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The following is a learning activity on how to create a chart and format cells and text within Microsoft Excel. A spelling template utilizing the ascending and descending buttons will be created at the same time and the Autosum feature will be used.
Worksheet Image
Parts of the Worksheet
Document Window Title Bar - displays the name of the file. Dragging the title bar, moves the window and double clicking it maximizes the size of the window.

Document Window Control Menu Box - appears when window is maximized and when clicked, has a drop-down menu with commands to control the window.

Exit, Maximize & Minimize Buttons - These buttons allow you to shrink the window to an icon on the taskbar, enlarge and reduce window and exit the program.

Menu Bar - Pull-down listings of the commands that are available for use.

Toolbar - The tools that are available as short cut keys in Excel.

Formula Bar - Displays the contents of the cell that is highlighted.

Cell Reference - Indicates the column letter and row number of the current cell that is highlighted.

Row Headings- Horizontal lines of information identified with numbers. A single worksheet can have up to 16,384 rows of information.

Column Headings- Vertical lines of information identified with letters. A single worksheet can have up to 256 columns of information.

Cell- The location of where individual data is stored in your worksheet that is the insertion point between a row and a column.

Select All Button - By clicking this button you are selecting all of the cells in the worksheet.

Scrolling Buttons - Allows you to move to areas of your worksheet that are currently visible on your screen.

Activity One: Learning the Basics!
"Spell to Excel"

I. Getting Started

Setting Default Font

  1. Go to Tools and click Options.
  2. Click the General Tab.
  3. Where it says Standard Font, select Arial. \Make the font size 14. Click OK.

Entering Data

Enter data using keyboard. Use tab, arrow keys, mouse or enter to travel between cells. Tab moves you to the right. Enter moves you down. Remember: The active cell is highlighted showing a double box.

In A1 type: Spelling Word
In B1 type: ABC Order
In C1 type: ZYX Order
In D1 type: Antonym
In E1 type: Synonym.
In F1 type: Number of Letters
In G1 type: Extra

Press Enter to go to row 2.

In A2 type: girl
In A3 type: light
In A4 type: small
In A5 type: down
In A6 type: mother
In A7 type: cold
In A8 type: short
In A9 type: brother
In A10 type: laugh
In A11 type: city

To Replace or Edit Data

  1. Move the mouse over the cell containing the data that you want to change and then click the left mouse button once to replace the contents of the cell.
  2. Begin typing in the new data to replace contents.To edit the contents of the cell, click the left mouse button twice to get the flashing insertion point.
  3. Use the arrow keys or on your keyboard to move the insertion point to where you want to add or remove characters.
  4. Use the delete key to remove the characters to the right of the insertion point.
  5. Use the backspace key to remove characters to the left of the insertion point.
    When you are finished making changes to the data, press enter.

II. Formatting Your Chart - The Basics

  1. To highlight one cell, just click that cell.
  2. To highlight a row, hold the left mouse click and drag across the part of the row to change.
  3. To highlight a column, hold the left mouse and drag down the part of the column you would like to change.
  4. To highlight the entire chart, left click cell A1 and then scroll and hold the shift key and left click cell G11.
  5. To highlight individual cells, hold the shift key as you left click each cell.

III. Formatting Columns and Rows

Changing the Column Width

  1. Double click the line between column A and column B to automatically size the column.
  2. Change column B width next. Click on the B. The whole column is highlighted.
  3. Right click with the mouse. A menu will appear.
  4. Select Column Width with one click.
  5. The column width window will appear.
  6. Type in 12 to change width and click OK.
  7. Column B is now 12 characters wide.

Change Column C with the Mouse

  1. Click on column C. The whole column is highlighted.
  2. Move the mouse + over the to the right edge of the column heading until it changes to a +
  3. Press down and hold with the left button as you drag the edge of the column to a new position.
  4. Try releasing mouse at 12.00 to see if text fits.
  5. The width of A, B and C are now adjusted.
  6. Adjust the remaining columns with the exception of G and F.

Changing Row Height

  1. Click on cell 1(the gray cell).
  2. Right click mouse.
  3. Choose Row Height with one click.
  4. Type in the number 55 and click OK.
  5. You can also change row height by using the mouse and dragging the arrow key just as you did with the column widths.

Lets change all the remaining rows to a different height.

  1. Highlight cells 2 through 11 by dragging the mouse.
  2. This time go to Format on the menu bar.
  3. Click Row and then Height.
  4. Change number to 25 and clock OK.
  5. All the remaining rows will now be the same height.

IV. Formatting Cells

Changing Font

  1. Highlight cells A1 to G1.
  2. Using the font box, scroll and select Comic Sans.
  3. Select font size, scroll and select 20.
  4. Your font should now be changed. Do not change column widths at this time.

Changing Font Color

  1. Select color before you type by clicking font color icon on toolbar.
  2. Click color and type.
  3. You can highlight text after it is typed.
  4. Right click mouse to get format menu.
  5. Click format cells. Click font tab.
  6. Click font color to select color.

Changing Alignment

  1. With A1 to G1 highlighted, right click the mouse to get the format menu.
  2. Highlight and click Format Cells. There will be six tabs at the top of this format window.
  3. Click the alignment tab. Then select the following:
    In the horizontal column select general
    In the vertical column select center
    Then click to place a check in the wrap text box. Click OK.
  4. All text should now fit with the exception of the last column. Adjust accordingly.
  5. The alignment icons on the tool bar may also be used to align text.

