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Microsoft Excel

Definition - What is Microsoft Excel ?


Microsoft Excel is a software program produced by Microsoft that allows users to
organize, format and calculate data with formulas using a spreadsheet system. This
software is part of the Microsoft Office suite and is compatible with other applications
in the Office suite.

Excel is a commercial spreadsheet application produced and distributed by


Microsoft for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS. It features the ability to perform basic
calculations, use graphing tools, create pivot tables and create macros.

Excel has the same basic features as all spreadsheet applications, which
use a collection of cells arranged into rows and columns to organize and manipulate
data. They can also display data as charts, histograms and line graphs.

Excel permits users to arrange data so as to view various factors from


different perspectives. Visual Basic is used for applications in Excel, allowing users
to create a variety of complex numerical methods. Programmers are given an option
to code directly using the Visual Basic Editor, including Windows for writing code,
debugging and code module organization.

What would you use Ms Excel for ?


Excel Alternatives

Other current spreadsheet programs that are available for use include:

Google Sheets (or Google Spreadsheets) - a free, web-based spreadsheet


program;

Excel Online - a free, scaled-down, web-based version of Excel;

Open Office Calc - a free, downloadable spreadsheet program.

Spreadsheet Cells and Cell References


When you look at the Excel screen - or any other spreadsheet screen - you
see a rectangular table or grid of rows and columns, as shown in the image
above.
In newer versions of Excel, each worksheet contains roughly a million rows
and more than 16,000 columns, which necessitates an addressing scheme in
order to keep track of where data is located.

The horizontal rows are identified by numbers (1, 2, 3) and the vertical
columns by letters of the alphabet (A, B, C). For columns beyond 26, columns
are identified by two or more letters such as AA, AB, AC.

The intersection point between a column and a row, as mentioned, is the


small rectangular box known as a cell.

The cell is the basic unit for storing data in the worksheet, and because each
worksheet contains millions of these cells, each one is identified by its cell
reference.

A cell reference is a combination of the column letter and the row number
such as A3, B6, and AA345. In these cell references, the column letter is
always listed first.

Data Types, Formulas, and Functions


The types of data that a cell can hold include:

 numbers;
 text;
 dates and times;
 Boolean values;
 formulas.

Formulas are used for calculations - usually incorporating data contained in


other cells. These cells, however, may be located on different worksheets or
in different workbooks.

Creating a formula starts by entering the equal sign in the cell where you want
the answer displayed. Formulas can also include cell references to the
location of data and one or more spreadsheet functions.

Functions in Excel and other electronic spreadsheets are built-in formulas that
are designed to simplify carrying out a wide range of calculations - from
common operations such as entering the date or time to more complex ones
such as finding specific information located in large tables of data.

Excel and Financial Data


Spreadsheets are often used to store financial data. Formulas and functions
that are used on this type of data include:

 Performing basic mathematical operations such as summing columns or


rows of numbers;.
 Finding values such as profit or loss.
 Calculating repayment plans for loans or mortgages.
 Finding the average, maximum, minimum and other statistical values in
a specified range of data.
 Carrying out What-If analysis on data - where variables are modified
one at a time to see how the change effects other data - such as expenses
and profits.

Excel's Other Uses


Other common operations that Excel can be used for include:

 Graphing or charting data to assist users in identifying data trends;


 Formatting data to make important data easy to find and understand;
 Printing data and charts for use in reports;
 Sorting and filtering data to find specific information;
 Linking worksheet data and charts for use in other programs such as
Microsoft PowerPoint and Word;
 Importing data from database programs for analysis.

The Original "Killer App"


Spreadsheets were the original killer apps for personal computers. Early
spreadsheet programs such as VisiCalc and Lotus 1-2-3 were largely
responsible for the growth in popularity of computers like the Apple II and the
IBM PC as a business tool.
Are there any other alternatives or other current
spreadsheet programs that are available for use?
Best overall Microsoft Office alternative: Kingsoft WPS Office 2016

Kingsoft’s WPS Office 2016 delivers the most Office-like


experience of all the suites we tried. Built around its own versions of Word, Excel, and
PowerPoint, it offers excellent compatibility with all Microsoft Office formats and features
a customizable interface that can be tailored to your preference for either the ribbon
toolbar or the static menus of Office 2003. It’s also the only desktop suite in our
roundup that included integrated cloud storage for easily sharing and collaborating on
files.

