Fancy Formulas and Glitzy Graphics

Even if Numbers stopped at the features you’ve already seen, you’d get a ton of good value there. You can squeeze lots of utility out of a homely grid like your sidekick contact list and other grids like invoices, expense reports, and accounting ledgers. But Numbers lets you create more than just simple grids: When you tune-up your spreadsheet with more sophisticated formulas and mix in some high-octane graphics, your workhorse columns of numbers turn into a multimedia report or an interactive cockpit that lets you monitor your stats.

You’ll learn about these advanced techniques later in the book—formulas in Chapter 20, charts in Chapter 22, and other multimedia layout fun in Chapter 23. But just to see what’s possible, take a quick spin through Apple’s Grade Book template (which might come in handy for your sidekick academy). Choose File → “New from Template Chooser”, click the Education category, and then double-click the Grade Book template. Numbers creates a new, untitled document based on the template (Figure 17-12).

The top of the spreadsheet looks familiar enough: a simple-looking grid. It’s a table of grades with one student’s grades on each row, lined up in a column of assignments. The header row shows the “weight” of each assignment (how much the assignment’s score counts toward the final grade). The Total column uses those weights to calculate the final score, and the Final Grade column shows the corresponding letter grade.

Things get more ...

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