Data

To enter data into a cell, select the cell you want to edit by clicking on it.

In Excel, data is typically classified into two main categories: text and numbers.

  • Text data includes characters such as letters, operators, symbols, etc, and can include numbers. It is automatically left-justified in a cell by default for easy recognition. Text data is often used for labels, descriptions, or any information that is not intended for numerical calculations.
  • Numbers consist of digits (0 – 9) and can be used in calculations and formulas. They are automatically right-justified in a cell by default. Numbers will format properly if you use decimals or commas (e.g., 1,000 and 1.0 are both numbers, but contain non-numerical symbols).
Examples of text data
Examples of value text

Referencing Data

To reference data from the same sheet, the syntax is as follows:

=A2 
or 
=$A$2, =A$2, =$A2

for statically-referencing data, or

=Name

for cell-addressed data.

The $ in the statically referenced data signifies which element of the referenced cell is to remain static1 when auto-filling a column or row, or when copying/cutting a cell to another cell.

To reference data from another sheet, the syntax is as follows:

=Sheet1!A2 

or

=Name!A2

for sheets that are named.

Deleting Data

Data can be deleted in one of two ways: pressing the delete key while the desired cell is selected, or using the Edit Menu –> Delete Contents function in the Excel toolbar.

  1. ‘remain static’ means that the element will keep its original value even if it gets copied into a different cell. For example, when you copy-paste a formula using referenced cells, where you copy it to will update the reference relative to where you move the paste to. If you paste A2 2 cells to the right, it will become C2. However, $A2 will remain $A2 even if you copy it to the right. The $ before the column keeps the column reference static, and the $ before the row keeps the row reference static. ↩︎