**Introduction to Microsoft Excel**

*Microsoft Excel* is a tool which has many uses, the
most common of which are performing calculations and plotting
graphs.

When you open *Microsoft Excel* you will see a grid.
Each box in the grid is called a **cell**. Each cell
has an "address" made up of a letter indicating the
column the cell is in and a number indicating the row the cell is
in. For example, the upper left cell is A1.

The first step in doing a spreadsheet calculation or making a
graph is entering the data.

For example, if we did an experiment reacting several
different samples of magnesium metal with hydrochloric acid, we
might want to set up a spreadsheet containing the mass of
magnesium and volume of hydrochloric acid used. We would create a
spreadsheet that looks like figure 1.

**Figure 1: Simple Spreadsheet**

Each number in column A contains a mass of magnesium used in
the experiment, and each number in column B contains the volume
of HCl with which the mass in column A reacted.

In order to enter data into a cell, the cell must be outlined
by a dark box. This box may be moved with the arrow keys or by
clicking on a desired cell with the mouse.

**Note: **When making a graph, it is important to
always enter the data in adjacent columns. The x data always goes
on the left of the y data.