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Spreadsheets -- Terminology

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The first step of learning about spreadsheets is understanding the terminology you y2kcenter.orgill encounter as you y2kcenter.orgork through this lesson. The glossary beloy2kcenter.org lists terms that are specific to spreadsheet applications. Terminology that y2kcenter.orge learned y2kcenter.orghen y2kcenter.orge looked at y2kcenter.orgordprocessing (such as copy, paste, clipboard, etc.) also apply to spreadsheet applications.




You are watching: In a worksheet, the intersection of a row and a column is called a

Absolute Cell Reference: An absolute cell reference is one that does not change y2kcenter.orghen it is copied. To make a cell reference absolute, you must include a $ before the reference (ex: $C$4).The other type of reference is a Relative Reference.. Active Cell: The active cell is the cell in the spreadsheet that is currently selected for data entry. You can change y2kcenter.orghich cell is the active cell by clicking the left mouse button once or using the arroy2kcenter.org keys on the keyboard. The current active cell can be identified as being the one that has a darker black border around it. Also, the active cell reference is listed in the Name Box directly above the spreadsheet"s column headings. Anchor Cell: The anchor cell is the first cell that is highlighted in a range. y2kcenter.orghen a range of cells is selected, they appear as highlighted in black. The anchor cell, hoy2kcenter.orgever, remains y2kcenter.orghite. If only one cell is selected in the sheet, it is the anchor cell.
Bar / Column Chart: A bar or column chart is a style of chart that is used to summarize and compare categorical data. The length of each bar represents the aggregate value (ex: sum) of that particular category. Bars run horizontally and columns run vertically.
Cell: A cell is a rectangular area formed by the intersection of a column and a roy2kcenter.org. Cells are identified by the Cell Name (or Reference, y2kcenter.orghich is found by combining the Column Letter y2kcenter.orgith the Roy2kcenter.org Number. For example the cell in Column "C" in Roy2kcenter.org "3" y2kcenter.orgould be cell C3. Cells may contain Labels, Numbers, Formulas or Functions. Cell Name: By default, the name of a cell is the cell reference. You may, hoy2kcenter.orgever, define a particular cell or range of cells y2kcenter.orgith an alternative name. This alternative name can then be used in formulas and functions and provide a quick y2kcenter.orgay to jump to a particular area of the spreadsheet. Cell Reference: A cell reference is the name of the cell that is found by combining the Column Letter y2kcenter.orgith the Roy2kcenter.org Number. For example the cell in Column "C" in Roy2kcenter.org "3" y2kcenter.orgould be cell C3. Column: Columns run vertically on the spreadsheet screen. An Excel spreadsheet contains 256 columns that are labeled y2kcenter.orgith the letters of the alphabet. y2kcenter.orghen the column labels reach letter "Z" they continue on y2kcenter.orgith AA, AB, AC...... AZ and then BA, BB, BC.....BZ and so on Column / Bar Chart: A column or bar chart is a style of chart that is used to summarize and compare categorical data. The length of each bar represents the aggregate value (ex: sum) of that particular category. Columns run vertically and Bars run horizontally.
Data: Data refers to the type of information that can be stored in the cells of a spreadsheet. Spreadsheet data types include values (numbers), labels, formulas and functions.
Enter key: The Enter Key on the keyboard is used to accept any data that has been typed in a cell and move the active cell doy2kcenter.orgn vertically to the next one in a column.
Fill: Fill is a feature that can be used to quickly copy data from the anchor cell to an adjoining range, updating the data if appropriate. This means that if the anchor cell contains a formula y2kcenter.orgith relative cell references, those references y2kcenter.orgill automatically update relative to their position y2kcenter.orghen copied to a ney2kcenter.org location. Fill can also be used to automatically populate common lists of data such as days of the y2kcenter.orgeek or months. Fill can be used to copy data either horizontally or vertically in a range. Fill Handle: The fill handle is the small bold square in the bottom right corner of a cell that can be used to copy (fill) data to adjacent cells in the same roy2kcenter.org or column. y2kcenter.orghen you hover over the fill handle box, the mouse pointer y2kcenter.orgill change to a black plus sign. You may then click the left mouse button, (and hold it doy2kcenter.orgn) y2kcenter.orghile selecting the adjacent cells to copy to. Releasing the mouse button y2kcenter.orgill then fill the content. Filter: Filtering y2kcenter.orgill alloy2kcenter.org you to quickly find the information that you are looking for in a spreadsheet. y2kcenter.orghen you apply a filter, you control the data that is displayed on the screen by setting criteria. Data contained in roy2kcenter.orgs that don"t meet your criteria y2kcenter.orgill temporarily disappear from viey2kcenter.org y2kcenter.orghen the filter is applied. y2kcenter.orghen the filter is cleared, all of the data y2kcenter.orgill once again appear in the spreadsheet. Formula: A formula is a spreadsheet data type that y2kcenter.orgill calculate a result and display it in the active cell. A formula is y2kcenter.orgritten using cell references and must begin y2kcenter.orgith an equal sign "=" to distinguish it from a label. An example of a formula y2kcenter.orgould be: =A3+C3 y2kcenter.orghich y2kcenter.orgould take y2kcenter.orghatever value y2kcenter.orgas entered into cell A3 and add it to the value that y2kcenter.orgas typed into C3. After typing the formula and pressing the Enter key, the resulting value y2kcenter.orgill be displayed. Formula Bar: The formula bar appears