Opening a Workbook

If you want to open an existing spreadsheet you can click on Excel's open icon or click on the File drop-down menu and choose Open.  You will see the Open window where you can navigate to the drive or folder where the file is stored using the drop-down box at the top.

If your file is on a floppy disk you should put it in the floppy drive and choose the 3½ Floppy (A:) drive, if it is on a CD you should choose the appropriate Compact Disc drive (normally D: or E:).

When you have navigated to the correct folder you will see a list of Excel files, Excel will show you any file that it recognises as being one it is able to open, this includes web pages and other types of file.

Excel can open other file types, such as Comma Separated Variable files (ending in .csv or .txt) or files created in other spreadsheets such as Lotus 123.  If you want to open a file that is not recognised as being an Excel file you will need to select the file type from the Files of type box at the bottom of the window.

If you are having difficulty finding a file you have recently viewed in Excel you can click on the History icon on the left hand sidebar to view a list of your recently-used files.  If you click on the Tools button at the top of the window you can choose the Find option to help you find a file meeting certain criteria.  The example below shows the Find window being used to find an Excel file whose name includes the word "rain" and that is located on the H:\ drive, if you tick the Search subfolders box then Excel will search all the folders on the drive you have selected.

When you have located your file, click the Open button and the contents will be displayed.  If you have opened a file that was created in another spreadsheet program it may not have full functionality in Excel but you should be able to see most of the data.  If you open a spreadsheet created in another program it is a good idea to save a copy of it in Excel format as you will then be able to modify it and manipulate the data more powerfully using Excel.

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