Worksheet Basics


There are two types of worksheets.

  • The standard worksheets that contains cells.
  • Chart sheets which contain only graphs.


Every standard worksheet layout consists of Rows and Columns.
Rows numbered from 1 to 1,048,576 aligned on the left of the worksheet.
Columns labeled A through XFD aligned along the top of the worksheet.
Navigating Around A Worksheet1
The intersection of a row and column is a called a cell and each cell has a unique address made up of the column letter and row number.


If you click in the cell on the top left of the worksheet you will see the cell address in the Name Box as A1.
Navigating Around A Worksheet2
The address of the last cell at the bottom right of the worksheet is XFD1048576.


At any given time one cell is the active cell. The active cell is the cell that accepts keyboard input and its contents can be edited. You can identify the active cell by its green border.

Navigating Around A Worksheet3
This example shows cell B3 as the active cell. Notice the cell address in the Name Box. Excel also highlights the Column and Row that is selected.


1,048,576 Rows x 16,384 Columns = 17,179,869,184 Cells and that is only one worksheet. The number of worksheets in the same workbook is limited only by the size of your computer memory. As a general rule though it is not a good idea to have to many worksheets in the same workbook. It can be easier to use different workbooks for different things rather than having too many sheets in one workbook. Another disadvantage is that if you have all your worksheets in the same workbook and it gets damaged then you have lost everything. If your work is in several workbooks and you lose one you have not lost everything.
With each worksheet containing over 17 billion cells it is not always easy to quickly navigate within the worksheet and you can find yourself easily getting lost. There many different ways to move around in worksheet and we will go through a few of them here.


Wherever you are in the worksheet you can press the Home key and you will be taken to Column A but stay in the same row as you were on. Press Ctrl+Home and you will jump to cell A1.

If you know the cell address you want to navigate to you can use the Name Box located just above column A. Simply type the cell address into the Name Box and press Enter Excel will instantly take you to that cell.

Another way of jumping to a cell if you know the cell address is to use the Go To box. Press F5 to active the Go To box and in the Reference box type in the cell address and press OK. Excel will take you to the cell and close the Go To box.
Navigating Around A Worksheet4

There is also some keyboard shortcuts you can use. If you use Excel on a daily basis it is recommended you practice these keyboard shortcuts which will save you time and allow you to get your work completed much quicker.