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Chapter 1. Getting to Know Excel > Zeroing In on Data in a List

Zeroing In on Data in a List

Once you have opened a workbook, you can examine and modify its contents. To change specific data, such as the price of a pair of shears, you can move to that cell directly and then make your changes. Once in that cell, you can move to another cell in the same worksheet or move to another worksheet in the workbook. Moving to another worksheet is accomplished by clicking its sheet tab, located at the lower left edge of the workbook window.

You can move to a specific cell in lots of ways, but the most direct method is to click the cell to which you want to move. The cell you click will be outlined in black, and its contents, if any, will appear in the formula bar. When a cell is outlined, it is the active cell, meaning that you can modify its contents. You use a similar method to select multiple cells (referred to as a cell range)—just click the first cell in the range, and drag the mouse pointer over the remaining cells you want to select. Once you have selected the cell or cells you want to work with, you can cut, copy, delete, or change the format of the contents of the cell or cells. For instance, Catherine Turner, the owner of The Garden Company, might want to copy the prices of her five most popular garden furniture pieces to a new page that summarizes the best-selling items in each product category that the company offers.


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