You've familiarized yourself with Excel's layout and now you're ready to enter data into a spreadsheet but don't know how.
Select a cell in the spreadsheet and starting typing. Press Enter when done.
When you select a cell in a spreadsheet, it becomes highlighted with a thick black border, as shown in Figure 1-3. In that figure the cell in row 3 and column B is the selected cell. Notice the row and column headings of the currently selected cell are highlighted. Once a cell is selected in this manner, you can simply start typing on the keyboard to insert text in the cell. Press Enter when you are finished and notice that the cell below the one within which you entered text is now automatically selected. This allows you to type and enter text in a column of cells rapidly, without having to select the next cell using the mouse.
Figure 1-3. Excel Help task pane
Upon entering text, you can also press the Tab key to commit your entry and move the cell selection to the next cell to the right. Alternatively, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard to commit an entry and move to any cell adjacent to the cell within which you've entered text. Of course you can always use the mouse to click on a cell, selecting it for input; however, doing this may slow you down if you are trying to enter text in a contiguous group of cells, since you'll have to remove your hands from the keyboard very often.
You can also enter text into a cell using the formula bar (located just above the spreadsheet grid and just below the toolbars), as shown in Figure 1-4. The formula bar has an fx icon, adjacent to a long white rectangular area.
Click anywhere in the white rectangular area of the formula bar to give it the input focus and then start typing. Your text will appear in both the formula bar and the currently selected cell. To commit the entry, press the Enter key or press the green checkmark icon on the formula bar. To cancel your entry, press the red x icon or press the Esc key on your keyboard.
Figure 1-4. Using the formula bar
Let's say you want to make changes to some text already entered in a cell. To make changes to a cell entry, select the cell with the mouse or use the arrow keys to navigate the grid and then press the F2 shortcut key to put the cell in edit mode, allowing you to edit the contents of the cell. Alternatively, double-clicking on a cell will automatically select it and put it in edit mode. Finally, you can always select a cell and simply start typing and press Enter to completely overwrite the contents of the cell.
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