How to Make a Spreadsheet Using Excel

Updated April 17, 2017

Spreadsheets are worksheets created on paper or a computer application that has gridlines, making numbers and other data easy to read. Spreadsheets are commonly used to record and display financial information and other data pertaining to numbers and calculations. A spreadsheet created using a computer application, such as Microsoft Excel, often contains formulas that will automatically calculate these figures, helping to simplify accounting and fact figuring. Learning how to make spreadsheets will help you organise and manipulate important numbers.

Open Microsoft Excel. Look at the rows and columns in a worksheet. The rows run horizontally and are numbered, while the columns run vertically and are lettered. A cell is a single area on the worksheet, and is referred to by the row number and column letter that meet at that cell. For example, the cell pictured would have a cell reference of "C5."

Select cell "A1" by clicking on it with your mouse. Type in a header for your first column. For example, if you are tracking monthly figures, you could name the first column "Month." Next, select cell "A2" and enter the next header, such as "Sales," "Income" or "Costs." Enter each header that you need in your spreadsheet into a cell.

Select cell "B1" by clicking it with your mouse. Enter all of the data you want for this column, typing each item into a separate cell. For our example, we have entered the name of each month. Enter the figures or other information you need into the cells in each column.

Use the "AutoSum" feature to automatically total figures in rows or columns. To do so, click on the cell in which you want to display the total. Click the AutoSum button, which is labelled with a Greek Sigma (Σ). In Excel 2007, the AutoSum button is in the "Editing" section of the "Home" tab on the ribbon. In Excel 2000 to 2003, it is on the "Standard" toolbar. Once you click AutoSum, Excel will guess which cells you want to add. If it is correct, press "Enter." If not, use your mouse to select the correct cells and press "Enter." Enter "Totals" into cell to the right of your sums, if desired.

Use other functions to make automatic calculations. Select the cell in which you want the calculation displayed. Click the "Insert Function" button to the left of the address bar (it resembles "fx"). The "Insert Function" dialogue box will open. Type a brief description of the calculation you want to make, such as "average" or "interest" and the dialogue will present you an option and instructions. You can also view functions by category by choosing an option in the "Select a Category" drop-down menu.


Adding borders around or changing the fonts in your header row makes it easier to read your spreadsheets.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Excel 2000 to 2007
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About the Author

Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.