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Excel questions

Discussion in 'Business Applications' started by starchild, Jan 20, 2006.

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  1. starchild

    starchild Thread Starter

    Sep 17, 2002
    I tried learning Excel (and Access) a few years ago, and gave up. Apparently, it's easier for me to learn when I know why I'm using it, applying it to something.

    I have 2000

    I started making a spreadsheet, listing cameras (and another for printers) because of looking for the best one (for me) to buy. Because of this, I'm starting to see all that Excel can do, I've been going over the options, looking things up in my OFFICE 2000 book, etc.

    I'm now getting more into setting up the spreadsheet and what it can do, than the actual product info I'm putting into it :) Like figuring out how to sort (alphabetically, by price, etc. Which I know is simple-basic to those who KNOW but I didn't)

    I started out making the spreadsheet, leaving spaces, like between the brand names (going down) but then read NOT to leave spaces, it comes to a space and doesn't go further.

    Is there something I can put in a space if I have to have one? Like 0 or X maybe? So, it won't be empty?

    Also, what is the formula to put in (and where) to add 2 amounts together. In this case, I want to put the price of the product and price of shipping, and have it add it together (I know I can do this on paper or calculator, but I'm using it as a reason to learn) I know formulas like this are in different cells, and since it will be just on the section that has the money (not the brand name, model, etc) seems like this will leave blank spaces under the other headings (if I explained this clearly). If I go down under price and put in a formula, to add shipping to it, this will be using up cells going down (the page) that will be left blank over on the other side. So, there must be something to put in the blank cells so they won't be blank?

    I'm sure this isn't as confusing once it's understood and used.

    Just seeing how it can be used is a big help for me.

  2. coachdan32


    Nov 13, 2003
    You can use the underscore_ character. It is not an ideal situation, but you can get it to work. Best is to take the spaces out. I use caps to show the word separation (example:NameBrands).
  3. Zack Barresse

    Zack Barresse

    Jul 25, 2004
    Hi there,

    I think the spaces issue largely depends on what you are using it for. I personally use spaces with labels and column headers. If I'm using something that requires that field to be shown without it's spaces I'll use ...

    =Substitute(A1," ","")

    (Note that is for one space character in cell A1 only.)

    As for the other issue with the formula(s), I really don't follow. Can you upload a sample file showing what you mean, or perhaps attaching a screenshot? Sorry if I'm being slow.
  4. Anne Troy

    Anne Troy

    Feb 14, 1999
    First Name:
    Perhaps Starchild meant blank rows (not spaces), which I strongly discourage. If you have blank rows or columns for spacing purposes, get rid of them and instead set the row height or column width wider to provide more white space.

    Also, Carrie, the Extreme Excel Tutorial might be really helpful, and perhaps even fun, for you: http://www.officearticles.com/tutorials/an_extreme_tutorial_in_microsoft_excel.htm
  5. bomb #21

    bomb #21

    Jul 1, 2005
    To add two values:

    1. Click where you want the answer to show.

    2. Type the equals sign.

    3. Click on the first value.

    4. Type the plus sign.

    5. Click on the second value.

    6. Press Enter.

    Anne's blank rows guess is probably right, and yes, it's a no-no.

