Excel For Teachers. Victoria Rasmussen Anatomy of a Spreadsheet

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1 Victoria Rasmussen 2003 Anatomy of a Spreadsheet Excel For Teachers Cell where a row and a column intersect, named A1, A2, B4, B212, etc. Row numbered Column alphabetized Range a group of cells specified by upper left cell address and lower right cell address like this: (A1:Z50) Worksheet or Sheet a tab in the workbook, may be multiple pages Workbook an entire document or file that may include many worksheets Planning and Creating a Worksheet Plan your spreadsheet BEFORE you begin entering row and column headings. Consider what you will want to total, where you will put labels, and how your data can be best organized so that you can add to it or replace it conveniently. To simplify use, especially for younger students, you can create a spreadsheet template and leave empty cells in which students enter data. In this case, it is especially important that cells be labeled accurately and positioned logically. When you or your students create a worksheet, consider these four stages: planning, entering and editing, testing and formatting. Which can you do in advance? Which can students do without a computer? At what stage in the process will data entry occur? Students can collect data, draft a spreadsheet, write out formulas, and design a look for the spreadsheet before ever opening Excel. In some cases, the spreadsheet is created based on data already collected. In other cases, students may create the form and then enter the data as it is collected over time. It is helpful to use graph paper for planning a spreadsheet in advance. In fact, there may be some benefit to creating charts on graph paper first, and then comparing those to the automatically generated results from Excel. Data Entry Type characters in a cell. Use the tab key to move across and the enter key to move down. Or, use the arrow keys to move from cell to cell.

2 Note that you are not limited to the space of the cell displayed on the screen. Text may run across several cells, but may not print correctly unless you make the cell wider, or use the Format Menu options to wrap text, or shrink to fit. Cell contents may run across an unlimited number of cells, but unless you wrap the text, they will not move down. If you use the enter key to force a line break, you move into a new cell. Basic Functions When you enter a function in the cell, only the result displays on screen and printout. To edit a formula, use the formula bar (bottom tool bar). Click the cell so the formula displays in the bar. To enter a function in a cell, always begin with the equal sign =. You may then either enter numbers or cell addresses. Use cell addresses if the number might change as you develop the sheet. You need to understand the math function or formula you wish to use. Excel follows this order of precedence when calculating formulas: Exponentiation, Multiplication and Division, then Addition and Subtraction. Use parentheses to change the order of precedence. Here are examples of how you would enter basic math formulas. =4+5 Simple addition of two numbers =A1+B7 Simple addition of two numbers given by cell address =3-9 Simple subtraction of one number from another; note the negative result =A1-(B1+B2) Add numbers in cells B1 & B2, then subtract that amount from the contents of A1; compare with the results of A1-B1+B2 =5*210 Simple multiplication of two numbers =A2*B6 Simple multiplication of two numbers given by cell address =8*B3 Simple multiplication of two numbers, one fixed and one given by cell address =9/3 Simple division of one number by another =A4/A5 Simple division of one number by another with both numbers given by the cell address =SUM(A1:C10) Add the contents of all the cells in the range A1 thru C10; this includes cells A1 thru A10 and B1 thru B10 and C1 thru C10 for a total of 30 cells whose contents will be added together by this formula

