Looking for a spreadsheet solution for a practical problem? Here are some Excel advices: Researchers and data analysts often use spreadsheet programs to perform statistical calculations or other analyses on a set of data. The functions on spreadsheets make it easy to perform many calculations quickly. For example, applying a formula to hundreds of data points would be a tedious, time-consuming process without some form of automation, and programs like Microsoft Excel offer just this capability. Many programs also have simple statistical calculations built-in. You can find the standard deviation of a set of data using one function, rather than working it out using the formula, for example. This type of spreadsheet primarily shows numbers, like most spreadsheets, but many cells contain formulas that determine the outputs.
Spreadsheets are composed of columns and rows that create a grid of cells. Typically, each cell holds a single item of data. Here’s an explanation of the three types of data most commonly used in spreadsheet programs: Number data, also called values, is used in calculations. By default, numbers are right aligned in a cell. In addition to actual numbers, Excel also stores dates and times as numbers. Other spreadsheet programs treat dates and times as a separate data category. Problems arise when numbers are formatted as text data. This prevents them from being used in calculations.
There are several ways to change text data into numerical data, but using the VALUE function is usually the easiest solution. See Use Excel’s VALUE Function to Convert Text to Numbers. Conversely, if you want Excel to read numerical characters or a formula as text, just add an apostrophe (‘) at the beginning of the entry.
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Excel file formats: The default XML-based file format for Excel 2010 and Excel 2007. Cannot store Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) macro code or Microsoft Office Excel 4.0 macro sheets (.xlm). .xls: The Excel 97 – Excel 2003 Binary file format (BIFF8).
Text file formats: .txt Saves a workbook as a tab-delimited text file for use on the MS-DOS operating system, and ensures that tab characters, line breaks, and other characters are interpreted correctly. Saves only the active sheet. .csv Saves a workbook as a comma-delimited text file for use on the MS-DOS operating system, and ensures that tab characters, line breaks, and other characters are interpreted correctly. Saves only the active sheet.
Excel Tips and Tricks!
When you have different spreadsheets open, it’s really annoying shifting between different files because sometimes working on the wrong sheet can ruin the whole project. Using Ctrl + Tab you can shift between different files freely. This function is also applicable to other files like different Windows tabs in Firefox when opened using Windows 7.
In order to retain the validity of data, sometimes you need to restrict the input value and offer some tips for further steps. For example, age in this sheet should be whole numbers and all people participating in this survey should be between 18 and 60 years old. To ensure that data outside of this age range isn’t entered, go to Data->Data Validation->Setting, input the conditions and shift to Input Message to give prompts like, “Please input your age with whole number, which should range from 18 to 60.” Users will get this prompt when hanging the pointer in this area and get a warning message if the inputted information is unqualified.