Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Relocating the Data: Copying and Moving
of its columns would be clipped from view, again as with text. The whole thing is just too messy, and as a
result, numbers do not enter adjacent columns.
So what does happen, then? That depends. If you type a 12–digit number in a column with the
startoff, default column width in effect, say
123456789123
You’ll see this instead:
1.23457E+11
If you haven’t seen a number like that lately, it means you graduated high school a long time ago.
The long number is rewritten in scientific notation, a kind of shorthand that hems the number into its
existing column width, thus keeping in it view, though the number as you typed it is displayed that way
in the formula bar. But you can reformat the number into the original value you typed—as you almost
surely will—and when you do reformat it, Excel then accompanies the process with an Autofit on its own
to display the number in its entirety, as you originally entered it (and we’ll see how to apply this and
various other number formats in Chapter 4).
If, on the other hand, you type a long number and then for whatever reason narrow its column
substantially, you’ll see this:
###
—another classic spreadsheet indicator. Seeing those pound (or hash, or number sign, if you live in
the UK and other distant locales) signs in a cell means the cell contains a number that is too long for its
current width—and you see pound signs there instead of the scientific notation when you actively
narrow the cell. The solution: do an Autofit.
Relocating the Data: Copying and Moving
Now here’s another indispensible form of data entry you need to know about, though it isn’t generally
characterized in those terms—copying and moving data.
After all, when you copy data you’re reproducing, or entering, more of it, and Excel’s copying
options are several, and don’t always resemble the sorts of things you’d do in Word. Let’s explore some
of the permutations.
We’ll start of course with the basics. Say I want to copy values or text —and let’s begin with one cell’s
worth of data:
Click the cell whose data you want to copy.
Click the Copy button in the Clipboard group in the Home tab (or its
timehonored keyboard equivalent, Ctrl-C. Ignore the button’s drop-down arrow for
now). Note how the cell border is suddenly enlivened by what are called marching
ants (I’m not kidding), as seen in Figure 2–27:
Figure 2–27. Text, as copied
 
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