Chapter 11

Getting on the Data List


Setting up a data list in Excel

Entering and editing records in the data list

Sorting records in the data list

Filtering records in the data list

Importing external data into the worksheet

The purpose of all the worksheet tables that I discuss elsewhere in this book has been to perform essential calculations (such as to sum monthly or quarterly sales figures) and then present the information in an understandable form. However, you can create another kind of worksheet table in Excel: a data list (less accurately and more colloquially known as a database table). The purpose of a data list is not so much to calculate new values but rather to store lots and lots of information in a consistent manner. For example, you can create a data list that contains the names and addresses of all your clients, or you can create a list that contains all the essential facts about your employees.

Creating Data Lists

Creating a new data list in a worksheet is much like creating a worksheet table except that it has only column headings and no row headings. To set up a new data list, follow these steps:

  1. Click the blank cell where you want to start the new data list and then enter the column headings (technically known as field names in database parlance) that identify the different kinds of items you need to keep track of (such as First Name, Last Name, Street, City, State, and so on) in the columns to the right.

    After creating the fields of ...

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