Chapter 7. The Basics of Spreadsheets: Numbers, Labels, and Formulas

In This Chapter

  • Typing and formatting data

  • Moving around a spreadsheet

  • Searching a spreadsheet

  • Editing a spreadsheet

  • Printing

Everyone needs to perform simple math. Businesses need to keep track of sales and profits, and individuals need to keep track of budgets. In the old days, people not only had to write down numbers on paper, but they also had to do all their calculations by hand (or with the aid of a calculator).

That's why people use Excel. Instead of writing numbers on paper, they can type numbers on the computer. Instead of adding or subtracting columns or rows of numbers by hand, Excel can do it for you automatically. Basically, Excel makes it easy to type and modify numbers and then calculate new results accurately and quickly.

Understanding Spreadsheets

Excel organizes numbers in rows and columns. An entire page of rows and columns is called a spreadsheet or a worksheet. (A collection of one or more worksheets is stored in a file called a workbook.) Each row is identified by a number such as 1 or 249; and each column is identified by letters, such as A, G, or BF. The intersection of each row and column defines a cell, which contains one of three items:

  • Numbers

  • Text (labels)

  • Formulas

Numbers provide the data, and formulas calculate that data to produce a useful result, such as adding sales results for the week. Of course, just displaying numbers on the screen may be confusing if you don't know what those numbers ...

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