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Spreadsheets: Display

Spreadsheets/Display at YouTube

Hello, and welcome to the third episode of the Software Carpentry lecture on spreadsheets. In this episode, we will look at ways of making spreadsheets easier to read.

Our spreadsheet is pretty small, but many have thousands of rows or columns. If we want to keep row or column headings visible as we scroll around, we can do so using the "Freeze Panes" feature.

From the "View" tab, we select "Freeze Panes", and choose "Freeze Top Row". A very subtle dark gray border tells us which cells are frozen.

Now, if we resize the window and scroll up and down, the top row stays in place.

Let's put things back the way they were, then select some cells and make them bold and italic using the usual Control-B and Control-I shortcuts. Once we've done that, we can make the values more readable by reformatting how numbers are displayed.

First, we select the cells we want to format. Then we right-click to bring up a context menu, and select "Format Cells".

Under "Category" we choose "Number", then change the number of decimal place to zero and tick off "Use thousands separator". When we click "OK" on this dialog, the cells displaying areas are reformatted.

Similarly, we can select the rest of our data, bring up the same context menu, and tell Excel to display a single decimal place. Dozens of other options are available; we'll see a few in later episodes.