What to look for in a Microsoft Office alternative


When evaluating Office alternatives, don’t look to replicate every feature, just the ones
you need and use most. Depending on your situation, that could be robust spreadsheet
calculations and dynamic presentation design or the ability to access files from
anywhere and share them with remote team members. At minimum, keep these
considerations in mind:

 The big three: Though Microsoft Office has expanded over the years to include programs like
Outlook, Access, and Publisher, its bread and butter is still its original trio of programs: Word,
Excel, and PowerPoint. That’s because nearly everyone uses these three apps regardless of
the nature of their work. For many of us, they are the only three we need in a suite.
 Office compatibility: Most of the working world will continue to use Microsoft Office long after
you’ve jumped ship. That means you’ll still have to work with official Office files. Look for a suite
that can cleanly read and write Microsoft Office formats, from the current DOCX, XLSX, and
PPTX file types to legacy formats.
 Interface: The way you access an office suite’s features matters as much as the features
themselves. Polarized opinions about Office’s ribbon toolbar underscore this. Make sure you’re
comfortable with the way a suite lays out its tools and that you don’t have to dig too deeply for
those you’ll use a lot.
 Collaboration capability: The irony that we still rely on “office” suites when many of us no
longer work in physical offices means the ability to collaborate remotely with others is now a
required feature. If you don’t want to have to email documents back and forth for editing—which
can play havoc with version control —you’ll need an alternative that includes cloud support for
easily sharing files and ideally the ability to co-author (i.e. make edits and comments on a
document) in real time.

Define the following:

1. Spreadsheet cells and cell references


2. Data types, formulas, and functions

A cell reference refers to a cell or a range of cells on a worksheet and can be used in a
formula so that Microsoft Office Excel can find the values or data that you want that
formula to calculate.

In one or several formulas, you can use a cell reference to refer to:

 Data from one or more contiguous cells on the worksheet.


 Data contained in different areas of a worksheet.
 Data on other worksheets in the same workbook.
What is chart ?
In Microsoft Excel, a chart is often called a graph. It is a visual
representation of data from a worksheet that can bring more
understanding to the data than just looking at the numbers.
A chart is a powerful tool that allows you to visually display data in
a variety of different chart formats such as Bar, Column, Pie, Line,
Area, Doughnut, Scatter, Surface, or Radar charts. With Excel, it
is easy to create a chart.
Here are some of the types of charts that you can create in Excel.
Column chart

Data that is arranged in columns or rows on an Excel sheet can be plotted in a column
chart. In column charts, categories are typically organized along the horizontal axis and
values along the vertical axis.

Column charts are useful to show how data changes over time or to show comparisons
among items.

Column charts have the following chart subtypes:

 Clustered column chart Compares values across categories. A clustered column


chart displays values in 2-D vertical rectangles. A clustered column in a 3-D chart
displays the data by using a 3-D perspective.

 Stacked column chart Shows the relationship of individual items to the whole,
comparing the contribution of each value to a total across categories. A stacked column
chart displays values in 2-D vertical stacked rectangles. A 3-D stacked column chart
displays the data by using a 3-D perspective. A 3-D perspective is not a true 3-D chart
because a third value axis (depth axis) is not used.

 100% stacked column chart Compares the percentage that each value contributes
to a total across categories. A 100% stacked column chart displays values in 2-D
vertical 100% stacked rectangles. A 3-D 100% stacked column chart displays the data
by using a 3-D perspective. A 3-D perspective is not a true 3-D chart because a third
value axis (depth axis) is not used.

 3-D column chart Uses three axes that you can change (a horizontal axis, a vertical
axis, and a depth axis). They compare data points along the horizontal and the depth
axes.
Line chart

Data that is arranged in columns or rows on an Excel sheet can be plotted in a line
chart. Line charts can display continuous data over time, set against a common scale,
and are therefore ideal to show trends in data at equal intervals. In a line chart, category
data is distributed evenly along the horizontal axis, and all value data is distributed
evenly along the vertical axis.

Line charts work well if your category labels are text, and represent evenly spaced
values such as months, quarters, or fiscal years.

Line charts have the following chart subtypes:

 Line chart with or without markers Shows trends over time or ordered categories,
especially when there are many data points and the order in which they are presented is
important. If there are many categories or the values are approximate, use a line chart
without markers.

 Stacked line chart with or without markers Shows the trend of the contribution of
each value over time or ordered categories. If there are many categories or the values
are approximate, use a stacked line chart without markers.

 100% stacked line chart displayed with or without markers Shows the trend of
the percentage each value contributes over time or ordered categories. If there are
many categories or the values are approximate, use a 100% stacked line chart without
markers.

 3-D line chart Shows each row or column of data as a 3-D ribbon. A 3-D line chart
has horizontal, vertical, and depth axes that you can change.
Pie chart

Data that is arranged in one column or row only on an Excel sheet can be plotted in a
pie chart. Pie charts show the size of items in one data series, proportional to the sum
of the items. The data points in a pie chart are displayed as a percentage of the whole
pie.

