Microsoft Office 2016 At Work For Dummies (2016)
Getting to Know Office
In This Chapter
Starting and exiting an Office application
Using the Ribbon
Using the File menu
Creating a new document
Changing the view
Saving your work
Closing a file
Opening a saved file
Microsoft Office is a suite of applications. A suite is a group of applications designed to work together and that have similar user interfaces in order to cut down on the learning curve for each one. Office 2016 includes a word processor (Word), a spreadsheet program (Excel), a presentation graphics program (PowerPoint), and an e-mail program (Outlook). Depending on the version of Office, it may also include other programs. Sweet, eh? Er … suite.
Because all the Office apps have similar interfaces, many of the skills you pick up while working with one program also translate to the others. In this lesson, I introduce you to the Office interface and show you some things the programs have in common. For the examples in this lesson, I mostly use Word and Excel, because they are the most popular of the applications. Keep in mind, though, that the skills you learn here apply to the other applications, too.
Throughout the book, the examples all show Windows 10 as the operating system. Where Windows 7 or 8 are substantially different, I let you know what to expect.
Start and exit an Office application
There are several ways to start Office applications. For example, you can select it from the Start menu’s All Apps list. (Hint: It’s in a folder called Microsoft Office 2016, so look in the “M” section.) You can also use the Search feature: with the Start menu open, begin typing the application’s name and then click its name when it appears. Depending on how your PC is set up, you might also have shortcuts to one or more of the Office apps on your desktop or taskbar, or pinned to the top level of the Start menu.
You can also double-click a data file that’s associated with one of the Office applications to start that application.
The following steps explain how to start an Office application in Windows 10; if you are using earlier versions of Windows, check out the Tips throughout this book that point out differences:
On the taskbar, click the Start button.
If the application you want to run appears at the top of the Start menu, click it and you’re done with these steps.
Click All Apps.
If you have Windows 8.1, the All Apps button is a down-pointing arrow at the bottom of the Start screen. If you have Windows 7, click All Programs instead of All Apps.
Scroll down to the section for the first letter of the application name. For example, to run Word, scroll down to the W section.
In step 3, if you have Windows 8.1, the applications won’t be in the lettered sections because the alphabetical list is only for modern apps, not desktop apps; scroll to the right to find the Microsoft Office 2016 section. If you have Windows 7, all the folders and shortcuts are arranged in a single alphabetical list, so it should be fairly easy to find Microsoft Office 2016.
Click the desired application.
5. Press the Esc key to bypass the Start screen that appears.
In Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, a Start screen appears when you run the application from which you can select a template for a new document or open an existing document.
Click the Close (X) button in the application window’s upper-right corner to close the application.
If you have any unsaved changes, you are prompted to save them here. See “Save your work” later in this chapter for more information about saving.
Now let’s try opening and closing again, this time using a different method for both.
Click in the Search box on the taskbar.
Begin typing the name of the application to open (for example, type Excel).
In the search results that appear, find the name of the application you’re typing, then click that name. The application opens.
10. Press Alt+F4 close the application.
Figure 1-1: Click Start and then click All Apps.
Figure 1-2: Scroll to the W section and click the desired application.
Figure 1-3: The Close button shuts down an application.
Figure 1-4: Click in the Search box.
Figure 1-5: Search for the application’s name and then click it in the search results.
Now that you know how to start and exit Office applications, let’s take a look at the interface of a typical Office application.
Work with the Ribbon
All Office applications have a common system of navigation called the Ribbon, which is a tabbed bar across the top of the application window. Each tab is like a page of buttons. You click different tabs to access different sets of buttons and features. To explore the Ribbon, follow these steps:
1. Open an Office application, as discussed in the previous section, and if needed press Esc to bypass the Start screen.
On the Ribbon, click the desired tab.
3. Click the desired command.
Figure 1-6: Click a tab, and then click the desired command.
Here are some key facts to know about Ribbon commands:
Not all commands are available all the time. For example, you can’t paste content until you first cut or copy it. Commands that appear gray (dimmed) are currently unavailable.
Buttons are organized into groups. The group names appear at the bottom.
Some groups have dialog box launchers; these open a dialog box or task pane relating to the commands in that group. The one in the Font group, for example, opens the Font dialog box.
Some buttons, such as Bold or Italic, are on/off toggles. Each time you click the button, it switches its state from one to the other.
Some groups contain drop-down lists from which to choose settings such as fonts or sizes.
Some buttons work as a group from which only one button can be selected at a time. One example is the four buttons in the Paragraph group that control horizontal alignment of paragraph text.
Some buttons have a small arrow on them. In some cases, if you click the button face (not the arrow), the current setting is applied. If you click the arrow, on the other hand, a menu opens for changing the current setting. In other cases, clicking the arrow or the button face has the same effect: opening a menu.
