Excel 2010 Cell Basics

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Excel 2010

Cell Basics

Introduction

Excel 2010 
You will need to know the basic ways you can work with cells and cell content in Excel to be able to use it to calculate, analyze, and organize data. In this lesson, you will learn how to select cellsinsert content; and delete cells and cell content. You will also learn how to cut, copy and paste cellsdrag and drop cells; and fill cells using the fill handle.



Introduction to Cells and Cell Content

Launch video!Watch the video (3:55). Need help?
Cells are the basic building blocks of a worksheet. Cells can contain a variety of content such as textformatting attributesformulas, andfunctions.
Watch the video to learn about cells and cell content in Excel workbooks.

The Cell

Each rectangle in a worksheet is called a cell. A cell is the intersection of a row and a column.
Row 4, Column DRow 4, Column D
Each cell has a name, or a cell address based on which column and row it intersects. The cell address of a selected cell appears in the Name box. Here you can see that C5 is selected.
Cell addressCell address

To Select a Cell:

  1. Click on a cell to select it. When a cell is selected you will notice that the borders of the cell appear bold Cursor and the column heading and row heading of the cell are highlighted.
  2. Release your mouse. The cell will stay selected until you click on another cell in the worksheet.
You can also navigate through your worksheet and select a cell by using the arrow keys on your keyboard.

To Select Multiple Cells:

  1. Click and drag your mouse until all of the adjoining cells you want are highlighted.
    Selecting multiple cellsSelecting multiple cellsRelease your mouse. The cells will stay selected until you click on another cell in the worksheet.

Cell Content

Each cell can contain its own text, formatting, comments, formulas, and functions.
  • Text
    Cells can contain letters, numbers, and dates.
  • Formatting attributes
    Cells can contain formatting attributes that change the way letters, numbers, and dates are displayed. For example, dates can be formatted as MM/DD/YYYY or Month/D/YYYY.
  • Comments
    Cells can contain comments from multiple reviewers.
  • Formulas and Functions
    Cells can contain formulas and functions that calculate cell values. For example, SUM(cell 1, cell 2...) is a formula that can add the values in multiple cells.

To Insert Content:

  1. Click on a cell to select it.
  2. Enter content into the selected cell using your keyboard. The content appears in the cell and in the formula bar. You also can enter or edit cell content from the formula bar.
    Inserting contentInserting content

To Delete Content Within Cells:

  1. Select the cells which contain content you want to delete.
  2. Click the Clear command on the ribbon. A dialog box will appear.
  3. Select Clear Contents.
    Clearing cell contentsClearing cell contents
You can also use your keyboard's Backspace key to delete content from a single cell or Delete key to delete content from multiple cells.

To Delete Cells:

  1. Select the cells that you want to delete.
  2. Choose the Delete command from the ribbon.
    Deleting cellsDeleting cells
There is an important difference between deleting the content of a cell and deleting the cell itself. If you delete the cell, by default the cells underneath it will shift up and replace the deleted cell.

To Copy and Paste Cell Content:

  1. Select the cells you wish to copy.
  2. Click the Copy command. The border of the selected cells will change appearance.
    Copying selected cellsCopying selected cells
  3. Select the cell or cells where you want to paste the content.
  4. Click the Paste command. The copied content will be entered into the highlighted cells.
    Pasting selected cellsPasting selected cells

To Cut and Paste Cell Content:

  1. Select the cells you wish to cut.
  2. Click the Cut command. The border of the selected cells will change appearance.
    Cutting selected cellsCutting selected cells
  3. Select the cells where you want to paste the content.
  4. Click the Paste command. The cut content will be removed from the original cells and entered into the highlighted cells.
    Pasting selected cellsPasting selected cells

To Access More Paste Options:

There are more Paste options that you can access from the drop-down menu on the Paste command.These options may be convenient to advanced users who are working with cells that contain formulas or formatting.
Accessing Paste OptionsAccessing Paste Options

To Access Formatting Commands by Right-Clicking:

  1. Select the cells you want to format.
  2. Right-click on the selected cells. A dialog box will appear where you can easily access many commands that are on the ribbon.
    Right-clicking a selected cellRight-clicking a selected cell

    To Drag and Drop Cells:

    1. Select the cells that you wish to move.
    2. Position your mouse on one of the outside edges of the selected cells. The mouse changes from a white cross Cursor to a black cross with 4 arrowsCursor.
      Positioning the mouse to drag and drop cellsPositioning the mouse to drag and drop cells
    3. Click and drag the cells to the new location.
    4. Release your mouse and the cells will be dropped there.
      Dropped cellsDropped cells

    To Use the Fill Handle to Fill Cells:

    1. Select the cell or cells containing the content you want to use. You can fill cell content either vertically or horizontally.
    2. Position your mouse over the fill handle so that the white cross Cursor becomes a black cross Cursor.
      Positioning the mouse to use the fill handlePositioning the mouse to use the fill handle
    3. Click and drag the fill handle until all the cells you want to fill are highlighted.
    4. Release the mouse and your cells will be filled.
      Filled cellsFilled cells

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