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Window and Zoom Options in Excel 2016
Excel 2016 Tutorial - Learn Excel Basics

Free Online Microsoft Excel Tutorials

* Get a better look by zooming in and out of a worksheet
* View different parts of the same workbook at the same time
* How to find functions on the Ribbon
* Freeze rows or columns so that they remain visible when you scroll


Manipulate Excel windows to aid viewing, comparing and editing different sections of a workbook or sheet at the same time. The Freeze Pane, New Window, Synchronous Scrolling and Zoom options are a few of the window options that will make mastering Excel a breeze!

Test your Excel skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Window and Zoom Options - 2016 Excel Basics Test



* Get a better look by zooming in and out of a worksheet

Most, if not all, desktop editing, financial and publishing applications have a function that allows users to zoom in (enlarge) or zoom out (reduce) the view of the onscreen content. The zoom setting of a page does not affect the actual size of the content or how it will print. Microsoft Excel’s zoom functions allows users to zoom into specific areas of a worksheet or get an overall view of the worksheet data by zooming out.

Carefully examine the following three zoom examples applied to the same worksheet in Excel:

Carefully examine the following three zoom examples applied to the same worksheet in Excel 2016

The image labelled A is zoomed out to 60%, image B is set to 100% and image C is zoomed in at 150%.

To use the Zoom function in Excel 2016:

1.  In an open worksheet, click on the View tab on the Ribbon. In the Zoom group, click on the magnifying glass to select a preset zoom value from 200% down to 25% or use the Custom Zoom box to manually insert a specific zoom percentage:

Use the Custom Zoom box to manually insert a specific zoom percentage

OR

2.  In an open worksheet, use the Zoom shortcut on the bottom right-hand corner of the Excel screen.  Click on the plus sign to zoom in and on the minus sign to zoom out, or use the slider to adjust the zoom percentage (see area in orange box in screenshot below).

TIP: The Zoom dialog box can also be launched from the Zoom shortcut area by clicking on the zoom percentage number in the bottom right-hand corner (see area in orange box in screenshot below).

The Zoom dialog box can also be launched from the Zoom shortcut area by clicking on the zoom percentage number in the bottom right-hand corner

OR

3. Click anywhere in an open worksheet, hold down the Ctrl button on your keyboard and use your mouse scrolling wheel to zoom in and out, enlarging or reducing the size of the data in your worksheet.  If you use a tracking pad on a laptop running Windows, hold down the Ctrl key and zoom in and out by moving your thumb and index finger in an outward or inward motion.

Practice the above options to adjust the zoom settings of your worksheet.  Which one did you find easiest?

TIP: You can zoom in on a selected region of your worksheet to make it easier to read: select the cells you wish to zoom into, click on the View tab on the Ribbon and in the Zoom group, click on Zoom to Selection. Quickly exit this view by clicking on the 100% button in the Zoom group.



* View different parts of the same workbook at the same time

Whether you work on a single computer screen or laptop or have one or more additional screens connected to your main computer, the ability to view different parts of the same workbook at the same time is a huge productivity booster.

Instead of having to continually click back and forth between worksheets or scroll between the top/bottom/left/right-hand sides of the same worksheet, Microsoft Excel has a function which allows you to open another instance of the same workbook permitting two simultaneous customizable views of the same workbook. Viewing two instances of the same workbook is not the same as viewing two different copies of the same workbook; any change you make to the one will automatically reflect in the second instance of the open workbook. Like the Zoom function, opening another instance of the same worksheet is a view only and does not affect the actual structure or layout of the workbook.

To open another instance of the same workbook:

1.  In an open worksheet, click on the View tab on the Ribbon.

2.  In the Window group, click on New Window.  Another instance of the same workbook will open.

To arrange the two instances of the open workbook so that you can view them side by side or above each other:

3. Click on Arrange All (also in the Window group) and select how you wish to view and work with the two instances of the workbook.

In the screenshot below, two instances of the same workbook are open with each displaying a different worksheet within the same workbook:

Two instances of the same workbook are open with each displaying a different worksheet within the same workbook

Data can be edited on either instance of the worksheet and will automatically update in both. Close and save the workbook as per usual, closing the second instance.

We think this is a fantastic function, but don’t take our word for it – go ahead and try it out!



* Easily compare two workbooks side by side

You can also view two separate workbooks at the same time, arranged either horizontally or vertically.  This function allows you to quickly copy content over from one workbook to another and to compare the data entered.

To view to two separate workbooks side by side:

1.  Open both the workbooks you wish to compare side by side.

2.  Click on the View tab on the Ribbon.

3.  In the Window group, click on the View Side by Side button.

4. Arrange the two workbook windows by clicking on Arrange All in the Window group or by manually dragging and resizing the two windows using your mouse.

Why not try this out for yourself! Go ahead and open two workbooks in Excel and select the View Side by Side button. When you scroll through either of the windows, what happens?

Do both screens scroll line by line at the same time? This is called Synchronous Scrolling and is automatically activated when the Side by Side option is activated.  It can easily be turned off by clicking on the Synchronous Scrolling button in the Window group.

TIP: Depending on your computer screen set-up, the Synchronous Scrolling button may appear as an icon only. In the Window group under the View tab of either of the two worksheets you are comparing, hover your mouse cursor over the icons until the Synchronous Scrolling quick tip appears (as outlined in orange in the screenshot below). This makes it easy to see which button to press to turn Synchronous Scrolling on or off.



Depending on your computer screen set-up, the Synchronous Scrolling button may appear as an icon only.





* Freeze rows or columns so that they remain visible when you scroll

When a worksheet contains multiple rows and/or columns, it becomes impossible to remember what data each row or column contains once the row/column label is out of view. The kind people at Microsoft came up with a wonderful solution which they aptly titled Freeze Panes.

There are three Freeze Panes options: Freeze Top Row, Freeze First Column and Freeze Panes.

To ensure the top row of your worksheet is always visible even when you scroll down:

1. Click anywhere within the active worksheet.

2. Click on the View tab on the Ribbon and in the Window group, click on Freeze Panes.

3. Select Freeze Top Row to ensure the top row of your worksheet is always visible when you scroll down.

To ensure the first column of your worksheet is always visible even when you scroll to the right:

1. Click anywhere within the active worksheet.

2. Click on the View tab on the Ribbon and in the Window group, click on Freeze Panes.

3. Select Freeze First Column to ensure the first column of your worksheet is always visible.

If you experimented with the above options in your own worksheets in Excel 2016, you will have noticed that when you select the Freeze First Column option the Freeze Top Row option is deactivated, and vice versa.  This is where the general Freeze Panes option comes in handy!

To freeze both columns and rows at the same time:

1. Firstly ensure that the Freeze Top Row and Freeze First Column options have been deactivated by clicking on Unfreeze Panes in the Window group.

2.  Select the cell in your worksheet that falls at the crossing or intersection of the row and column sections you wish to freeze. In the example below, we wish to freeze Row 1 and Column A, so Cell B2 is selected:

Freeze Row 1 and Column A, so Cell B2 is selected

3.  With the cell selected, click on the Freeze Panes button and select Freeze Panes (the first option) from the list. 

You can now scroll down and to the right through your worksheet data with the row and column labels permanently in view.



Now you have done the tutorial:

Test your Excel skills with the corresponding FREE Online Multiple Choice
Window and Zoom Options - 2016 Excel Basics Test



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