Microsoft training spotlight: Microsoft Excel 2007 training

How to Use Microsoft Excel 2007

Microsoft made a bold move by removing drop-down menus when it developed Excel 2007. However, it's been a difficult transition for users who can't seem to track down where the chart function went or find the "insert a pivot table" button. While Excel classes can help you get all the details you need, let's get started with a few of the basics.

Excel's Top Menu or Ribbon
Conceptually, this new Excel menu structure is supposed to be more convenient because it holds the most frequently used commands in the main tab. It copies FireFox's tab browsing interface by providing tabs for the user to click through to other menus, essentially making this experience closer to a Web browser experience.

The ribbon's main tabs are "Home," "Insert," Page Layout," "Formulas," "Data," "Review," and "View." Depending on what you're working on, additional tabs may display further to the right. For instance, "Options" and "Design" tabs display when you're working in a PivotTable.

Graph Functionality in Excel 2007
Graphs are particularly easy to create in Microsoft Excel 2007. Under the "Insert" tab, you have six main chart options, and a seventh option offers you even more chart types. Select the data in your spreadsheet you'd like converted into a chart, and then click on one of the chart types. You are given several options to view that specific chart such as a pie chart with the pieces all together or separated out.

Conditional Formatting Made Easy
Conditional formatting is simply applying formatting to an Excel cell when a predetermined condition is met. For example, you can tell Excel 2007 to highlight a cell when a value is great than 10. To do so, highlight the cells that you'd like formatted, and then click on the "Conditional Formatting" button on the "Home" tab. Several options are available. In this scenario, you hover over "Highlight Cell Rules" and then click on "Greater Than." Fill in the dialogue box with the number 10 and choose the formatting style. Click "okay," and your data is appropriately formatted.

An Education in Excel
Hopefully, these tips can help you navigate through Microsoft's latest Excel program. If you want to get the most out of your spreadsheets, Microsoft Excel 2007 classes and certifications are available through ComputerTrainingSchools.com. You may find that you really can become the spreadsheet guru you've always wanted to be.

James Tolles is a freelance writer and social Web consultant living in the San Francisco bay area.

Microsoft • Demo: Create Charts in Excel • http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel/HA102004991033.aspx

Preston Gralla and Richard Ericson • Excel 2007 Cheat Sheet • Aug 02, 2007 • http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9028228&pageNumber=2
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