Getting Started in Excel

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Opening a spread sheet

When you first open Microsoft Excel the application will ask what you want to do.


If you want to open a new spreadsheet, click Blank workbook.

To open an existing spreadsheet click Open Other Workbooks in the lower-left corner, then click Browse on the left side of the resulting window.


Then use the file explorer to find the workbook you’re looking for, select it, and click Open.

Using the Excel Ribbon

The Ribbon is the central control panel of Excel. You can do just about everything you need to directly from the Ribbon.

Where is this powerful tool? At the top of the window:

There are a number of tabs, including HomeInsertDataReview, and a few others. Each tab contains different buttons.

Try clicking on a few different tabs to see which buttons appear below them.

There’s also a very useful search bar in the Ribbon. It says Tell me what you want to do. Just type in what you’re looking for, and Excel will help you find it.


Most of the time, you’ll be in the Home tab of the Ribbon.