Advertisement

How to Create a Basic Spreadsheet Using Numbers

by

Numbers, along with the rest of iWork, has recently undergone a complete overhaul that boasts a brand new design, iCloud synchronisation and much more. Additionally, Apple is now giving away its productivity suite for free with every qualifying Mac, in addition to a free upgrade for all existing users, making iWork accessible to all.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a basic spreadsheet using Numbers and format it to your specification.


Numbers Explained

Numbers is an Apple-developed spreadsheet application that is packaged as part of iWork. With Numbers, you can create powerful spreadsheets using a variety of templates which can be wirelessly transferred between iDevices via iCloud or exported to a different format and shared with your colleagues.

Numbers '13 is currently available to purchase for £13.99 in the App Store, and comes free of charge with every Mac purchased after 1st October 2013.


Create a New Spreadsheet

Let's kickstart this tutorial by launching Numbers and creating a new spreadsheet.

Step 1: Launch Numbers

Click Numbers.
Click Numbers.

Click the Numbers icon in the Dock.

Step 2: Choose a Template

Select a template.
Select a template.

Select a template from the list and then click Choose. For the purpose of this tutorial, I have chosen Blank.

Step 3: Compose

You are now ready to insert data.
You are now ready to insert data.

You are now ready to insert data into your spreadsheet and format it accordingly.


Insert Data

For this tutorial, I am going to enter example data into my spreadsheet displaying the grades of several students over a three-year period. I am then going to calculate each student's average grade during this period of time, along with their grade total.

Insert data.
Insert data.

Insert the data into your spreadsheet by selecting a cell of your choice and entering a value. Continue until all data has been entered.


Calculate Values

Now, it is time to calculate the average grade of each student, as well as their grade total. Let's start by calculating the average grade using a simple formula: =AVERAGE(B7:D7).

Highlight a cell.
Highlight a cell.

Enter a heading (optional) and then highlight a cell in the appropriate column.

Click Function.
Click Function.

Click Function and then select Average.

Highlight the relevant data.
Highlight the relevant data.

Double-click your chosen cell to display the Formula Editor and then hold the Command key on your keyboard whilst highlighting the data you wish to calculate. For example, I have highlighted cell B7, C7 and D7 to work out the average grade of Student 5.

Click the checkmark or press Return to finish.
Click or press Return to finish.

Click the checkmark icon or press the Return key to finish. Numbers will then automatically calculate the average grade for that particular student and display it within the highlighted cell.

Next, I will show you how to calculate the total grade of each student using a slightly different method to the one demonstrated above.

Enter =.
Type =.

Enter a heading (optional) and then type = in a cell of your choice to display the Formula Editor.

Select SUM.
Select SUM.

Select SUM from the Functions sidebar and then click Insert Function.

Tip: As you can see, the Functions sidebar includes many different types of formula. Highlighting a formula will display a description of what each formula can do along with an example.

Hold the Command key and highlight the data..
Hold the Command key and highlight the data.

Hold the Command key on your keyboard whilst highlighting the data you wish to calculate. This will display the formula =SUM(B7+C7+D7).

Click ✓ or press Return.
Click or press Return.

Click the checkmark icon or press the Return key to finish. Numbers will then calculate the total grade of that student and display it within the highlighted cell.


Create a Chart

Once you have finished crunching numbers, you can then create a graphical representation of your data by inserting a 2D, 3D or interactive chart into your spreadsheet. Here's how.

Step 1: Highlight Data

Highlight the relevant data.
Highlight the relevant data.

Highlight the relevant data by clicking and dragging the cursor.

Step 2: Select a Chart

Click Chart.
Click Chart.

Click Chart and then select a chart type from the menu.

Edit your chart further by clicking Edit Data References.
Edit your chart further by clicking Edit Data References.

Your selected chart will then be inserted into your spreadsheet and may be edited further by pressing Edit Data References. Reposition the chart by clicking and dragging it to your desired location.


Format Spreadsheet

Formatting captures the reader's attention and will transform a dull-looking spreadsheet into something a little more sophisticated.

Step 1: Change Table Style

Select a table style.
Select a table style.

Select a table style from the Format sidebar situated on the right-hand side of the application. Your spreadsheet will then switch to the style that you have chosen.

Step 2: Add a Title

Click the Table Name checkbox.
Click the Table Name checkbox.

Click the Table Name checkbox to give your spreadsheet a title.

Double-click the title.
Double-click the title.

Double-click the title to modify.

Edit the appearance of the title.
Edit the appearance of the title.

Edit the appearance of the title via the Format sidebar.

Step 3: Edit Font

Caption.
Click the Table Font Size icon.

Click the Table Font Size icon to increase or decrease the font size.

Change the font.
Change the font.

Change the font used in your spreadsheet by highlighting the entire table, clicking the Font drop-down menu and selecting a new font from the list.

Caption.
Change the colour of your font.

Change the colour of your chosen font by selecting a new colour from the palette.

Align data.
Align data.

Highlight and click Left, Centre, Right or Justify to align data.

Click Bold, Italics or Underline.
Click Bold, Italics, or Underline.

Highlight and click Bold, Italics, or Underline to emphasise data.


Save Spreadsheet

You are now ready to save your progress and export your spreadsheet.

Click File and then Save.
Click File and then Save.

Click File and then Save to save your work.

Click Save.
Click Save.

Enter the desired name of your document in the Save As field, add a tag (optional) and then choose a location in which to save your file. Click Save.


Export Spreadsheet

Share your spreadsheet with a different platform or application by exporting it to another format to ensure that it can be read.

Click File, Export To and then PDF.
Click File, Export To and then PDF.

Click File, Export To and then choose an option from the menu. For this tutorial, I am going to export my spreadsheet to PDF, although you can also export to Excel, CSV or a previous copy of Numbers.

Select Good, Better or Best.
Select Good, Better or Best..

Click Image Quality and select either Good, Better or Best.

Choose a location.
Choose a location.

Choose a location to save your document and then click Export.

Export to PDF.
Export to PDF.

Your spreadsheet will then be exported to the format of your choice.


You Did It!

In this tutorial, I have shown you how to create a basic spreadsheet using Numbers and format it to your specification. Are you unsure about anything in particular? If so, leave a comment below.

Advertisement