Excel Glossary Of Terms

Like most programs, Microsoft Excel has certain terms and phrases that are specific to it. We have attempted to list as many of the terms you are likely to come across below. If you come across a word or phrase that you either don’t understand, or that you think should be in this glossary, please let us know and we will add it.

  • Active Cell: the cell that is currently selected and open for editing.
  • Alignment: the way in which the contents of a cell are arranged (e.g. left, right, centred)
  • Arguments: specific data a function requires to calculate a value.
  • Auditing: the task of examining a worksheet for errors
  • AutoComplete: the feature to complete data entry for a cell based on similar values in other cells in the same column.
  • AutoFill: the feature to extend a series of values based on the contents of a single cell.
  • AutoFilter: a feature to sort and display data based on a filtering criteria.
  • AutoFormats: predefined layouts and styles that can be applied to a worksheet.
  • Cell: the box at the intersection of a row and a column.
  • Cell Range: a collection of cells that are related for some reason.
  • Cell Reference: a letter and number code such as B15, that identifies the row and column intersection of a cell.
  • Charts: Visual representation of data contained in a worksheet data.
  • Column: Cells that are on the same vertical line in a worksheet.
  • Conditional Formatting: cell formatting that is only applied when certain cell criteria are met.
  • Conditional Formula: a formula that calculates a value using one of two different expressions, depending on whether a third expression is true or false.
  • Data Consolidation: summarising data from a set of similar cell ranges.
  • Dependents: ceIls containing formulas that use a value from another cell.
  • Embed: to insert an object such as a picture into a worksheet rather than linking it.
  • Error Code: a message that appears in a worksheet cell, describing a problem with a formula or a function.
  • Field: a column in a data list.
  • Fill Handle: the small square at the bottom right hand corner of a cell that is dragged to indicate other > cells that should hold values in the series defined by the active cell.
  • FillSeries:┬áthe ability to extend a series of values based on the contents of two cells, where the first cell has the starting value for the series and the second cell shows the increment.
  • Filter: a rule that Microsoft Excel uses to determine which worksheet rows to display.
  • Formats: predefined sets of characteristics that can be applied to cell contents.
  • Formula: an expression within a cell used to calculate a value.
  • Freeze: to fix cells that will remain at the top of a worksheet regardless of how far down the worksheet a user scrolls.
  • Function: a pre-programmed formula or routine that is built in to Microsoft Excel.
  • Goal Seek: an analysis feature that finds the value for a selected cell that would produce a given result from a calculation
  • Graphs: see Charts
  • Landscape: a print format where the page is wider than it is high.
  • Link: a formula that causes a cell show the value of another cell.
  • Locked Cells: cells that cannot be modified or deleted when worksheet protection is applied.
  • Macro: a series of automated actions such as menu selections and key presses that can be replayed to perform a specific task.
  • Metadata: data embedded within a file, usually hidden that describes the contents of the file.
  • Named Range: a group of related cells defined by a single name.
  • Open DataBase connectivity (ODBC): a protocol that facilitates data transfer between databases and related programs.
  • Pick From List: the ability to enter a value into a cell by choosing the value from the set of values already entered into cells in the same column.
  • Pivot Chart: a chart that is linked to a PivotTable and that can be reorganised to reflect different aspects of the source data.
  • PivotTable: dynamic worksheet that can be reorganized by a user.
  • Portrait: a print format where the page is higher than it is wide.
  • Precedents: cells that are referenced in a formula.
  • Range: a group of related cells.
  • Report: a special document with links to one or more worksheets from the same workbook.
  • Rows: cells that share the same horizontal line in a worksheet.
  • Scenarios: alternative data sets that let you view the impact of specific changes on your worksheet.
  • Sheet Tab: the indicator for a worksheet, located in the lower left corner of the workbook window.
  • Sort: to reorder the contents of a worksheet based on a specific criteria.
  • Split Line: a line that indicates which cells have been frozen at the top of a worksheet.
  • Subtotals: partial totals for related data in a worksheet.
  • Template: a workbook that is used as a basis for creating other workbooks.
  • Trend Line: a projection of future data (such as sales) based on past performance.
  • Validation Rule: a test that data must pass to be entered into a cell without generating a warning message.
  • What-if Analysis: analysis of the contents of a worksheet to determine the impact of certain specific changes.
  • Workbook: the basic Microsoft Excel document, consisting of one or more worksheets.
  • Worksheet: a page in a Microsoft Excel workbook.
  • Workspace: a Microsoft Excel file type (.xlw) that allows you to open several files at once.

Related Posts

Excel Entering Data – Tips for easy data entry.
Adding a Worksheet background – How to spice up your work with a simple graphic.
Adding accented characters to your worksheet – How to add foreign language letters to your work.