Excel Spreadsheet

What Is An Excel Spreadsheet?

An Excel spreadsheet is a tabular sheet containing rows and columns of rectangular cells, with a ribbon at the top featuring all the Excel options and commands. We need at least one spreadsheet to make an Excel workbook.

Users can use an Excel spreadsheet to manage budgets and bills in the finance domain and maintain massive datasets such as employees’ information at a firm. It is also useful for displaying and analyzing complex data, such as statistical, more professionally.

For example, the image below shows a spreadsheet Employee Data (indicated by the sheet tab name at the bottom of the worksheet), with cells A1:B4 containing an employee’s data.

Excel Spreadsheet - Definition Example

The area in the spreadsheet containing rows and columns of cells is the workspace. On the other hand, we use the options in the ribbon above the work area to format the cells and the data in the cells.

For instance, in the above example, we utilized the Font and Alignment groups’ options in the Home tab to set the required font and cell colors, cell borders, and data alignment.

Next, consider we are required to add the employee’s contact number in row 5. Then, we can first choose cell A5, enter the required data, and press Enter.

Next, select cell A5 and apply the same formatting settings from the ribbon as used in cells A1:A4.

Finally, choose cell B5, enter the required contact number, and press Enter to achieve the dataset, as depicted below.

Definition Example - 1

Please note that we can enter the data and format it as explained above, even in the Excel spreadsheet online version.

Key Takeaways
  • An Excel spreadsheet is a sheet made up of rows and columns of cells and includes a strip of Excel commands and options to manage the data entered into the sheet. A spreadsheet is also referred to as a worksheet.
  • A spreadsheet in Excel finds use in the finance domain for budgeting and billing and is useful for analyzing complex financial and statistical data.
  • A spreadsheet in Excel includes a ribbon, Formula Bar, column and row headers, and a workspace. Also, an Excel workbook must contain at least one spreadsheet to exist.

Understanding Excel Workbook Screen

We shall see the components of an Excel spreadsheet, which appear when we open a workbook screen.

#1 – Ribbon

Excel Ribbon is the strip of Excel options that helps locate, understand, and apply the commands quickly to complete the required task based on the specific Excel spreadsheet data.

Excel Spreadsheet - Ribbon

It is above the rows and columns in the spreadsheet and shows the Excel options as icons, categorized under different tabs based on their functionalities.

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#2 – Formula Bar

The Formula Bar helps us view the Excel spreadsheet formulas and cell values.

We must choose a cell to view the value or formula it contains in the Formula Bar. But, if we select a cell range, the Formula Bar will show the value or formula in the first cell of the chosen range.

Excel Spreadsheet - Formula Bar - 1

When a cell contains a value, selecting it will display the value inside the cell and the Formula Bar.

But in the case of Excel spreadsheet formulas, choosing a cell containing a formula will show the formula output inside the cell and the formula expression in the Formula Bar.

Formula Bar - 2

Furthermore, the field on the left of the Formula Bar helps us insert a formula in the chosen cell. Next, the field on the left-most end is the Name Box in Excel, which shows the address or the defined name of the chosen cell or range. It also helps us choose an Excel built-in function from a list of recently-used functions.

#3 – Column Header

A column header identifies a column in a spreadsheet.

Excel Spreadsheet - Column Header

#4 – Row Header

A row header in Excel identifies a row in a spreadsheet.

The row headers appear on the left of the first column, where the rows start by default and are represented by numbers 1, 2, 3,…., 1048576.

Excel Spreadsheet - Row Header

#5 -Spreadsheet Area

The spreadsheet area is where we work by inserting, updating, and manipulating Excel data according to our requirements.

The work area contains cells formed at the intersection of the rows and columns. A unique cell address identifies each cell, made using the headers of the row and column that intersect to form the specific cell.

For instance, the chosen cell in the image below is identified as cell A1 in the Name Box since the specific cell is in column A and row 1 in the spreadsheet.

Excel Spreadsheet - Spreadsheet Area

Please note that the components of the worksheet discussed above appear the same in the Excel spreadsheet online version as well.

On the other hand, in the case of Google Excel spreadsheet, the worksheet components remain the same, except their look and feel may appear slightly different.

How To Work With Excel Spreadsheet?

The following steps explain how to work with an Excel spreadsheet.

  1. Assume the required worksheet in the active workbook is open. Otherwise, click the tab of the required spreadsheet in the workbook to make it the active sheet.
  2. Choose the cell where we aim to display the required data.
  3. Type in the required data as a value, array of values, or formula in the chosen cell.
  4. Press Enter to complete the data entry action. However, if we must enter a formula in a cell range, we must use Ctrl + Shift + Enter to execute the formula as would use for array formulas in Excel.

Please note the abovementioned steps remain the same for the Google Excel spreadsheet and the Excel online version.

Basic Example

Let us prepare a monthly budget Excel spreadsheet using the steps discussed above.

The aim is to enter the monthly salary, expenses, and savings data into a spreadsheet, Monthly_Budget_Spreadsheet.

Then, the steps are as follows:

  1. Click the sheet tab, Monthly_Budget_Spreadsheet, to open the required spreadsheet.

    Basic Example - Step 1

    The specific sheet will become the active spreadsheet, with cell A1 appearing as selected.

