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Computer Literacy for Windows
Illustration by Neil Webb

Introduction to spreadsheets


From:

Computer Literacy for Windows

with Garrick Chow

Video: Introduction to spreadsheets

Another application you might find yourself fairly frequently is a spreadsheet application. I currently have Microsoft Excel open. It's definitely the most popular and well-known spreadsheet program out there, but if you're using another spreadsheet application, you'll still be able to follow along with what I am showing you in this movie. At its most basic level, a spreadsheet is the electronic equivalent of a paper ledger sheet. Like ledgers, spreadsheets are comprised of a grid of rows and columns and can be used for balancing your checkbook, calculating loans, managing the addresses and contact information of customers, and so on.
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  1. 2m 44s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the assessment files
      1m 2s
    3. Using the exercise files
      33s
  2. 9m 53s
    1. What's a computer?
      1m 48s
    2. What's inside a computer?
      2m 46s
    3. Laptop vs. desktop computers
      1m 52s
    4. Special considerations when using a laptop
      3m 27s
  3. 17m 29s
    1. Understanding the operating system
      3m 3s
    2. Understanding files, folders, and directories
      4m 38s
    3. Understanding your Home (User) folder
      3m 9s
    4. Using your desktop
      2m 46s
    5. Taking out the trash (recycle bin)
      1m 45s
    6. The right click
      2m 8s
  4. 25m 38s
    1. Understanding applications
      4m 36s
    2. Opening and saving files
      4m 3s
    3. Choosing the right tool
      4m 37s
    4. How to learn any application
      4m 53s
    5. Five things that work in all applications
      7m 29s
  5. 35m 26s
    1. Understanding computer ports
      2m 33s
    2. Setting up a printer
      3m 36s
    3. Printing your documents
      3m 52s
    4. Setting up a scanner
      2m 8s
    5. Scanning a document
      5m 59s
    6. Setting up a projector or a second monitor
      6m 17s
    7. Using a projector
      3m 43s
    8. Portable storage devices
      3m 55s
    9. Pairing with Bluetooth devices
      3m 23s
  6. 20m 46s
    1. Understanding networks and internet access
      2m 58s
    2. Connecting to wired networks
      2m 47s
    3. Connecting to wireless networks
      5m 0s
    4. Working in a networked environment
      5m 49s
    5. Staying protected from viruses
      4m 12s
  7. 23m 24s
    1. Understanding email servers and clients
      2m 11s
    2. Setting up your email application
      4m 15s
    3. Receiving and reading email
      3m 50s
    4. Composing new email messages
      7m 4s
    5. Reply vs. Reply All
      2m 12s
    6. Dealing with spam
      3m 52s
  8. 8m 22s
    1. Understanding search engines
      1m 24s
    2. Conducting basic searches
      3m 44s
    3. Conducting advanced searches
      3m 14s
  9. 27m 15s
    1. Introduction to word processors
      4m 46s
    2. Formatting text
      7m 57s
    3. Introduction to spreadsheets
      4m 0s
    4. Creating a simple data table
      8m 13s
    5. Formatting a data table
      2m 19s
  10. 28m 52s
    1. Importing images from a digital camera
      7m 57s
    2. Storing and organizing digital images
      4m 28s
    3. Basic image manipulation
      9m 17s
    4. Tagging images
      4m 56s
    5. Sharing images
      2m 14s
  11. 12m 46s
    1. Common obstacles in sharing files
      1m 37s
    2. Creating PDFs for document sharing
      6m 4s
    3. Compressing files
      5m 5s
  12. 1m 4s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 4s

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Computer Literacy for Windows
3h 33m Beginner Aug 06, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Computer Literacy for Windows, author Garrick Chow walks through the skills necessary to use computers comfortably, while improving learning, productivity, and performance. This course focuses on the Microsoft Windows operating system and offers a thorough introduction to computers, networks, and computer peripherals such as printers, digital cameras, and more. In addition, basic procedures with software applications, the Internet, and email are covered. Exercise files accompany the course.

