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Excel 2013: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Chapter 2. Adding Information to Worksheets

Now that you’ve created a basic worksheet, and you’ve become familiar with Excel’s spiffy interface, it’s time to get down and dirty by adding data to your spreadsheet. Whether you want to plan your household budget, build a sales invoice, or graph your soaring (or plunging) net worth, you first need to understand how Excel interprets the information you give it.

Depending on what kind of data you type into a cell, Excel classifies it as a number, a date, or a piece of text. In this chapter, you’ll learn how Excel makes up its mind and how you can make sure it decides correctly.

After that, you’ll learn how to use some of Excel’s best data-entry timesavers. You’ll zip around your worksheet with shortcut keys and the Go To feature, save time with AutoComplete and AutoCorrect, and use Excel’s new Flash Fill feature to automate tedious editing jobs. You’ll also master the indispensable Undo feature and Excel’s handy spell-checker. Finally, you’ll consider a completely different editing task: adding a web-style hyperlink to your worksheet.

Adding Different Types of Data

One of Excel’s most important features is its ability to distinguish between different types of information. A typical worksheet contains both text and numbers. There isn’t a lot you can do in Excel with ordinary text (other than alphabetize a list, perform a simple spell-check, and apply some basic formatting). On the other hand, Excel gives you a wide range of options when it ...

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