Learn Microsoft 365 Office Excel – Beginner class

Longmont Computer Physicians learning series – Learn how to use and work with Excel 365 from Microsoft Office.  This is an in-depth beginner class and part one of 3 courses Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced.  This course covers new features of Excel 365, Starting up and working with Excel, creating new workbooks, Organizing your worksheet, Basic formulas, Using templates and themes, and a downloadable Test Quiz is included at the end.

This Excel 365 class is taught by a Microsoft Certified Professional and Comptia A+ Computer consultant from Longmont, Colorado. He has been the President and owner of Computer Physicians, a Longmont, CO computer repair, networking and software company for the past 20 years. He has 3 college degrees in computers which include computer science, programming, networking and GIS. He has programmed, designed, and created professional software programs. He has helped and taught over 3,000 clients how to use Microsoft computer software, hardware and peripherals in Longmont, Boulder, Denver, Erie Colorado as well as across the country.

Microsoft 365 Beginner class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Intermediate class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Advanced class – Excel


Chapter 1: New Features for 365
Overview
How Excel is different from older versions
What is new in Excel 365
How new features are added
365 using Office and Excel
365 in the Cloud
Example of a Excel wookbook/worksheet
Chapter 2: Starting up Excel
Overview
Opening up a workbook and worksheet
The Excel Screen
Difference between a workbook, worksheet and spreadsheet
cells, gridlines, entering data, sheet tabs
The Title bar, Quick access tool bar and namebox
File tab, backstage minitool bar
Customizing and using the Ribbon and KeyTips
Finding and replacing data, undo/redo,  copy and paste, selecting cells
scrolling, adjusting columns, rows
 inserting and deleting rows and columns, adjusting cells
Using Autofill
Using Comments
The file, view tab,  workbook window, status bar
zoom slider
font styles and effects
Chapter 3: Creating new workbooks
Overview
Entering text, numbers and dates
Editing data
More on Editing data
Designing borders and backgrounds
opening and saving workbooks
excel file formats
using conditional formatting
Chapter 4: Organizing your worksheet
Overview
Freeze panes
Split panes
creating, renaming hiding, unhiding worksheets
Format Painter
Alignment and wrap text
Formatting numbers and dates
copying and moving worksheets
hiding and unhiding rows and columns
copying and pasting data numbers, using paste special
Chapter 5: Basic Formulas
Overview
Formulas and functions
Creating basic formulas
Sum a column of numbers, autosum
copying a formula to other cells
simple formula syntax
inserting functions
auto calculate
add, subtract, multiply and divide cells
editing a range of cells
Chapter 6: Using a Template
Overview
Creating and using templates
Applying styles and themes
Conclusion

Educational Video Classes – Microsoft 365, Windows

Longmont Computer Physicians, LLC is now offering Educational instruction videos on how to use and work with Microsoft 365 software with classes for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced users. Including all levels of Microsoft Office 365 Excel instruction. With downloadable Tests/Quiz. Click on the links below to sign up for our classes.

Microsoft 365 Beginner class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Intermediate class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Advanced class – Excel

We also offer FREE instructional videos on how to use our Song Director software, and Windows 10. Click the link below to watch our Song Director/Windows Video instruction YouTube channel.

Song Director/Windows FREE instructional video channel

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Longmont Computer Physicians Learning Series – Windows 10 apps

As part of our series of helping customers with their small business needs Longmont Computer Physicians, LLC is offering these free classes on how to use and install Apps in Windows 10.

Starting with Windows 8, Microsoft decided that it wanted to have a common interface for the version of Windows running on tablets and the version running on desktop PCs. Unfortunately for them, this idea didn’t work out too well. Windows 8 was kind of a flop, and didn’t last too long. Even though Windows 10 is a huge improvement over Windows 8, Microsoft still tried to sneak in some of that tablet interface aspect into Windows 10, but this time it works, for the most part. Apps vs. Programs Even though most of us are used to running programs like Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop, that doesn’t mean that they are the only types of software we can run. Windows 10 comes with apps that are preinstalled on your computer and also allows you to install more apps for things like games, photo editing programs, and so on. There is a difference between a program and an app, even though they may function in a similar way. A Program (also called Desktop App) is a traditional Windows software package that you install on your computer, and it can be from any number of software manufacturers. Programs will have a specific type of interface designed to be used with a mouse and keyboard and will only run on PCs, not smartphones or tablets. Windows Apps on the other hand look and feel more like an app you would use on your smartphone or tablet, and run on all types of devices.

