undo and Redo; all of these appear in the Edit menu. We've got some shortcuts for doing calculations like AutoSum is right there, there are some sorting options from A-Z or Z-A.
Then you'll notice we've got a button here that's not currently selected, the Toolbox is and that's why we see it over here on the right-hand side. If we don't want to see the toolbox, we can click the Toolbox button, closes it up. To see the toolbox, we click this button again. Same thing goes for the Gallery. Now this is the equivalent of going up to the View menu and selecting it from there. Clicking the Gallery button here is going to expand our Elements Gallery. So down below, you can see we've got Sheets. We've got Charts, SmartArt graphics and WordArt.
These are all options we find in Microsoft Excel. In the other applications in the Office, we see some other tabs here. We wouldn't see Sheets, for example, but we might see some other things like Styles and Designs. So for Sheets, you'll notice that we've also got two sections here or categories; 2-D Styles or 3-D Styles. This is our WordArt option. If I go to Sheets, in those we've got Accounts, Budgets, Invoices, Lists of categories of the different sheets. It's a very fast way for us to apply styles and themes to our work in Excel.
We are going to be spending a lot of time here in our Gallery. Now to close up the Gallery, we can go up to the View button, notice that the Elements Gallery now has a checkmark next to it. That's one way to deselect or collapse it. Another way is to click the Gallery button here or what I prefer, just click on the tab that's currently selected, clicking Sheets here collapses the entire Gallery. By go up to Charts, I am going to expand the Gallery, clicking Charts again will collapse it. So we can always access Sheets, Charts, SmartArt Graphics, and WordArt quickly and easily from the Elements Gallery, again shortcuts for doing things a long way.
We'll be using the Elements Gallery on a regular basis. Now just below our menu bar, Standard toolbar, Elements Gallery is our actual work area. In the work area, you'll notice that rulers are being displayed across the top and down the left-hand side. This is the default. Now, if you are not seeing rulers, of course this is another View option and the ruler should have a checkmark. If it doesn't, you can click on Ruler right from here to see it. I am going to click off of the actual menu because I do want my rulers showing up and this helps me especially in Page Layout view to line things up.
Down below, we've got column headers; A, B, C, D, and so on. If stretches, pass the page to G and if I could scroll over, you can see more. Over here, down the left-hand side, I've got row numbers. So from 1 down to 38 that's what I can see here on my screen according to my screen resolution and the size of my window. You may see a different set of rows and columns in your default view. Down at the bottom is where we'll find the sheet that we are looking at right now. A workbook can be made up of multiple sheets and you can see Sheet 1 is the default here when we start a brand new workbook.
Sheet 1 is the only sheet in this workbook but there is a + sign here for inserting new sheets. We'll be doing that later on as well. The status bar across the bottom tells us information like our current view, you can see we are ready for input here, when we are working with formulas and data in our actual sheet, well, we might not see Ready down here; we might be in the middle of an operation. There is also other information that will show up down here depending on what we are working with. If we are working with formulas or selecting numbers in a sheet, for example, you might see quick totals down here, Sum=0 right now.
It's kind of faded because there is nothing to work with in our sheet at this point. In moving around here in worksheet, we've got scrollbars so we can scroll up and down. You can see as I scroll down, 49 rows fit on my page. If I wanted to keep going, there are additional options here for adding more rows and columns. You can see at the beginning of 50, 51 down there. So I am going to scroll that right back up to the top. Now when we click on a cell in a sheet, for example, this first one is currently selected, there is an address associated with that cell.
Right now you see column A is highlighted or selected and row 1 is selected. So that means the address of this cell is A1. If you better played the game Battleship, you know how this works. You go across and down to get the address. So for example, if I click down here, I know that this is cell C7 because column C is highlighted now and row 7 is highlighted to give me the address. Now we are going to be working with cells and data in cells and selecting multiple cells and so on as we work through the titles.
So I am going to go right back up here to the top-left corner and just click on cell A1. So that's pretty much your user interface. Just to let you know that default user interface that you see when you first launch Excel can be changed. They can be changed temporarily we know by going to the View menu, for example. If I wanted to see the Formatting bar, for example, which is a toolbar, I can come down to Toolbars and select Formatting. Now I really don't need this so much anymore, notice it's docked in here just below my Standard toolbar but because of my Formatting palette, you don't necessarily need that very often anymore.
Now if you did want it to show up by default, you wouldn't just go up to View down to Toolbars and select it; you would actually change your defaults. So I am going to deselect Formatting by clicking on it and a little bit later on in this title, we'll be going into the defaults where you could set that to be on permanently for example. Of course, anything you see in the toolbars that you don't use can be removed and if there are commands missing that you would like to use on a regular basis, you can add them. So we will be modifying our user interface a little bit later on in this section.
- Customizing the user interface Using workbooks Adding and removing sheets Restricting input with validation rules Formatting workbooks Using formulas and functions Working with charts Adding, removing, and editing text Aligning and layering objects Creating PivotTable reports Sharing spreadsheets Creating custom templates
Skill Level Beginner
Q: How does one generate an average using cells in columns that are not consecutive i.e. a7,c7,e7...?
A: To get an average of non-contiguous cells, you can either select them individually, or type them in manually. Here are the steps involved:
1. Click in the cell where you want the average to appear
2. Start the function by typing: =average(
3. Now, either type the cells addresses (ie A7,C7,E7) or select each cell by clicking them while holding the Command key.
4. Close off the function with closing round bracket: ) and press Return key
You should see the answer in the cell where you entered the function. Checking the formula bar, your finished "formula" will look something like this: