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Anatomy of an Excel Table

In this video, we'll review the key terminology associated with Excel Tables.

All Excel tables are composed of rows and columns, and share a number of common elements.

First, there's the table itself, which is a rectangular range of cells with a unique name.

You'll see the table name on the design tab, and in the name box menu.

The data range in a table is dynamic. As rows are added or removed, Excel will keep track of these changes.

All tables contain three primary parts - the header row, the data in the table, and the total row.

The header row displays column names. The header row is actually optional, but most tables will have one.

The data in a table includes all rows defined in the table range. When you use the name box to select a table, only the data is selected.

The total row is the last row in a table, and meant to hold summary calculations.

Both the header row and the total row in a table can be hidden using checkboxes on the design tab of the ribbon.

All new tables include a filter displayed in the header row. Each button in the filter contains menu of options relevant to to the data in that column.

Some tables have calculated columns. For example, the Total and Tax columns in this table are calculated columns.

When you enter or edit a formula in a calculated column, Excel will make sure the formula is consistent for the entire column.

By default, formulas that refer to tables will use structured references. Structured references are easier to read and maintain, because they let you refer to parts of a table by name.

Tables can be automatically formatted with Table Styles. Styles apply uniform formatting to an entire table in one click.

Finally, you'll also find a sizing handle in the lower right corner of all tables.

This control lets you manually resize a table.

In most cases, you won't need to use the sizing handle because Excel will automatically expand and contract the table as needed.


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