Help Me Microsoft Excel

microsoft excel helpMicrosoft’s spreadsheet program, Excel, is used in offices all over for various tasks. Some use it at home too for organizing checkbook registers and budgets. It is not at all similar to Word, Publisher, or PowerPoint in ease of use. They all have sophisticated features that you can get by without ever using, but Excel is a whole different animal, with only Access as the fiercer beast. Want to learn how to use Excel? Udemy has a quick start course to help.

Being a more difficult program to use with its functions and math features, users need to spend more time learning Excel. It is not as user-friendly and much more technical than the more familiar programs used for words and sentence structure. There are templates available for various tasks, which allow you to quickly use the program for your intended use. For instance, my husband is an accountant, and we are both very computer savvy, yet it was simple to use a template for our checkbook register, so why wouldn’t we? The formulas were already there. It’s for home use anyhow, why not cheat?

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Help System Change

If you learned to use Excel prior to the 2007 version, you may have relied heavily on the help menu to assist you, but the 2007, 2010, and 2013 versions have integrated help which can be tricky to use if you are not used to it. The ribbon feature is helpful for menu changes that are applicable to what you are doing at that very moment, but help is not integrated into this ribbon. There is no Tool tab, or Tool menu on the ribbon. Help is still available, it has simply been moved.

Where to Find Excel Help

You might already have the built in help button on the top right help above the ribbon. This is the help button. You may also press F1 for help. Also this integrated help tool will provide a ScreenTip, Press F1 for Help. Press F1 and information about that very command will appear.

You can also use either of the processes below to quickly find help in Microsoft Excel:

To learn basics:

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click the Getting Started button.

The Getting Started page will open. Use this page to learn about Microsoft Office programs.

If you just need a bit of help:

  1. Click the Help help  button.
  2. View the list of help topics.
  3. Click the topic applicable to your needs to view the detailed information.

You can use the options feature as well:

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options at the bottom of the menu. The Options dialogue box will open.

These instructions are for Excel 2007 only:

  1. Click the Office button.
  2. Click Excel Options at the bottom of the menu. The Excel Options dialogue box will open.

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Using Help

Once you have opened Help, if you’re not sure what to do, click though until you find the topic that suits your particular need. Read the article onscreen or print it by clicking the Print button. The back and forward buttons can assist you in your navigation through related Help topics.

Table of Contents (TOC)

Click the closed book icon help closed  to open the TOC. The book opens help open when you click it to alert you that it has read your request. The TOC appears on the left. Click any books to display sub-topics.

help 2

Search Box

You can use the search feature to bring up help topics. Use keywords, such as formula. The cool thing is that you can even search on previous versions of Excel too through this help system, but only if you are connected to the internet. You can search when offline for your current version of the program.

Add in Tools

If you’re a die hard, “They don’t make ‘em like they used to” person who cannot wrap your brain around this ribbon notion, there is help for you. You can download classic menus and toolbars online for a free trial. I personally think the ribbon is more functional if you take the time to work with it. Try some of these tips and tricks.

Conclusion

Yes, Virginia, there is a help system. Use Excel Help to learn the program or assist you when you’re in a tough spot. Remember you can even use it online, or when you are connected to the internet, you can find Help topics for other versions of Excel. Forget about the Tools menu, Help has its own spot now, and even races to your assistance faster than OnStar or Life Alert.