Excel: Lesson 2, Part 1

Excel Formatting
Lesson 2: Formatting Part 1


Welcome to Lesson Number 2 of Excelling with Excel!  In this lesson, you will learn the basics of cell formatting, including data entry, text style and format, column width, row height, cell fill, text wrap, merge cells, and borders.

Basic Data Entry

Excel formatting

To enter data into a spreadsheet, first click on the cell into which you would like to enter the data and press enter.  You may enter text or numerical data, as well as functions.  For this lesson, we will only focus on the entry of numerical and text data.  Simple functions will be covered in Lessons 3 and 4.

For this lesson, we will create a simple spreadsheet with sales data for a fictitious frozen vegetable plant, Frozen Delites.   Column A will be the item number, Column B will be the January Sales, Column C will be the February Sales, and Column D will be the March Sales.

First type the column labels into row 3 with the following in the specified cells:

A3=Item NumberExcel Formatting

B3=Jan Sales

C3=Feb Sales

C4=Mar Sales



Next, we will enter all the item numbers into Column A.  Please enter the following numbers in the specified cells:

A4=123456Excel Formatting







Remember to press enter after each number.

Next step, we will enter the January Sales data in Column B.  Please enter the following numbers in the specified cells:

B4=1200Excel Formatting







Next step, we will enter the February Sales data in Column C.  Please enter the following numbers in the specified cells:

C4=1250Excel Formatting








Finally, we will enter the March Sales data in Column D.  Please enter the following numbers in the specified cells:

D4=1356Excel Formatting








Congratulations!  You have entered your first set of data into a spreadsheet!

Column Width

Often the original settings for the column width is too narrow, and it is necessary to adjust the width.  The key is to be able to see all labels and all data, that no letters or numbers are hidden.

In our current spreadsheet, Column A’s label is not showing.  You can change this width one of two ways:

  1. Right click on Column A. Left click on Column Width. Increase to width to ensure the label is visible. I changed this particular column to width of 13.
  2. Select (highlight) Column A. Position the pointer between the tops of Column A and Column B until you see a cross.  Left click on the mouse, and pull the column until it is at the appropriate width.

Excel Formatting

Row Height

You may also need to adjust the height of rows in an Excel spreadsheet.  In the below spreadsheet, the rows are not tall enough to fully view the data in the cells:

Excel Formatting

No worries!  You can easily adjust this height.  There are two easy ways to achieve a better height for the rows:

  1. Select all rows.  Place the cursor on the bottom left corner of the bottom row, making a small cross appear.   Then, double click.  Amazingly, the rows adjust to the appropriate height for the data.
  2. Select all rows. Right click on one of the row numbers, and a small menu will appear.  Click on Row Height, and enter the height you would like the rows to be. And wala!

Excel Formatting



Text Font, Style, and Size

You want your spreadsheet to look like you want it to look.  That was a mouthful!  Anyway, you can easily change the font, style, and size of the data in a spreadsheet.  What’s more, you can do it all in a few clicks by following these simple steps:

  1. Select all cells you want to change.
  2. Right click in the middle of these cells, and a small menu pops up.
  3. Left click on Format Cells.
  4. Choose the aspects you would like to change by clicking to choose each one for font, style, and size.

**SPECIAL NOTE—The preview window on the right of the popup shows the appearance of the chosen font.

  1. Once all selections have been made, click okay. And you are done!


That concludes Lesson #2.  You are on your way to excelling at the basics of Excel!

All the best,


Fab VA

Fabulous Virtual Assistant, Business Services




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
Fabulous Virtual Assistant, Business Services