By Faithe Wempen

Excel is an excellent choice for storing data in rows and columns. You can use these tips to navigate the Excel interface, including entering and editing content in cells, inserting and deleting cells, and selecting ranges.

  • Excel data files are called workbooks. Each workbook can hold multiple worksheets. Each worksheet has a tab at the bottom of the Excel window for quick access to it.

  • Each cell has a cell address consisting of the column letter and row number, such as A1.

  • The active cell is indicated by the cell cursor, a thick green outline. You can move the cell cursor with the mouse or the keyboard arrow keys. When you type text, it is entered into the active cell.

  • A range is a selection that consists of one or more cells. (It’s usually more than one.) A contiguous range consists of a single rectangular block of cells.

  • To clear cell contents, select the cell and press the Delete key or choose Home→Clear→Cell Contents.

  • To move data between cells, select the cells and then drag the outline around them, or use the Cut and Paste commands. To copy data, hold down Ctrl and drag the cells, or you can use the Copy and Paste commands.

  • To fill data from the selected range to adjacent cells, drag the fill handle, which is the green rectangle in the lower-right corner of the selected range.

  • To use Flash Fill to intelligently fill columns, complete a few examples and then use the Home→Fill→Flash Fill command.

  • To insert a row or column, from the Home tab, open the Insert button’s menu and choose either Insert Sheet Rows or Insert Sheet Columns, respectively.

  • When you insert individual cells, the existing content moves over to make room. You can choose which direction it needs to move.

  • To insert a new sheet, right-click an existing sheet and choose Insert. To delete a sheet, right-click its tab and choose Delete.

  • To rename a sheet, double-click its tab name and type a new name.