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Excel 2011 for Newbie (For Mac)

I was recently gifted a Mac by one of my clients for a job well done :).

The very first thing that I did on it was to install MS – Office. I already have 2 pcs and a laptop [Sony VGN-FZ27G with a triple boot between (XP + Office 2003 + VB6), (VISTA + Office 2007 + VS2008) and (Win7 + Office 2010 + VS2010)]. And now I have MacBook Pro to my collection.

As suspected, the moment I opened Excel 2011, I was confused to see an entirely new screen. Except the Tab Names and the usual look of Excel Cells, everything seemed pretty new to me. The very first challenge that I faced was to find the “Options” menu. Yes, I am referring to the

  • Excel 2003: Tools → Options
  • Excel 2007: Office Button → Excel options
  • Excel 2010: File Tab → Options

The next problem that I faced was “Navigating“. I hardly use the mouse but since the shortcut keys that I knew no longer worked in Excel 2011, I was back, totally dependent on the mouse. After 6 months, I am pretty comfortable with Excel 2011. However I am still no GURU and I am still learning every day.

In this post, I will share lot of information regarding Excel 2011 that I learnt. If you feel this helped then do leave a comment.

Topics Covered (I will keep on adding more topics)

  • 1) Find the ‘Options’ menu (Updated 26th July)
  • 2) Changing Preferences (Updated 26th July)

1) Find the “Options” menu

If you refer to the image below, you will see that we have an option called “Excel” in the topmost menu next to the “Apple” icon. When you click on that, you will see the menu unfold. There you will see a menu called “Preferences“, which is the “Options Menu“.

2) Changing Preferences

If you click Excel → “Preferences” as mentioned above you will be presented a dialog box which looks like below. There are 3 categories:

  • Authoring
  • Formulas and Lists
  • Sharing and Privacy

Let’s cover them one by one.

  • Authoring: This section has 5 sub sections which are:

1) General: This section controls settings, such as some menu, sound and appearance options;

2) View: This section displays your workbook and which types of objects appear on the screen;

3) Edit: This section controls how Excel behaves while you are editing a workbook;

4) AutoCorrect: This section controls how Excel automatically corrects text as you type;

5) Chart: And this section is how Excel plots your graph;

  • Formulas and Lists: This section has 6 sub sections which are:

1) Calculation: This section controls how Excel performs calculation;

2) Error Checking: This section controls how Excel checks for errors in workbooks;

3) Custom Lists: This section lets you manage the lists that you create to automatically fill cells or sort data in unique ways;

4) AutoComplete: This section automatically completes cell entries and function names as you type;

5) Tables: This section sets how Excel references formulas in tables and controls table behaviour;

6) Filter: this section controls how data is displayed in the filter panel;

  • Sharing and Privacy: This section has 5 sub sections

1) Save: This section controls how Excel saves workbooks. To set the default format for the saved files, go to the next subsection which is “compatibility”;

2) CompatibilityThis section lets you set the default format for saved files. It also has other compatibility options;

3) Security: Controls settings for privacy and security;

4) Feedback: This section offers an opportunity to learn about and control your participation in the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program;

5) Ribbon: Controls the behaviour and appearance of the ribbon. You can display the “Developer” Tab from here.

You can also access the Ribbon dialog box directly from the worksheet by clicking the “Ribbon Preferences…“. See picture below;