Consider using a pie chart when you have only one data series that you want to plot,
none of the values that you want to plot are negative, almost none of the values that you
want to plot are zero values, you don't have more than seven categories, and the
categories represent parts of the whole pie.

Pie charts have the following chart subtypes:

 Pie chart Displays the contribution of each value to a total in a 2-D or 3-D format.
You can pull out slices of a pie chart manually to emphasize the slices.

 Pie of pie or bar of pie chart Displays pie charts with user-defined values that are
extracted from the main pie chart and combined into a secondary pie chart or into a
stacked bar chart. These chart types are useful when you want to make small slices in
the main pie chart easier to distinguish.

 Doughnut chart Like a pie chart, a doughnut chart shows the relationship of parts to
a whole. However, it can contain more than one data series. Each ring of the doughnut
chart represents a data series. Displays data in rings, where each ring represents a
data series. If percentages are displayed in data labels, each ring will total 100%.
Bar chart

Data that is arranged in columns or rows on an Excel sheet can be plotted in a bar
chart.

Use bar charts to show comparisons among individual items.

Bar charts have the following chart subtypes:

 Clustered bar and 3-D Clustered bar chart Compares values across categories. In
a clustered bar chart, the categories are typically organized along the vertical axis, and
the values along the horizontal axis. A clustered bar in 3-D chart displays the horizontal
rectangles in 3-D format. It does not display the data on three axes.

 Stacked bar and 3-D Stacked bar chart Shows the relationship of individual items
to the whole. A stacked bar in 3-D chart displays the horizontal rectangles in 3-D format.
It does not display the data on three axes.

 100% stacked bar chart and 100% stacked bar chart in 3-D Compares the percentage
that each value contributes to a total across categories. A 100% stacked bar in 3-D chart
displays the horizontal rectangles in 3-D format. It does not display the data on three axes.
X Y (scatter) chart

Data that is arranged in columns and rows on an Excel sheet can be plotted in an xy (scatter) chart.
A scatter chart has two value axes. It shows one set of numeric data along the horizontal axis (x-
axis) and another along the vertical axis (y-axis). It combines these values into single data points
and displays them in irregular intervals, or clusters.

Scatter charts show the relationships among the numeric values in several data series, or plot two
groups of numbers as one series of xy coordinates. Scatter charts are typically used for displaying
and comparing numeric values, such as scientific, statistical, and engineering data.

Scatter charts have the following chart subtypes:

 Scatter chart Compares pairs of values. Use a scatter chart with data markers but without lines if
you have many data points and connecting lines would make the data more difficult to read. You can
also use this chart type when you do not have to show connectivity of the data points.

 Scatter chart with smooth lines and scatter chart with smooth lines and markers Displays a
smooth curve that connects the data points. Smooth lines can be displayed with or without markers.
Use a smooth line without markers if there are many data points.

 Scatter chart with straight lines and scatter chart with straight lines and markers Displays
straight connecting lines between data points. Straight lines can be displayed with or without
markers.

 Bubble chart or bubble chart with 3-D effect A bubble chart is a kind of xy (scatter) chart, where
the size of the bubble represents the value of a third variable. Compares sets of three values instead
of two. The third value determines the size of the bubble marker. You can choose to display bubbles
in 2-D format or with a 3-D effect.
Area chart

Data that is arranged in columns or rows on an Excel sheet can be plotted in an area chart. By
displaying the sum of the plotted values, an area chart also shows the relationship of parts to a
whole.

Area charts emphasize the magnitude of change over time, and can be used to draw attention to the
total value across a trend. For example, data that represents profit over time can be plotted in an
area chart to emphasize the total profit.

Area charts have the following chart subtypes:

 Area chart Displays the trend of values over time or other category data. 3-D area charts use
three axes (horizontal, vertical, and depth) that you can change. Generally, consider using a line
chart instead of a nonstacked area chart because data from one series can be obscured by data
from another series.

 Stacked area chart Displays the trend of the contribution of each value over time or other
category data. A stacked area chart in 3-D is displayed in the same manner but uses a 3-D
perspective. A 3-D perspective is not a true 3-D chart because a third value axis (depth axis) is not
used.
 100% stacked area chart Displays the trend of the percentage that each value contributes over
time or other category data. A 100% stacked area chart in 3-D is displayed in the same manner but
uses a 3-D perspective. A 3-D perspective is not a true 3-D chart because a third value axis (depth
axis) is not used.

Stock chart

Data that is arranged in columns or rows in a specific order on an Excel sheet can be plotted in a stock
chart.

