For this lesson you need to open a new blank Excel workbook.
This lesson introduces the Ribbon. The Ribbon is that broad band at the top of the screen, full of icons and symbols. The sheer breadth of Excel Features can seem overwhelming to new users. This course will gently introduce all of the most important features one at a time. And by the end of this course you'll be really comfortable and productive with the Ribbon. And if you go on to complete the Expert Skills video, the Ribbon will have no secrets left at all.
Now your Ribbon may not look quite the same as the Ribbon you're seeing now on the screen. That's because the Ribbon changes its appearance depending upon how wide your screen is. This screen is 1280 pixels wide, and most modern computers have a screen at least as wide as this.
But let me show you what would happen if your screen was a little narrower. I'll click the Restore Down button at the top right of my screen so that I can change the width of the Excel window. At the moment you can see nearly all of the icons but, as I make the screen narrower, you can see that the Ribbon is changing because it has less space to show me icons. All of the icons are still there, but Excel has to hide them because there's simply not enough screen space to show them all.
I'm going to restore the screen back now to full screen, and we can see all of the icons on the Ribbon.
In Excel 2013 there's another reason why your Ribbon may not look the same as the one you're seeing on the screen, and that's because Excel 2013 allows users to customize the Ribbon. Customizing the Ribbon is an expert-level skill, covered in the Expert Skills course in this series.
If another user has been playing with this feature, they may have rendered Excel unusable. If you suspect this to be the case here's how to put things back to normal. First of all, right click on the Ribbon and then select Customize the Ribbon... from the shortcut menu. At the bottom of the dialog on the right, you can see that there's a Reset button. This will put things back to normal again.
I'm going to click the Reset button and select Reset all customizations. I can then click Yes, and then the OK button, and the Ribbon is put back to the same state it was in when Excel was first installed on your computer. So your Ribbon should now be looking very similar to the one you're seeing on screen.
Let's now consider the Ribbon Tabs. The Ribbon tabs are the words File, Home, Insert, Page Layout, etc, appearing at the top of the Ribbon. The Home tab on the Ribbon, the one you're looking at now, is by far the most useful tab and has all of the main Excel commands upon it.
But let's look at the icons on some of the other tabs. Here's the Insert tab, the Page Layout tab, Formulas, Data, Review, and View. Now all of this may seem a little overwhelming at the moment, but the course will introduce all of these features one at a time.
For the moment we want to focus on the Home tab on the Ribbon, and we'll be using some of these commands in just a moment.
Let's now type a word into any blank cell on the worksheet. I'll click in cell C3 and type the word Test, and then press the Enter key on the keyboard.
I'll now click back once on the word Test to make it the active cell. And you can see that the green line is around the active cell, and I can also see C3 in the name box.
Now be very careful not to double click on cell C3, because if you did that you'd go into Edit Mode. Let me show you. I'll double click, and you can see a flashing cursor in the cell. If you've done this by accident, press the Escape key on the keyboard to exit Edit Mode, because we don't want to be there.
If you look at the Ribbon, you can see that the commands are all grouped into logical groups. For example, you can see there's a Font group that has many commands that's related to fonts, an Alignment group that has many commands relating to alignment, and so on.
In this lesson we'll focus on all of the commands in the Font group, and show how we can use the Ribbon to format the contents of the currently active cell.
Let's begin with the Font. You can see that, at the moment, the font is Calibri. But I'm going to click the dropdown to the right of Calibri to see all of the different fonts available in Excel 2013. And you can see that there's an enormous number of different fonts. Let's choose quite an unusual one: Old English Text. And you can see that the font in cell C3 has now changed to Old English Text.
But I'll now put that back again to Calibri by clicking the dropdown to the right of the font, scrolling to the top and selecting Calibri.
Let's now look at the number next to the Calibri font. It says 11, meaning that the size of the font is 11 points. I'm going to click the dropdown to the right of 11 and slowly hover over each of the numbers in the list. And you can see that, as I hover over the different point sizes, the word Test gets larger and larger.
Let's go back again to 11 points.
You can also type a number into that box if none of the presets are suitable for your purpose. For example, I'll enter 144 and press the Enter key, and I now have an enormous font in cell C3. But let's go back to 11 now, using the same technique.I'll type 11 into the box and press the Enter key.
The two buttons to the right of the Font Size box just give you another way of doing exactly the same thing. I can make the font larger by clicking this icon, and every time I click, the font size gets bigger and bigger. And I can make it smaller by using the button on the right hand side. Every time I click now, the font gets smaller. But let's put the font size back to 11 points.
Now let's move to the next row. We've got three letters here: B, I and U, corresponding to Bold, Italic and Underline. I'm going to click the B button, and you can see that the text in cell C3 is now bold faced. Now I'll click the I button, and you can see that it now slopes to the right. And when I click the U button, the text now has an underline.
If I click these buttons again I can switch off each of these attributes. I'll click Underline, and the text is no longer underlined, I and the text is no longer italic, and B and the text is no longer bold faced.
Notice there's a little dropdown arrow next to the Underline button. That gives me two different underlines, a regular underline or a double underline. Let's click Double Underline to see what that looks like. And now I'll click left hand side of the button to remove the underline.
The next icon to the right is a Borders button. You might wonder "What's the difference between a border and a single underline?". Well if I go for a single underline, you can see that just the letters of the word Test are underlined. Let's remove the underline now and, instead, apply a bottom border. And you can see that now the border extends the complete width of cell C3.
The Border button doesn't only produce single bottom borders though, there's a huge array of borders you can add using this button. Let's click the dropdown arrow to the right of the Border button, and you can see a huge array of different types of border. Later in the course, we'll be revisiting this list and doing some very advanced things with custom borders. But for now, I'll click onto the worksheet to remove the dropdown.
Now let's remove the bottom border from cell C3. To do that I make C3 the active cell, click the dropdown to the right of the border button, and this time I'll select No Border. And the border has now gone.
The next two buttons are the foreground and background colours of the cell. Let's choose the background colour dropdown first. That's the arrow to the right of the paint bucket. It's good practice to always choose theme colours when working with Excel, and to avoid the standard colours. You'll find out why later in the course. But for now I'm going to choose a light green for the background colour.
The font colour, that's the colour of the letters in the word Test, is currently black. But I'll click the font colour dropdown now and change that. I think I'll change it to a very dark blue.
So we've now covered all of the tools on the Font group that is on the Home tab of the Ribbon.
You'll notice that the Ribbon takes up quite a lot of space on the screen. Sometimes when you're working with a large worksheet, you'll want to remove the Ribbon to give you more real estate on screen for your data. To do that, all you need to do is double click any of the Ribbon tabs.
I'll double click the Home tab, and you can see that the Ribbon has now shrunk to only show the tab names. But you can see I still have the Formula Bar and the Active Cell box. The Ribbon commands haven't gone. If I click the Home Tab you'll see that the Ribbon pops up, but it only stays visible until I click back onto the worksheet, when it vanishes again. To bring the Ribbon back, just double click one of the tabs and the Ribbon's now back permanently.
You've now completed Lesson 1-12 Use the Ribbon.