MVP #35: How Excel Handles Your Data

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I remember my first serious use of Excel, I struggled with typing anything into Excel. Making corrections were a nightmare. And the worst was when what I typed was longer than the cell width/space. Then, working on Excel was my surest way of getting frustrated.

And today's post is for people who are at that frustration phase. Where you can't seem to understand how Excel handles your data. I'll be giving you the help I wish I had 3 years ago.

And here it is.

In Excel, you type into small rectangular boxes called cells. I would be referring to everything you type or copy into Excel as Data. 

Every cell has an address, because each cell is an intersection of a row and a column. The cell selected in the image on the left, is addressed as cell A1. It is the intersection of column A and row 1.

Sometimes, what you type into a cell takes more space than the cell has. Don’t worry, just expand the column width by dragging the right border of the column header.
Like this: 

Excel recognizes 4 different data types: Text, Number, Boolean & Formula.

Text: Whenever you type alphabets, or a mix of alphabets and numbers into Excel (without preceding with =), everything is recognized as text.

Number: If all you type into a cell are digits, they are recognized as Number by Excel.

Boolean: FALSE and TRUE are Boolean entries. You’ll hardly use them. They are used for setting up complex formulas. But always take note that whenever you type false or true in a cell, Excel will put it upper case and see it as Boolean.

Formula: Once you begin a cell entry with =, Excel treats everything you type after as a formula. In the image on the left, I was multiplying the number in cell B2 by 45.


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