Jan's Working with Numbers
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- Error code - The column is too narrow to show the complete number.
- Error code - Formulat attempted to divide by zero.
- Error code - Formula used an undefined name for a range or a function. Either the name was mis-typed or the range with that name was deleted. The semicolon in a range reference is easy to mis-type or omit.
- Error code - Cell references are incorrect. Either the cell reference was mis-typed, like 3A instead of A3, or the cell was deleted or the formula is in a range used in the formula (circular reference).
- Error code - The value in a cell used in a formula is of the wrong type, like text when a number is needed.
- absolute reference
- Cell reference which will not change if the formula
moved. Has the format $A$1.
- The cell which receives the action or
keystrokes. It has a wider, dark border.
- Adjacent parts are next to each other.
- A value needed to calculate a function. For example,
the function COUNT needs cell references as the arguments:
- Example: =COUNT(A2:D6) or =COUNT(B1, C2, D3, D4, F5).
The IF function has 3 arguments - the
logical test, the value if the test is True, the value
if the test is False.
=IF(G4>4000, G4, "Too small") which produces the value
from G4 if that value is greater than 4000 but shows
the text "Too small" if it is not.
- assumed values
values that are fixed in formulas on a sheet, like
interest rate or commission rate.
- A special feature of Excel which shows a calculation
on the Status bar. You may select from several,
including SUM and COUNT.
- A feature of Excel which automatically completes
certain words or phrases.
- A feature of Excel which automatically copies a cell
into cells that are dragged across, or which
automatically continues a pattern of values in cells
that are dragged across.
- Clicking the edge of a column heading or a row
heading makes the column or row as wide or tall as
needed to show contents of the cell that needs the
- A button which sets a formula to add up cells
either in a row or in a column. Excel guesses which one
you want. You can easily change the cells that the
formula will use.
- Edges of a chart which are marked off in even
- The intersection of a row and a column
- cell reference
- The columns letter followed by the row numbers,
like A1 or BC575.
- cell style
combination of formats that is named and
can be used again for other cells.
- A picture that shows how numbers relate to each
other. Column, Line, and Pie chart styles are the
- chart area
- The area
that contain all of the parts of the chart,
including the titles and legend.
- chart tips
- Popup tips
that tell what each part of a chart is or its
- chart title
- The title assigned to the chart, usually at the
- chart type
- Type of chart, like column, pie, area, donut,
- circular reference
- A formula that uses the cell reference of the
cell that the formula itself is in.
- A command that opens a menu of choices or what
you want cleared: All, Formats, Contents, Comments.
- clear data
- Erase data from a cell. Formatting is still
assigned to the cell and will be used for any new
data. Clearing the data does not delete the cell
itself, just the contents.
- clear formats
- Returns the selected cells to the default
- Collapse Dialog button
- A button which collapses the dialog to
show just a text box for cell references. Clicking
or dragging in the spreadsheet puts those cell
references in the text box.
- collapse group
- In a
subtotals sheet, clicking the Collapse button will remove from view the rows in
that level of the sheet
- A vertical set of cells, running from the top of
the sheet all the way to the bottom of the sheet
- column chart
- A chart
which displays the data as a set of columns.
- column heading
- A button which shows the letter name of the column.
- column label
- A title that you enter in a cell for a column of
- column width
- The horizontal size of a columns of cells.
- A button on the ribbon which will apply the comma
number format to selected cells. In this format,
groups of 3 digits to the left of the decimal point
are separated by commas and 2 digits are shown to the
right of the decimal point (with location United
States in Windows' Region and Language settings).
- A note attached
to a cell. The default is a pale yellow rectangle. A
comment can be hidden. The shape can be changed to
any AutoShape. Text in a comment can be formatted.
Comments are used to explain something about the source or
formatting or use of the cell contents.
