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Part 3. Using Excel > Task 1 How to Enter and Edit Cell Data

Task 1 How to Enter and Edit Cell Data

When you first start Excel, a blank workbook opens. By default, each workbook contains three worksheets, which resemble an accountant's spreadsheet divided into a grid of columns and rows that intersect to form cells. Data in a worksheet is entered into these cells. Valid data falls into three categories: labels (text), values (numbers, dates, and times), or formulas (calculations). Text data always lines up to the left of the cell, and number data aligns to the right—unless you change the alignment. Based on the type of data you enter, Excel can perform various calculations. Study the worksheets shown in these tasks for more ideas on how to organize your data.

  1. Select a Cell

    Click the cell in which you want to enter data. The cell you click becomes the active cell, and a highlighted border surrounds the cell; the associated column/row header is also highlighted. The cell's address (its column and row number) appears in the Name box to the left of the Formula bar.

  2. Enter Data in the Selected Cell

    Type your entry (numbers and/or letters) in the selected cell. As you type, data appears in the active cell and in the Formula bar. When you're finished, press Enter to move down one cell, Tab to move right one cell, or an arrow key to move in any direction.

  3. Enter a Multicolumn List

    To enter a multicolumn list, begin at the top-left corner of the list. As you type the entries, press Tab to move to the right to enter the data for each cell in the row. After you type the last entry in the row, press Enter instead of Tab; the active cell moves to the beginning of the next row. This maneuver is called AutoReturn.

  4. Copy the Cell Above

    To copy the entry from the cell above the active cell, press Ctrl+' (press Ctrl and the apostrophe key simultaneously) and then press Enter.

  5. AutoComplete an Entry

    If you want to repeat an entry from anywhere in the same column (which not only saves time, but also prevents typing mistakes), type the first few letters of the entry. A possible match appears in the cell. This function is called AutoComplete. If the entry is correct, press Enter. If you don't want that entry, just continue typing.

  6. Pick a Repeated Entry

    If you want to repeat an entry that already exists in the column somewhere, you can select it from a list instead of retyping it. Right-click the active cell, and choose Pick From List. A list of all the entries in the column appears. Click the entry you want.



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