  2. Since cell A1 is chosen, we can start typing in the data, as depicted below.

    Basic Example - Step 2

  3. Press Enter to complete the data entry action.

    Basic Example - Step 3

  4. Likewise, choose the required cells and update the specific values, one by one, as depicted below.

    Basic Example - Step 4a

  5. Now that we have the required column headings, choose the cells in each column and update the data we aim to enter into the budget Excel spreadsheet (Refer to steps 2 and 3).

    How To Work With Excel Spreadsheet - Basic Example - Step 5

How To Format Excel Spreadsheet?

We can format an Excel spreadsheetusing the built-in formatting options the program offers. While we can click the options in the ribbon to select and apply them in the chosen cell or range, we can use the corresponding keyboard shortcuts in excel for the same.

Let us consider the previous example to understand the steps to format a spreadsheet.

The budget data entered in the spreadsheet, Monthly_Budget_Spreadsheet, appears raw and less presentable.

Here is how we can format the spreadsheet data to make it appear more professional.

Step #1

Select cells A1:D1 and choose Home Bold or press Ctrl + B to make the column headings bold.

Basic Example1 - Step 1

Step #2

Choose cells A1:D1 and select Home Fill Color option down arrow à Click on the required color option to apply it as the background tone in the chosen cells.

Basic Example1 - Step 2

Step #3

Choose cells A1:D1 and select Home Font Color option down arrow → Click on the required color option to apply it as the font tone in the chosen cells.

Basic Example1 - Step 3

Step #4

Select the entire source dataset range A1:D13 and choose Home Border option down arrow → All Borders.

Basic Example1 - Step 4a

Once we choose the All Borders option, the dataset will appear with the chosen border style.

Basic Example1 - Step 4b

Step #5

Choose the entire dataset range A1:D13 and click the Middle Align and Center alignment options in the Home tab, one at a time.

How to Format Excel Spreadsheet - Basic Example1 - Step 5

Thus, now, the formatted data appears more presentable and organized.

Likewise, we can use the other formatting options in the Home and the rest of the tabs in the ribbon to display and manipulate the data according to our needs.

Important Things To Note

  • The tab at the bottom of the Excel window shows the specific Excel spreadsheetname. We can click the tab to open the required sheet in the workbook.
  • If the chosen cell contains a formula, the Formula Bar in a spreadsheet will show the formula, and the selected cell will display the formula output.
  • While the column headings are alphabet characters, the row headings are integers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How to print Excel spreadsheet on one page?

We can print Excel spreadsheet on one page using the following steps, explained with an example.
1) Open the spreadsheet we want to print on one page.
2) Choose the Page Layout tab → Set Width as 1 page and Height as Automatic in the Scale to Fit group.
3) Press Ctrl + P to access the Print settings window for a print preview and click the Print option to complete the printing of the specific worksheet on a single page action.

For example, the task is to print the below active spreadsheet on one page.

Spreadsheet in Excel - FAQ 1

When we press Ctrl + P, the Print settings window opens, showing a print preview.

FAQ 1-1

FAQ 1-2

The print preview shows that the printed copy of the specific spreadsheet will contain two pages. The reason is that the entire dataset does not fit into one page.
Thus, here is how to ensure the complete dataset fits into a single page when we print it.

Step 1: Open the required spreadsheet and choose Page Layout Width field drop-down button → 1 page.

FAQ 1 - Step 1a

The Height field must remain as Automatic.

FAQ 1 - Step 1b

Step 2: Press Ctrl + P to open the Print settings window. The print preview in the Print settings window will show the entire worksheet fit into one page.

Spreadsheet in Excel - FAQ 1 - Step 2

We can now click Print to complete the printing of the spreadsheet on a page task.

2. How to unlock an Excel spreadsheet?

We can unlock an Excel spreadsheet using the following steps when the sheet is protected:
1) Choose the Review tab → Select the Unprotect Sheet option.
2) If the Unprotect Sheet window opens, enter the password in the Password field.
3) Click OK in the Unprotect Sheet window to close it and unprotect the worksheet.

Now, the required spreadsheet will be unlocked.

3. How to share Excel spreadsheet?

We cannot share Excel spreadsheet. Instead, we can share the entire workbook containing the spreadsheet we want to share, as explained below:
1) Choose Review →  Select the Share Workbook option.
2) The Share Workbook window will open. Choose the Allow changes by more than one user option in the Editing tab.
3) Click the Advanced tab to open it and choose the options that we want to set for tracking and updating changes. Click OK.
4) If it is a new file, type the required file name in the File name field. Otherwise, if it is an existing file, click OK to save the workbook.
5) Select File → Choose the Save option.

Once done, the phrase “– Shared” will display next to the workbook name at the top, indicating the required spreadsheet is shared along with the other sheets in the file.

Download Template

This article must be helpful to understand the Excel Spreadsheet, with its formula and examples. You can download the template here to use it instantly.

This has been a guide to What Is Excel Spreadsheet. We learn the different components of an Excel spreadsheet, how to work with it & format it with examples. You can learn more from the following articles –

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