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In Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training, author Curt Frye gives a comprehensive overview of Excel, the full-featured spreadsheet software from Microsoft. The course covers key skills such as manipulating workbook and cell data, using functions, automating actions, printing worksheets, and collaborating with others. Exercise files accompany the course.
Most of the data you enter into an Excel worksheet will either be text or numbers. There will be times, however, when you need to enter a symbol into a worksheet. Some typical symbols are fractions, mathematical symbols, trademark or copyright symbols, and so on. In this movie, I'll show you how to insert those special symbols into your worksheets. If you're in Excel, and you want to insert a symbol into a cell, first you click the cell where you want the symbol to go, and then on the formula bar, start editing that cell. Then you can go up to Insert > Symbol.
When you do, Excel displays the Media browser, and opens it to the Symbols page. You can navigate the Symbols page of the Media browser either by using the scrollbar to scroll up and down, to display the symbols that are available, or you can limit the display by clicking the list box and just displaying the ones that you want. So, for example, if you want trade symbols, which include copyright, registered trademark, service mark and trademark, then you can limit it to those symbols. Now let's say that "Unsurpassed purity in every bottle" is a trademark.
To enter the trademark symbol, I click it, and you can see that it's now in the formula bar, and it also appears in the cell. But on the other hand, if it's a registered trademark, which is symbolized by the R in a circle, I would have clicked that one instead. I'm done with the cell, so I will close the Media browser, and press Enter, and the trademark symbol is now in cell A2. You can also enter fractions. Let's say that you want to enter the fraction that represents the amount of bottles that are shipped in state. In this case, the Two Trees Olive Oil Company ships two-fifths, or 40%, of their bottles in state.
To enter the two-fifths fraction, you click Insert > Symbol, and then display the fractions, which are here. Find 2/5, which is here. When you click it, it appears in your cell. You can now close the Media browser, press Return, and your value remains. Now let's say that you're trying to communicate, in an Excel workbook, the key sequence that you need to use to copy a cell. You know from previous experience that that is Command+C, but there is no key on your keyboard that allows you to type the Command symbol.
It is, however, available in the Symbols dialog. So if you click Insert > Symbol, and then display the keyboard symbols, the first symbol that's available is the Command symbol. When you click it, it appears in your cell. You can then close the Media browser, the Symbols page, type a C, and there you have your key sequence. Now this last example is a little bit esoteric, or a little but fun, so please bear with me, because the setup does take a little bit of getting used to. Let's say that your business is having a party, and the only restriction on who can come to the party is that at the door you must be able to produce the card that is the four of spades.
So let's say that you type the number 4, and then you want to enter the symbol for the suit of spades. You could type an S, but that might be misinterpreted by someone who doesn't understand cards. So let's say that you want to enter the actual spades symbol. Well, let's go back to the Symbols dialog box. Insert > Symbol, so we get the Symbols page of the Media browser. We'll display all the symbols. The problem is that when we page through it, we'll see very quickly that there is no spade symbol; however, if you use other Microsoft Office 2011 programs, that symbol is available.
So what I'm going to show you how to do now is to reach into those other programs, copy the symbol that you need from there, and paste it back into Excel. So I'll close the Media browser. I'll stop editing this cell. We'll get back to it in a moment. I'm going to switch over to Microsoft Word, which I have already opened. In Microsoft Word, if you want to insert a symbol, you do the same thing that you did before: you click Insert, and then point to Symbol, but when you do, you'll see that you have two options: the Symbol browser, which is the Media browser that I showed you before, and has a limited set of symbols, or you have the Advanced Symbol dialog box.
So let me show you what that looks like. The Symbols page of the Symbol dialog box in Microsoft Word shows you every symbol - every character that is available - for every font on your system. In this case, we have the Symbol font. In the Symbol font, you have quite a few characters. And here on the first page, you have the club, the diamond, the heart, and the spade. We want to insert the spade, so we'll click it, and click Insert. When we do - and I close the dialog box - the spade symbol appears in your Microsoft Word document.
So I will select it, press Command+C to Copy it, and then press Command+Tab to switch back to my Excel document. Now I can type the number 4, and then to represent the spade, I can press Command+V, and paste in the spade symbol. The ability to add symbols to your worksheets greatly enhances your ability to communicate information beyond the basic words and numbers found in Excel documents. As long as you don't use too many of them, you'll found that symbols add impact to your message. Don't forget to look in Microsoft Word for any symbols that you might not be able to find in Excel.
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