Windows 10 comes with a bunch of apps preinstalled, and you can find these apps on the start menu. They will be listed alongside your desktop apps. Some examples of common default Windows 10 apps include Facebook, Calendar, News, Mail, Maps, and Paint 3D. Microsoft Store Apps If you have a smartphone, you have most likely used the App Store (Apple) or Google Play (Android) to get more apps for your phone or tablet. Windows 10 comes with the Microsoft Store that lets you search and download new apps that can be used on your computer. There are many free applications to choose from as well as more advanced apps that you can purchase. To get to the Microsoft Store simply find it on your Start Menu, or do a search for it using Cortana. After you find and open the app, you will see a window similar to figure 5.3. As you can see, the Microsoft Store is categorized by types of apps on the top and then has a search function underneath that.

Once you find an app you want to try out, simply click on the Get button to have Windows download and install the app for you. If you scroll down past the Get button you will see the system requirements for the app as well as additional information such as the developer name, release date, and size of the app itself. Just like with your smartphone, there are many apps that you can download and try out for free and many that you can purchase, but just remember that when you install these apps on your computer they will take up disk space, just like regular programs will. Uninstalling Apps If you are the type that likes to try new things, then there is a chance you might go overboard at the Microsoft Store and download one too many apps while checking things out. If this is the case there is no need to worry, because it’s easy to uninstall these apps once you have installed them.

Longmont Computer Physicians, LLC can help you with any computer problem you may have. Please call us to set up an appointment. In Longmont, Boulder, Denver Colorado

Longmont Computer Physicians – User Accounts in Microsoft Windows

Longmont Computer Physicians learning teaching series. Computer Physicians of Longmont, Colorado will post an explanation of User Accounts in Microsoft Windows 10.

One thing you will definitely need to have to use a Windows computer is a user account. User accounts are required to make sure people are allowed to access the computer only if the owner wants them to. In order to use a Windows computer, you will need a user account that has been configured for you by an administrator or when you first set up your new computer. There are many reasons why Windows has user accounts, including the following: Having a way to protect their personal files from being accessed from others (unless they want them to be accessed);  Providing a way to assign permissions to shared files and folders on the local computer or network;  Determining what type of functions that person is allowed to perform on the computer itself;  Tracking things such as login times, failed login attempts, and file access using event logging;  Setting allowed times for users to be able to log onto a computer or network;  Saving the personal settings of your computer, such as your desktop background and installed printers etc.;  Assigning levels of access for software usage.  Keep in mind as a home user you won’t have to worry about most of these because your user account will mainly be used to save personalization settings that you customized for your user account and to keep your documents from being accessed by other users. As usual, Microsoft has given us a couple of ways to work with user accounts, and each way works a little differently, but we will get to that later on in this chapter. User Account Types There is more than one type of account for a Windows user, and this makes sense because different people need different levels of access and permissions. The two main types of user accounts that you will be dealing with are the standard user and the administrator.

Standard user accounts are for people who need to do everyday tasks on the computer such as run programs, go online, print, and so on. Standard users can also install and uninstall certain software as well. It’s usually a good idea to make everyone on your computer a standard user, and then if they need something done that requires higher privileges, they can have an administrator do it. And by administrator, I mean you! Administrator user accounts have full control over the computer and can do things such as install or uninstall any software, add or remove user accounts, add or remove hardware, and make changes that affect Windows itself. If you are logged in as a standard user and need to do something that requires administrator access, many times you will get prompted to enter the username and password of an administrator so you don’t need to actually log out and then back in as an administrator to get the job done.