- A small red triangle in the upper right corner of a
cell indicates that there is a comment attached to
- Combining text and values into one text string. If the formula
in cell D10 is ="Final Total
is " + C4 + " ." and the value of
cell C4 is 560, then what you see
in cell D10 is The Final Total is 560.
- Formatting that changes based on a
logical test. Fonts, borders, and fills can all be
- To change the type
of object or file. You might convert a Lotus 1-2-3
worksheet to a Microsoft Excel worksheet or to a
- To duplicate a cell, row, column, or range to another area of the worksheet or to a different worksheet.
- A button on the ribbon which applies the
Currency number format to the selected cells. In
this format numbers have a symbol for the
particular currency chosen, such as $ or €.
Two digits are shown to the right of the decimal
- custom list
- A sorting list that you create yourself.
- customize ribbon
- In Excel 2010 you can add a custom tab to the
ribbon or a custom tab group to an existing tab. You
cannot change the tabs and tab groups and buttons
that come with Excel.
- Description of what you did and why for the
source, purpose, and design of your document. For
Excel it may be important to explain a formula and
what cells are linked. Documentation contained in
the document somewhere does not get lost!
- data block or region
- A set of cells that contain data of some sort
and which are surrounded by blank cells on all
- data group
- A set of cells which are related. Often formatted differently from other daata groups.
- Words or numbers that are near a data point on a
chart to explain it
- data point
- A single value on a chart, represented by a dot,
bar, area, or pie wedge.
- Decrease Decimal
- A button on the ribbon which changes a number's
format to show one fewer digits to the right of
the decimal point.
- edit data
- To change existing data.
- edit in place
edit an object without having to switch to another
- Edit mode
- When in Edit mode, you can type directly in the
cell instead of having to use the Formula Bar.
Turn on Edit mode by double-clicking the cell you
want to edit. The Status Bar shows 'Edit' when
this mode is on.
- embedded object
document or part of a document from one program that
appears inside a document from another program. The
embedded object does not show changes in the source
document unless you manually update it.
- End mode
- Pressing the End key turns on End mode, which
changes the action of certain keys.
- enter data
- Typing and then pressing the ENTER key or
clicking the check mark button makes the
cell remember what you typed. To make changes
after the data has been entered, you must edit or
else your new typing will replace what was in the
- expand group
- In a subtotal sheet clicking the Expand button brings into view that level of the
- explode (pie chart)
- Move the wedges that make up the pie away from
- fill handle
- a small black square at the bottom right corner of a selection
- A set of criteria, or rules,
that hides data which does not match. The data is not deleted.
- An expression that calculates something, usually based on the
values in cells. The formula = SUM(A1, B1, C1) adds the values
in the three cells. The formula =D2/G4 divides the values in
cell D2 by the value in cell G4.
- Format Cells...
- Command that opens the Format Cells dialog, which has 6 tabs for choosing the formatting for the cell and its contents.
- Format Painter
- Clicking the Format Painter button changes the pointer to the
Format Painter shape.
The formatting of the current cell is copied. When you click on
another cell, the copied formatting is applies.
- Formula Bar
- A text bar at the top of the sheet. It shows what the
currently selected cell contains. If the selection contains
several cells, the Formula Bar shows what is in the upper left
cell. If a cell's value is calculated with a formula, the
Formula Bar shows the formula but the cell shows the value,
unless you are in Edit mode.
- Freeze panes
- A command on the Window menu which makes the rows and columns
above and to the left of the selected cell "freeze" in
place when you scroll the window.
- Full screen
- A view which maximizes the amount of screen available for the
sheet by hiding the ribbon and Status bar.
- a mathematical expression. In the case of spreadsheets, a
function always starts with the equals sign, =.
- The gray lines which outline the rows and columns on a sheet.
- group (data)
- To gather similar data together, such as moving rows with the
same value in a certain column next to each other
- group (sheets)
- Selecting several worksheets at once groups the sheets, shown
by the sheet tabs turning white. Actions done to one sheet are
done to all sheets in the group.
