The best software for working with piles of numbers is a spreadsheet program. Such a program is designed to make it easy to arrange and analyze numbers, like listing columns of numbers, sorting, doing calculations, and making charts from the numbers.
In some ways spreadsheet programs (like MS Excel) are similar to word processing programs (like MS Word) that you are more likely to have used. In both you can: create titles, type sentences and paragraphs, arrange data in rows and columns, format numbers and text, set the margins and orientation of the page, cut, copy, paste. But each type of software has frequent tasks that are not so easy to do in the other type. Each has its special choices for printing. Using a program that is designed for the particular task is worthwhile.
This set of lessons will teach you to use the most commonly used features in spreadsheet software. The directions are based on Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. What you learn will help you with other spreadsheet programs, too.
To get these resource files, click on one of the following links to download either a zipped set of files or a self-extracting file which will extract the compressed files for you. (Some folks are intimidated by the exe extension... and for good reason!)
A download dialog will appear. Choose "Save this program to a disk". Choose a folder on your hard drive for the file to be downloaded into.
After the file is downloaded, extract the compressed files. If you downloaded the zip version, use your WinZip or similar program to do this. Recent versions of Windows will show the contents of a zipped folder as a normal folder. If you downloaded the exe version, find the file in an Explorer or My Computer window and then double-click on resources-numbers.exe.
By default, the files will be put in c:\My Documents\complit101\numbers\. Of course you can choose a different location if you wish. Just be sure to remember where you put the files.
Some of the resource files that are Excel documents are
in older file formats so that many versions of Excel can use the same
files. You can save the documents that you create in whichever
file format suits your software.
You need removable storage for a working copy and a backup copy of your documents.
If you have a computer of your own, keep an up-to-date copy of your work on your home computer, too. Start good backup habits early and you won't kick yourself later when your files are lost or corrupted.
USB drive: Recommended
Called by many different names: flash drive, flash pen, thumb drive, key drive, jump drive, and mini-USB drive. A USB drive is an excellent choice for storing your class work. Your data is much safer on a USB drive than on a floppy disk.
Before you buy:
Check the following for both the classroom computer AND your home computer-
If you do not have a computer at home, consider buying 2 USB drives so that you can use one to keep a backup copy of your work. Don't lose them both at the same time!
The exercises often build on documents
you have already created. Do not delete your exercises until you have
finished all the projects.
Hands-on topic, (in menu) where you will have Step-by-Step directions.
marks a tip - something you might find useful to know.
marks a warning about possible problems.
marks something specific to Excel 2007
marks something specific to Excel 2010
Disclaimer: All names, addresses, and phone numbers
used in the lessons and exercises are fiction! Any similarity to a real person,
business, or place is a coincidence.
The author cannot be held responsible for any damage to hardware, software, or data resulting from your attempts to follow the directions.