Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring the new Ribbon and Backstage view, part of Migrating from Excel 2003 to Excel 2010.
By far, your biggest challenge, when it comes to migrating from Excel 2003 to Excel 2010, will be getting accustomed to the new fluent user interface. We're going to start here in Excel 2003 with a worksheet open. You can see the name right here on the Title bar, TT Billing Statement1, and it's an XLS file. We're just going to take a quick peek at the user interface, things you may be used to, such as the Menu bar, which has menu headings and under those headings are related commands. So, if we go, for example, to the File menu and click, we see file-related commands, all of the commands related to working with a file, creating new ones, opening, closing and so on.
If we go to the Format toolbar, we'll see formatting options, and some of these will have submenus. So, you can see how it might take quite a while to get accustomed to this user interface, trying to find the commands which you're looking for, and that's why Microsoft decided to go with a fluent user interface in Excel 2010. You do have toolbars in Excel 2003, like the Standard toolbar, with some more commonly used commands that appear as buttons. You've even got different types of toolbars, like the Formatting toolbar for all of your formatting commands, but when we switch over to Excel 2010, things change drastically.
We still have the Title bar at the top, displaying the name of the file we're working with; in this case, it's the same name, but a different extension. This is the new format that we work with in Excel 2010. It has the XLSX extension, and you'll notice there's really only one toolbar; it's the Quick Access Toolbar up here on the top left-hand corner by default. It contains a few buttons by default. You can add buttons here. These would be commonly used commands that are not at your fingertips on the Ribbon, which appears down below. And the Ribbon is designed to give you the tools you need when you need them. They are at your fingertips. And the Ribbon is organized into tabs, so you can see here with the Home tab selected, we've got a variety of different groups of commands.
For example, we've got the Clipboard here, where you'll see Cut, Copy and Paste and the Format Painter. You've got Font and Alignment commands, typically found under the Format menu or on a Formatting toolbar, but they're here at your fingertips. Same thing goes for Number formatting. Then you've got Styles, and so on. Now, when we go to tabs, such as the Insert tab, you're going to see everything you can possibly insert into a spreadsheet: tables, illustrations, charts have their own group here, and you'll notice that some of these groups have their own little icon in the bottom right-hand corner that allows you to expand this and open up a dialog box.
So, let's try it here with Charts, and you can see now we get the Insert Chart dialog box with everything possible here when working with charts. We'll just click Cancel for now. And we've got other groups here, some new things like Sparklines, which you didn't have access to in Excel 2003. You've got text commands here and symbols and so on. Now, the one thing that's slightly different here from the rest of the Ribbon is the File tab. You'll notice, first of all, it's highlighted in green, and this takes us to a new view called Backstage view. Now, we saw in Excel 2003, if we go back, we did have a File menu in the top left-hand corner and clicking this displayed all of those File-related commands, including an option to Exit the entire program at the bottom.
Now, when we go back to Excel 2010 and click the File tab, we go to Backstage view, and it changes your view completely. We do see File-related commands here, Save, Open, Close. You can see we've got options to view recently worked on files, create new ones. There is Exit down at the bottom, but when we select these different options, we see a different layout to the right. So, with Info selected, we're going to see information about the file we're working with. We also see some options for protecting and checking for issues and so on, and over on the right-hand side, there is that information about the current file.
If we go to another option from Backstage view, like Save As for example, you can see this actually opens up the Save As dialog box, where we can work with this file and save it to different format, something we'll talk about a little bit later on. So, we'll click Cancel. Let's just quickly go back to Backstage view by clicking the File tab one more time and try something different. For example, if we go to Print, this looks very different; we're going to see a preview of the file we're working with, we're going to see a Print button, and options for printing, such as changing the copies, the printer we're working with, and all of those print settings are all available to you here at your fingertips.
So, it's a different way of working, but I would say that if you were learning Excel 2003 and Excel 2010 at the very same time and using them for the very first time, you would learn the commands quicker here in Excel 2010, the way the user interface is laid out. To exit Backstage view, you simply click the File tab again, and it takes you back to your work. So, absolutely this will be your biggest hurdle when it comes to getting used to the new Excel 2010. If you're migrating from Excel 2003, you will find, however, that it does not take long to get used to the new Ribbon, and it's fully customizable, as well.
So, something to consider when moving forward.
- Comparing the Excel 2003 and 2010 interfaces
- Exploring the Ribbon and Backstage view
- Dealing with file compatibility issues
- Working with formulas and functions
- Using conditional formatting
- Creating macro-enabled workbooks and templates
- Using keyboard shortcuts
- Understanding Compatibility Mode