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How to Use Microsoft Excel to Catalog Books

Updated February 21, 2017

Regardless of the information between the front and back cover of a book, reading materials come with a slew of information not at all related to their pages. When you want to keep track of book details, use Microsoft Excel. Excel's spreadsheet-creation software is an ideal option to design a book catalogue, whether you're making notes for a personal library or a lending library used by many readers. Design an at-a-glance and updatable view of books with an on-screen Excel catalogue.

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  1. Open Microsoft Excel. Click into the first cell on the spreadsheet, A1. Type "Title" into the cell. Press the "Tab" key on the keyboard to move into the next cell, B1. Type "Author." Press the "Tab" key to move into the next cell, C1.

  2. Continue typing headers for information to catalogue about the books, such as publisher, publication date, number of pages, price and genre.

  3. Add column headers, such as "On Loan?" or "Already Read?" as desired.

  4. Resize the columns to fit the headers by double-clicking the line between the column headers, such as the line separating columns "G" and "H" to resize the "G" column.

  5. Drag the line underneath row "1" down toward the bottom of the spreadsheet to enlarge the row. Highlight the column headers. Pull down the text size menu on the "Font" section of the ribbon and choose a larger size, such as "14." Click the "B" button to boldface the column headers.

  6. Move columns to resort the order of the catalogue by clicking once on the column header, such as "B" to highlight it, then dragging to the left or right and dropping the column into its new place.

  7. Click the "File" tab. Click "Save As." Give the catalogue a file name, select a place to save it and click the "Save" button.

  8. Enter book information into the spreadsheet by clicking into the empty cells. Maintain the catalogue as a template by always clicking "Save As" and retitling the spreadsheet or keep a running catalogue by just clicking "Save" after each new entry to the catalogue and clicking "Yes" or "OK" when Excel asks to overwrite the original.

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About the Author

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.

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