Excel – Working With a Worksheet

Worksheet Views

There are various ways you can view a worksheet, the default is ‘Normal’.

To see the views to choose from, go to the view tab and look in the ‘Workbook views’ section.


Page Layout – this shows what the sheet will look like on paper. As you can see below, this worksheet will not fit onto a sheet of A4 in portrait, it drifts on to page two for the last 3 columns. I can either choose to print this in landscape or adjust the column widths to make it fit.

page layout 1.0

A minor adjustment to the column widths and wrapping the text in the cells and it will fit.

page layout 2

This is a little aside from this, but text wrapping is REALLY useful. You know how when you type in a cell it drifts over and looks like it’s in the next cell too, or the contents are hidden by the next cell? Click on ‘Wrap text’ and it will automatically move itself onto a new line within the same cell so that you can see it 🙂 As you resize the cell it will adjust accordingly however, you may need to make the row deeper at first.

wrap text

Back to what we should be doing.

If you click back to the ‘Normal’ view from ‘Page Layout’ view, there will be dotted lines showing where the pages are:

page layout 3

Page Break Preview – Quite similar to the page layout view but in this one you can adjust the area that prints without reszing cells.

There are two variations of the line, a dotted and a solid blue line. The dotted line shows what will be printed on one page, the soldi blue line

If you hover over the blue dotted line a little double ended arrow will appear. You can grab this and move the dotted line so that the text fits in. The downside of this is the text will reduce in size when you print it!

Page break preview

 Worksheet Zooming

Because of the nature of how Excel is used, pages can have huge amounts of data on them. To see a larger area of the data it is possible to zoom out. Obviously it is also possible to do the opposite if you want a closer look at data and want to zoom in. As with most things in Excel there are a couple of ways to do this:

One way is to click on the ‘View’ tab  and use the ‘Zoom’ panel.

Zoom 2


Another way is to click on the 100% in the bottom right-hand corner, this will open the ‘Zoom’ pop-up. If you want a small changes of plus/minus 10%, click on the – / + signs and it will increase or decrease in 10% increments.


Viewing the Gridlines and the Ruler / Formula Bar / Headings

Most of the time the gridlines are useful to be seen to help you locate cells. Occassionally though, you may want to hide them. To do this use the ‘Show’ panel in the ‘View’ pane. In therethere are several tick boxes where you can choose to show or hide items.



 Inserting & Deleting Columns / Rows and Cells

When creating a worksheet from scratch or updating it you will undoubtedly need to add or remove columns and rows at some point.

To insert or delete a column, highlight it by clicking on the letter at the top of it then right click. There you will see the options to insert or delete. If you insert a column it will be inserted to the left of the column you have highlighted.

insert column

If you insert a row in this way it will be added above the row you have highlighted.


Inserting Cells

You can insert cells, although personally I think this ought to be called shifting/moving cells rather than inserting as it doesn’t actually insert anything.

Highlight the cells you want to move, right click and select ‘Insert’. You will then have the choice of shifting the cells either down or right.

insert cells

It will then look like this:

insert cells 2

 Deleting Cells

Use this if you wish to remove the contents, formulas and formatting of a cell or range without removing the whole row/column.

Take the same steps as inserting a cell above but choose ‘Delete cells’ . This will open the delete box and you will get the choice to shift cells left or up. This moves any content either to the right or below into that space.

deleting cells

Switching Between Worksheets

Excel has many 1000’s of columns and rows which can hold a massive amount of data, however it is sometimes easier to separate certain data out into different worksheets. If you look in the bottom left-hand corner you can see tabs, just like you can get separator tabs in a ring binder. To view any of the sheets, just click on the name there.


To learn this and more, attend one of our Excel Essentials courses.


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