Creating User Accounts With social media being all the rage and everyone and everything being connected to each other, Microsoft decided that it wanted to use what they call a Microsoft account to log into your computer with. This way whenever you log into another device with the same account, it will use many of the same settings for a universal experience each time. A Microsoft account uses an email address to login rather than a standard username. But if you are the type that likes to keep things old school (and simple), then you can still use a standard user type to log in with. Even if your computer was initially configured with a Microsoft account, you can convert it to a standard account pretty easily. I find that local accounts are much easier to troubleshoot when it comes to login problems. To view the user accounts on your computer, go to the Windows 10 Settings and click on Accounts and then on Family & other users. From this screen you will see your account and any other accounts configured on the computer.

Longmont Computer Physicians learning teaching series. Computer Physicians of Longmont, Colorado will post an explanation of User Accounts in Microsoft Windows 10.

Longmont Computer Physicians – Microsoft Windows Operating Systems

Longmont Computer Physicians Computer Repair learning teaching series for Microsoft Windows. In Longmont, Colorado.
Computer Physicians, LLC is a Microsoft Certified provider, MCP, MTA, A+ Certifications

As part of Longmont Computer Physicians learning teaching series. Computer Physicians of Longmont, Colorado will Post an explanation about the Microsoft Windows Operating Systems throughout the years. Ending with Windows 10 – The current Windows version.

Microsoft Windows is what is known as an operating system. An operating system is what allows your software, such as Microsoft Word or Google Chrome, to work with your computer, and therefore let you use the software itself.  A computer consists of various hardware components, such as video cards and network adapters, and the operating system is what allows the user (which is you) to make use of that hardware so you can do things like check your email, edit photos, play games, etc. Windows History and Versions Windows has been around for a long time, and there have been many versions. So, let’s start with a history of the different versions and features that have taken us to where we are today (Windows 10).

Windows 3.1 Windows 3.1 was released in April 1992 and became the best-selling GUI in the history of computing. It added multimedia functionality, which included support for connecting to external musical instruments and MIDI devices. TrueType font support was added to provide Windows with a WYSIWYG or What You See Is What You Get interface. Windows 3.1 added the ability to close applications by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del and terminating hung applications from the list of running programs. Drag and drop functionality provided a new way to use the GUI, and support for Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) was added. OLE allowed embedding elements from different applications into one document.

Windows 3.11 Windows 3.11 was released in November 1993. It did not add any feature improvements over Windows 3.1, but corrected problems (most of which were network problems). Microsoft replaced all new retail versions of Windows 3.1 with Windows 3.11 and provided a free upgrade via their Web site to anyone who currently owned Windows 3.1. Windows for Workgroups 3.1 Windows for Workgroups (WFW) 3.1 was released in April 1992. It was the first Microsoft OS to provide native support for peer to peer networks. It supported file and printer sharing and made it easy to specify which files should be shared with other computers running DOS or Windows. WFW also included Microsoft Mail (an e-mail client) and Schedule+ (a workgroup scheduler). Windows for Workgroups 3.11 Windows for Workgroups (WFW) 3.11 was released in February 1994 and was geared toward local area networking. This made it a hit for corporations wanting to increase productivity by sharing information. The default networking protocol was NetBEUI, and TCP/IP or IPX/SPX could be added. WFW 3.11 clients could connect to both workgroups and domains, and it provided built-in support for Novell NetWare Networks. WFW 3.11 also improved support for remote access services.

Windows 95 was released in August 1995, and it changed the face of Windows forever. Windows 95 had features such as Plug-and-Play to make hardware installations easier, and dial-up networking for connecting to the Internet or another network via a modem. Windows 95 was the first Microsoft operating system that supported long filenames. Windows 95 also supported preemptive multitasking. Perhaps the most drastic change was that Windows 95 was a “real” OS. Unlike its predecessors, it did not require DOS to be installed first. Windows 95b (OSR2) was an improved version that was never offered for sale to the public, and was only available to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to install on new computers that they were offering for sale. Windows 95b added support for universal serial bus (USB) devices and the FAT32 file system that allowed for larger partitions, better disk space usage, and better performance.

