Programs: Microsoft Excel Chapter 2: Lesson 1


Lesson 1: In this lesson you will learn the concept of cell ranges.  You will then learn the copying, moving operations.  
  • Cell Ranges
  • Copy Command
  • Cell References
  • Absolute Cell References
  • Relative Cell References
  • Mixed Cell References
  • Absolute Column References
  • Absolute Row Reference
  • Move Operation
Lesson 1: Title: Cell ranges, Copying, and Moving
Cell Ranges Cell Ranges

A cell range is a selected rectangular group of cells that an Excel command effects.  A cell range can be as large as an entire spreadsheet or as small as one cell.  You can decide how large or small you want a cell range to be based on the text you are using.    
To select a cell range you will need to use the mouse.  Left click on the upper left cell of the range you want to highlight.  Then, to highlight the rest of the range, you hold down the left  button and continue highlighting the remaining cells.  
Copy Command Copy Command
The copy command is used to duplicate the contents of a cell.  When their is information in a cell that you want to put in another cell the copy command is the easiest way to do so.  The source range is the rectangular group of cells that the user wishes to copy or affect in some way.  Another type of range is the destination range.  The destination range is the rectangular range that you intend to move the copied cells to or otherwise affect in some way.  By copying the contents of a cell, you do not have to re-enter the contents into other cells by hand.  This is especially useful when you are using large formulas that would be tedious to re-enter by hand.
There are multiple ways of copying cells off of a spreadsheet.  The first method is to right click the source range of the cell you wish to copy.  When the special pull-down menu appears, left-click on the copy command.  Then, the information in the cell will automatically be copied.  When you find the cell you want to copy the information to, you right click on the new cell.  Then, you click on the paste command and the information will be copied into that new cell.  The second method involves left-clicking on the cell you want to copy.  You then drag over the source range and press the 'c' key.  This must be done while holding down the Ctrl key.  The paste option must be used again to place the copied information in another cell.  The third method entails left-clicking and dragging over the source range.  Then the user may click on Edit on the File button.  Once the Edit pull-down menu, appears, left click on the cut command.  Then, use the paste option again.
Cell References Cell References
A cell reference is the name of a specific cell or group of cells.  Each cell reference is unique and different in one way or another.  This way you can differentiate between two cells in the same spreadsheet.
When copying cells containing formulas, the information in the cell is moved.  The information is carried over.  What information is carried though depends on the kind of cell reference used in the formula.
Absolute Cell References Absolute Cell References
An absolute Cell reference is a reference found inside a formula.  It cannot be altered if the contents of the cell are copied to another cell.
An absolute reference is indicated by the presence of a dollar sign before both the column letter and row number.  An example would be $E$3.  If the above cell reference was contained in a formula, then the contents of that cell are copied and pasted to another cell.  The cell reference in the formula would remain unchanged. 
Relative Cell References Relative Cell References
A relative cell reference is a reference found inside a formula.  It will be altered if the contents of the cell are copied to another cell.  A relative reference is indicated by the lack of dollar signs before both the column letter and the row number.
A relative cell reference will change depending on which row and column it is copied into. One example would be if a cell A1 contains the formula =B1.  Then if it is copied to cell D1; the formula found in D1 will be =E1.
Mixed Cell References Mixed Cell References
A mixed cell reference is a reference found inside a formula.  It will be partially altered if the contents of the cell are copied to another cell.  Either the row or the column will be relative, but not both.
A relative reference is indicated by the lack of dollar signs before either the column letter or the row number.  This depends on whether the row or column is absolute.  Half the cell reference will change relative to which cell the formula is copied into.
Absolute Column References Absolute Column References
An absolute column reference is a reference found inside a formula in which the row number will be altered if the formula is copied to another cell.  The row number is considered part of the reference.  The column letter will remain unchanged when copied or absolute.
An absolute column reference is indicated by the lack of a dollar sign before the row number.  One example of this is $E4.  If a formula containing this reference was going to be copied into another cell, then the column letter would not change and the row number would change.
Absolute Row References Absolute Row References
An absolute row reference is a reference found inside a formula in which the column number will be altered if the formula is copied to another cell.  The column number is considered part of the reference.  The row letter will remain unchanged when copied or absolute.
An absolute row reference is indicated by the lack of a dollar sign before the column number.  One example of this is $E4.  If a formula containing this reference was going to be copied into another cell, then the row letter would not change and the column number would change.
The Move Operation The Move Operation
The Move operation is used to transfer the contents of one cell to another cell.  Unlike the copy command, the move operation leaves the source range empty after the operation is complete.
There are several ways to use the move operation: the first method entails left-clicking and dragging over the source range.  Second, go to the File bar and click on the Edit pull-down menu. Next, click on the Cut command.  Now left-click on the upper left cell of the destination range.  Then, go to the File bar and click on the Edit pull-down menu.  Finally click on the Paste command.
The second method involves first right-clicking on the source range. Second, click on the Cut command on the special pull-down menu.  Next, right-click on the upper left cell of the destination range.  Finally, click on the Paste command on the special pull-down menu.
The third method is to first left click on the source range.  Then press the 'x' key while holding down the Ctrl' key.  These are the important keys for the cut command.  Next, click on the destination range and press the 'v' key while holding down the Ctrl key. 

Quiz

1.  A cell reference found in a formula which has either an absolute column-letter or row-number, but not both.

2.  Transfers the contents from one range of cells to another.

3.  A selected rectangular area of cells in which the user moves or copies cell data. 

4.  A cell reference found in a formula which will not be changed if the formula is copied into another cell.

5.  A selected rectangular area of cells.

6.  A cell reference found in a formula which will be changed if the formula is copied into another cell.

7.  Used to duplicate the data and formulas in a cell without moving the source range. 

8.  A selected rectangular area of cells from which the user intends to copy or move cell data.

      A.   Move operation                                                         B.   Copy Command

C.   Source range                                                             D.   Destination range

E.   Range Absolute                                                          F.   Reference

G.   Relative reference                                                      H.   Mixed reference 

Lesson Review

In this lesson we learned the following:
  • That a cell range is a selected rectangular group of cells that can be of any size.  
  • That the copy command is used to duplicate the formulas and data found in cells.  
  • That an absolute reference is a cell reference found in a formula that will not change when copied.
  • That a relative reference is a cell reference found in a formula will change when copied.  
  • That a mixed reference is a cell reference that has either an absolute column or row but not both.
  • That the move command is used to transfer cell data and formulas from one cell to another.  
  • How to use the copy command on a spreadsheet.
  • How to use the move command on a spreadsheet.

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Continue to Lesson #2

Lab Exercise #1


Programs: Microsoft Excel  Chapter 2: Lesson 1