Microsoft Excel is spreadsheet software used to calculate financial, statistical and engineering information, and is used in a wide range of places, from individual households to Fortune 500 companies.The components of Excel are cells, spreadsheets and workbooks. Workbooks contain spreadsheets and spreadsheets contain cells. Therefore, thousands of cells are in a spreadsheet and two or more spreadsheets make up a workbook. The features Excel offers make it possible for the user to save time when calculating formulas, creating charts and graphs, and sharing and securing information.
Microsoft Excel is handy when performing calculations. The software contains built-in formulas for basic math, statistics and even engineering functions. Calculations that may require several iterations to arrive at an answer only require entering a few basic formula components for Excel to calculate the final answer. In addition, the time needed to get the answer is greatly reduced by using Microsoft Excel.
Microsot Excel can also be used to create charts and graphs. The data entered into a spreadsheet can feed the many types of graphs available in Excel. Microsoft Excel has the capability to create pie charts, bar graphs, 3-D graphs and even scattergrams. Creating these types of charts on paper would be very time consuming, if not impossible for some types of graphs. Excel also contains wizards (step-by-step instructions) to guide the user in creating the type of graph he needs.
Several spreadsheets can be linked to one another using Excel. For example, if sales department data is in one spreadsheet and marketing data is in another, the two spreadsheets can be linked without retyping the information. Link the information by calculating the cells of one spreadsheet with the cells of another. The final result will be the combination of the sales data and the marketing data. Be aware that if the information in one spreadsheet is changed, the final result will also change.
Excel has another feature that allows the user to format cells. The cell formatting feature is especially handy for understanding performance. In Excel, the cells can be formatted to display a certain way if there is a certain result. For example, if the financial goal is to be 10 percent under the budget, but the current result is 1 percent over budget, then the cell can be formatted to display in red. On the other hand, if the result is 12 percent under budget, it can be formatted to display in green.
Excel can also protect information. There is a cell locking feature in Excel that prevents other users from changing the information in the cell. Additionally, the entire worksheet or workbook can be password protected. If there are parts of the workbook that should not be seen, place a password on those parts of the workbook or the entire workbook itself.
Integration With Other Software
Microsoft Excel can also be integrated with other software. Excel data can be imported into Microsoft Access, and Access data can be exported into Excel. Microsoft Word and PowerPoint use Excel to create tables within their documents. If a table, chart or graph is created in Excel, it can be copied and pasted into Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.