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Spreadsheets

Working with data

Our Working with Data site provides in-depth help, advice, and exercises, for spreadsheet tools such as Excel and Google Sheets. There's also resources for Access...

Introducing spreadsheets

Play this tutorial in full screen

Anatomy of a spreadsheet

Take an introductory tour of the spreadsheet workspace and get an idea of how it works:

Follow the arrow below to learn more about spreadsheets:

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An example spreadsheet with dates in the second column

What is the cell reference for the date
when the large coffee was bought?

C1
B4
A4
D8
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Choosing the right tool

Excel or Google Sheets? Google Sheets or Excel? How do you decide which tool you should use?

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Copying and pasting

Cells or ranges can be moved using Cut/Copy & Paste as with other applications, but spreadsheets behave slightly differently:

A copied selection

After choosing either cut or copy, the selected range is surrounded by a dotted line - cut data stays where it is until pasted elsewhere.

When pasting a range, select only the top left cell of the new area before choosing paste:

A pasted selection

In Excel, copied content only remains on the clipboard for as long as the dotted line is displayed.

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Data formats

Data can be formatted in different ways in order to do different things...

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Dragging selected data

Cells or ranges can be dragged to a different location. Positioning the cursor at the cell border will change to the move cursor at which point the cell or range can be dragged.

Selecting the cell border allows you to drag
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Columns, rows, and sheets

Get to grips with the workspace and its arrangement.

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Auto Fill

A series of values (e.g. 1 to 10, Mon-Fri) can be entered quickly using Auto Fill.

Both Excel and Google have an auto fill function to save time.

Auto fill is carried out using the fill handle.

The fill handle is a small box on the bottom right-hand corner of the border surrounding a selected cell.
The fill handle is a small box on the bottom right-hand corner of the border surrounding a selected cell.

To use auto fill, enter the start of the sequence, then drag the fill handle in the direction you wish to fill.

The sequence will be continued until the point you release the fill handle.

You can also double-click the fill handle to auto-fill to the same length as a neighbouring column.


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Further spreadsheets materials

Workbooks

Exercise files

Excel versions of the exercise files can be found on university-managed machines at

T:\IT Training\Essential Spreadsheets

You can map to that drive at home if you use the University's VPN.

For Google Sheet versions of the files, see the tabs belowWorking with data site. In each case you will need to make copies of the files in order to edit them. So long as you're signed into a Google account, just open each file and go to File > Make a copy

Spreadsheets

There are two spreadsheet applications available to use at the University of York:


Maths and stats software

IT Services have a number of software packages for statistical analysis:

Forthcoming training sessions

Forthcoming sessions on :

Show details & booking for these sessions

There's more training events at:

Google Forms

Google FormsGoogle Forms is part of the Google Apps for Education suite.

It is great for simple forms and surveys and has the benefit that the survey can be locked down to University of York members as a whole, as well as to specific individuals. 

Responses can be fed in real time to a Google Sheet.