Join Dennis Taylor for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring data entry, editing, and AutoFill, part of Excel Essential Training (Office 365).
- Data entry is one of the most basic things we do in Excel and at times it can be boring, but there are some techniques, some short cuts and a feature called auto-fill that are really going to help. Before we do this in this particular worksheet it's called data entry, it's an empty sheet. We're in the workbook O two entering data. In the lower right hand corner there's a slider bar there's a black rectangle there. If you hold down the left mouse button you can zoom in or zoom out. We're only gonna be using about seven columns here as you build a small little worksheet here, so that's good enough. I'm gonna be putting in some data in cell A two.
I can either click on A two or use the arrow keys to make that cell become the active one, I type Sales. Notice it's on the left hand side of the cell? That's what happens automatically in Excel, unless your typing values. I press enter, I could press tab to move to the right, I can press any of the arrow keys. Moving down a column, so I'll press enter, and then type Overhead, and enter and then Profits, enter. A bit later I decide to change Overhead to the word Expenses. I'll click there, we don't have to erase it, I'll just type right over it.
Now maybe I spell it the British way, the Canadian way, that's okay, but later I decide to change that. We don't have to retype it, although that's relatively short. To edit a cell, you can either click on it and then go into the formula bar, click in the appropriate spot and make some changes or you can double click near the entry and do the editing right in the cell. I'm gonna double click behind the C, double click. Backspace, S, and enter. I'm gonna be putting in some numbers and caps lock has just been on maybe. The number I'm gonna type is 120 and I happen to type O instead of zero.
They're right next to each other on the keyboard. I tab over, one, six, zero, typing this one correctly, tab, and you can see the difference. Numerical entries in Excel, when entered, always are right aligned. We learned that way back in the second grade before adding and subtracting and eventually multiplying. Let's just do this all over again, one, two, zero. If it's not purely numeric or it's not a formula Excel will left align it, numbers are right aligned. Alright, I'm gonna be putting in four numbers and as I move to the right here, I'll be pressing tab.
So I type the 160, tab, 210, tab, 250, tab, 325 and 440 and after the last entry I'll press enter. And then six more numbers here, starting in cell B three. And then pressing enter after the last one. I'm gonna be putting in monthly names across the top. So, I'll type January and tab over. Now, a shortcut, that you wouldn't know about, falls under the heading of auto fill.
Anytime that you have a month, spelled out, or a three letter abbreviation, you can point to the lower right hand corner of that cell, that's called the fill handle. Notice how the mouse pointer changes it's shape, becomes thinner. Holding down the left mouse button, I'm dragging across. Those little pop ups below suggest what's about to happen. You'll get the other months. We could drag all the way to December and even beyond, it'll start over again. And we can do this in a variety of different ways. You can start with any month you want and you can use a three letter abbreviation. If I type in J U L, and then point to that lower right hand corner and click and drag, you probably have guessed already what we're about to see here.
Same thing happens rightward. If you drag rightward or downward, same thing happens. If you drag upward. I'll drag upward from here. We go backward in time, same thing happens if we drag leftward, so you quickly get used to that. It also works with days of the week. And also, we can use the letter Q and the number one, in a variety of combinations. You can actually use any of the numbers one through four because Excel only cycles through those numbers as we use that feature and of course, we renew quarter. And the same thing works with Q T R and any combination of one, two, three and four and the word Quarter, in that same combination of one, two, three or four, so these are handy techniques.
And of course, these are often used for column headings and row headings. So, some shortcuts with auto fill and just some basic thoughts and ideas about how we do data entry and editing in Excel.
- Working with the Excel interface
- Entering data
- Creating formulas and functions
- Formatting your data
- Adjusting rows and columns
- Finding and replacing data
- Inserting and deleting sheets
- Sorting and filtering data
- Creating charts and PivotTables
- Printing and sharing worksheets
- Protecting worksheets and workbooks
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 1/7/2019. What changed?
A: A new video was added that covers working with Excel Ideas.