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How to Demystify the Ribbon in Excel 2003, 2007, & 2010

Learn how to demystify the ribbon in Excel 2010, Excel 2007, and Excel 2003 in this Howcast Excel tutorial with expert Shir Moscovitz.


Hi, my name is Shir and I'm the founder and CEO of where we focus on converting the existing data from your business into massive savings and extraordinary profits. Today we're going to learn the basics of Excel. Let's get started.

So what is the Microsoft RIBBON anyway? Well it's this thing here at the top with all the different commands that we usually use. So we can actually make it smaller by clicking on this button over here or we can use the shortcut CTRL+F1 and that kind of hides it like that. But I recommend keeping it open at all times. We have a lot of different tabs on top and we can go between them like so. Now what it is - is all the most commonly used commands grouped together in an intelligent way. So here on the Home tab, we have a lot of ones that we're going to use quite frequently. I like to use the Font commands right here. Changing the specific Font of the data pretty quickly and easily. I can also change the alignment by clicking over here. There's a lot of really really useful commands going on right here. I usually stay away from the editing from this side because I can actually get a lot of that done in a different tab.

So we're going to go over the Data tab next and see that there's a lot of useful commands right here. If I wanted to I could go through and sort the data by any COLUMN that I wanted. And then have it sorted automatically. You have all the most useful commands right here. The Filter command is also very useful. Here we have another very useful command - Text to COLUMNS, Remove Duplicates, Data Validation which we'll go over later, Consolidate and WhatIf Analysis.

Another useful tab is the View in which we can see the Zoom however big we need to. I usually keep it at 125%. If I want to see it much bigger, I can simply Zoom in like that or I could click back here to Zoom to 100%. Let's keep it at 125%.

The next and most useful tab is the Page Layout tab. Anything to do with Printing can be done here. We can change the Margins of the page or the CELL by going like this. We can change the Orientation - is it Portrait or Landscape? The size of the page, whether or not there are breaks in it. Very very useful things to do here. If you want to show the Gridlines, you can simply click on that to hide them and click on it again to show them or we can choose whether or not they Print using that checkbox right there.

Another useful tab is the INSERT tab in which we can do all sorts of things with Pivot Tables and Tables. We'll go over that in later videos. Basic charts and other links over here. I usually don't spend too much time in the Review tab although if you're doing Comments, this is a great place to go. Formulas can be done through other methods which we'll go over later. And Developer is usually hidden so you don't have to worry about that.

What's really important to keep in mind with the RIBBON is if you ever don't know what something does, simply place the mouse over it and wait for a little key tip to pop up. It tells you exactly what it is. "Conditional formatting - highlighting, highlight interesting cells, emphasize unusual values, and visualize data using Data Bars, Color Scales, and Icon Sets based on criteria." But let's say you want to know a little bit more about what that means - Well simply press F1 which will bring up the Excel Help. We can then type in a topic, or you can even, let's actually do that, let's type in a topic. We'll hit ENTER or we're click on the Search. It brings us to the different articles related to Conditional Formatting. Let's choose this one - "Quick start: Apply conditional formatting." It tells us what it does and how to do it with a lot of useful screenshots to get us there. So if you ever get lost, make sure to take the time to put the cursor over the command. See the little bubble that appears. And if you're ever confused, press the F1 key on the keyboard and then type in the name of that topic to get more information. And that is the Microsoft EXCEL RIBBON in 2010. The Microsoft EXCEL RIBBON in 2007 might look a little bit different. In EXCEL 2003, you won't see the RIBBON at all. And that's why I like to use the keyboard as much as possible to get to the same place that you can get using the RIBBON. But there are somethings in the RIBBON that can only be done here and not using the keyboard.
But we'll go over all of those later.

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