Some groups, such as the Styles group, contain galleries from which you can choose settings by graphical example.
You can hide the Ribbon to save space by clicking the Collapse the Ribbon arrow or pressing Ctrl+F1. When you do so, the tab names remain onscreen; click a tab name to reopen the Ribbon. Then click the Pin the Ribbon icon (the tiny pushpin) at the far right end of the Ribbon to re-pin it open.
Depending on the width of the application window, some groups may appear collapsed. When a group is collapsed, it appears as a single button with the group’s name. When you click the button, a palette appears containing all the group’s individual commands.
Figure 1-7: Ribbon controls.
Figure 1-8: When the application window is not wide enough to display all the Ribbon content, some groups appear collapsed.
Use the File menu
In each Office application, clicking the File tab opens the File menu, also known as Backstage view. Backstage view provides access to commands that have to do with the data file you’re working with — commands such as saving, opening, printing, mailing, and checking the file’s properties. The File tab is a different color in each application. In Excel, for example, it’s green. To explore Backstage view, follow these steps:
1. Click the File tab. Backstage view opens.
Click the desired page from the navigation pane at the left.
The pages are the same between applications. Table 1-1 summarizes them.
If applicable, click a section. Not all pages have sections.
Click the desired command.
Click the back arrow or press Esc to leave Backstage view without making a selection.
Table 1-1 Pages on the File Menu in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
What You Can Do
See and edit file properties
Password-protect the file and restrict editing
Inspect the file for privacy, accessibility, and compatibility
Recover unsaved versions
Start a new file using a template
Open an existing file
Save the active file for the first time, or save changes to an existing file using the same settings
Save changes to an existing file using different settings
Print the active file
Invite others to view or edit the file online
Send the file via email to others
Present online (Word and PowerPoint only)
Publish slides (PowerPoint only)
Post to blog (Word only)
Create a PDF or XPS version
Change the file type
Create a video (PowerPoint only)
Package a presentation for CD (PowerPoint only)
Create handouts (PowerPoint only)
View and change the active Microsoft account
Change the background and theme for the application window
Connect to online services (OneDrive, YouTube, Facebook)
Manage updates and subscriptions
Control application settings
Close the active document
Figure 1-9: After clicking File, click a page and choose the command to issue.
Create a new document
When you start an application, a Start screen appears. From there, you can choose a template on which to base a new document. (I’m using document generically here to refer to a Word document, Excel workbook, or PowerPoint presentation file.) If you just want a blank file with default settings, press Esc to start one without having to choose a template. (Choosing the Blank template is the same as pressing Esc.)
You can also create additional new files without exiting and restarting the application. If you want an additional blank file with default settings, the easiest way is to press Ctrl+N. If you want a new file based on a template, follow these steps:
Click the File tab, and click New. A gallery of templates appears.
Type a keyword in the Search for online templates box and press Enter.
Click any template you want, then skip to step 4.
In the search results, click the desired template to see details about it.
Click Create to download the template and start a new file based on it.
Figure 1-10: Select a template thumbnail, or type a keyword to search for templates.
Figure 1-11: Choose a template from the search results.
Figure 1-12: Choose a template from the search results.
Depending on the template you choose, the document might not behave exactly like a blank document would. There might be pre-entered content, special formatting, or text placeholders. You are not locked into any of the content or formatting that comes with a template. You can delete any content that you don’t want, and make any changes as desired.
Because of the layout differences among Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, the process of entering text in each program differs.
Word places text directly on the document page (unless you happen to be using a template that employs text boxes, which is common for complicated layouts like newsletters). To type text in a Word document, just start typing. The insertion point (a flashing vertical line) shows where the text you type will appear. (See Figure 1-13.)
Figure 1-13: Type text directly onto the document page in Word.
Press Enter to start a new paragraph. (You don’t have to press Enter at the end of each line, because Word wraps text to the next line automatically as needed.)
To edit text, press Backspace to erase the character to the left of the insertion point or Delete to erase the character to its right. You can also select text (see “Select text” in Chapter 2) and then press either of those keys to delete the selection or type new text to replace the selection.
Excel stores text in cells, which are boxes at the intersections of rows and columns. To type text in an Excel cell, click the desired cell to make that cell active, and then type.
It’s okay if the text is so long that it doesn’t fit in the cell. The text can spill over into cells to the right if they are empty. In Chapter 7 you will learn how to format an Excel worksheet to correct cell width problems.
When you are finished typing in that cell, click a different cell, or press an arrow key on the keyboard to move one cell in the direction of the arrow, or press Enter to move to the cell below the active one.
