Starting Excel

You can start most Windows programs, including Excel, in several ways. The easiest way is to click the Start button on the Windows taskbar and select Programs, Microsoft Excel. The Excel window opens on your screen.

Other Ways to Launch Excel

In addition to using the Start menu to open Excel, you can start the program in the following ways:

  • Click the Excel button on the Microsoft Office Shortcut bar (if you installed it).

  • Click the Start button and select All Programs, Microsoft Excel.

  • Open My Computer or Windows Explorer. Locate the Excel file you want to open and then double-click it to launch Excel and the file.

You can also create a shortcut icon on your desktop. Here's how:

To Do: Set an Excel Shortcut Icon
  1. Click the Start button and choose Search. The Search Results window appears.

  2. In the What Do You Want To Search For list, choose All Files and Folders.

  3. Type excel.exe in the All or Part of the File Name text box, as shown in Figure 1.2, and click Search.

    Figure 1.2. Make sure that Look In indicates the drive Excel is installed on. Search for the file that starts Excel.


  4. Windows searches through the files and folders on your hard drive and locates excel.exe. Right-click excel.exe and choose Create Shortcut from the menu.


    If you want to stop the search, click the Stop button at the bottom of the left Search pane at any time.

  5. If you're viewing the Windows desktop, a dialog box similar to the one shown in Figure 1.3 appears, advising you that the shortcut cannot be placed on the current screen and asking whether you'd like to place it on your Windows desktop instead. Click Yes. Close the Search Results window.

    Figure 1.3. Place the Excel shortcut icon on your desktop.


  6. An icon for Excel appears on your Windows desktop. Double-click it to launch Excel.

    Part I: Excel Basics