Unit 2. Basic. Types of Data

We are going to go a bit deeper in the area of the different types of data that can be introduced in a spreadsheet cell.


Invariable Data


This is data introduced directly in a cell. It may be a number, a date or hour, or a text.



To introduce numbers you may include the characters 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and the special signs + -() / % E e. .

Signs (+) before numbers are ignored and to write a negative number it must be preceded by sign (-).

When we write a number in brackets, Excel interprets it a negative number, this is normal in accountancy.

The character E o e is interpreted as scientific notation. For example, 3E5 equals 300,000 (3 times 5 above 10).

Dots to indicate thousands can be used in the numbers introduced as constant figures.

When a figure has got a coma, it is a fragtion.

If we write after a number €, Excel will asign format Currency to the number and it will appear as currency in the cell, but in the formula bar the symbol will disappear.

If we introduce symbol % after a number, Excel will consider it as symbol for percentage.

If you introduce fractions such as 1/4 , 6/89 , you must write first a zero sign so the fractions are not mistaken by dates.

If a number does not fit in its cell, as a first measure, Excel will automatically pass it to scientific notation.

By default numbers will appear aligned to the right in the cell



To introduce a date or time all you have to do is to write it in the form you want it to appear.

In the same way as numbers (because that what they really are) dates and time also appear aligned to the right in the cell.

When you introduce a date comprised between the years 1929 and 2029, you will only need to introduce the last two digits of the year, but for all those dates that are not comprised in that range, you will have to introduce all the digits.


1/12/99        1-12-99                    2:30 PM             

14:30           1/12/99 14:30          12/07/2031



To introduce text as a constant, select a cell and type the text. The text may include letters, digits and other special character that can be reproduced by the printer. A cell can contain up to 16,000 text characters.

If a text does not fit in the cell you may use all the adjacent cells that are blank on the right to display it, but the text will be stored only in the first cell.

Texts will appear, by default, aligned to the left in the cell.


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