Saturday, September 8, 2012

Know 5 Useful Terms In MS Excel - 1 (Cell, Active Cell, Cell Reference, Input Cell, Merged Cell)

My intention is very clear by starting Know 5 Useful Terms in MS Excel series that everyone should know the meanings of Important Excel terms.

I will try my level best to give you at least one post in this series, in every month. So that by next year you will be in a position to learn 60 Excel Important terms (not only meaning but also some interesting things)

So, lets opening the door for Know 5 Useful Terms In MS Excel series...!!!!

The 5 important terms in this article are
  1. Cell
  2. Active Cell
  3. Cell Reference
  4. Input Cell
  5. Merged Cell
It makes sense, if we learn all related terms in one topic.

1. Cell :-

A box formed by the intersection of a Row and Column in a worksheet, in which you enter information.


In Excel 2007 & 2010, the number of Rows are 1,048,576 and number of Columns are 16,384.

So, the number of Cells in Excel (2007/2010) are 1,048,576 * 16,384 = 17,179,869,184

More than 17 Billionnnnnnn...... yes, that is the power of Excel.

2. Active Cell :-

The selected Cell in which data is entered when you begin typing. Only one cell is active at a time. The Active Cell is bounded by a heavy border.


Even Excel has Billions of Cells, we can not enter the data at a time in all the Cells. It is possible to enter data only in one Cell at a time. That Cell is nothing but the Active Cell at that time.

3. Cell Reference :-

The set of coordinates that a Cell occupies on a Worksheet.

Let say there are 20 members in our family. How can we call them, we can not call them Oldest guy, Older guy, .... , Younger guy and Youngest guy. We put some name to each of them, and identify accordingly.

In the same way, Excel Cells has its own names. That name is nothing but the Cell reference.


Cells Original Names : First Cell name A1 ........... last Cell name XFD1048576
Cells Pet Names : First Cell name R1C1 .......... last Cell name R1048576C16384


If you want to refer anything in any Excel Formula, you can refer the Cell instead entering the information.
4. Input Cell :-

The Cell in which each input value from a Data Table is substituted. Any cell on a worksheet can be the input cell. Although the input cell does not need to be part of the Data Table, the formulas in data tables must refer to the input cell.

In Excel, we have a concept What-if analysis. What-if analysis is the process of changing the values in cells to see how those changes will affect the outcome of formulas on the worksheet.

There are three different what-if analysis tools in MS Excel. Those are Scenario Manager, Goal Seek and Data Tables.

In Data Tables, the Cells which are giving feeding to the final result are calling Input Cells. Any Cell in Excel can be the Input Cell for Data Table.

Data Table supports only two Input Cells, one should be row input cell and other should be column input cell.

5. Merged Cell :-

A single Cell that is created by combining two or more selected Cells.

In Excel, there is a facility to merge two or more Cells. You can able to merge only the Cell Range. Merging of Cells is for better presentation of data.


So, what is the name for merged cell ?

Let say, merged F10,F11,G10,G11 Cells as one Cell. The Cell reference for this merged Cell is the upper left Cell in the original original selected range.

What to share any ideas about these terms, please comment below.

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