Excel: Excelling in the Basics

excel basics

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Basic Parts of an Excel Spreadsheet

In this lesson, you will learn the basic parts of an Excel spreadsheet: columns, rows, cells, worksheet name, formula bar, menu bar, and toolbar.


Columns are the vertical bars on the spreadsheet. Columns are labeled with letters, beginning with A. In the below spreadsheet, column A is highlighted in yellow.


MS Excel, columns, spreadsheet


Rows are the cells that run horizontally. Runs are labeled with numbers, beginning with the number 1. In the below spreadsheet, row 1 is highlighted in green.

Rows, Excel


A cell is an individual block of the Excel spreadsheet. We use cell names to narrow down to specific locations of a spreadsheet. A cell is named first by its column and then by its row. In the below spreadsheet, the highlighted cell is cell B2.

Cell, Excel

Worksheet Name

In Excel, every tab of an Excel spreadsheet is a worksheet. The worksheet name is located below the bottom row of the spreadsheet. In the spreadsheet below, this worksheet is named Worksheet 1. You can rename worksheets by right-clicking on the name and typing in the new name.

Worksheet name, Excel
Worksheet Name


Formula Bar

The formula bar is located directly above the column labels. When a formula has been entered in a cell and the cell is selected, you will see the formula that is being calculated in that particular cell. In the below spreadsheet, the cell A1 is selected, and the formula being calculated in that cell is C1*B2, so 3 times 4.


Formula bar, Excel
Formula bar

Menu Bar

The menu bar includes the menu. The parts of the Excel spreadsheet menu include the following: File, Home, Insert, Page Layout, Data, Review, and View.


Menu Bar, Excel
Menu Bar

Tool Bar

The tool bar is located at the top of the spreadsheet underneath the menu bar. It includes functions, such as cut, copy, paste, wrap text, and merge & center. The functions available depend on which menu is selected. In the below spreadsheet, the home menu is selected, so the home toolbar is showing.

Tool bar, Excel
Tool bar

You are on your way to excelling at the basics of Excel.

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All the best,


Fab VA
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16 thoughts on “Excel: Excelling in the Basics”

    1. Heidi,
      Thanks so much for reading and commenting! I will be posting more on Excel by this time next week. There are tons of uses for Excel.

    1. Mini,
      Thanks so much for the compliment! Check back this time next week for more on Excel!

    1. Nathalie,

      Thanks for the comment. Check back in about a week, and I should have a new post on Excel.

      Thanks again!

  1. Wow! That was really helpful and easy-to-understand post. I love these ones! Short and to the point! Good job! I’m bookmarking it, in case some friend or family needs it!

    1. Thanks so much for the comment, Simply Apostolia! Keep the lookout in the next week for even more blogs on Excel. Thanks so much!


  2. Will you have more advanced tutorials and tips? Such as pivot tables, vlookup, and macros? Excel drives me crazy sometimes! 🙂

    1. Lynn,
      I will gradually add tutorials that will become increasingly more difficult. Please sign up for our newsletter, and you will get specials and updates. Also, I plan to add advanced Excel classes in the future. I love Excel! I use it daily in my 9-5 and love it! I would love to make it easier for you!


  3. These are helpful! I took a course on Excel through the community education program a few years ago. But Excel has always been a struggle for me, and I keep having to go back to my book to see how to do things! Apparently I’m not the only one!

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