If you need to edit the text in a cell, double-click the cell to move the insertion point into it, or click the cell to select it and then make your edits in the formula bar, which lies between the Ribbon and the column headings. (See Figure 1-14.)
Figure 1-14: Type text and numbers into cells in Excel.
PowerPoint places text in movable, resizable boxes on slides. Different slide layouts come with different placeholder boxes, and you can change layouts if you want a slide to have different placeholders. You can create your own text boxes, but you can’t type text directly onto the slide. Everything has to be in some sort of box or frame. To place text in a placeholder, click inside it and start typing. At that point, text editing is the same as in Word. (See Figure 1-15.)
Figure 1-15: Type text into placeholders on a slide in PowerPoint.
Move around in an application
As you work in one of the Office applications, you may add so much content that you can’t see it all onscreen at once. You might need to scroll through the document to view different parts of it. The simplest way to scroll through a document is by using the scroll bars with your mouse.
Scrolling through a document with the scroll bars doesn’t move the insertion point, so what you type or insert doesn’t necessarily appear in the location that shows onscreen.
You can also get around by moving the insertion point. When you do so, the document view scrolls automatically so you can see the newly selected location. You can move the insertion point either by clicking where you want it or by using keyboard shortcuts.
Figure 1-16 provides how to move around in a file using the scroll bar:
Click a scroll arrow to scroll a small amount in that direction. In Excel, that’s one row or column; in other applications, the exact amount varies per click.
Click to one side or another of the scroll box (or above or below it on a vertical scroll bar) to scroll one full screen in that direction if the file is large enough that there’s undisplayed content in that direction.
Drag the scroll box to scroll quickly in the direction you’re dragging.
Hold down the left mouse button as you point to a scroll arrow to scroll continuously in that direction until you release the mouse button.
Figure 1-16: You can use a scroll bar to move through a file.
Figure 1-17 summarizes the ways you can move around by using the keyboard:
Press an arrow key to move the insertion point or cell cursor in the direction of the arrow. The exact amount of movement depends on the application; for example, in Excel, one arrow click moves the cursor by one cell. In Word, the up and down arrows move the cursor by one line, and the right and left arrows move it by one character.
Press Page Up or Page Down to scroll one full screen in that direction.
Press Home to move to the left side of the current row or line.
Press End to move to the right side of the current row or line.
Hold down Ctrl and press Home to move to the upper-left corner of the document.
Hold down Ctrl and press End to move to the lower-right corner of the document.
Figure 1-17: You can use keyboard controls to move through a file.
Change the view
All Office applications have zoom commands that make the data appear larger or smaller onscreen. Zoom is measured in percentage, with 100 percent being the baseline. A lower number makes everything appear smaller and farther away; a higher number zooms in for a closer look at a smaller portion of the file.
Figure 1-18 shows how the zoom controls work.
Click Zoom Out to decrease the zoom.
Drag the slider to change the zoom quickly.
Click Zoom In to increase the zoom.
Click the current percentage to open a Zoom dialog box.
Use the Zoom dialog box to select a preset zoom amount.
Use the Zoom dialog box to select an exact numeric zoom value.
Figure 1-18: Each application enables you to zoom in and out on your data.
In addition, depending on what you’re doing to the data in a particular application, you may find that changing the view is useful. Some applications have multiple viewing modes you can switch among; for example, PowerPoint’s Normal view is suitable for slide editing, and its Slide Sorter view is suitable for rearranging the slides.
To change the view, use the buttons on the View tab, in the Views group. The views are different for each application. Figure 1-19 shows them for Word.
The Views group contains buttons for the available views.
Turn optional screen elements on/off with the check boxes in the Show group.
The Zoom group provides an alternative method of controlling zoom.
Figure 1-19: Choose a view from the View tab.
Save your work
As you work in an application, the content you create is stored in the computer’s memory. This memory is only temporary storage. When you exit the application or shut down the computer, whatever is stored in memory is flushed away forever — unless you save it.
Each Office application has its own data file format. For example:
· Word: Document files, .docx
· Excel: Workbook files, .xlsx
· PowerPoint: Presentation files, .pptx
· Outlook: Outlook data files, .pst
Word, Excel, and PowerPoint use a separate data file for each project you work on. Every time you use one of these programs, you open and save data files. Outlook uses just one data file for all your activities. This file is automatically saved and opened for you, so you usually don’t have to think about data file management in Outlook.
Each application has three important file types:
· Default: The default format in each application supports most Office 2007 and higher features except macros. The file extension ends in the letter X for each one: Word is .docx; Excel is .xlsx; PowerPoint is .pptx.
· Macro-enabled: This format supports most Office 2007 and higher features, including macros. The file extension ends in the letter M for each one: .docm, .xlsm, and .pptm.
