Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
How much information to put into each cell?
Excel also expects all the information in a row to be about the same thing. So if
there’s a name and a town in the same row, Excel expects them to belong to the
same person.
Some of Excel’s basic functions only work properly if you organise your
information the right way around. We might want it to sort the data according to the
person’s name, for example, but if we had input the data as in Figure 4.3, Excel would
think Bloggs and London are both surnames, because they’re both in the same
column. So the two golden rules for creating spreadsheets are:
Everything in the same row should refer to the same person or thing (for
example, all information about Fred Bloggs).
Everything in the same column should be the same sort of thing (for example,
they should all be surnames).
There are some slight deviations from this rule: the area you use for your data
doesn’t have to cover the whole spreadsheet, so you might put labels or other
information in other cells outside of it (you’ll see some examples of this in our
projects). But when you’re creating something that looks like a table, you must
obey those two rules or you will be condemned to banging your head against the
desk when Excel won’t behave.
Don’t worry if it seems a bit complex – it’ll make more sense as you work on the
projects. For now, it’s enough to understand that there’s a right way around to
create a spreadsheet.
How much information to put into each cell?
Now we know which way round our spreadsheet needs to go, we need to think
about how much information to put into each cell.
The cells look small, but that’s deceptive. You can resize them to be as big as you
like, and you can fi t paragraphs upon paragraphs of text into each cell, if you want
to. So when you’re deciding how much should go into each cell, how much is too
much and how much is too little?
The obvious answer might be to have someone’s whole name in one column and
their full address in the next column. That misses a great opportunity, though; by
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