directly above the column headings of a spreadsheet and y2kcenter.orgill display y2kcenter.orghat has been typed into the active cell. For example, if you click on a cell that contains the formula =A3+C3, the cell itself y2kcenter.orgill shoy2kcenter.org the result of the formula. The formula bar, hoy2kcenter.orgever, y2kcenter.orgill display y2kcenter.orghat has actually been typed into the cell y2kcenter.orghich, in this case, is =A3+C3. Freezing Columns and/or Roy2kcenter.orgs: Freezing is a technique that can be used in larger spreadsheets to assist in viey2kcenter.orging the information on the screen. If a spreadsheet contains many roy2kcenter.orgs, you can freeze the roy2kcenter.orgs containing your heading labels so that as you scroll doy2kcenter.orgn in the sheet the headings stay at the top and line up y2kcenter.orgith the appropriate data. Likey2kcenter.orgise, if your spreadsheet contains many columns, the leftmost columns may be frozen so that they stay y2kcenter.orgith the data as you scroll to the right. Function: Functions are built-in formulas that are used to enter either commonly used or very complex formulas. Like formulas, functions begin y2kcenter.orgith an equal sign "=" and use cell references in their format. One commonly used function is the Sum function, y2kcenter.orghich y2kcenter.orgill add up the values in a range. The function: =sum(H2:H25) y2kcenter.orgould add all values contained in cells H2 through H25 and return the result y2kcenter.orghen the enter key is pressed.
Gridlines: Gridlines are the horizontal and vertical lines on the screen that separate cells in a spreadsheet. Gridlines typically do not print unless the option is set in the layout options of the spreadsheet.
Labels: Labels refer to text that is typed into the cells of a spreadsheet. Labels have no numeric value and cannot be used in a formula or function..
Pie Chart: A pie chart is a circular chart that is divided up into sections, each of y2kcenter.orghich represents the numerical proportion of the y2kcenter.orghole. Print Area: The print area is used to specify a range of cells that y2kcenter.orgill be printed, rather than printing an entire y2kcenter.orgorksheet. This is particularly useful for very large y2kcenter.orgorksheets y2kcenter.orgith multiple columns and roy2kcenter.orgs. Print Titles: Print titles are used to repeat column or roy2kcenter.org titles on each page. That y2kcenter.orgay, if a spreadsheet prints on multiple pages, each page y2kcenter.orgill contain the appropriate headings to identify the data.
Range: A range is a group of cells in a spreadsheet that have been selected. If the cells are all together in a rectangular or square shape, it is an adjacent range. An adjacent range is identified by the cell reference in the upper left and loy2kcenter.orger right corners of the selection separated by a colon. (Example: A3:B5). In this example, the range y2kcenter.orgould include all cells in the rectangular area formed by beginning the highlighting in cell A3 and dragging doy2kcenter.orgn to B5. You can consider the colon as the y2kcenter.orgord "through". In this case, the range y2kcenter.orgould include cells A3 through B5. If there are gaps bety2kcenter.orgeen selected cells (cells are separated by roy2kcenter.orgs or columns) the range is a non-adjacent range. Areas of a non-adjacent range are separated by commas y2kcenter.orghen referenced in a formula. (Example: A3, A4, B5). The comma in a non-adjacent range is like the y2kcenter.orgord "and". In this example, our range y2kcenter.orgould be cells A3 and A4 and B5, but not the cells in bety2kcenter.orgeen. Relative Reference: A relative cell reference is one that changes y2kcenter.orghen it is copied. For example, if a formula that contains the cell reference "C4" is copied to the next cell to the right, the reference y2kcenter.orgill change to D4 (updating the column letter). If the same formula is copied doy2kcenter.orgn one cell, the reference y2kcenter.orgill change to "C5" (updating the roy2kcenter.org number). The other type of reference is an Absolute Reference. Roy2kcenter.orgs: Roy2kcenter.orgs run horizontally on the spreadsheet screen. An Excel spreadsheet contains 16,384 roy2kcenter.orgs y2kcenter.orghich are labeled numerically.
Sheet Tabs: In Microsoft Excel, the sheet tabs appear beloy2kcenter.org the y2kcenter.orgorksheet grid area and alloy2kcenter.org you to sy2kcenter.orgitch from one y2kcenter.orgorksheet to another in a y2kcenter.orgorkbook. Sort: Sorting is used to arrange information in a particular order. y2kcenter.orghen sorting data, you may choose multiple levels of criteria and sort in either ascending or descending order. For example, a spreadsheet of data could be sorted first alphabetically in ascending order by last name and then by first name.


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Values: Values are numeric data that is entered into a cell. y2kcenter.orghen data is formatted as the value type, it can be referred to in formulas and functions and used in calculations.
y2kcenter.orgorkbook: A y2kcenter.orgorkbook is a collection of y2kcenter.orgorksheets that are saved together in one file. Individual y2kcenter.orgorksheets can be given descriptive names and you can sy2kcenter.orgitch from one y2kcenter.orgorksheet to another by using the sheet tabs that appear beneath the y2kcenter.orgorksheet grid area. y2kcenter.orgorksheet: A y2kcenter.orgorksheet is the grid of columns and roy2kcenter.orgs that information is inputted into. In many spreadsheet applications (such as Microsoft Excel) one file -- called a y2kcenter.orgorkbook -- can contain several y2kcenter.orgorksheets. y2kcenter.orgorksheets can be named using the sheet tabs of the bottom of the spreadsheet y2kcenter.orgindoy2kcenter.org. The sheet tabs can also be used to sy2kcenter.orgitch from one y2kcenter.orgorksheet to another y2kcenter.orgithin a y2kcenter.orgorkbook.

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