    ANNE!!! I've missed you! (*hugs*)
  6. starchild

    starchild Thread Starter

    Sep 17, 2002

    Hi Anne, it's been awhile! I got interested at one time in learning the Office programs, even got a book (QUE- Using Office 2000, which has so much in it, I think it's confusing (LOL) Then I got sidetracked with art/graphics and learning Publisher (I've been doing business cards, address labels and flyers for people- mainly still for practice. Also, still have the idea of making notecards and just starting to make progress on this. Details, math and organization have never been my strong points. I like to do the photos and art and then would get confused using it for something.)
    Anyway, I started making an Excel chart to compare cameras and printers (what they have, prices, etc) and realized I had to learn more of the basics. I feel I have in a short time (few days) maybe because now I can see WHAT I am doing with it? It's not just abstract concepts and facts.
    Someone once gave my daughter (who passed it on to me) a folder of CDs Learn Key Office 2000. With CDs. One is Excel. I was doing this yesterday, first I thought it moved too fast (I had my Excel up small on one side) but then I realized I can pause it.
    One problem I had, one lesson he shows how to set up a Certificate of Appreciation (using Excel)- changing font and size, selecting cells, etc. He said to change the font to Times New Roman, and I didn't have it. I only had about 10 fonts showing (so I used something else for the lesson). After, I opened just Excel and did it from memory and all my fonts were there again. Maybe something to do with my old (low memory, etc) computer- which I'm planning on replacing in the next few weeks.
    So, back to the question. I did mean empty cells by spaces. I just learned yesterday Excel doesn't like blank cells. I'm still new with the terms, columns and rows and such.
    But, in some cases there seems to be spaces left. I might have something in one row, but not in others. Since I'm listing brands and models of cameras and printers, and adding data as I find it out (with the idea of then having it there to compare- AND learning to make a spreadsheet at the same time) I figured something had to be in the blank cell unless/until I have something to add to it. I'm putting headings like made, model, options, price new, price used, recommended (number who have) and notes. Maybe just having something in the row at some point is enough, but I was seeing blank cells.
    I realize it's hard to answer a question if it's not asked correctly, I found this out when I was learning to upload webpages and would ask people things like "where is page two?" (or course, there was no page 2, etc. until I MADE IT, uploaded it and linked it)
    Thanks for the suggestion of the tutorial, it does make sense to actually learn what I'm doing before trying to do things with it. I do it backwards (and I think with computers, etc a lot do it this way) I think of something I want to do, and start it, and look things up, try things, and ask questions as I go along. Where learning something from step one, basics at the start, till I KNOW it, would be less frustrating and save time, overall. (same with learning Photoshop, Publisher, etc. And the few times I dabbled in learning FLASH, which is probably something really useless in a way, but I wanted to learn it just to know (LOL) I did do the tutorials that come with Publisher and Flash (several times).
    Sometimes I feel like such an old dog learning new tricks. But, also, the idea of learning and doing helps me feel productive and gives me something to get up in the morning for now. Certainly isn't washing the dishes.... I'm probably not the only one who loves computer stuff (photography, art, setting things up, learning programs, etc) and all I want to do is THIS. I feel guilty and rush around sweeping the floors and putting the dishes to soak (again) at times. I don't know if it will ever pay off in some material way, I'd love to turn it into something that pays (while still doing it the way I want- not pressured, if that makes sense) Last fall, someone (another board) saw I was using PhotoShop and asked if I could take some background stuff out of a picture for her. Of course I did (I learned to use the Clone Bush doing it) and also turned it into art and sketch, etc. She loved it. Last week, out of nowhere she emailed and asked for my address, she wanted to send me something as a thank you. She sent a money order for $50! I could get used to this. But, I still feel strongly I don't want to do it FOR the money, if that makes sense. Like someone pay me to do something a certain way, they might not like how I do it, etc. I'm still aiming at printing notecards (and getting going more at this) to put in giftshops or offer on ebay. If people still write notes... In the process of getting a business loan (from family, no interest and it's my idea) to get a better camera, computer and printer.

    Anyway, getting off topic I guess- but I really do love this stuff, I just turned 62 and know I'm not the only grandma (greatgrandma) getting into computers, etc, but it's sort of my passion. I want to learn it (do it) all- NOW!

    Not enough time in the day and night. And computer people are the best, so willing to help and share and enourage newbies. Though I'm probably no longer a newbie with computers, I'm always a newbie with something (LOL)

    ~ Carrie
  7. starchild

    starchild Thread Starter

    Sep 17, 2002
    PS... I'm finding a lot of good stuff on that tutorial site.

    There goes the rest of today (LOL)
  8. Zack Barresse

    Zack Barresse

    Jul 25, 2004
    Hey Carrie,

    So there are blank cells which have spaces in them? I'm not really sure why you either 1) need to put anything in there at all, or 2) need to have a blank space at all. Have you tried making the rows larger?

    If you want us to look at it and make some suggestions to you, go ahead and upload a sample of it. I'm sure you'd get some good feedback. :)

    On a personal note: I think it's just great that you are getting into something that you're passionate about. Irregarless of your age, it's important to do what you like to do. Even if that lies in something that you do not know much about, that means little in the end. Heck, if we didn't pursue things we didn't know about, what would we know? ;)

    Good luck!
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