A spreadsheet is a computer
program
that does calculations on figures in rows and columns.
Columns go up and down:


The basic screen design of a spreadsheet is a
table
of rows
and columns.
The oblongs made by the intersections of the rows and columns
are called cells.
Each of these cells has a name (address) that is
made by putting the name of the column with the name of the row.
Cell B3 is
the cell at the intersection of column B and row 3.

Cells are labelled:
alphabetically from left to right: A,B,C, etc
Numerically from top to bottom: 1,2,3 etc

A1

B1

A2

B2

A3

B3

A table can be created in any size. This table has six rows, three columns
and eighteen cells.
We can fill in some of the cells with formulas that use the cell addresses
of figures in other cells. If we alter the figures, the formulas
will recalculate the results for us.

A1 
B1 
C1 
A2 
B2 
C2 
A3 
B3 
C3 
A4 
B4 
C4 
A5 
B5 
C5 
A6 
B6 
C6 
We can use a cell to enter: a title (see green cells), a
number (see blue cells) or a formula (see yellow
cells)
We can then alter the numbers whenever we like, and recalculate. The
formula will automatically calculate the totals and percentages.

Age Groups 
Numbers 
Percentages 
15 to 29 
109 
(B2/B6) x 100 
30 to 44 
218 
(B3/B6) x 100 
45 to 59 
242 
(B4/B6) x 100 
60 to 74 
46 
(B5/B6) x 100 
Total 
B2+B3+B4+B5

C2+C3+C4+C5 
Here the spreadsheet has calculated the results for the numbers we have
entered above. If we entered new numbers, the spreadsheet would calculate
new results.

Age Groups 
Numbers 
Percentages 
15 to 29 
109 
18 
30 to 44 
218 
35 
45 to 59 
242 
40 
60 to 74 
46 
7 
Total 
615 
100 
Percentages
The formula for a
percentage
is:
number divided by total, all multiplied by one hundred
If you look at the above diagrams you will see how a formula is entered in a
cell to calculate this in a spreadsheet.
The formula
(B2/B6)/100
in the example will work perfectly well
But, if you copy it to other cells you need to mark the cell reference
for the total (B in this example) so that it does not alter when you
copy it. In Excel spreadsheets this is done by putting a $ before
the letter and number of the cell reference you want to stay the same. So
the formula becomes: (B2/$B$6)/100
Normally, if you copy a formula from one cell to another in a spreadsheet
it uses intelligent calculations to alter it to what you are likely to
want. It uses relative rather than absolute positions. So, if
you copy the formula down a row, instead of copying B2/B6, it will enter
B3/B7. With percentages, you want it to do this with the number (B2 to B3),
but to use the same total address each time (B6)
As well as the specialist spreadsheet programs that do this, wordprocessors
often include a simple spreadsheet as a tool. In
WordPerfect 5.1
and
Wordperfect for
Windows
it is an aspect of tables.
This is very useful if you need to include a table of
figures in an
essay.
Notes on the Excel spreadsheet
clicking on the grey button at the top of a
column
highlights the whole
column
clicking on the grey button at the left of a
row
highlights the whole row
clicking on a cell
gives it a black border. This means that the cell is active  which
means
you can enter things in it from the keyboard.
You can enter words or numbers
If you enter words as headings, they will appear to stretch across
several
cells. You can adjust the row or column to fit by using the format
menu
or by mouse movements between the grey cells at the top or left side.
If you laid out a spreadsheet with headings down the side and headings
across the top  ready to enter
data  you
could call that a template
When you create a template, or enter data, you should name your
spreadsheet by saving it to your disk. Simple eight letter names are best
for
computer
files. So, if your spreadsheet shows crime statistics for 1981
and
1994 you could save it as crime8194
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Spreadsheet
software
Tables
