Chapter 13. Entering and Editing Worksheet Data

This chapter describes what you need to know about entering, using, and modifying data in your Excel worksheets. As you will see, Excel doesn't treat all data equally. Therefore, you need to learn about the various types of data that you can use in an Excel worksheet.

Exploring the Types of Data You Can Use

An Excel workbook can hold any number of worksheets, and each worksheet is made up of more than 17 billion cells. A cell can hold any of three basic types of data:

  • A numerical value

  • Text

  • A formula

A worksheet can also hold charts, diagrams, pictures, buttons, and other objects. These objects aren't contained in cells. Rather, they reside on the worksheet's draw layer, which is an invisible layer on top of each worksheet.

About Numeric Values

Numeric values represent a quantity of some type: sales amounts, number of employees, atomic weights, test scores, and so on. Values also can be dates (such as Feb-26-2011) or times (such as 3:24 a.m.).


Excel can display values in many different formats. Later in this chapter, you see how different format options can affect the display of numerical values (see "Applying Number Formatting").

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