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Click on a topic below for answers to technology-related frequently asked questions.

Basic Spreadsheet Operations

Basic Word Operations

Basic Spreadsheet Operations

One of the tools an accountant uses to present financial information is an electronic spreadsheet, which is simply a computerized version of a worksheet. The following terms and instructions will help you get started with the basics of using a spreadsheet.

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To create a worksheet (Microsoft Excel® calls it a workbook), open the Excel® program. It will display a blank worksheet.

A column is a vertical area that is designated with a letter. You will see these letters along the top of the worksheet.

A row is a horizontal area that is designated with a number. You will see these numbers along the left side of the worksheet.

A cell is the intersection of a column and a row, and is referenced by the column letter and row number. An example is C4, which is column C, row 4 as shown in the example below.

The mouse is the electronic tool used to direct the cell pointer to the cell you want to use. You may also use the direction arrows on the keypad.

To enter data in a worksheet cell, click on the cell you will be using. Type the information into the cell.

To change information in a cell, you can click on a cell and type over the information. You can also edit the cell's contents by double-clicking the cell you want to edit and make your changes. Then press enter.

To delete the contents of a cell, click on the cell and press the delete key on your keypad. You may also be able to right-click the mouse to display a shortcut menu. Choose the Clear Contents command and the information will be deleted.

There are various ways to format a cell. Formatting changes can include text alignment and font size or style changes. Highlight the information you want to format, then click the change you want to make on the formatting tool bar. Additionally, you can format the cell for decimal placement, currency style, and several other options on the tool bar.

Basic mathematical formulas can be created using the operators, which are + (addition), - (subtraction), * (multiplication), and / (division). To enter a formula, select a cell, then type = (the equals sign). This signifies the beginning of a formula. Then enter the appropriate cells and operators. An example is =B3+C3. When you are finished, press enter.

To print a spreadsheet click the print tool (indicated as an icon of a printer on the toolbar). This will tell Excel® to print the active worksheet on the usual printer.

To save a spreadsheet for the first time, click File on the tool bar then click Save As. Type the name you have chosen for the worksheet in the file name box that will appear. To save a spreadsheet you have already named, just click the save tool (indicated as an icon of a floppy disk) or choose the File | Save option.

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Basic Word Operations

Microsoft Word® is a word processing program with which you can create a wide variety of documents such as reports, memos, and letters. Because it is electronic, Word allows you to edit the contents in various ways. The following terms and instructions can help get you started.

To create a document, open the Word program. It will display a blank document.

To enter text, just begin typing. The text will wrap around so that you can continue typing until you want to begin a new paragraph. To begin a new paragraph, press enter.

You can edit text in several ways. You can use the backspace key to erase text behind the cursor, and use the delete key to erase text in front of the cursor. To replace a large portion of text, select the text you want to replace by holding down the control key (the left side of the mouse) to highlight it and then typing the new text. To delete a large portion of text, select the text you want to delete by holding down the control key and press delete.

You can check your spelling by clicking the Tools option on the toolbar and choosing Spelling and Grammar. This will give you options on spelling and grammar as it reviews the document. Word will also let you know a word is misspelled by underlining it with a red squiggly line. You can right-click the mouse to get spelling and grammar options.

To move text, highlight the text to be moved, release the control key, press and hold down the control key, and then drag the text where you want to place it.

To copy text, highlight the text to be copied, then right-click the mouse and choose the copy option. Then move the cursor where you want to place the copy, and right-click and press the past option.

There are various ways to format text. Use the formatting tool bar to choose the alignment you want, to bold, italicize, or underline the text, and to choose the font and size of the text. Highlight the text you want to format, then click the change you want to make on the formatting tool bar.

To print a single document, click the print tool (indicated as an icon of a printer). This will tell Word to print the active document on the default printer.

To save a document for the first time, click File on the tool bar and then click Save As. Type the name you have chosen for the document in the file name box that will appear. To save a document you have already named, just click the save tool (indicated as an icon of a floppy disk) or choose the File | Save option.

To open an existing document, click File, then click Open, and choose the document you wish to open from the selection shown. When you click File, you will also see a list of your most recently opened files. You may find the file you are looking for listed there and just click on it.

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