Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Calculating the quantities
In Microsoft Offi ce, there are usually several different ways to achieve the same
ends and formatting is no exception. Excel can work out some formats if you use
indicative symbols when you type in your numbers, but it’s not consistent and
complete. It can cope with you typing in dates, 5% or £5, but it can’t understand $5 if
your computer has its region set to be UK, and can’t understand £5 if your region is
US. Alternatively, you can select a cell or group of cells and use the Number format
pulldown menu on the Home ribbon to change their formats. This only provides the
most common formats, though, and doesn’t offer us the euro currency.
You can type in a euro symbol by holding down the Alt Gr key (on the right
of the space bar) and pressing 4. Excel will recognise the euro symbol and
convert your cell to a currency format.
Calculating the quantities
Now that I’ve gathered together all the prices and entered them into Excel, I can
start thinking about how much I need to spend on each item. Some of the
quantities will be fi xed, however long my trip lasts. I’ll only be taking one fl fight there
and one fl fight home again, so I’ll only need two taxi trips from and to the airport
in France. We’re only going to one concert, so we’ll just need a ticket each for
that, and we’re only spending one night in the treehouse.
But the cost of the main hotel will change, depending on how long our stay is.
And we plan to hire a car for half our trip, so the cost of that will vary too.
To start with, let’s work out the holiday cost based on a trip of 10 days. If you typed
in quantities for the Hotel Pierre, car hire and petrol budget, you’d need to go
back and change them all again if you decided to calculate a shorter trip. Instead,
what you need to do is enter the length of the holiday into a cell, and then get
Excel to work out the quantities for each of these expenses, based on the length of
the holiday.
As you know, Excel will let you put information anywhere on a spreadsheet. You
might want to change values like the length of the trip, which govern so many
 
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