Windows 98 was released on June 25, 1998. It was the retail upgrade to Windows 95 that provided support for reading DVDs and using USB devices. Applications in Windows 98 opened and closed more quickly. Like 95b, Windows 98 included a FAT32 converter, which allowed you to use hard drives over the 2GB limit imposed by DOS. The backup program was revamped to support more backup devices (including SCSI), and Microsoft added the Disk Cleanup utility to help find and delete old unused files. Windows 98 also included Internet Explorer 4.0 and the Active Desktop.

Windows 98 Second Edition Windows 98 Second Edition (SE) was released in June 1998 as an incremental update to Windows 98. Windows 98 SE improved the home multimedia experience, home networking, and Internet browsing. Windows 98 SE introduced Internet Connection Sharing (ICS), which allowed a Windows 98 SE machine to function as a Network Address Translation (NAT) server for other machines on the home network. In other words, you could have multiple machines connected to the Internet at the same time using only a single ISP account and a single public IP address, and all Internet traffic would go through the Windows 98 SE machine running ICS. Windows 98 SE also included NetMeeting and Internet Explorer 5.0. Windows 98 SE was the first consumer operating system capable of using the same drivers as Windows NT 4.0. Windows ME

Windows Millennium Edition (ME) was the last OS built on the MS-DOS kernel. It was released in September 2000 and added improved support for digital media through applications such as Image Acquisition, Movie Maker, and Windows Media Player. Image Acquisition was added to simplify downloading images from digital cameras. Movie Maker was included to ease editing and recording digital video media files. Media Player was used to organize and play music and video files. To enhance reliability, Windows ME added the “system restore” feature, which could be used to restore any deleted system files to fix problems. Another important feature was system file protection, which prevented important OS files from being changed by applications. Windows ME also included a new home networking wizard to make adding peripherals and computers to a home network easier.

Windows 2000 Windows 2000 was released in February 2000 and put an end to the NT name. Even though it was built on the same NT kernel, it no longer used the name. Windows 2000 shipped with four versions: Professional, Server, Advanced Server, and Datacenter Server. Professional was the replacement for NT 4.0 Workstation, and was used as a desktop/client OS. Windows 2000 added many of the features that NT 4.0 didn’t have, such as a disk defragmenter, device manager, and Plug and Play support.

Windows XP Home Edition Windows XP Home Edition was released in 2001. It was the first consumer OS based on the NT code, which makes it the most stable and secure Microsoft consumer OS to date. Home Edition supports the Internet Connection Firewall (ICF), which protects your computer while you are connected to the Internet. It also features Fast User Switching, which allows you to switch between users’ desktops without having to log off first. Home networking and multimedia capabilities have also been enhanced. Remote Assistance is a new feature that lets you ask someone for help. The helper can then remotely control your desktop and chat with you online. Also included are features such as Task Manager and System Monitor, and brand new features such as the Desktop Cleanup Wizard and taskbar grouping were introduced. Windows XP Professional Windows XP Professional includes all the features of Home Edition, and many new features geared toward business uses. Some of the new features include: Remote desktop, which allows XP Pro to act as a mini Terminal Server, hosting one remote session.  Encrypting File System (EFS), which allows you to encrypt files stored on disk. EFS was included with Windows 2000 Professional, but XP Professional adds the ability to share encrypted files with other users.  Internet Protocol Security (IPSec), which allows you to encrypt data that travels across the network.  Integrated smart card support, which allows you to use smart card authentication to log on to the network, including Windows Server 2003 terminal sessions.  Recovery console, which provides a command-line interface that administrators can use to perform repair tasks if the computer won’t boot.  The ability to join a Windows domain. While users who have a domain account can log onto the domain from an XP Home computer, the Home computer cannot have a computer account in the domain. XP Professional computers have computer accounts, allowing the administrator to manage them centrally.  Windows XP Media Center Edition Windows XP Media Center Edition is built on Windows XP technology and comes preinstalled on Media Center PCs. Media Center Edition combines home entertainment and personal computing. It puts all of your media in one place and allows you to control it via remote control. Some of the features of Windows XP Media Center Edition include: Watching live TV  Personal Video Recording (PVR)  Electronic Program Guide (Guide)  Playing DVDs  Listening to music  Watching videos  The Media Center Remote Control 

Windows Vista Microsoft Windows Vista was released in January 2007. It included many changes and added new features such as the updated graphical user interface\visual style called Windows Aero. It also featured redesigned print, audio, networking, and display subsystems. It offers improved security, easier networking, better organization, and new multimedia capabilities. Criticism of Windows Vista was based on its high system requirements, lack of driver and hardware support, as well as other problems, such as crashing and locking up. Windows Vista comes in a variety of editions, including Home Basic, Home Premium, Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise, each with its own set of features which allows you to choose the edition you need based on pricing and what you plan to do with the operating system.

