A cell of a worksheet can contain a value or be empty. The value of a cell has two essential characteristics:
- a type, which means the intrinsic type of the data. There are generally three types of values:
- numeric values, for example 3.1415927, 58%, or 1984.
- alphanumeric values, for example Table2, Title or Name.
- formulas, which means expressions that represent calculations based on data and performed by the spreadsheet.
- a format that represents the way the spreadsheet
displays the data. For example, if it is a number, the spreadsheet can
be set to display it as an integer, as a decimal number (as well as the
number of decimal places displayed), etc.
The cell may have a style
, which means a particular visual appearance (font, size, color, border, etc.), independent of the value it contains.
Numeric Data Entry
When entering numbers in a cell (including monetary
signs, percentages, etc.), the spreadsheet interprets the data as being
numbers, which makes the use of mathematical formulas on the data
possible. By default (without action on your part), the data recognized
as being numbers will be right justified in the cell.
Alphanumeric Data Entry
When entering letters in a cell, the spreadsheet
interprets the data as being alphanumeric, thus blocking the option of
using mathematical tools on the data. By default (without action on
your part), the data recognized as being alphanumeric will be left
justified in the cell.
Entering a Formula
Formulas are expressions that, when they are
interpreted by the spreadsheet, allow calculations to be performed
using data present in other cells.
To enter a formula in a cell, select the cell and start entering the formula starting with the "equal" sign (=)!
||If the syntax of the formula entered after the equal sign (=) is
not correct, the spreadsheet will display an error message preceded
with the # character! In case of an invalid cell reference, the spreadsheet will display the #REF! value.|
A formula may contain references to other cells, expressions, which means operators that allow simple operations to be performed on the values of other cells, as well as functions.
The integrated functions of the spreadsheet
allow elaborated calculations to be performed based on values in the
spreadsheet, like averages, rounding, etc.
Defining the Format of a Cell
The format of a cell defines the way its value will
be displayed by the spreadsheet. To define the format of a cell, click
on the cell, go to the menu Format > Cell and choose the Number tab (or Numbers in StarOffice). The spreadsheet will offer a series of formats divided by category: