Data Management

Charts

    Charts can be created to interpret data more easily. Types of charts include bar graphs, pie charts, line and scatter graphs.

    To make a chart, go to Insert -> Chart. In this dialog select the type of chart to be created and press next. Next, select the range of data to be plotted and press next. Labels for the title and x and y axes can be entered in the "title" tab. After entering all of the table information, press next. Excel will then prompt the user to select whether the chart should be place a new or existing sheet.

Objects and Pictures

    Various objects such as pictures, equations and sound clips can be added to a sheet. Inserted objects can be moved around the sheets.

    To insert a picture, go to Insert -> Picture. From this menu, to insert a picture from a file, click "From File" and select the file to insert. Clip art available to excel can be used under the "Clip Art" selection.

    Under Insert -> Object, all file types that can be insert may be selected. With this dialog, the user has the option of choosing a file already created or creating a new file to insert. Figure 1 shows this done to create an equation

(Figure 1)

Pivot Table

(Figure 2)

    Large amounts of data can be arranged into a more user friendly form with the use of Pivot Tables. Shown in Figure 2, pivot tables collect selected data and allow the user to dictate where the data should be placed and how the data should be used.

    To create a pivot table once the data has been entered in a sheet, go to Data -> PivotTable and PivotChart Report. In the next dialog, to create a pivot table check PivotTable at the bottom and check the data source at the top, which will most likely be Excel. After clicking next, select the data to be used in the report. Note: the first row of the columns is assumed to be the heading or title of the column. Click next and select where the table should be placed.

(Figure 3)

    Figure 3 shows the field list. The field list is used to insert data into the pivot table. There are four places to place data. They are list in Figure 2 as A, B, C and D. Spaces A and D are the criteria that the data in space B is sorted by. To insert data click on the name in the Field List and drag it to the appropriate space in the pivot table. For example, in the above figure, to sort by date drag "Date" to space A. Dragging a field to space C uses only data selected from that tab to use in the pivot table. Figure 4 is an example of a pivot table made listing the purchases on each date, by category.

(Figure 4)

Mail Merge

    Fields from a sheet can be used to automatically address and fill envelopes and letters, using Microsoft Word and mail merge. In word, go to Tools -> Letters and Mailings -> Mail Merge Wizard. Then select the type of document to create and click next on the bottom of the dialog. Select the starting document and click next. Select the source of the contacts. To use an already existing file, click browse. Select the file and click next. Begin typing document. The dialog on the right will allow templates to be inserted with the imported contact information, such as an address block or salutation. However, the individual fields of the contact list can be selected by clicking "More Items." Once the document has been typed, click Next. Once the previews are ready to print click next.

Copyright 2008 David Coss davecoss.com