Longmont Computer Physicians learning teaching series. Computer Physicians of Longmont, Boulder, Denver Colorado

Windows 7 was released in October 2009, and is the successor to Windows Vista. It features the same look and interface as Vista but offers better performance and reliability. Windows 7 has more efficient ways to manage files and improved taskbar previews. It also has faster startup time and runs programs faster than Vista, although it still requires a higher end hardware to run up to its potential. Windows 7 comes in many editions, including Starter, Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate, and Enterprise, each with its own set of features which allows you to choose the edition you need based on pricing and what you plan to do with the operating system.

Windows 8 was released in October of 2012 and is Microsoft’s first attempt to combine the desktop PC and smartphone\tablet operating system into one OS. With this new OS came new devices, such as tablets, that could easily be converted into laptops and desktops with tablet-like interfaces and features. Windows 8 is a big change from Windows 7 and the standard interface that everyone was used to. Many people were turned off by this new interface while others embraced it.

Windows 8.1 fixed some of the things people didn’t like, but the OS never gained the popularity Microsoft wanted.

Windows 10 Microsoft claims Windows 10 will the last desktop version of Windows, and it will be continually updated and improved upon so there won’t be a need for a replacement. Windows 10 brings back some of the look and feel we all loved about Windows 7, but also retains that tablet-type feel that Windows 8 had. The Start menu is back, but this time it has Live Tiles that change information for things like current events and weather. It also comes with a built-in personal assistant named Cortana, which is similar to Apple’s Siri. Windows 10 Editions Now that Windows 10 has been around for some time and has made its way to desktop computers around the world, Microsoft has decided that it will be the last version of their desktop OS (for now, at least), and that they will simply come out with new feature releases that build on the functionality of Windows rather than keep coming out with new versions. Windows 7 was a big success, and the changes they tried to push on us with Windows 8 kind of flopped, so it appears they got things right with Windows 10, and we have a compromise of both of the previous versions within it. To find out which edition of Windows 10 you are running, simply click on the Start button (window icon on the left hand side of the taskbar) and then click on the Settings gear icon. Finally, click on About at the bottom of the list on the left and it will tell you your Windows version, as well as other useful information such as what processor your computer is using and how much RAM your computer has installed.

Longmont Computer Physicians learning teaching series. Computer Physicians of Longmont, Boulder, Denver Colorado

How to use the IF function with relational operators with Excel in Microsoft and Office 365

As part of our series of helping customers with their small business needs Longmont Computer Physicians, LLC is offering these free classes on how to use different software programs. Here is our instructional video on using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

Microsoft 365 Beginner class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Intermediate class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Advanced class – Excel


 

The IF function in Excel is one of its logical functions, which evaluate to either a “TRUE” or “FALSE” value. The IF function in Excel lets you perform a logical test on a cell’s value and then return a result based on whether or not the cell’s value passes or fails the test. The IF function is similar to an “If…then…else” coding statement. You must know at least three different arguments to write a logical function. The first argument is the “logical test” to apply to the cell. The second is the cell value or formula to return if the test returns a “TRUE” value or “passes” the logical test. The third is the cell value or formula to return if the test returns a “FALSE” value or “fails” the logical test. The syntax of the IF function is: =IF(logical_test,true_response,false_response) If you want the formula to display a text value for the true response or false response, then you must place the text value inside double quotation marks (“ ”). If you want the function to display a date, it must be enclosed within pound signs (##). The only time you wouldn’t mark the data type of the value to return is if you want the function to display a numerical result or calculate a formula. Often, you may want to know if a cell passes or fails multiple logical tests.

