Excel Screen Elements and Parts of the Excel Screen

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Excel Screen Elements

Excel 2013 Screen Elements
Excel 2013 Screen Elements. © Ted French

Parts of the Excel Screen

Related Tutorials:

Active Cell

  • The active cell is recognized by its black outline. Data is always entered into the active cell. Different cells can be made active by clicking on them with the mouse or by using the arrow keys on the keyboard.

Add Sheet Icon

  • Adding additional worksheets can be done by clicking on the add sheet icon next to the sheet tab at the bottom of the screen or you can use this keyboard shortcut to add a new worksheet.


  • Cells are the rectangular boxes located in central area of a worksheet.
  • Data entered into a worksheet is stored in a cell. Each cell can hold only one piece of data at a time.
  • A cell is the intersection point of a vertical column and a horizontal row.
  • Each cell in the worksheet can be identified by a cell reference, which is a combination of letters and numbers such as A1, F456, or AA34.

Column Letters

Formula Bar

  • Located above the worksheet, this area displays the contents of the active cell. The forumula bar can also be used for entering or editing data and formulas.

Name Box

  • Located next to the formula bar, the Name Box displays the cell reference or the name of the active cell.

Quick Access Toolbar

  • This toolbar allows you to add frequently used commands. Click on the down arrow at the end of the toolbar to display available options.


  • The Ribbon is the strip of buttons and icons located above the worksheet. When clicked on, these buttons and icons activate the various features of program. First introduced in Excel 2007, the ribbon replaced the menus and toolbars found in Excel 2003 and earlier versions.

Ribbon Tabs

  • Tabs are part of the horizontal ribbon menu that contains links to various features of the program. Each tab - such as Home, Page Layout, and Formulas - contains a number of related features and options that are activated by clicking on the appropriate icon.

The File Tab

  • The File tab was introduced in Excel 2010 replacing the Excel 2007 Office Button, and it works differently than the others tabs.
  • Instead of having its options display on the horizontal ribbon, clicking on the File tab opens a drop down menu on the left side of the screen.
  • This tab also contains items that are mostly related to file and document management - such as opening new or existing worksheet files, saving, and printing.
  • The options item, which is also located on the menu, is used to alter the look of the program as a whole by choosing which screen elements to display, such as scroll bars and gridlines. It also contains options for activating a number of settings - such as automatic recalculation of worksheet files and choosing which languages to use for spell check and grammar.

Row Numbers

  • Rows run horizontally in a worksheet and are identified by a number in the row header.

Sheet Tabs

  • By default there is one worksheet in an Excel 2013 file.
  • The tab at the bottom of a worksheet tells you the name of the worksheet - such as Sheet1, Sheet2 etc.
  • Renaming a worksheet or changing the tab color can make it easier to keep track of data in large spreadsheet files.
  • Switching between worksheets can be done by clicking on the tab of the sheet you wish to access or by using this keyboard shortcut to change between worksheets.

Status Bar

  • The status bar, which runs horizontally along the bottom of screen, can be customized to display a number of options, most of which give the user information about the current worksheet, data the worksheet contains, and even the user's keyboard - such as whether the Caps Lock, Scroll Lock, and Num Lock keys are turned on or off.
  • The status bar also contains the zoom slider, discussed below, which allows users to alter the magnification of a worksheet.

Zoom Slider

  • Located in the bottom right corner of the Excel screen, the zoom slider is used to change the magnification of a worksheet by dragging the slider box back and forth or by clicking on the Zoom Out and Zoom In buttons located at either end of the slider.
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Your Citation
French, Ted. "Excel Screen Elements and Parts of the Excel Screen." ThoughtCo, Apr. 24, 2017, thoughtco.com/excel-screen-elements-parts-3123488. French, Ted. (2017, April 24). Excel Screen Elements and Parts of the Excel Screen. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/excel-screen-elements-parts-3123488 French, Ted. "Excel Screen Elements and Parts of the Excel Screen." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/excel-screen-elements-parts-3123488 (accessed January 17, 2018).