The Work Area

Education is not limited to just classrooms. It can be gained anytime, anywhere... - Ravi Ranjan (M.Tech-NIT)

  The Work Area

 The Name Box

Under the Ribbon, there is a white box displaying a name like A1 (it may not display A1...), that small box is called the Name Box:

Name Box

    The Insert Function Button

   On the right side of the Name box, there is a gray box with an fx button. That fx button is called the Insert Function button.

   The Formula Bar

On the right side of the Insert Function button is a long empty white box or section called the Formula Bar:

      You can hide or show the Formula Bar anytime. To do this, on the Ribbon, click View. In the Show/Hide section:

  • To hide the Formula Bar, remove the check mark on the Formula Bar check box
  • To show the Formula Bar, check the Formula Bar check box

         The Column Headers

Under the Name Box and the Formula bar, you see the column headers. The columns are labeled A, B, C, etc:


There are 255 of columns.

   The Row Headers

On the left side of the main window, there are small boxes called row headers. Each row header is labeled with a number, starting at 1 on top, then 2, and so on:

Row Headers

   The Cells

The main area of Microsoft Excel is made of cells. A cell is the intersection of a column and a row:


A cell is identified by its name and every cell has a name. By default, Microsoft Excel appends the name of a row to the name of a column to identify a cell. Therefore, the top-left cell is named A1. You can check the name of the cell in the Name Box.

Practical Learning: Using Cells

  1. Click anywhere in the work area and type A
    (It doesn't matter where you click and type)
  2. Click another part of the worksheet and type 42XL
  3. Click again another place on the worksheet type Fundamentals and press Enter

    The Scroll Bars

On the right side of the cells area, there is a vertical scroll bar that allows you to scroll up and down in case your document cannot display everything at a time:

Vertical Scroll Bar

In the lower right section of the main window, there is a horizontal scroll bar that allows you to scroll left and right if your worksheet has more items than can be displayed all at once:

Horizontal Scroll Bar

Sometimes the horizontal scroll bar will appear too long or too narrow for you. If you want, you can narrow or enlarge it. To do this, click and drag the button on the left side of the horizontal scroll bar:

Horizontal Scroll Bar

   The Sheet Tabs

On the left side of the horizontal scrollbar, there are the worksheet tabs:

Tab Sheets

By default, Microsoft Excel provides three worksheets to start with. You can work with any of them and switch to another at any time by clicking its tab

   The Navigation Buttons

On the left side of the worksheet tabs, there are four navigation buttons:

Navigation Buttons

If you happen to use a lot of worksheets or the worksheet names are using too much space, which would result in some worksheets being hidden under the horizontal scroll bar, you can use the navigation buttons to move from one worksheet to another.

  The Status Bar

Under the navigation buttons and the worksheet tabs, the Status Bar provides a lot of information about the job that is going on.