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Many educators - even those who are quite comfortable with most uses of computer technology avoid using Excel. They view the program, with its alien commands and odd layouts, as incomprehensible - more suited to number crunchers than to classroom teachers. If you're one of those Excel-phobes, the helpful reminders below might shed some light on Excel's apparent mysteries.

Changing the Default Font

  1. Open Excel.
  2. Go to Tools à Options à General.
  3. Select Standard Font choice and Size. Click OK.
  4. A message will pop up telling you that for your changes to take effect, you must quit and restart Excel. Click OK.
Go to File - Quit. Then reopen Excel.

It's a Wrap
Enlarge a cell to hold all required data.

Have you ever wondered how you would ever fit the data you need to record in a single tiny cell? Simply type all the required data, click Enter (or Return), and click the cell again. Then go to Format > Cells > Alignment, choose Wrap Text, and click OK.

From A to Z
Excel can re-arrange data, too.

To order data in an Excel spreadsheet, highlight all the cells you want to put in a particular order, click Data > Sort, click Ascending or Descending, and then click OK. You can change the criteria Excel sorts by, and even undo your sort if you like.

A Perfect Fit!
Resize columns with just a (double) click.

When using Excel, save time by first typing in all the data. Then, double-click the lines between each column to automatically resize the columns to fit the data.

To Separate A Column of Names in Excel (i.e., FIRST LAST; LAST, FIRST)

  1. Select the column w/data

  2. On the menu line, select Data à Text to Columns

  3. Select Delimited (default setting); click Next

  4. Select the Delimiters – i.e., comma

  5. Data preview will show you what data will look like

  6. Click Next

  7. Click Finish