Cells Fundamentals

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Cells Fundamentals

Introduction
In Lesson 3, we saw that a list could be described as a series of categories called columns. In Lesson 4, we saw that a list organized the values of columns in horizontals sections called rows.

As a list is made of columns and rows, they intersect. The intersection of a column and a row creates a small box called a cell: 

In Lesson 3, we saw that, when Microsoft Excel starts, it creates 16,384 columns. In Lesson 4, we saw that when Microsoft Excel starts, it creates 1,048,576 rows. As a result, when you open Microsoft Excel, you have a total of 16,384 * 1,048,576 = 17,179,869,184 cells available. You can use just a few of them, as will usually be the case, or you can use as many as you want but they are always available.

Among the various ways you can use a cell, we will see in various sections that you can click it or use the keyboard to get to a cell. You can also right-click a cell. When you do, a multi-part menu would appear:

Cell Context-Sensitive Menu

Notice that the context-sensitive menu is divided in two sections; a toolbar and a menu window. Throughout our lessons, we will see what the buttons and the menu items represent.

The Location of a cell

Whatever you are doing on a cell, it is always important to know what cell you are working on. The minimum piece of information you need about a cell is to know which one you are using at a particular time. To make this recognition a little easier, each cell has an address also called a location. This address or location also serves as the cell's primary name.

To know the location of a cell, you refer to its column and its row. The combination of the column's name and the row's label provides the address or name of a cell. When you click a cell, its column header becomes highlighted in orange. In the same way, the row header of a selected cell is highlighted in orange. To know the name of a cell, you can refer to the Name Box, which is located at the intersection of columns and rows' headers:

A Selected Cell

Practical Learning: Identifying a Cell

  1. Open the RTHS4.xlsx file
  2. Click any cell in the document and notice its name in the Name Box
  3. Press Ctrl + Home