Contextures

Excel 2003 Tips and Tutorials

Tips and tutorials for Excel 2003 features.

Organize Data in Excel Lists

In Excel 2003, use the List feature to create a dynamic list. It is a built-in tool that will create a List object on the worksheet. In Excel 2007 and later versions, Lists have been replaced by Excel Named Tables.

To create a List, follow these steps:

  • Select a cell in the list
  • Click the Data menu, click List, then click Create List

create list in excel 2003

  • In the Create List dialog box, check that the range is correct, and fix the range, if necessary
  • Add a check mark to the "My List has Headers" option.
  • Click OK

create list in excel 2003

When a cell in the List is selected, the list has a solid blue border around it, and there are filter drop down arrows in the heading row. There is also a blank row at the end, where you can add new items.

create list in excel 2003

Video: Fill Blank Cells

This video shows the quick steps to fill blank cells in Excel 2003. Written steps are on the Fill Blank Cells in Excel 2003 page.

Create a drop down list to help users enter data, and to prevent typing errors and invalid entries on the worksheet.

For written instructions on how to create a drop down list, see Excel Data Validation - Basics.

Change Column Headings to Letters

When you open an Excel file, you might see numbers -- 1, 2, 3 -- across the column headings, instead of letters -- A, B, C. This is R1C1 reference style, and it can be a useful feature sometimes, but most people prefer to see letters at the top of a worksheet.

Why do columns switch to numbers?

Here's what usually happens:

  • Someone sent you a workbook, and they saved that workbook while they were using R1C1 reference style.
  • That workbook was the first Excel file that you opened today.
  • When you open the first workbook in an Excel session, that workbook's reference style is used for all the other workbooks that you open, later in that session.

Fortunately, you can go back to letter headings, and get rid of those numbers.

Change column headings to letters in Excel 2003 and earlier versions

To get letter headings again, follow these steps

  1. Choose Tools > Options and select the General tab.
  2. Remove the check mark from 'R1C1 reference style'

    r1c1 reference style

Create Pivot Table

Follow these steps to create a Pivot Table in Excel 2003

  1. Select a cell in the database
  2. Choose Data>PivotTable and PivotChart Report
  3. Select 'Microsoft Excel List or Database', click Next.
  4. For the range, type your range name, e.g. Database
  5. Click Next
  6. Click the Layout button
  7. Drag field buttons to the row, column and data areas
  8. Click OK, click Finish

PivotTable and PivotChart Wizard

Change Comment Shape

To add a bit of interest to an Excel worksheet, change the shape of a comment, from its default rectangle.

change the comment shape

To change the shape of a comment in Excel 2003, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the cell which contains the comment.
  2. Choose Edit Comment
  3. Click on the border of the comment, to select it.
  4. On the Drawing toolbar, click the Draw button
  5. Choose Change AutoShape, and choose a category.
  6. Click on a shape to select it.
  7. When finished, click outside the comment.

Database

Video: Add Picture to Comment

Instead of text, you can show a picture in an Excel comment. Watch the steps in this short video, and the written instructions are below.

To add a picture to a comment in Excel 2003, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click the cell which contains the comment.
  2. Choose Show/Hide Comments, and clear any text from the comment.
  3. Click on the border of the comment, to select it.
  4. Choose Format|Comment
  5. On the Colors and Lines tab, click the drop-down arrow for Color.
  6. Click Fill Effects
  7. On the picture tab, click Select Picture
  8. Locate and select the picture
  9. To keep the picture in proportion, add a check mark to Lock Picture Aspect Ratio
  10. Click Insert, click OK, click OK

Comment Picture

More Excel 2003 Tutorials

Advanced Filter Basics Excel 2003

AutoFilter Basics Excel 2003

Conditional Formatting Intro Excel 2003

Format Based on Other Cell Excel 2003

Fill Blank Cells Excel 2003

Dependent Drop Downs Excel 2003

Sort Lists in Excel 2003

Add Macro Code to Excel 2003 Workbook

 

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Last updated: June 30, 2022 2:43 PM