### Unit 1: Getting Started with Spreadsheets

In this unit, you will learn about the power and flexibility of spreadsheets, using Microsoft Excel. This unit will briefly survey the history and background of Excel. There are two subunits that contain specific content that will provide an introduction to Excel. As you become more familiar with the software, you will start to overcome any fear about learning spreadsheet software. This unit and this course will help you become more productive in using spreadsheets at work and for personal applications. For example, in this unit, you will see two practical examples of using a spreadsheet: to create a family budget and to create a work estimate.

**Completing this unit should take you approximately 1 hour.**

Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

- identify and describe the components of a spreadsheet;
- define various applications of Excel;
- open Excel, create a new spreadsheet, and navigate around a spreadsheet; and
- create a personal monthly budget.

### 1.1: Basic Terms and Definitions in Excel

### 1.1.1: Cells, Rows, and Columns

What is a spreadsheet? In this reading, you will examine the basic building blocks of a spreadsheet. As you read, try to answer the following questions: What is the difference between a row and a column? Which is identified by a number, and which is identified by a letter? How are cells formed?

Examine and memorize the definitions of cells, rows, and columns below and see examples of each.

The first image is an example of a

**CELL**. The highlighted rectangle with the number 215 is called B1, because on the grid it is the precise location of where column B meets row 1.The second image is an example of a

**ROW**. The numbers 734, 238, and 159 are entered in row 1.The third image is an example of a

**COLUMN**. The numbers 145, 657, and 987 are entered in column A.

### 1.1.2: Sheets and Workbooks

Read this article to learn how to use Excel to create a new spreadsheet, enter data, format numbers, create tables and calculations, and save your spreadsheet. Worksheets, also called sheets, are the workspaces on your screen that open when you start Excel. One or more worksheets makes a workbook. A worksheet may vary in size depending on your settings and screen, but it is totally adjustable, as you will learn.

When you have finished reading, try practicing what you learned! Open Excel, create a new spreadsheet, and enter in data. Don't worry if you are unfamiliar with how to organize data. You'll learn more about that in the next lesson. For now, enter in a list of numbers, then click on the Autosum icon. Now, change the format of the numbers to currency. What happens? If you want an extra challenge, try creating a table.

If you do not have Excel installed on your computer, you can download a free one-month trial here: https://products.office.com/en-us/try.

### 1.2: The Flexibility and Breadth of Application of Excel

### 1.2.1: The Family Budget

Read the following text and view the video tutorial, "Excel Family Budget." Also download the sample file if you find it helpful.

The image below is a simplified example of a family budget through August. Each

**column**(vertical) represents an entire month. Each row (horizontal) represents an expense in the budget. Notice there are repeated expenses that are the same for each month, but the vacation expense is entered in only one month. Also, some expenses may vary, as indicated with the Heat-A/C. The bottom line is the total for each month.In the example, what do you notice about the first column and first row? Look at cell D4. What does this number represent?

### 1.2.2: The Work Estimate

Here is another example of a spreadsheet used for financial data: This one is for a work estimate created for a customer by an employee of an auto repair shop. Look at the estimate closely. Notice that the data is organized in a way that allows the customer to quickly determine the number and types of repairs required, the estimated number of hours of work required for each repair, the price per hour for each repair, and the total cost of each repair and of all repairs.

Now that you have seen two examples of financial spreadsheets, try creating your own! Create a personal monthly budget. Start by determining the categories that your expenses fall under. Enter the months into the column headings and categories into the first row. Now fill in the amount spent per month in each category. Try using the AutoSum feature that you learned in subunit 1.1 to calculate the total expenses for each category and the total expenses per month. Change the number in one or two of the cells and notice what happens to the sum. Formulas can save us a lot of time and allow us to make changes to our data easily! You will learn about more formulas in the next unit. Make sure to save your budget with a file name you will recognize to a device you use frequently. If you do not have access to a device you use regularly, consider emailing your saved spreadsheet to yourself. You will revisit this file in Unit 3.

Can you think about other uses for spreadsheets? Are there any uses for spreadsheets that surprised you?

While this activity does not have a specific grading rubric, we do encourage you to post your response on Saylor's discussion forums, along with a note asking for feedback from the community. Make sure to include the activity prompt/instructions, as well as you own personal notes for what you would like others to focus their attention on when peer reviewing, so that you can get the most helpful feedback possible.

While there, you should reply to your classmates' posts as well, especially on those topics that you feel you have already mastered.

### Unit 1 Assessment

Take this assessment to see how well you understood this unit.

- This assessment
**does not count towards your grade**. It is just for practice! - You will see the correct answers when you submit your answers. Use this to help you study for the final exam!
- You can take this assessment as many times as you want, whenever you want.

- This assessment