Entering and Editing Text and Values

After you create a workbook, you can begin entering data in cells. Cell entries can include many types of data, including text and values. When you type, data is entered in the active cell.

Text and values

Text entered in cells can be any length required, and it can be formatted just as in a word processing program; size, font, and style can all be changed. By default, text in a cell is left-aligned.

Values can include numbers, formulas, and functions. Excel recognizes cell data as a value when it's a number or when it begins with +, -, =, @, #, or $. By default, a value in a cell is right aligned.

Overflowing text and values

If a long text string doesn't fit in a cell, it will appear to go into the next cell if that cell is empty. The text ins't really in that next cell, though. If there is data in that next cell, the long string of text is truncated to fit the cell it's in.

If a long value doesn't fit in a cell, Excel displays a row of # characters. This indicates that the cell is too narrow to display the value.

The Num Lock key

The numeric keypad, on the right side of most computer keyboards, is controlled by a Num Lock key in the upper-left corner of the keypad. Press Num Lock once to switch the keypad from functioning as numeric keys to functioning as navigation keys. Press Num Lock again to return to numbers. When numbers are active, a Num Lock light typically lights on the keyboard.

 

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