Macros are recorded bits of code that can automate certain activities in a program, but they can also carry viruses. The default formats don’t support macros for that reason. If you need to create a file that includes macros, you can save in a macro-enabled format.
· 97-2003: Each application includes a file format for backward compatibility with earlier versions of the application (Office versions 97 through 2003). Some minor functionality may be lost when you save in this format. The file extensions are .doc, .xls, and .ppt.
The first time you save a file, the application prompts you to enter a name for it. You can also choose a different save location and/or file type. When you resave a previously saved file, the Save As dialog box doesn’t reappear; the file saves with the most recent settings. If you want to change the settings (such as the location or file type) or save under a different name, choose File ⇒ Save As.
Follow these steps to save a file for the first time:
Click the File tab, and click either Save or Save As.
Because you have not previously saved this file, the Save As page displays regardless of which you choose.
Click the general location in which to save:
· This PC: Saves to your own computer
· OneDrive: Saves to your online OneDrive storage, which is a free Microsoft-provided online storage space associated with your Microsoft account
Click one of the recently used folders on the right side of the screen. These are all specific folders within the general location you chose in step 2.
Click Browse to open the location you chose in step 2 to its default folder.
Type the desired file name in the File name box, replacing the generic name there.
(Optional) Change the file type by choosing from the Save as type drop-down list.
(Optional) Change the save location if desired. See “Change locations when saving or opening files” later in this chapter for details.
Figure 1-20: Choose File ⇒ Save As, and then select a general location in which to save.
Figure 1-21: Specify a file name, location, and file type.
When you save your work on an already-saved file, you can use File ⇒ Save or the Ctrl+S keyboard shortcut if you want to save using the same name, location, and file type. If you want to change any of those things, you must use File ⇒ Save As so that the Save As dialog box reopens.
If you want the Save As dialog box to appear immediately when you choose File ⇒ Save As, rather than showing the general locations first on the Save As page, choose File ⇒ Options. Then in the Options dialog box, click Save on the left and then mark the Don’t Show the Backstage When Opening or Saving Files check box.
Close a file
When you exit an application, you automatically close any open files in it. Closing each file is not necessary before opening another file because each application can have many data files open at once. However, you might want to close files anyway to free up your computer’s memory, which may make it run a little better.
To close a file without exiting the application, click the File tab and click Close. If you are prompted to save your changes, click Save or click Don’t Save, as appropriate.
Open a saved file
When you open a file, you copy it from your hard drive (or other storage location) into the computer’s working memory, so the application can access it in order to view and modify it. To open a saved file, follow these steps:
Click the File tab, and click Open.
2. Click the general location from which to browse files to open:
· Recent (selected by default): Shows a list of recently used files.
· This PC: Shows files from your own computer.
· OneDrive: Shows files from your online OneDrive storage.
If you chose Recent in step 2, click one of the files on the list. Skip the rest of the steps.
If you chose This PC or OneDrive in step 2, click one of the location shortcuts that appear, or click Browse.
If needed, browse to a different folder. See “Change locations when saving or opening files” later in this chapter.
Click the desired file name in the Open dialog box.
Figure 1-22: Select a location from which to browse available files to open.
Figure 1-23: Choose the file to open and then click Open.
Change locations when saving or opening files
Office 2016 uses the current Windows user’s OneDrive as the default storage location. OneDrive is a secure online storage area hosted by Microsoft. Anyone who registers for the service, or who logs into Windows 8 or later with a Microsoft ID, is given a certain amount of free storage space, and can purchase more.
You can also save your files locally, where the default location is your Documents personal folder. In Windows, each user has his or her own separate Documents folder (based on who is logged in to Windows at the moment).
To understand how to change save locations, you should first understand the concept of a file path. Files are organized into folders, and you can have folders inside folders. For example, you might have
· A folder called Work
· Within that folder, another folder called Job Search
· Within that folder, a Word file called Resume.docx
The path for such a file would be
When you change the save location, you’re changing to a different path for the file. You do that by navigating through the file system via the Save As dialog box. The Save As dialog box provides several ways of navigating, so you can pick the one you like best.
Figure 1-24 points out some ways of changing the location in the Save As or Open dialog box.
Figure 1-24: Use the controls in the Save As or Open dialog box to change locations.
Click one of the right arrows in the address bar to open a menu of locations.
Click the Up One Level arrow to go up one level in the folder hierarchy.
The Quick access list holds shortcuts to commonly used locations; you can place your own favorite locations here too by dragging them here.
To browse your OneDrive from the top level, click OneDrive.
To browse the local PC from the top level, click This PC.
Click a location in the navigation pane to jump to that location.