Opening Excel ’97 and working with files

Click on the Start button at the bottom left of the taskbar, point to programs and click on Microsoft Excel.
Excel gives you a blank worksheet:
Sheet1 in workbook: Book1 opens immediately after startup.

If you click on the  at top left of the title bar in the program window, a drop-down menu appears with a list of commands. These commands are also seen as buttons at the top right of the title bar.

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All windows in Windows applications have the same controls:

  • scroll bars to scroll through the window.
  • a button to maximize the window as large as possible.
  • button to minimize the window to an icon on the taskbar
  • resize button to resize or restore the window the window to previous size.
  • drag the edge or corner of the window to resize.
  • drag the title bar to move the window.

(Menu bar)

(File) (Edit) (View) (Insert) (Format) (Tools) (Data) (Window) (Help)

Under the title bar you will find the menu containing the different menu names.
Click on a menu name to open a menu, other menus can be opened by moving the pointer over the menu names.
If you choose a command where there is an arrow next to it, it opens second drop-down menu. To close a menu,without selecting a command, click again on the menu name, click anywhere outside the menu, or click the ‘Escape’ key.
If a command is in gray, it means that it is not available at that point, for eg. the ‘Paste’ (paste) command in the “Edit’ menu (edit). It appears gray until you copy (Copy) or cut (Cut) any cell contents.
If there is a keyboard shortcut mentioned next to a command, it means that the use of this combination to run this command without opening the menu first.
The view menu, you will find checkmarks next to the Formula Bar and Status Bar, which means that these bars are activate and visible. If you click next to the ‘Status Bar’ and uncheck it, the status bar disappears. Click next to the Status Bar again and will be activat and visible again. If you Click on a command which has three dots next to it, a dialog box appears where you need to enter more information, select the desired option and click OK.


The toolbars below the menus contain buttons that allow you to quickly choose commands; point the mouse, on these buttons of the toolbars, then click on the name of the button.

In case you accidentlally click on a button, you can always use the “Esc” key or use the “Undo” button.

While working in Excel, you can always seek help from the Help menu by pressing the Help button in the toolbar..

Working with files

After starting up Excel, you get a blank Excel workbook in which you can start right away, immediately after giving the file a name:
Click on ‘File’ then on ‘Save’ – a dialog box appears and Excel allows you to save the file in the ‘My Documents’ folder. In the box you can type in your name for your workbook, which we call as a file.
eg “first training folder”. In Windows’95 you can also use long file names.

Click on the Save button in the dialog box and the filename that you have given appears immediately in the title bar of your working window of your workbook.

We can also create a new file, by clicking the “New” button on the toolbar , you can give a name to this newly created file as well.

Click on the “Save” (Save) in the toolbar, in the “My Documents” folder you will see that the “first training file” is already mentioned in the empty field for file, then type “second training file”, click the Save button. This filename immediately appears in the title bar of the workbook window.
Our two workbooks are now superimposed in the Excel program window.
You can bring the “first training file” to the foreground by clicking on the title of it.
If the title bar is not visible, you can map it back to the foreground by clicking on  the ‘Window’ (Window) in the menu. There you will find the two files.
The checkmark beside the file name indicates the file that is currently present in the active window, click on “second training folder” and this file appears again in the foreground. The menu window can display upto nine open workbooks.
Quick toggling through the windows can also be done by using the shortcut: to jump to the next workbook window press the Tab key along with ‘Control’ key .

You've completed Lesson 1