Microsoft Excel Interface


After starting Excel, you will see two windows - one within the other. The outer window is the Application Window and the inner window is the Workbook Window. When maximized, the Excel Workbook Window blends in with the Application Window.

After completing this module, you should be able to:

Application Window

The Application Window provides the space for your worksheets and workbook elements such as charts. The components of the Application Window are described below:

Standard Toolbar

Standard Toolbar


The area above the worksheet.



The standard toolbar contains basic commands such as save and print, as well as basic formatting functions.


Name Box

Name box

Above the Standard toolbar, on the left hand side.

Displays the address of the active cell.

Formula Bar

Formula bar

Next to the Name Box

Displays the contents of the active cell.

Sheet Tabs

Sheet tabs

Lower, left-hand corner of window

Shows the worksheet or chart sheet names. 

Formatting Palate

The pane on the right-side of the Excel window

Opens automatically in some situations that require you to choose from a list of options, allows you to use commands while still working on your file.

Workbook Window

The components of the Workbook Window are described below:





Workbook name

Sheet number


A series of spreadsheet pages contained in one Excel file. (In the picture, Sheets 1 and 2 comprise Workbook 2.)



A grid of columns and rows where columns are designated by letters running across the top of the worksheet and rows are designated by numbers running down the left side of the worksheet.



The intersection of a row and a column. A cell is referred to by its column/row location.  You can enter data directly into any cell that is active. (Active cell distinguished by appearing to be 3-D and its address displayed in the Name Box.)

Scroll bars

Scroll bars

Navigates to different areas of the active worksheet and are located on the right and bottom of the worksheet.

Sheet tabs

Sheet tabs

Moves from one worksheet to another worksheet and are located at the bottom of the workbook.  Right-clicking on the sheet tab will display options.

Scrolling buttons

Scrolling buttons

Scrolls the display of sheet tabs one at a time or to display the first and last grouping of sheet tabs and are located to the left of the sheet tabs.

Previous PageNext Page