Data Manipulation


    Data can be arranged in order, either ascending or descending, based on various types of data, such as dates, numbers, and alphabetic text. To sort data, select the cells to be sorted, keeping in mind that cells not selected will not move with the selected cells after the sort. However, if there are cells next to the selected cells that contain data, excel will ask if those cells should be selected. After selecting the cells to sort, go to Data -> Sort. A dialog box will ask, which column should be sorted, ascending or descending. Data can be sorted quickly by pressing ; though this button assumes the first column clicked during the select is the column sorted.


    Import allows the user to place data into a sheet from another source of data, such as other spreadsheets, Access databases, ODBC connects and SQL servers. To import data go to Data -> Import External Data -> Import Data. Then select the data source in the dialog. Use and ODBC connect, click New Source. Once the source has been selected, excel will ask where the information should be placed.


    Often there is a symbol that needs to be used outside of the alphabet and numbers. Such symbols include Greek letters and mathematical symbols. To insert a symbol, go to Insert -> Symbol. Select the symbol and press insert. This will insert the symbol where the cursor is. After inserting all of the symbols, press close.


    Entering large amounts of data into a sheet can sometimes be simplified by the use of a form, as shown in Figure 1. The first row will be the description. From the selected columns a form will be created, where data can be entered instead of using the sheet. The scroll bar allows the user to move through the rows.

    To create a form, go to Data -> Form.

Copyright 2008 David Coss