What is Excel? Excel is a spreadsheet program with a full spectrum of capabilities. Using Excel, you can run calculations, make lists and charts, analyze and organize information, track financial data, and much more. Let’s take a look. Every Excel workbook is a collection of worksheets. All the work you do in Excel will be done in a worksheet. Worksheets appear as tabs at the bottom of the Excel window, and the workbook name appears in the window title at the top. You can have as many worksheets in an Excel workbook as you like; there is no limit. When you save a workbook, all the worksheets it contains are saved to a single file. The primary file type of Excel is the workbook. In Excel 2007 and later, workbooks are saved with the extension xlsx. In Excel versions prior to 2007, workbooks are saved with the extension xls. Worksheets are composed of numbered rows down the left, and labeled columns across the top. The intersection of rows and columns creates the familiar grid in a spreadsheet. The grid is composed of individual cells, and each cell in a worksheet has a unique address. Worksheets are extremely large. Each worksheet contains over 1 million rows and more than 65,000 columns. Rows are labeled with numbers, but columns are labeled with letters in the alphabet. Columns start with A through Z, then run AA through AZ, then BA through BZ, and finally finish at XFD. In most cases, you will use just a small fraction of this area for your projects. Although most people think of numbers when they think of spreadsheets, Excel can store and manage many other types of information as well. Using Excel, you can easily work with numbers, text, formulas, pictures, dates, and times. You can assemble and present this information in tables, lists, charts, reports, and pictures. With a good understanding of Excel, you have the use of an extremely powerful and flexible tool that you will find hundreds of uses for in your daily life. You can use Excel to make a grocery list, plan a remodeling project, figure out a monthly budget, maintain company financial statements, or to analyze huge sets of data in mere seconds. Your skill with Excel is a tool that will serve you well.

Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.