3 Here are a few other common functions: =average(a2:j2) Calculates the average of the numbers in cells A2, B2, C2. thru J2 =count(a4:z4) Counts the number of cells from A4 thru Z4 which contain values =max(a1:z26) Selects the largest or maximum value from A1 thru Z26 =min(a1:z26) Selects the smallest or minimum value from A1 thru Z26 Format Features Under the Format menu choose Cells. Change the format of numbers, the alignment including angle of text, merging and wrapping text and cell borders and colors. These features apply to any selected cell(s). Under the Format menu choose Rows. Hide or Unhide rows. Under the Format menu choose Columns. Hide or Unhide columns, and also set column width. Under the Format menu, choose AutoFormat. SELECT AREA TO FORMAT before choosing an AutoFormat. Otherwise, it will try to format the entire possible spreadsheet that will overrun the computer s memory. On the Toolbar there is a button for Merge and Center (immediately right of the alignment buttons). This is useful for page headings or titles. Select the cell containing title text, and the other cells you wish the title to span. Then, click the button. This merges all the selected cells and centers the text across them in one step. The drawing toolbar common to all MS Office products is also available. Drawing objects such as clipart, shapes, arrows and 3-D shapes, WordArt and text boxes may be placed anywhere on a spreadsheet. If you don t see the drawing toolbar on the bottom of the screen, choose the View menu, then Toolbars, then select Drawing. Quick Tips 1. Select cells or data and use copy, cut, paste and format features as in any Windows program. 2. To drag and drop: position the cursor on the EDGE of a selected area and drag. 3. The Fill Handle is a small box in the lower right corner of any selected cell area. Click on this handle and drag to fill cells with repeated information, or to continue a sequence of information such as dates. 4. Double-click the separator between column letters to automatically adjust the column width to show all data. Drag the separator to size the column manually. 5. Use Ctrl + click to select non-adjacent cells for charts and formatting.

4 Sort To sort a single column alphabetically or numerically in increasing or decreasing order: Click on the column letter to select the entire column Click the A-Z button on the toolbar. One A-Z button has an arrow pointing up, and one has an arrow pointing down. NOTE: If you do this sort, the row items will not longer be together. To keep cells on a row all together, but still put the rows in increasing or decreasing order, do the following: Select ALL OF THE COLUMNS. Click the Data menu, then Sort. In the dialog box, select the column heading by which you wish to sort. Filter Filter is similar to sort, but rather than just changing the order of items, it hides items. Filtering applies to VIEWING and to PRINTING the sheet, but at all times the data is still in the spreadsheet and can be retrieved by removing the filter. Filtering can only use data in one column at a time. To apply a filter, select one column by clicking on the heading letter of the column. Choose the Data menu, then Filter, then AutoFilter. A checkmark appears next to AutoFilter. As you look at the selected column, notice there is now a small drop-down menu triangle on the top right side of the column. Click this triangle button and select the item you wish to SEE. All rows that do not contain the selected data will disappear. To change the data on which you filter, click the triangle button again and choose a different item. If you choose custom from the triangle drop-down menu, you can show rows based on one or more values in the column, and based on values greater than or less than the value you specify. To completely remove the filter, go to the Data menu, then Filter, then AutoFilter. The checkmark should disappear, and the triangle button as well. This completes basic filtering. Charts See the attached pages from: The O Leary Series Microsoft Excel 2000 Introductory Edition, Timothy J. O Leary and Linda I. O Leary. Irwin McGraw-Hill, 2000.

5 Drawing Toolbar Lines with and without arrowheads Textboxes Insert clipart Color Line Color text Object shadow and 3-D effect Variety of Shapes Rectangles or Ovals Fill color background Line thickness, pattern, and tips

6 Print Options Print Preview, under the File Menu, is extremely important in Excel. It is the only way you will know what the printout looks like. The Excel worksheet does not always print the same way it displays. After you once look at Print Preview and then return to normal view, you will see a dotted line indicating where page breaks are located. Many spreadsheets lend themselves to a landscape paper orientation wider than they are tall. Also, in some cases, you may want to include the gridlines in the printed copy of the worksheet. Under the File Menu, choose Page Setup. In the dialog box, paper orientation is under the page tab. Gridlines may be added under the sheet tab. You can also set margins and add a header and footer to your printout in the Page Setup dialog box. Conclusion It is important to realize that students can learn to use Excel as yet another tool in their kit for solving problems and completing projects that are CURRICULUM focused. Excel is not the end, but rather part of the process of gathering, sorting, formatting, evaluating and presenting information.

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