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Entering Data into a Spreadsheet


To begin this part of the course, we'll do something really simply: we'll enter some text and numbers into some cells. When we're finished, our spreadsheet will look like this:

So, to enter something into a cell, do the following:

  • Click on cell A1 with your left hand mouse button
  • Type the text "Numbers" (without the quotation marks)
  • Press the Return key on your keyboard
  • The darker border will jump down one cell to A2
  • Type a 3 and then press the Return Key on your keyboard
  • The darker border will jump down one cell to A3
  • Enter a 6 and a 9 in exactly the same way

When you're finished, your spreadsheet will look like the one in the image above.

The word "Numbers" was our heading. We're not going to do anything to the heading. It is there purely for our benefit, in order to serve as an explanation for what the numbers are.

Except "Numbers" is not very descriptive. Let's change it to something else. We'll change it to "Add these numbers".


Editing data in a cell

When we wanted to enter some data in a cell, we simply clicked on an individual cell and started typing. But you can't edit the data in a cell using that method. If there is already something in a cell, and you tried to type something else, the old contents would be entirely erased. Try it for yourself.

  • Click on the cell A1
  • Type the letter "A" of "Add"
  • The word "Numbers" is erased
  • Click on Edit from the menu bar
  • From the menu that drops down, click on "Undo Typing"
  • The word "Numbers" will be restored

So how do you Edit the data in a cell? You have to do it from the Formula bar. The formula bar is the thin white text area running right across the top of the spreadsheet. You can see it in the picture below:

Notice where it says "Formula Bar". The thin white text area just above the label is the "Formula Bar". Notice, too, that there is some thin lines in the shape of an I. This is actually the mouse pointer. It has changed shape, and is now an I-bar.

Click on the cell A1. Then click inside the formula bar. You will see your cursor flashing away. The spreadsheet should now look like the one in the next picture.

The formula bar is displaying the contents of cell A1. To edit the contents, you can use the backspace key on your keyboard to erase anything you don't want. And you can just type something new in the formula bar. When you've finished editing, press the Return key on your keyboard.

In the next image, the text "Numbers" has been changed to "Add these numbers". Make the changes on your own spreadsheet so that it look like the one below. Notice how the formula bar now reads "3" when the Return key is pressed. The cell A2 is showing in the Name Bar.


Except we now have a problem: The text is too big for the Cell. It is spilling over into the B column. We can solve that by widening the A column. This will be the subject of the next part.

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