One way to apply multiple logical tests to a cell is to use nested logical functions. A “nested” logical function in Excel is one that places the cell through a second logical test if it “fails” the first. These functions are useful for determining the value of a cell by placing it through several different tests, displaying different results based on which test it passes. You can nest up to 127 additional IF statements behind your original, if needed. The syntax for these are: =IF(logical_test _1,true_response,IF(logical_test_2,true_response,false_response)) You must remember to close all open parentheses for every IF statement you nest within the logical function at the end of the formula. In this case since there are two IF statements, there are two closing parentheses at the end of the formula. Alternatively, if using Excel 2019 or later or using Excel as part of Office 365, you can use the new IFS function to pass a cell though multiple logical tests and return a value for the test it passes. The IFS function replicates the features provided by nested IF functions, but uses a simpler, streamlined syntax. We’ll examine the IFS function in a later lesson.

In addition, you may also want to know if a cell meets multiple criteria at the same time. You can use the AND and OR functions to find this out. The AND function returns a “TRUE” value if the evaluated cell passes all the logical tests listed after the AND function. The OR function returns a true value if the evaluated cell passes any of the logical tests that follow the OR function. Note that you can evaluate up to 255 different logical tests after the AND and OR statements. When you look at how you can combine these tests with the IF function or nested IF functions, you can see how you can start to become a very powerful formula creator. Combining these Excel functions lets you place cells through a battery of tests, and then decide what function to perform or value to display, based on the results from the tests. The general syntax when combining the IF function with the AND and OR functions is as follows: =IF(AND(logical_test_1,logical_test_2,logical_test_3,etc.),true_response,false_response) =IF(OR(logical_test_1,logical_test_2,logical_test_3,etc.),true_response,false_response) The IFS function is only available in Excel 2019 or later or Excel as part of an Office 365 subscription. The IFS function in Excel lets you pass a cell through a series of logical tests and then return a value based on which logical test the cell passes. This provides a very similar functionality to using multiple, nested IF statements. When using Microsoft Office Excel 365.

How to create charts and graphs with Excel in Microsoft Office 365

As part of our series of helping customers with their small business needs Longmont Computer Physicians, LLC is offering these free classes on how to use different software programs. Here is our instructional video on using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. 

Microsoft 365 Beginner class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Intermediate class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Advanced class – Excel

Excel lets you easily create charts from the data in a worksheet. Charts are useful for times when you want to create visual representations of the worksheet data for meetings, presentations, or reports. To insert a chart, select the cell range that contains the data for the chart. Be sure to also select the data’s adjacent row and column labels to automatically apply them to the chart, saving you the step of selecting them later. You can adjust your data selection later, if needed, but selecting the data first lets you see chart previews more clearly. Next, click the “Insert” tab in the Ribbon. In the “Charts” button group are the types of charts you can insert. Starting in Excel 2019, two new chart types appear in this button group. You can access the new “Funnel” and “Map” chart types by clicking them within their respective chart type drop-down buttons in the “Charts” button group on the “Insert” tab of the Ribbon. Alternatively, you can select them after clicking the “Recommended Charts” button in the “Charts” button group on the “Insert” tab of the Ribbon.

One way to insert a chart is to click the “Recommended Charts” button in the “Charts” button group on the “Insert” tab of the Ribbon to open the “Insert Chart” dialog box and display the “Recommended Charts” tab. This tab shows the types of charts Excel thinks would best illustrate your selected data. You can click the choices at the left side of the tab to see a preview of the chart appear to the right. To insert one of the chart choices into the worksheet, click it to select it in the listing at the left side of the tab. Then click the “OK” button at the bottom of the “Insert Chart” dialog box. Another way to insert a chart based on your currently-selected data is to click the button that represents the general chart type to insert within the “Charts” button group on the “Insert” tab of the Ribbon. Then click the specific chart subtype to insert in the button’s drop-down menu. To view all the chart type choices and then insert a selected chart type, click the “See All Charts” button in the lower-right corner of the “Charts” button group to open the “Insert Chart” dialog box. To show all the available chart choices, click the “All Charts” tab. On this tab, you can select a major chart type from the listing at the left side of the dialog box. You can then select the specific subtype to insert by clicking the desired subtype in the list at the right side of the dialog box. To then insert the chart of the selected subtype, click the “OK” button at the bottom of the dialog box. Using any of these chart insertion methods inserts a chart of the selected subtype as an embedded chart object in the current worksheet. The next thing to note is that when a chart object is selected, a new contextual tab then appears in the Ribbon.

