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Entering Numbers

Data that serves as the values in your workbooks can include the numeric characters 0–9. Because formulas also are considered values (you learn about simple calculations in Lesson 4, "Performing Simple Calculations"), other valid value characters include symbols such as +, – , /, and *. You also can use characters such as a comma (,), a percent sign (%), or a dollar sign ($) in your values. You will find, however, that you can save yourself a few data-entry keystrokes and add these characters using different Excel formatting options (you learn about Excel formatting in Lesson 11, "Changing How Numbers and Text Look").

For example, you could enter the dollar amount $700.00 including the dollar sign and the decimal point. However, it's probably faster to enter 700 into the cell and then format all the cells that contain dollar amounts after you have entered all the data.

To enter a value, follow these steps:

  1. Click in the cell where you want to enter the value.

  2. Type the value. To enter a negative number, precede it with a minus sign or surround it with parentheses.

  3. Press Enter or the Tab key; the value appears in the cell right-aligned. Figure 3.4 shows various values entered into a simple worksheet.

Figure 3.4. Values are right-aligned in a cell.


Tip

What Are All Those Pound Signs? If you enter a number and it appears in the cell as all pound signs (#######) or in scientific notation (such as 7.78E+06), the cell just isn't wide enough to display the entire number. To fix it, double-click the right border of the column's heading. The column expands to fit the largest entry in that column. See Lesson 14, "Inserting and Removing Cells, Rows, and Columns," for more information on working with column widths.


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