As its name implies, a stock chart is most frequently used to show the fluctuation of stock prices.
However, this chart may also be used for scientific data. For example, you could use a stock chart to
indicate the fluctuation of daily or annual temperatures.

Stock charts have the following chart sub-types:

 High-Low-Close stock chart Illustrates stock prices. It requires three series of values in the correct
order: high, low, and then close.

 Open-High-Low-Close stock chart Requires four series of values in the correct order: open, high,
low, and then close.

 Volume-High-Low-Close stock chart Requires four series of values in the correct order: volume,
high, low, and then close. It measures volume by using two value axes: one for the columns that measure
volume, and the other for the stock prices.

 Volume-Open-High-Low-Close stock chart Requires five series of values in the correct order:
volume, open, high, low, and then close.
Surface chart

Data that is arranged in columns or rows on an Excel sheet can be plotted in a surface chart. As in a
topographic map, colors and patterns indicate areas that are in the same range of values.

A surface chart is useful when you want to find optimal combinations between two sets of data.

Surface charts have the following chart subtypes:

 3-D surface chart Shows trends in values across two dimensions in a continuous curve. Color bands
in a surface chart do not represent the data series. They represent the difference between the values.
This chart shows a 3-D view of the data, which can be imagined as a rubber sheet stretched over a 3-D
column chart. It is typically used to show relationships between large amounts of data that may otherwise
be difficult to see.

 Wireframe 3-D surface chart Shows only the lines. A wireframe 3-D surface chart is not easy to read,
but this chart type is useful for faster plotting of large data sets.

 Contour chart Surface charts viewed from above, similar to 2-D topographic maps. In a contour chart,
color bands represent specific ranges of values. The lines in a contour chart connect interpolated points
of equal value.

 Wireframe contour chart Surface charts viewed from above. Without color bands on the surface, a
wireframe chart shows only the lines. Wireframe contour charts are not easy to read. You may want to
use a 3-D surface chart instead.
Radar chart

In a radar chart, each category has its own value axis radiating from the center point. Lines connect all
the values in the same series.

Use radar charts to compare the aggregate values of several data series.

Radar charts have the following chart subtypes:

 Radar chart Displays changes in values in relation to a center point.

 Radar with markers Displays changes in values in relation to a center point with markers.

 Filled radar chart Displays changes in values in relation to a center point, and fills the area covered by
a data series with color.

Map chart

You can use a Map Chart to compare values and show categories across geographical regions. Use it
when you have geographical regions in your data, like countries/regions, states, counties or postal codes.
Funnel chart

Funnel charts show values across multiple stages in a process.

Typically, the values decrease gradually, allowing the bars to resemble a funnel. For more information,
see

Treemap chart

The treemap chart provides a hierarchical view of your data and an easy way to compare different levels
of categorization. The treemap chart displays categories by color and proximity and can easily show lots
of data which would be difficult with other chart types. The treemap chart can be plotted when empty
(blank) cells exist within the hierarchal structure and treemap charts are good for comparing proportions
within the hierarchy.
There are no chart sub-types for treemap charts.

Sunburst chart

The sunburst chart is ideal for displaying hierarchical data and can be plotted when
empty (blank) cells exist within the hierarchal structure . Each level of the hierarchy is
represented by one ring or circle with the innermost circle as the top of the hierarchy. A
sunburst chart without any hierarchical data (one level of categories), looks similar to a
doughnut chart. However, a sunburst chart with multiple levels of categories shows how
the outer rings relate to the inner rings. The sunburst chart is most effective at showing
how one ring is broken into its contributing pieces.
There are no chart sub-types for sunburst charts.

Waterfall chart

A waterfall chart shows a running total of your financial data as values are added or subtracted. It's useful
for understanding how an initial value is affected by a series of positive and negative values. The columns
are color coded so you can quickly tell positive from negative numbers.

There are no chart sub-types for waterfall charts.


Histogram and Pareto charts

Data plotted in a histogram chart shows the frequencies within a distribution. Each column of the chart is
called a bin, which can be changed to further analyze your data.

Types of histogram charts

 Histogram The histogram chart shows the distribution of your data grouped into frequency bins.

 Pareto chart A pareto is a sorted histogram chart that contains both columns sorted in descending
order and a line representing the cumulative total percentage.
Box and whisker chart

A box and whisker chart shows distribution of data into quartiles, highlighting the mean and outliers. The
boxes may have lines extending vertically called “whiskers”. These lines indicate variability outside the
upper and lower quartiles, and any point outside those lines or whiskers is considered an outlier. Use this
chart type when there are multiple data sets which relate to each other in some way.