This is the “Chart Tools” contextual tab and it consists of two tabs, “Design” and “Format.” You use the buttons in the various button groups on these two tabs within the “Chart Tools” contextual tab to change the selected chart objects. When a chart is selected in Excel, a two-button or three-button grouping of chart options appears at the right side of the selected chart, depending on the chart type you inserted. The buttons are, from top to bottom, “Chart Elements,” “Chart Styles,” and, optionally, “Chart Filters.” You can also use these buttons to change your selected chart. When you insert a new chart into a worksheet, the entire chart is initially selected. The “Chart Tools” contextual tabs then appear in the Ribbon. Two or three drop-down buttons then also appear at the right side of the chart. When editing charts, the first task with which to familiarize yourself is selecting chart elements. Note that a chart is not a single object, but rather, is a complex object comprised of many smaller, selectable objects. You must know exactly which chart element is selected before starting any procedure, like formatting or editing the chart. One way to select chart objects is by using your mouse. You can click the individual chart elements to select them. To select the entire chart, click into the “Chart Area.” The Chart Area is the blank area surrounding most of the actual chart elements. For Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. Using Excel.

How to Create and Use Tables with Excel in Microsoft 365 and Office 365

As part of our series of helping customers with their small business needs Longmont Computer Physicians, LLC is offering these free classes on how to use different software programs. Here is our instructional video on using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. 

Microsoft 365 Beginner class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Intermediate class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Advanced class – Excel

Excel can store information in tables. An Excel table is information saved in a table format and explicitly defined as a table in Excel. When you store information in a table format, you place the different types of information to collect in columns, called “fields” in database terminology. Each “field” contains a separate type of information. Examples could be: “First Name,” “Last Name,” “Title,” “Address,” “City,” “State,” and so on. Each row in the table is called a “record.” A record is a single entry in which you record each type of field information about a single instance of the subject of your table. For example, within a “Customers” table that contains the fields in the previous example, a record in that table might contain the information: “John,” “Doe,” “Mr.,” “111 Nowhere Ln.,” “Anytown,” “MI.” When entering data into a table, avoid creating entirely blank columns or rows! Having entirely blank columns and rows in a table can often lead to problems with sorting and filtering table data. Before you create a table in Excel, consider the information you must collect. Sometimes, it is easier to think of the fields to create after thinking of the subject of the table, first. For example, to create a table to record customer data, you must think about what information you want to collect about your customers.

The types of information you decide to track become the “fields,” or columns, in your table. For the purpose of the example, assume you decided to record your customer’s name, address, city, state, and zip code. When thinking of the table’s field structure, you need to consider how detailed to be with the customer’s information. Poor decisions in the planning phase can be problematic later. For example, do you want to record the customer’s name in one field or more than one field? If you ever want to sort the database by the last name of the customer, you will probably want to store the customer’s name in at least two fields: “firstname” and “lastname.” Noting little things like this during the creation process can save time in editing the table structure later on, after it becomes a problem. After deciding what information to record in which field, enter the titles of these fields as the top row of the table.

The top row in a table is a special row and is often called the “header row.” It is always the top row in a table and it displays the names of the fields for which you are collecting data. After creating the header row, you can then define it as a “table” in Excel to enable the table management features. To do this, select the cells within the header row. Then click the “Table” button in the “Tables” button group on the “Insert” tab of the Ribbon. In the “Create Table” dialog box that appears, the reference to the selected cells appears in the “Where is the data for your table:” field. Check the “My table has headers” checkbox and then click the “OK” button. Doing this then creates the table area within the worksheet and adds a new row into which you can enter your first table record.