- icon link
- A small icon that links to
another document. Used in a document instead of embedding or
- IF function
- Syntax: =IF(logical comparison, value
if the comparison is TRUE, value if the comparison is FALSE)
Example: =IF(C4>D4, C4-D4, "Smaller")
This function does the subtraction if the first value is the
larger one. If it is not, then the text "Smaller" is the result
instead of a number.
- import filter
- Translates what
you are trying to paste or insert into your document from
another type of program into a form that the current program can
- Increase Decimals
- A button which formats numbers show one more digit to the
right of the decimal. Rounded numbers will be rounded again to
the new number of digits. A zero will be added if the number was
not rounded to start with. For example, the number 2.5 would
display as 2.50 if the actual number really is 2.5 exactly. If
the actual number was 2.4789, then after clicking Increase
Decimal, the new value will look like 2.48.
- To add rows or columns or cells in between existing ones,
moving existing data out of the way.
- A list of the colors or symbols for different series
on a chart
- To connect cells on two different sheets so that data
entered or calculated on one appears on the other.
- linked object
- An object that displays and prints in a document but
is actually just a link to another document. A linked
object always shows the latest version of the source. The
source must be available, however, for this to happen.
- logical comparison or
- Compares two values with a logical operator, like =, < , and > or the combinations <=, >=, <>. The result of a
logical test is either True or False.
logical comparison can compare numbers to each other or
text strings to each other. For example, 'Fred' <
'Ginger' would be True because Fred comes earlier in
alphabetical order. The IF function uses a logical
comparison to decide which of two actions to perform,
one if the comparison is true and a different one if it
- Merge and Center
- A command which merges selected cells and centers the data in
the merged cell.
- merge cells
- Combines two or more selected cells into one cell. The data in
the upper left cell of the selection is all that is saved into
the new larger cell. All the other cells' data is lost.
- Message area
- The section of the Status Bar for displaying messages about
what is going on
- In different modes the keys perform different actions.
- mode indicators
- A symbol or abbreviation that shows what mode is currently on.
- To move data to another area of the sheet or to a different
- A cell can have a name as well as a cell reference
- Name Box
- A text box at the upper left of the sheet which displays the
cell reference of the currently selected cell or it's name, if
it has one.
- Not right next to each other.
- Normal View
- The default view for a sheet, with the gray gridlines.
- Page Break Preview
- A view which shows clearly what parts of a sheet will print
together on the same piece of paper. You can drag the outlines
to keep certain areas from printing at all.
- Page Setup
- A dialog which has 4 tabs for managing the printing of a
spreadsheet: Page, Margins, Header/Footer, Sheet
- Paste Link
- A command that pastes copied data as a link. When the original
cells change, so will the pasted ones.
- Paste Special
- A command that opens a set of choices for how you want to
paste what you copied. For example, you can paste just the values
or just the formats.
- A button on the ribbon which applies the Percentage number format to the selected cells. No decimal places are shown by default. The number 3.456 would be converted to 346%.
- picture object
- An object inserted into a document which is just an image of
the source document. It can be edited only as an image.
- pie chart
- A chart which displays the data as parts of a whole circle.
- An interactive chart showing data from a pivot table. The
chart includes drop lists for filtering what shows.
- pivot table
- An interactive table that shows a sum, count, average, or
other function result at the intersection of a row and column.
Example: Showing total sales where the rows are salesmen and the
columns are dates. The table includes drop lists for choosing
- A button which will cause the entire sheet to print, including
cells that have no data but which were formatted.
- Print Area
- The part of a sheet will actually print out.
- Print as displayed
- Choice on Sheet tab of Page Setup for Excel. Applies to cell
comments. When chosen, the comments are printed however they show
on the screen.
- Print at end
- Choice on Sheet tab of Page Setup for Excel. Applies to cell
comments. When chosen, the comments are printed all together at
the end of the sheet's pages.
