A short spreadsheet course



1 Getting data
2 Deleting data
3 Adding data
4 Tidying up sheets
5 Sorting into A-Z and numeric order
6 More sorting
7 Finding just some data
8 Matching several different criteria
9 Charts
10 Change the colours
11 Change the axis
12 Calculations
13 Calculations with dates
14 Working across several sheets
15 Validation
16 Using LookUp tables
17 IF statements
18 Conditional formatting
19 What happens if? and other stories...
20 Protect and survive!


1 the data you need

Instead of asking you to type in lots of data there’s a list of 50 or so students available for you to use. There is an Excel spreadsheet with just the data that you can download.
One of the nice things about spreadsheets, though, is that you can often copy data from tables on a web page and paste them into a spreadsheet to work with the data. If you would like to try then that is also available.

Lastly, if you get completely stuck or would like to skip some of the early tasks which may well be far too easy for some people then I have also provided a complete workbook containing samples of all the tasks completed. This workbook does contain things called macros, though, which may be automatically disabled at your workplace. They are safe so, if you have the option, select the version that includes macros (the .xlsm file) when saving locally.

the basic spreadsheet file xls file

the data in a table on the web

the whole workbook with sample answers: students.xlsm

Now you're ready for the first task which is to keep the data safe before you start messing it up, er, I mean working with it!

This is a really important thing to do. It’s called copying a sheet and, once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll be doing it a lot.

There will be a sheet called original or something similar. Put the mouse on that sheet tab. Hold the Ctr key down and, keeping it down, drag the tab to the right with the mouse. You should see a little symbol like a sheet and a + sign. Let go of the mouse and then the Ctr key. You should now have a second sheet called something like original(1). That’s the one to use. Don’t touch the other one and then if you accidentally delete something or mess this sheet up you can still start afresh and save a lot of re-typing.

There is also a way to do the same thing by right clicking on the tab and following the Copy instructions but the method outlined above is quicker.

OK. Here come the manager’s requests...