Another way to create a table in Excel is to create the header row of your table and then enter as many records as you want to initially record. Then click and drag over the entire table, including the header row and all the table’s records, to select it. After selecting it, click the “Format as Table” button in the “Styles” button group on the “Home” tab of the Ribbon. Then select the table style to apply from the dropdown menu that appears. At this point, the “Format As Table” dialog box then appears. The range of selected cells also appears in the “Where is the data for your table?” field. If your table has a header row at the top of the table, be sure to check the “My table has headers” checkbox. Then click the “OK” button to apply the selected style, and also define the range of cells as a table. Note that each field within the header row of a table has a drop-down button in it. These are “AutoFilters,” which you use to filter data in the table. We will look at using those in a later lesson. Also notice that the table has a different formatting than the rest of the worksheet area in Excel.

How to create basic formulas and calculations with Excel in Microsoft 365 and Office 365

As part of our series of helping clients with their small business needs Longmont Computer Physicians, LLC is offering these free classes on how to use different software programs. Here is our instructional video on using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

Microsoft 365 Beginner class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Intermediate class – Excel
Microsoft 365 Advanced class – Excel


You use formulas to perform mathematical functions on cells in Microsoft Excel. There are two basic ways of writing formulas: “ranged syntax” or “simple syntax.” A “syntax” is simply a way of expressing or writing something. It is important to note that these two syntaxes are not mutually exclusive! In fact, more complex formulas often incorporate elements of both to arrive at the desired result. Typically, you use the simple syntax to perform multiple mathematical calculations on multiple cells. You use the ranged syntax to perform a single mathematical function over multiple cells. To manually write a formula, first click into the cell where you want the results of the formula to appear. Next, write your formula. When finished, exit the cell to display the answer to the formula you wrote. Once again, this is the concept of “content versus display” at work. The actual content of the cell is the formula, but the cell displays the answer to the formula. If you click into the formula cell after creating it, the actual formula appears in the Formula Bar and the answer appears in the worksheet cell. To show the actual formulas in the worksheet, you can press the “Ctrl” key and the ` (single left quotation mark) key. When manually creating ranged syntax formulas, first select the cell into which to enter the formula. Then type the equal sign.

Formulas always start with an equal sign (=). This prevents Excel from interpreting the formula as a simple text entry, since formulas are just letter/number combinations. Next, type the name of the function to perform on the cell range or cell ranges. Then type an open parenthesis. Next, type the cell range or cell ranges upon which to perform the function. Finally, type a closed parenthesis. Then exit the cell using your keyboard or click the checkmark button in the Formula Bar to set the formula. Note that you don’t use spaces between elements in the formula. However, they are not case sensitive. Manually creating a simple formula in Excel is like writing a standard math problem. Once again, start by selecting the cell where you want to enter the formula. Type an equal sign (=). Then type the cell addresses to use in the formula and join them together with the standard mathematical operators. You can also enter standard numbers into a formula, if desired. However, you will more often want to manipulate the values of the cells, which may change, and so you will more often use cell references in Excel, instead. If you want to perform a single calculation on a range of cells, it is usually easier to use the ranged formula syntax instead of the simple formula syntax. In simple formulas, the standard order of operations applies: designated operations are performed from left to right with anything in parenthesis calculated first, then exponentiation, then multiplication and division, and finally, addition and subtraction.

Note that in Excel you can also use both syntaxes within a single formula. For example, to sum the first ten cells in column A and then subtract from that value the sum of the first ten cells in column B, you could express it as a single combined formula, like: =SUM(A1:A10)-SUM(B1:B10). In this case, you are using a simple syntax formula to subtract the values derived from two ranged syntax formulas. Most of the more complex formulas you create incorporate both syntaxes to derive the answer. Formulas that use cell references are automatically recalculated when you enter or change the values in the cells referenced by the formula. This is one of the best features of Excel and one of the reasons you will rarely find numbers manually entered into a formula. When you use cell addresses in formulas, you can either type them or use the mouse to select the cell or cell ranges to add. As always, after writing the formula, leave its cell to save it and display its answer with Excel.