Adding Borders

  1. Highlight your entire text by clicking cell A1, scroll to G11 and shift/click.
  2. The entire spreadsheet should be highlighted.
  3. Go to the menu bar at the top and pull down the format menu.
  4. Highlight and click cells to see the six tab notebook.
  5. Click on borders.Click the heavy style line in styles menu.
  6. Next click each space under the border menu format lines.
  7. You can also use the border icon on the toolbar menu.

Formatting Cells With Color and Patterns

  1. Highlight cells A2 to A11.
  2. Right click to get format menu and click format cells.
  3. Click Patterns tab. Choose a color or go to patterns and select a pattern.
  4. Click OK after pattern selection.
  5. To select only color, you can choose the cell color icon on the toolbar menu.


  1. Highlight the entire chart by dragging the mouse or using the key. You can also select the select all button.
  2. Go to tools on the menu toolbar. Select protection.
  3. Click protect sheet to protect.
  4. To unprotect the sheet go through the same process.
  5. Click the save button to save progress

V. Inserting, Deleting and Clearing Rows and Columns

Rows (Insert and Clear)

  1. Highlight cell 4 in the first column.
  2. Right click to get the format menu.
  3. Select and click Insert. You can also go to the menu bar and click Insert then row.
  4. In the Insert menu click add a row to insert the row. Type in the word night.
  5. Highlight a the word night. Right click to get menu.
  6. Click clear to remove name.
  7. Click the undo button to replace the text.

Columns (Delete)

  1. Highlight the G column with the word Extra.
  2. Right click to get menu and select delete. When the menu appears click delete.
  3. The column will disappear.

VI. Moving Data

Dragging with the Mouse

  1. Highlight the cells you wish to move.
  2. Move the mouse to the border of the cells that are selected until it changes from a + to a pointer.
  3. Press and hold the left mouse button and drag the cells where you want them and then release to place.
  4. Click undo on the toolbar to move the cell back to its original position.

Using Cut and Paste to Move Data

  1. Highlight cells that you want to move to a new location.
  2. Move the mouse pointer over the cut icon and click left mouse button.
  3. Select the cell where you want to place the data. This cell will become the top left cell of the
  4. new location.
  5. Move the mouse to the paste icon and click with the left mouse button. The data now appears in the new location.
  6. Click undo to undo the move. Double click the active cell with the marching dotted lines to undo the cut feature.

Copying Data

  1. Highlight cells A2 to A12 to copy.
  2. Click copy icon with left mouse button.
  3. Select cell B2 to the place for the list of words in that row and left click the paste icon.
  4. The list will be copied at the insertion point.
  5. Double click to undo the copy feature.
  6. Copy the words into column F. Change the font style in column F.
  7. Highlight the spelling words in column B. Move the mouse to the bottom right corner of the selection until it becomes a +. Hold the left mouse button to drag and copy the text.

VII. Spellchecker and Ascending and Descending


  1. Highlight A1 to spellcheck worksheet from the beginning.
  2. Select parts to spell check by highlighting.
  3. Make changes of spelling in the spelling dialog box.

Ascending and Descending

  1. Highlight the cells in the ABC column.
  2. Click ascending icon on toolbar for words alphabetized.
  3. Click ascending icon for numbers from least to greatest.
  4. Click descending for numbers from greatest to least.

VIII. Page Setup

Page Setup

  1. Click the magnifying icon.
  2. Click the Setup box and the tab labeled Page.
  3. Click Landscape to change the layout for this chart.
  4. Click Margins tab.
  5. Click the two bottom boxes, center horizontally and center vertically, to center chart.
  6. Click OK.

Header and Footers

  1. Click header and footer tab.
  2. Click Custom Header.
  3. Type Spell to Excel in the center box.
  4. Format font by highlighting and clicking the A. Change font and font size to 26 point. Click OK.
  5. Click Custom Footer.
  6. Type your name in the center box and press enter. Click the calendar button to add date.
  7. Highlight your name and the date. Change the font style and size to 20 point. Click OK.
  8. Click Sheet. Notice the gridlines option. Click OK and then Close.


  1. Click Margins tab.
  2. Practice dragging the lines with the mouse to change the margins.


  1. Click Zoom to enlarge your worksheet.
  2. Click Zoom again to see the entire worksheet.

Next and Previous

  1. If your worksheet is more than two pages you can use the next button to go to the next page of your worksheet.
  2. To go back to the previous page, click the previous button to return.

IX. AutoSum Function

  1. Type the number of letters in each word in the E column.
  2. Highlight the entire row. Click the Center alignment button on the toolbar.
  3. Click the AutoSum function button. The sum or total number of letters appears in cell E13.
  4. Add a border around the bottom row.

X. Save and Print


  1. Go to file on menu toolbar.
  2. Pull down menu and click print.
  3. Check setup and click OK.


  1. Go to file on menu toolbar and click Save.
  2. Highlight entire chart. Go to Edit on the menu bar. Click Clear to delete contents.
  3. Save the template by doing a Save As and renaming. (Ex: SpellExcel)

Back to The ABC to Excel


©1999, Kathy D. Adkins