ARE 155 Fall 1999
Excel Session #1
Richard Howitt
Introduction to Spreadsheet Operations in Excel
In this session, we’ll try and demonstrate to you the essentials of spreadsheet operations in Excel. Even
though this is not a computer course, ARE 155 will try to equip you with the basic tools necessary to
analyze quantitative business decision problems, both analytically and with the aid of a computer. Since
Excel is the most widelyused spreadsheet utility available today, you are almost certain to encounter it in
any workplace situation you may enter into – so it would be much to your advantage to build your
proficiency in using it.
We’ll start out by identifying the key operations that one uses in doing spreadsheet calculations,
and how they can be entered in Excel. The Excel spreadsheet consists of a grid, within which lies
individually addressed cells. You can enter numeric or alphabetic characters in those cells and manipulate
them algebraically or alphabetically. The picture below shows you how the spreadsheet appears on the
screen.
The cursor can activate any cell on the spreadsheet, and text or numbers can be entered.
Always press the
<Enter> key after you have finished entering data
 this is especially important for formulas – so that
Excel knows that you’re done. If you want to enter a formula, you must begin by typing an “=” sign, so that
Excel can distinguish between plain data, and an actual mathematical operation that you’d like to perform
on those spreadsheet data. Anything you type appears in the ‘formula bar’ (right above the Column
Headings A, B, C, etc.) for easier editing. When you begin typing a formula, a red cross and green check
sign appear. I’ve given a simple example of a formula below.
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Excel Session #1
A
B
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This is a spreadsheet
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This cell is called A3
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=A3+A4
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 Spring '08
 Staff
 Excel Session

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