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Tips for Microsoft Excel 2003

Draw borders, use functions and error-free printing

Draw borders with 'pen & pencil'

You can draw borders on any cell in a spreadsheet in the same way you can draw a table in Word.

Find the Borders button on the formatting toolbar

Click on the small downward arrow to the right

Select the Draw Borders option

Use the Pencil and Eraser to draw the borders where you want them

See the contents of narrow columns

You're probably familiar with the hashes that appear if a number is too large for the width of a column. To see the numbers just make the column wider.

In Excel 2003 you can see the value in a cell by hovering your mouse over the hashes.

Coloured sheet tabs

Keep your workbooks organised by colour-coding the worksheet tabs. Just right-click on a worksheet tab and choose from the colours available.

Keep an eye on important cells

Keeping track of what happens to key cells when you change values in other cells is easy. You can add a Watch to any cells so you can always see their value in a special Watch Window.

Right-click on the cell you want to watch

Choose Add Watch and a watch window will appear. It’ll stay on top of your workbook so you can always see the contents of the cells

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Finding the right function

There are so many functions available, that it using the right one could be difficult. In Excel 2003 you can search for a function using ordinary English:

Find the AutoSum button on the Standard toolbar

Click on the downward arrow

Choose More Functions

Type a description of what you need the function to do into the dialog box

Click Go

Click on the functions listed for a brief description

Suppressing cell errors when printing

Don’t panic if your spreadsheet contains a cell error such as #NAME? or #REF and you need to print it out.

In the File menu and choose Page Setup

A new option on the Sheet tab will let you choose how to print cell errors and suppress them completely

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