MS-Excel is extremely powerful for entering, storing, displaying and manipulating different kinds of data efficiently. There are three main types of data i.e. text, numbers and date/time that can be entered and stored in cells.

Entering Text, Numbers and Dates

Entering Text in a cell

Steps to enter a text in a cell are as follows:

Step 1 Select the cell in which you want to enter text.

Step 2 Start typing the text.

Step 3 Press the Enter key.

Formatting the text in a cell

Text can be formatted in a cell. You can set the alignment, font, size and color etc, from the Home tab (Font and Alignment group).

Entering number in a cell

Steps to enter a number in a cell are as follows:

Step 1 Select a cell, where you want to type a number.

Step 2 Type the number. You can use %, (,), ., $, E., etc in the number.

Step 3 Press the Enter key. 

Formatting the number in a cell

You can set the number format in a cell. Steps to set the format of number cell are as follows:

Step 1 Select the cell, which you want to format.

Step 2 Click Home tab → Number Format list box from Number group.

Step 3 Select the desired format from the list. By default the cell format is General. 

Entering Date/Time in a cell

Steps to enter a date/time in a cell are as follows:

Step 1 Select the cell, where you want to type a date/time.

Step 2 Type date/time.

Step 3 When you type a date/time, Excel converts, your data to a serial number. The serial number represents the number of days from the beginning of the century until the date you type.

Step 4 To format those cells in date/time format, click short date or long date or time format, respectively from the number format list.

Step 5 After a cell has been formatted in date or time format, Date/Time will be in general form dd/mm/yy, HH : MM : SS format. 

Shortcuts to enter current date/time

To insert the current date, press Ctrl + ;

To insert the current time, press Ctrl + Shift + ;

To insert the current date and time, press Ctrl + ; then press SPACE and then press Ctrl + Shift + ;

Creating Text, Number and Date Series

Microsoft Excel, provide a features of Autofill to fill cells, with data series automatically. This feature can be used for filling data series of text, numbers and date types.

Creating Text Series

Steps to creating text series are as follows:

Step 1 Select the cell which you want to repeat.

Step 2 Bring the mouse pointer to its Fill handle (+).

Step 3 Press the left mouse button and drag the Fill handle, fill the cell where you want to fill the series.

Step 4 Release the mouse button. 

Creating Number Series

AutoFill feature is mostly used to fill a range of cells with the series of number, e.g. increasing number series, even number or odd numbers series etc. If you want to fill even number series from 2 to 10 in range A2 to A6.

Steps to create this series are as follows:

Step 1 Enter number 2 in cell A2.

Step 2 Enter number 4 in cell A3.

Step 3 Select range A2 : A3.

Step 4 Drag the Fill handle from A3 to A6.

Step 5 Release the mouse button. 

Creating Date Series

We can also create date series using AutoFill feature.

Steps to create a date series like 25/12/2014 to 31/12/2014 in B3 : B9 are as follows:

Step 1 Enter date in format 12/25/2014 in cell B3.

Step 2 Drag the fill handle upto cell B9.

Step 3 Release the mouse button. 

Editing Worksheet Data

We can edit worksheet data by performing several operations. Some common operations are as follows:

Selecting Cells

You may want to select multiple cells or range in a worksheet in order to enter data in those cells or to format all of the selected cells at one time. Several methods to select multiple cells in a worksheet are as follows:

• To select a single entire column, click a column heading-that is, the letter or letters that indicate the column.

• To select multiple columns, drag across multiple column headings.

• To select a single .entire row, click the row number. To select multiple rows, drag across multiple row numbers.

• To select sequential cells, click the first cell, hold down the Shift key and click the last cell you want. Optionally, click and drag the mouse over a group of cells to select a sequential area.

• To select non-sequential cells, click the first cell, hold down the Ctrl key, and click each additional cell (or row or column) you want to select.

• To select the entire worksheet, click the small box located to the left of column A and above row 1. You can select all cells in a worksheet by pressing Ctrl + A.

Different types of shapes are available to select the cells are as follows: 

Pointer ShapeUse
 +To select cells
To select row
To select column
  To change column width
 To change row height
 To move contents of selected cells
+To AutoFill in cells

Formatting Cells

When we format cells in Excel, we can change the appearance of a number without changing the number itself. Steps to format the cells are as follows:

Step 1 Enter the value into a cell.

Step 2 Select the cell and right click, then click Format Cells. 

Step 3 Format cells dialog box provides many tabs to format the cells.

Tabs and their groups on the format cells dialog box are as follows:

NumberCategory (Select format for entered text, number or date/time)
AlignmentText alignment, Text control, Orientation and Right-to-left.
FontFont, Font style, Size, Color, etc.
BorderLine, Presets, Border and Color.
FillBackground color, Pattern color etc.
ProtectionLocking cells or Hiding formulas.

Step 4 After Formatting the cells, click OK.

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