Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
It Takes All Types
Getting the Enter key to put the cell
pointer where you want it
Excel automatically advances the cell pointer to
the next cell down in the column every time you
press Enter to complete the cell entry. If you want
to customize Excel so that pressing Enter doesn’t
move the cell pointer when the program enters
your data, or to have it move the cell pointer to
the next cell up, left, or right, open the Advanced
tab of the Excel Options dialog box (Alt+FTA).
To prevent the cell pointer from moving at all,
select the After Pressing Enter, Move Selection
check box to remove its check mark. To have
the cell pointer move in another direction,
select the Direction pop-up list box right below
followed by the new direction option you want
to use (Right, Up, or Left). When you finish
changing the settings, click OK or press Enter.
If, while still typing an entry or after finishing typing but prior to completing
the entry, you realize that you’re just about to stick it in the wrong cell, you
can clear and deactivate the Formula bar by selecting the Cancel button (the
one with the X in it) or by pressing Esc on your keyboard. If, however, you
don’t realize that you had the wrong cell until after you enter your data there,
you have to either move the entry to the correct cell (something you find out
how to do in Chapter 4) or delete the entry (see Chapter 4) and then re-enter
the data in the correct cell.
It Takes All Types
Unbeknownst to you while you go about happily entering data in your
spreadsheet, Excel constantly analyzes the stuff you type and classifies it into
one of three possible data types: a piece of text, a value, or a formula.
If Excel finds that the entry is a formula, the program automatically calculates
the formula and displays the computed result in the worksheet cell (you
continue to see the formula itself, however, on the Formula bar). If Excel is
satisfied that the entry does not qualify as a formula (I give you the qualifications
for an honest-to-goodness formula a little later in this chapter), the program
then determines whether the entry should be classified as text or as a value.
Excel makes this distinction between text and values so that it knows how
to align the entry in the worksheet. It aligns text entries with the left edge of
the cell and values with the right edge. Because most formulas work
properly only when they are fed values, by differentiating text from values, the
program knows which will and will not work in the formulas that you build.