MVP #8: The Microsoft Excel Interface and Ribbon functions

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Ordinarily, this should have been my MVP #2 post but better late than never.
So, here we go!

In this post I'll show you in a personalized way, the MS Excel interface and the most important parts of the important menu Ribbons.

 Below is the labeled snapshot of my Excel interface (you might have to click on it to view full size)

That is what a typical MS Excel 2010 interface looks like.
I’ll like you to note the Ribbons, Formula bar, Fill handle and Sheet tab. I’ll be referring to them a lot of times in subsequent classes.

The letters you see beside the Ribbons are called Keyboard shortcuts. Press the Alt key on your keyboard to see something similar on your Excel program. More on useful keyboard shortcuts. But I must let you know that they are a life saver, and can be the difference between a chore and a delight.

2.       The Home Ribbon

The Home ribbon is the most familiar ribbon to Excel users.
But I’ll like you to note the Number, Styles and Editing sections. They can make you a Guru overnight. We’ll be using them later on in this MVP series.

3.       Insert Ribbon

The Insert Ribbon houses the amazing PivotTable, today it earned me $15 (via sweatlessly and the client taught I did some miracle.
You will do well to note the Tables and Charts section I circled.

4.       Data ribbon
You’ll notice I skipped Page Layout and Formulas. I hardly use them, and except you’ll be printing a lot on different paper sizes you’ll hardly touch the Page Layout ribbon.
However, the Formulas ribbon is very useful, but it’s also very self-explanatory. You’ll sometimes need the Formula Auditing section of the ribbon, but all-the-same, it’s safe for me to skip it for now.

So below is the Data ribbon.

The important sections here at the ones I circled – Get External Data, Data Tools & Outline. The Sort & Filter is equally important but as you can access it from the Home ribbon I decided not to circle it.

5.       Review ribbon

The comment section is very useful, enables you to impress an overbearing boss.
The Changes section gives you bully rights, you can decided to password your Excel sheet or force a junior colleague to track changes s/he makes to your drafts.

6.       View Ribbon

I have taken extra care to circle only the tools I deem frequently useful.
Unticking the Gridlines (first circled tool) can transform your Excel sheet to an Adobe Photoshop work-space. And I’m not exaggerating.
The Freeze panes can eliminate migraines when dealing with large data sheet.
The Split tool can help you compare data in the same sheet and fix errors easily. Try using it, it’ll definitely feel useless and clumsy at first but one day it will save you a lot of trouble and time.
The Hide and Unhide simply hide cells/rows/columns and unhide them.

7.       Finally, the Developer ribbon
Most probably your MS  Excel interface isn't showing it yet. But don’t worry, I won’t talk about it or put up its own screenshot. I only mentioned it because I want you to know that it is important.

Once again, this is more of an introductory post. Other posts build on this.

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