Entering Data

Learning Outcomes

  • Add data to a table.

Excel workbooks are used to organize data very clearly. Numerical data can be used in a variety of ways, some of which we will examine in later modules. The first step, however, is simply to enter data into a table.

First, open a blank workbook. Next, click on the first cell for your data: this will almost always be A1.

A blank Microsoft Excel sheet is open. There is a green box surrounding the first cell which is A1.

If you wish to organize your data in a column, you will hit ENTER to move to the next cell down. In this case, A2.

A blank Microsoft Excel sheet is open. There is a green pointing downward signaling a transition of rows from cell A1 to cell A2.

If you wish to organize your data in a row, you will hit the Tab key to move to the next cell over. In this case, the next cell over is B1.

A blank Microsoft Excel sheet is open. There is a green arrow pointing to the right indicating moving columns from A1 to B1.

Enter all of your data into each individual cell until you are ready to save your workbook.

Just as with word processing, when using spreadsheets, there are different file types as well. The default file type is .xlsx (Excel Workbook). For example, in the screenshot below, inputting a file name of Book1 and saving with the default file type of Excel Workbook would result in a file that is named Book1.xlsx. Note that you do not type in the file extension as part of the file name.

A dropdown menu in Microsoft Excel showing a "Save As" dialog box. The "Save as type" file format options listed include Excel Workbook, Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook, Excel Binary Workbook, Excel 97-2003 Workbook, XML Data, Single File Web Page, Web Page, Excel Template, Excel Macro-Enabled Template, Excel 97-2003 Template, Text (Tab delimited), Unicode Text, XML Spreadsheet 2003, Microsoft Excel 5.0/95 Workbook, CSV (Comma delimited), Formatted Text (Space delimited), Text (MS-DOS), CSV (Macintosh), CSV (MS-DOS), DIF (Data Interchange Format), SYLK (Symbolic Link), Excel Add-In, Excel 97-2003 Add-In, PDF, XPS Document, Strict Open XML Spreadsheet, and OpenDocument Spreadsheet. The file name is set to "Book1". On the left side of the window, there's an option to "Hide Folders".

Practice Question