Using a Spreadsheet

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People use electronic spreadsheets to manage numbers quickly and easily. Formulas may be used to add, subtract, multiply, and divide the numbers in the spreadsheet. If you make a change to one number, the totals are recalculated automatically for you.

Learning the Skill

To understand how to use a spreadsheet, read the following descriptions of several spreadsheet calculations:

•A spreadsheet is an electronic worksheet. It is made up of numbered cells that form rows and columns. Each column (vertical) is assigned a letter or number. Each row (horizontal) is assigned a number. Each point where a column and row intersect is called a cell. The cell's position on the spreadsheet is labeled according to its corresponding column and row-Column A, Row 1 (A10); Column B, Row 2 (B2) and so on. See the diagram below.

A1

B1

C1

D1

E1

A2

B2

C2

D2

E2

A3

B3

C3

D3

E3

A4

B4

C4

D4

E4

A5

B5

C5

D5

E5

1 The computer highlights the cell you are in. The contents of the cell also appear on a status line at the top of the screen.

1 Spreadsheets use standard formulas to calculate numbers. To create a formula, highlight the cell you want the results in. Type an equal sign (=) and then build the formula, step by step. If you type the formula =B4+B5+B6 in cell B7, the values in these cells are added together and the sum shows up in cell B7.

To use division, the formula would look like this: =A5/C2. This divides A5 by C2. An asterisk (*)

signifies multiplication: =(B2*C3)+D1 means you want to multiply B2 times C3, then add D1.

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The computer highlights the cell you're working in.

Practicing the Skill

Study the spreadsheet on this page.

1. Which cell is highlighted? What information is found in the cell?

2. What formula would you type in which cell to calculate the average life expectancy of both males and females in Sri Lanka?

3. What formula would you type in which cell to find the total GNP per capita of the countries listed?

Application ActMU

Use a spreadsheet to enter your test scores and your homework grades. At the end of the grading period, input the correct formula and the spreadsheet will calculate your average grade.

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