- Print formulas
- Display the formulas in cells with Tools| Options | Show
formulas. Then print.
- Print dialog
- A dialog with which you can manage the actual printing
process: choose a printer, access printer options, choose which
pages to print, choose how many copies to print
- Print Preview
- A view that shows how the sheet will look after printing.
- Quick Access Toolbar
- A toolbar at the top left of the window with buttons for commonly used actions.
You can add others that are useful to you using the More button at the end.
- A set of adjacent cells. The range reference has the form
C3:E6 and refers to cells in the rectangle with C3 and E6 at
opposite corners: C3, C4, C5, C6, D3, D4, D5, D6, E3, E4, E5,
- Regional Settings or Region & Language
- An icon on the Control Panel opens a dialog which lets you
choose a language and country for your regional settings. This
affects what Windows and programs use as a unit of
measure for distances and currency and also how dates and times
- relative reference
- A normal cell reference (like C3) is a relative
reference. When a cell is moved, any formulas that
refer to that cell are changed to use the new location.
- Restore Dialog button
- Restores the dialog that was collapsed with the Collapse
- A set of cells that runs across the page to the last column.
- row heading
- A button which shows the number of the row
- row height
- The height of the cells in the row. All cells in the same row
must have the same height.
- A title which you enter for the row, often in the first cell
in the row.
- row label
- Text in a cell that is a title for the contents of that row.
- Scroll Lock mode
- When the Scroll Lock key is pressed, certain keys start
- The cell or cells that will receive the actions of keys and
commands. The selection is surrounded by a wide dark border.
- Two or more cells whose contents form a pattern. AutoFill can
continue the series.
- Short for worksheet
- sheet tab
- An area at the bottom of a sheet that shows the name of the
- shift data
- When copying and pasting, you may be asked if you want
to shift the data down or to the right. Enough
cells are moved over for the pasted cells to fit.
- Excel 2010: A table of values that you can use to
filter a pivot table and pivot chart. It makes it clear what
your filters are.
- To rearrange rows of data in an
order. The order can be alphabetical, numerical, or based on a
- Sort Ascending or Sort A-Z
- A button which will sort selected cells in a column into
alphabetical or numerical order. If multiple cells are selected
in each row or whole rows are selected, the sorting is based on
the first cell in each row of the selection.
- Sort Descending or Sort Z-A
- A button which will sort selected cells in a column into reverse alphabetical or numerical order. If multiple cells are
selected in each row or whole rows are selected, the sorting is
based on the first cell in each row of the selection.
- Sort dialog
- A dialog which offers more choices than the Sort buttons. You
can sort on 3 different columns. For each one you can choose to
sort ascending, descending, or use a custom list.
- split cell
- To divide a cell into 2 or more cells.
- Split view
- A view which allows you to see 2 or 4 parts of the sheet at
the same time
- Sheet or worksheet- formed of rows and columns.
- standard width
- The default width for a column.
- A total of part of a larger set of data, usually of a certain
- table style
set of formatting choices to turn a range of cells into a
'table' where each column has an arrow to open a set of sorting
and filtering commands.
- The contents of a cell which label the sheet.
- Unfreeze panes
- The command on the Window menu which makes the whole sheet
- ungroup (sheets)
- To separate grouped sheets. Click on a sheet that is not in
the group, or right click on the group and select Ungroup from the
- To return merged cells to their previous arrangement. Data
that was lost in the merge is still lost.
- To fetch the current values for data that is linked from
- What-If sheet
- A spreadsheet that
is used to try out various combinations of numbers to see what how
the results change.
- The file that is an Excel document. Usually it contains
- workbook window
- The document window in Excel
- A single spreadsheet page. It may take several sheets of paper
to print since one can be as large as 1,048,576 rows by 16,384
- The file extension used for Excel spreadsheets for versions
before Excel 2007/2010.
- The file extension used for Excel spreadsheets for Excel 2007