This course also includes chapter-level assessments for use as instructional aides. To download the assessments, click the following link: Computer Literacy Assessments. The file contains an assessment movie, chapter-level assessments, and answer keys.

Topics include:
  • Working with a laptop versus a desktop computer
  • Understanding an operating system
  • Understanding five traits almost all applications share
  • Printing
  • Setting up a scanner
  • Connecting to a wired or wireless network
  • Sending and receiving email
  • Searching the Internet
  • Importing and editing images from a digital camera
  • Sharing documents and images
Subjects:
Business Operating Systems Computer Skills (Windows)
Software:
Windows
Author:
Garrick Chow

Introduction to spreadsheets

Another application you might find yourself fairly frequently is a spreadsheet application. I currently have Microsoft Excel open. It's definitely the most popular and well-known spreadsheet program out there, but if you're using another spreadsheet application, you'll still be able to follow along with what I am showing you in this movie. At its most basic level, a spreadsheet is the electronic equivalent of a paper ledger sheet. Like ledgers, spreadsheets are comprised of a grid of rows and columns and can be used for balancing your checkbook, calculating loans, managing the addresses and contact information of customers, and so on.

One of the advantages of spreadsheet programs is that they can quickly perform complex calculations once you've set them up to do so. For example, I am going to click the Office button, choose New, and check out some of the installed templates that come with Excel. And here I am going to select the Loan Amortization template and click Create. So this is a pre-made worksheet to help you figure out how much a loan will end up costing you. In this case, all you have to do is plug in your own numbers in the orange colored areas. So maybe I am looking at a $75,000.00 loan with an annual interest rate of 3.9%.

It automatically added the percentage symbol for me there. We will do that over a period of 3 years. Number of payments per year, we'll say it's a monthly payment, so 12 payments per year. And start date of the loan we'll say is October 1st 2010, and I will press Enter or Return. And instantly the entire worksheet updates itself to reflect the numbers I have entered, and I am not going to bother with the optional extra payments here. So I can see the Loan summary to the right, saying how much my monthly payment is going to be, $2,210.96, as well as the total interest I am going to pay over the life of loan, $4,594.71.

And below that I see the details of things like how much principle and interest I will be paying with each installment. This is a great way to see how much your monthly payments will be at various interest rates, and how much you'll end up paying over the life of the loan. I can easily switch on any of the original numbers, so for instance, I get a better rate, say I got a 1.9% rate. I can plug that in to instantly see how it affects my payments. Obviously, if we had to do this with a paper and a calculator it will take much longer. Now this is more of a formatted and stylized spreadsheet.

In many cases you probably won't create something quite this elaborate yourself. But let's use this amortization table down here to go over some basic terminology considering spreadsheets. As I mentioned, in a spreadsheet you've columns and rows. Columns are vertical and are designated by letters as you see going across the top of the spreadsheet. So we have A, B, C, D and so on. So what happens when you run out of numbers of your columns? Well, if you have more than 26 columns, all columns after Z will be designated with double letters. So after you hit Z, the next column will be AA, BB, CC and so on.

Usually, you'll create your own more meaningful headers for your columns like we have in this worksheet, like Beginning Balance, Scheduled Payment, Extra Payment and so on. Now rows are horizontal and they are designated by numbers. In this case the rows in the amortization table are used to show the data for each monthly payment on your loan, and again, you might create more meaningful names for your rows other than just using the numbers. Generally, you will use that column letters and row numbers in conjunction with each other when you want to perform calculations, which we will take a look at later. Now the points where rows and columns meet are called cells.

Cells are refereed to according to their column letter and row number. So for example, in this particular cell, the one with $112.33 would be cell H20. The cell up here, Start date of the loan, would be cell D9. So it's into cells we actually enter you data. The data you enter into your cells can be numbers, letters, special characters or any combination of those, or the cells can automatically populate themselves if you apply formulas to them. And that's pretty much how all the cells in an amortization table work. Their contents are automatically determined and updated based on the numbers you enter into the orange cells in the upper left-hand corner of the worksheet.

Okay, so that's a brief introduction to what spreadsheets are and what they can be used for.

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