Make the switch to Excel 2013

A closer look at the ribbon

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Take a tour of the ribbon and learn where all your favorite buttons and menus are in Excel 2013.

The ribbon

Instead of menus, the ribbon gives you tabs with groups of commands. The tools you use most are on the HOME tab.

  1. Click INSERT to add a chart or PivotChart.

  2. Click PAGE LAYOUT to set page sizes, margins, and print areas.

  3. Use the FORMULAS tab to add formulas.

  4. Use the DATA tab to connect to other data sources.

  5. Go to the REVIEW tab to add comments and protect a worksheet or workbook, and check out the VIEW tab to freeze or unlock rows or columns.

Let's look at the commands on the ribbon more closely.

We have already covered the HOME tab. These are the ribbon commands that will probably be used most often as you work on a worksheet.

Commands for Copy, Paste, and the Format Painter.

Here are the commands for formatting the fonts and numbers, and adding a style.

For example, we can select this data and then format it as a table, look through the gallery, and choose a Style.

Our data has a Header Row, so click OK.

With the table selected, we get a special tab.

This one is for working with the table's design.

Let's add a Total Row

Note that the tab goes away when you click outside the table.

Now, let's see what's on the INSERT tab.

This is where you go to add something like a chart or an illustration.

Let's add a picture.

The first thing you'll need to do is resize it to fit using the corner resize handles, then you can move it where you want it on the worksheet.

With the picture selected, you get the PICTURE TOOLS FORMAT tab.

I am going to click Crop, and then crop out part of this wall, so it looks better on the page.

The INSERT tab also has some new tools you want to check out on your own, like Screenshot and Sparklines.

On the PAGE LAYOUT tab, you have commands for working with the setup of your pages and alignment of elements. You can also select Themes for your workbook, which applies a professional looking set of fonts and colors to everything.

Select the one you like.

You can then use chart options to choose how you want to apply the theme colors to your charts.

The FORMULAS tab is where you'll find the Function Library and other formula related commands. For example, you can click here to Show Formulas.

Let's add a column to this data, and then, add a formula that adds the data in the other columns.

You could write a formula manually, but why do that when you can insert an AutoSum function.

Click Sum and Excel adds the function and auto completes the arguments in the formula for you. Press Enter. Now, you can take it one step further and drag this little green handle to autofill the formula to the other cells.

The DATA tab has commands for working with data.

For example, you can connect to Get External Data sources with these commands and click here to access the Data Connection Wizard.

The REVIEW tab has the spellchecker and commands to add and review comments.

And finally the VIEW tab has commands and options for changing how you view your worksheets.

For example, you can remove Gridlines.

Click Freeze Panes to keep header rows and columns from scrolling.

One more thing you may be interested in is Headers and Footers.

You get to them by clicking Page Layout view and clicking here.

Yes, Excel now lets you work with your worksheets as they appear on the printed page.

After you have edited and formatted your data and inserted your charts and PivotTables, it's time to save, print, export, or share your workbook.

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