Excel a beginning! 2000 The Garlic Press (edited 8/30/04 ADA)
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Spreadsheet; a computerized Matrix composed of cells that can contain labels, values, formulas or functions. A spreadsheet is used for calculations (e.g. budgets, simple check balancing, calculations for decision charts, grade calculations, what if computations, etc.)
 What's a matrix? or· What's a range? A range is a series of connected cells in a column or row. A winning set in tic-tac-toe!  Note: Diagonal ranges historically were not standard in spreadsheets but Microsoft defines range as a group of selected cells, thus Excel has diagonal, adjoining (contiguous), non-contiguous, or overlapping ranges.

A spreadsheet program on the Macintosh or Windows looks something like this:

Rows are numbered (1,2,3,4,...) Columns are labeled (A, B, C, D,...)

A cell is identified by its column and row names (C2 has an X in it above))

A range in this spreadsheet, cells A1, B1, C1, D1, E1, F1, could be simplified with range referencing to: (A1:F1)
 What's in a cell?

Values Numbers-any number that is data for your spreadsheet (i.e. 5, 123.45 and 999.5). Values can be treated mathematically-multiplied, subtracted, squared, etc.

Labels Any text-special characters that will be treated as labels for rows or columns or descriptive information (NOTE: labels cannot be treated mathematically-multiplied, subtracted, etc.) Labels in Microsoft Works include any cell contents beginning with A-Z (e.g., ALIMONY, TOTAL, HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES, etc.)

Formulas; mathematical calculations on a set of cells. Formulas must start with an = sign (e.g. =A1+A2+A3 or =A1+A2/3)

Functions; a built in set of formulas which start with an "=" sign, then the function name and then the cells (enclosed in parentheses) on which you desire to perform the function For example, =SUM(A1:A3) would add the values in A1 + A2 + A3 and place the answer in the cell with the function

There are many functions available. Some common functions include:

• SUM totals the values of the range or cells specified
• AVERAGE finds the average of the range or cells specified
• STDEV finds Standard Deviation of range or cells specified
NOTE: computer math uses the rules of Algebra. You probably learned these rules as one of the following:
 ( ) ^ * / - + GEMS Grouping Exponents Multiplication and Division Subtraction and Addition PEMDAS Please --parenthesis Excuse --exponents My --multiply Dear --divide Aunt --add Sally --subtract