Basic Excel Screen Vocabulary

Excel screen with annotations

Any errors or omissions (excluding that it will be obsolete in a few months)?

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18 thoughts on “Basic Excel Screen Vocabulary

  1. You missed the window split handles. I’d also argue that the autosum area is distinct from the status bar based on the VBA definition of the status bar.

  2. How about the Cancel (cross) and Enter (tick) icons that appear when editing formula.

    No idea what it’s called but the top left corner part of the row/column headers, which will select all cells when clicked.

    And to add to Zach’s suggestion the horizontal scrollbar also has a sizing handle to it’s left.

    These are more indications of state but,
    – manual calculations ‘Calculate’ that appears on the status bar
    -additions to the title bar, such as [Group] and Book1.xls:2 indicating multiple windows

    Maybe Context menus

  3. The screen is too narrow to show it, but the “type a question for help” thing-a-majig is missing. And, oddly, that menu bar doesn’t show a PUP v6 menu!

  4. Hi.

    The area you click that joins the column and row headers – clicking it selects all of the cells.

    The Select All button? what do you call it?

  5. Zach…”The AutoSum Area” — There are 8 Small boxes that show different things …caps lock on.. nums lock , extent, refresh external data… a complete list is available on Arons website – – section – Wall of fame

    John…. the menu bar does not show ASAP utilities either :-)

  6. Hello Dick,

    If this is really basic vocabulary, the cell is missing.
    Furthermore the stripes that show page breaks are missing.
    You have displayed “status bar” twice.

    What is the purpose of this vocabulary?
    I’ve create something similar but less extensive for the ASAP Utilities user guide. Basically because the guide is in English and people with for example a Dutch Excel version otherwise wouldn’t recognize any of the terms.

  7. Where’s the Ribbon? Contextual tabs? Big ol’ Office button?

    And what’s that Floating Toolbar thingie you drew?

    John, Bastien – Your menus are on the Add-Ins tab, can’t you find them?

  8. Dick,

    Thanks very much. I’m teaching very basic Excel courses in my office, and this graphic is extreemly useful. I’ll credit you for creating it, of course. Thanks again for a great site!!


  9. Thanks for all the suggestions. First to all the add-in authors: This screen shot is from my work version of Excel. I assure you that I have your add-in loaded at home, that I use it every day, and that it’s very wonderful.

    I don’t know what the purpose of this is, I just wanted to put names to all the different areas of the screen. Bastien’s is nicely done. Also to Bastien: “cell” is too basic. :) and status bar is displayed twice to indicate that it extends the whole length.

    I purposefully didn’t try to muck with the state of Excel because it would involve trade-offs I didn’t want to make. If I show grouped sheets, then the title bar isn’t in its “natural” state and I can’t show every state. I obviously didn’t have any trouble manufacturing a circular reference state so I could show a floating toolbar, though. I need to rethink that.

    What do we call the right side of the status bar? Autosum area? Status Indicator area? What about the select all cells button? Should we call it the Select All Cells Button?

    Finally, what’s a ribbon? :)

  10. The Task Pane
    The various triangles that appear in cells; Comment, Error and Smart tag indicators

  11. The little black square at the bottom-right of the current cell. I call it the fill handle.

  12. Rob, Jon – The area you click that joins the column and row headers:

    Following the analogy between the VBA Rows(), Columns() and Cells objects, one could call it the Cell Header.

  13. The column and row header intersection in the top left corner:
    in various Excel introductions it’s called the Select All Button.

  14. I vote for “Cell header”.

    Is it possible to visualize the drawing layer ? Some drawing object above some cell content perhaps ?

    Best wishes Harald

  15. Those little grey dots in the bottom right hand corner of the window are called Resize Handles

    The little grey dots on the Left Side of the Tool Bars are the Tool Bar Movement Handles

    The Orange Cells in the Column and Row Headers are the Current Cell, Column and Row Indicators


  16. This thing is honestly a good study guide for Students taking Computer applications. :D

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